About a week ago, my Apple G5 tower suffered a fatal crash. Initially it just froze up - upon restarting, it froze again in several minutes. Sadly, earlier that day, the hard drive I backup all of my business files to also crashed so at that point I had to get the information off my G5 tower as quickly as possible. Luckily I was able to get the information off and all of my important data before the G5 tower wouldn’t start up at all.
I find it quite amazing how unreliable hard drives are - and I seem to have some of the worst luck of any photographer I know when it comes to faulty hard drives. As a result I back everything up on a minimum of three devices. For my images they are always on at least two hard drives and burned to DVD for offsite storage. My computer is also backed up completely to an external hard drive each night. And every few days I back it up to a third hard drive just in case. I have had four hard drives crash on me this year alone.
I have used several methods of backing up my main computer - LaCie’s Silverkeeper, Superduper and others. The point is to find something that works for your system and be vigilant. I covered backing up Lightroom catalogs in a previous post. You can check that out here.
Because I back up my entire computer’s hard drive I have not been using the Lightroom back up solution. My Lightroom catalogs are already backed up each and every night when I run SilverKeeper. And since I have many catalogs - sometimes one catalog for a single set of images it would be a pain to have to go through and let Lightroom back up all of the catalogs individually.
Whatever your systems, I would say backup your images and important information to a minimum of three locations. And whatever your backup solution, whether you use Lightroom’s very good backup option or a different method make sure it is robust and can withstand a fairly severe catastrophe. If your office or home burns down do you have your images and important information somewhere else?
This week’s blog post is just a cautionary tale for those of you out there that have never had a hard drive fail. It happens much more often than hard drive makers like to talk about. Luckily, with my many backups, I was up and running within a few hours on my laptop and will have my tower either repaired or replaced this week.
That’s it for this session. See you next week.
Adios, Michael Clark