Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Its one of those catchy slogans which should be forefront in the minds of photographers.
Over the last few days I had the hard drive in my computer which stores all my photos begin to fail. This drive is dedicated to photos and only photos. No programs or anything else goes on it.
Because I had a solid backup strategy what could have been a catastrophic loss became a fairly minor inconvenience and an investment of a few hours.
Here's how it played out and from this I hope you can draw some ideas to have a plan in place to backup and recover your data if the primary copy goes south.
When I am done importing images from a shoot and after an editing session I do a backup to my RAID1 NAS drive using Allway Sync of my photo drive. Always. Every time.
Once a week I also backup the photo drive to two external hard drives, again using Allway Sync. One copy stays at home, another goes to the office so there is physical redundancy, as well as drive redundancy. So at any one time I have four drives with my complete photo archive on.
Once a week I also backup my Lightroom catalog to the same photo drive, so that gets backed up along with everything else on this schedule.
Last week I began to see some odd behavior when I browsed my photo drive. It would be slow, there would be a lot of hard drive activity with little to show for it, and then the kicker: I got a Windows delayed write error and then the drive appeared to vanish from My Computer.
During a reboot Windows automatically performed a check disk on the photo drive and it seemed to be back in action, but I knew that was going to be short-lived.
I backed up the photo drive to one of my external drives, but not the NAS. That way if there were any corrupted files they wouldn't get copied out to all my backups. I also did a fresh backup the Lightroom catalog. This last step alone is probably the one thing that saved me the most time and made me love Lightroom even more.
Time to get out the tools and swap some drives. Out came the old photo drive and in went a fresh 500gb. A few hours of formatting and copying the 250gb of photos from the backup external drive and all seemed to be back in order. But then I tried to launch my primary Lightroom catalog.
The program said it was corrupt and its attempts at fixing it came to nothing.
Throughout this entire process this was the one moment I began to sweat just a litle. Thousands of indexed, keyworded, named and filtered shots are managed in this catalog. Was that work I would have to start again from scratch?
I was able to launch the backup Lightroom catalog I had made before swapping drives and I was back in business.
Bottom line was a few hours of large-scale data moving and not a single byte of data lost and almost no stress on my part.
This is the second time I have had my primary photo drive in my computer fail, and its the second time I've had an up-to-date backup that saved me from disaster.
The hardware and software to protect your images is a small price to pay for the insurance against losing them all. If what happened to me struck you right now, how much would you lose?