Thursday, February 19, 2009

Back Up and Try Again



My computer has been making some very strange noises off and on for the last couple of months. I get in a near panic mode each time I hear this noise as I think about all of the photos on my computer that have not been backed-up. There are over 30,000 pictures on my computer, most of which I could just delete and never miss, but others that I would be very sad to lose.

Those pictures that I've used on my blog are safely backed up on Picasa, but they are stored at a lower resolution than I would want should I decide to use them for prints. My computer is not letting me use DVDs for copying. It correctly makes one, (out of 14), DVDs and then I get an error message for the next one. I just purchased an external drive and have attempted to use it but when downloading my pictures onto the laptop I get an error message for that as well. This is so frustrating! I have spent hours the last few days just trying to get my things backed up. I'm not 100% certain that I have been successful yet.

I was just wondering if you back up your pictures and if so, what method do you use?

24 comments:

SeLFs said...

i had a laptop that "made funny noises''...
Yep, the hard drive faiLed..==losT eVerythinG...
i noW use a TiMe CapsuLe= AppLe wireless wiTh TiMe Machine Back-up softwaRe..MAC+OSX iS mY LiFe iN BiTs & PieceS(=bytes/TeRabyteS nOW!)
To teLL the Truth i wouldn'T knoW hoW to "Restore", even if i losT mY Hard-driVe aGaiN.. buT theRe iS that PromiSeD FUNcTioNaL SecUriTy,,,oNlY tiMe wiLL eVeR teLL..

Patricia said...

How frustrating, Robin!

I back up all my photos in an external hard-drive. My normal MO is to download photos, crop and delete in Picassa, review and delete again in my picture files, upload my favorites into a pro-flickr account (about $25/year - I have over 11,000 photos stored there - some are public, some are private - but I could make them all private, if I wanted) and then move the photos immediately into my external hard drive.

Just this morning I considered setting up a schedule to purge my photos. I have way too many, and over time some of them become less or unimportant to me. I could probably trim my 11,000 flickr photos down considerably...but oh, where to begin! =)

Hope this helps a little, Robin.

nancybond said...

My photos are all backed up on DVD -- external hard drives fail, too. ;) That's just a word of caution -- Charlie is a computer service tech and he sees it all the time. What I really NEED to do is organize them! Ugh.

Those lavender blooms are extraordinary, Robin.

Kerri said...

Robin, my photos are backed up on an external HD as well as on DVD (which I need to bring up to date).
Keeping them sorted is an enormously time-consuming job which I don't keep up with well.
My previous computer began making strange noises 2 years ago. It really is scary, isn't it? That's when we decided to replace it.
That beautiful clematis is a sight for winter weary eyes :)

Cathy said...

Robin,

I use a E drive, back up all my
photos onto it. And also in case
my computer crashes I have a Free
agent portable drive that backs up
my computer every night. They cost
about $85.00. And the brand I have
is a Seagate. (My husband is an IT
Network Analyst.)

AliceAnderson said...

I use JungleDisk to backup my computer. It stores everything on an amazon server. Those are backed up around the world so I never have to worry about losing anything. The fees are supersmall, I think I've spent 17 cents to backup all my photos.

I just select which folders I want the program to back up and then each afternoon it quietly does its things and I'm worry free.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I too back-up my photos on DVD.Computers are great when they work,but a pain at other times.
Blessings,Ruth

Granny Susan said...

For what it's worth: Richard backs up all of my pictures to an external hard drive.

Juliet said...

Romeo is a computer programmer and works from home, so he backs up everything from the main computer (including my photos) onto an external hard drive, and I also back my photos up onto DVDs, just to be on the safe side.

Are you using a Windows machine? If so I'm afraid I can't help with the DVD problems - but if you're using Linux I might have some ideas!

My problem is also having time to sort my photos - I need to go through them and delete unwanted ones, re-label others, put them all into more sensible folders, finish sorting/cropping/resizing the ones I took of the recent snow we had here ... . I never seem to catch up!

Karen said...

Thanks everyone for all of your suggestions on storing photos. I have quite a few on my computer (some I have put on CDs), but I would like to put all of them in a "safe place". I will check out your different suggestions.

Robin, I just found your blog a couple weeks ago. I have decided to have an "Interesting Blogs" page on my butterfly website and I put you on it. I hope that's OK. Your photography is beautiful!

Frances said...

Oh, those strange noises are so scary. Before the blog, I didn't take as many photos and put them on cd's. It is very important to get the highest quality disc, not the cheaper ones, they are likely to give you the error message. With the blog I take so many now, and try to go through when there are a couple of month's worth and delete the crappy ones. I save the best ones in files by month, then put them on disc and jump drives. I like the discs better, but they don't hold as many and are said to deteriorate over time. It has been interesting to see how others do it. My husband gave me an external hard drive for Christmas one year, but I never used it. He ended up giving to our son to use for the ice cream shop records.
Frances-sorry so long

queenofseaford said...

Robin, I like many others here use an external hard drive to back up the photos-- though I have been remiss in keeping up with it lately. With technology changing all the time it is hard to know what the best vehicle to archive photos would be. Anyone remember the 3.5 floppy?
Janet

Gail said...

Good sound advice from everyone. The phot guru I work with has all his photos on jump drives and external harddrives. Good luck...gail

Marsanne Petty said...

When I first take my photos off of my camera card, I upload them to my laptop. While there, I upload them to flickr because it's faster to upload them directly from my laptop than it is from my external hard drive. Once they are on flickr, I transfer them from my laptop to my WD Passport hard drive. It was about $100 at Best Buy. The absolutely best mother's day gift I've ever gotten - I promise! Not only do I do photography, I do extensive historical research and writing, so it is vital that all of my files remain safe. After I lost a ton, I learned my lesson. :( So, I guess, in essence, my photo files are in two places - flickr and my external hard drive.

Your pics today are really great - my mom sends them to me a lot, and I finally just started checking it out every couple days. Good job!

Marsanne Petty said...

When I first take my photos off of my camera card, I upload them to my laptop. While there, I upload them to flickr because it's faster to upload them directly from my laptop than it is from my external hard drive. Once they are on flickr, I transfer them from my laptop to my WD Passport hard drive. It was about $100 at Best Buy. The absolutely best mother's day gift I've ever gotten - I promise! Not only do I do photography, I do extensive historical research and writing, so it is vital that all of my files remain safe. After I lost a ton, I learned my lesson. :( So, I guess, in essence, my photo files are in two places - flickr and my external hard drive.

Your pics today are really great - my mom sends them to me a lot, and I finally just started checking it out every couple days. Good job!

shibaguyz.com said...

We keep a back up of our photos on our external Mac drive as well as the online back up service from Mac. As an additional security measure, Jason usually loads them onto a flash drive then burns them to a disc.

The thought of loosing all that work just makes me shiver... ugh...

beckie said...

Robin, Just keep trying and if you can't, somewhere like Best Buys can probably do it for you for a small fee. The main thing is to do it before the computer goes. I learned the hardway and now back mine up on DVD every week or so. But what I am not doing is sorting as I back up. I need to be more dilligent about that. :} Hope it works out for you.

Sylvia (England) said...

Robin and everyone, some great advice here but just to add a thought. It is worth considering back-ups in a different location. If a disaster struck, fire, flood etc back ups and computer may be destroyed. Also thiefs often take back-up media when they steal a computer. So either give a set of DVD/CDs to friend or family or use one of the services suggested here, to be extra safe.

Another thought - I keep a list of all the blogs I visit (the list Blotanical produces when you add a fav) I would hate to have to find you all again - I know I would miss someone. I keep this in a draft email message on google, so I can access it anywhere.

Best wishes Sylvia (England)

Naturegirl said...

Robin I am having my own frustrations with this whole technology thing with blogging and changes!! Argh!
Sorry wish I could help but I'm sure some one out there has the techy savy! I know about the numerous photos stored!! EEEK..time to purge!!
Enjoy your weekend I'm heading for sunny skies in a few days! :)NG

Kylee said...

I have an external hard drive where they are automatically backed up, using Norton Ghost. However, my laptop photos are not backed up. Yikes! And my laptop HD is nearly full to capacity, too. Thanks for the reminder to do some housekeeping!

By the way, I get the same thing when I try to burn CDs. What's up with that?

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Robin,
My daughter just lost everything she had ever saved on her MacBook while at college. She did not have an E-backup drive:( My husband is now going to take care of that, after a new hard drive is put into that computer;(
I am going to make sure mine is taken care of too. From what I've read here on the comments, a lot of people put them on DVD. I think that's a great idea. Thanks for bringing up this topic!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Looks like you've gotten lots of good advice from others, Robin. Theres definitely something to be said for dvds/cds, because even external harddrives can arbitrarily die. The perils of technology.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I copy all my photos onto USB devices. My computer is dying, and the CD drive started acting funny a long time ago, forcing me to find an alternative. USBs are so much better than CDs because they are so small and hold so much more. There are 8 GB and 16 GB USB devices. Yes, there's the risk that something might happen to it, but the same risk applies to CDs (which are probably more fragile than USBs). Good luck copying all those photos. I spent a whole day copying everything I needed from my hard drive after I ordered my new laptop.

Zach said...

I use MozyHome, which is a program that you download and configure. It will run each night (assuming you set it up right) and send your files to a secure computer where your files will be archived. You have to pay a yearly fee, but it is small in comparison to the value of your files. And there is no limit on storage space!