Project-26: The Back-up Plan

Project-26: The Back-up Plan

Project-26, Jason Miller, Baffin Photography, The Back-up Plan





Project-26: The Back Up Plan


Living on the edge! Years of digital photos, over a decade, a journey in photography, memories, ……..and no real back up.

This has been a priority for a long time, many things held me back from having a proper back up plan. Unsure of the best way, hardware, software, time, it will never happen to me, I had Time Machine on a separate drive on the iMac that should cover it, and many more excuses.

Time to fix this and come up with a plan. Priority Number 1 on the Project-26 List! I spent a few days to complete this Project. Not including all the previous research on the best ways to do this.

A few months ago I purchased an e-book from Photography, Back Up or Die. “Die” would be pretty close to how I would want to deal with losing all the memories. Having no negatives to redevelop, everything is lost forever! Eight years of our 4 kids growing up so far, would be criminal enough.

Back or Die is a great e-book with an included work sheet to walk you through building up your individual plan. While reading the book and working through the worksheet I stock piled 4 – 4 terabyte hard drives, knowing they would be part of my plan some how. With the work sheet finally complete for my plan, I was still scratching my head a bit. I ended up adding my own flow chart from the work sheet to better visualize what I was about to try and do. This stuff is way over my head, a lot of why I was putting this off for so long! I would rather be out taking more photos, but I would not want to lose them either.

Photos from 2 previous computers on 2 separate hard drives were copied onto 1 of the new 4 terabyte drives. I hope to merge the photos one day somehow, but for now they are in separate folders, labeled from the previous computers they were on. I found out how to move the photos from within Lightroom, the program I use for managing my photos.

Once all the photos were on 1 hard drive and everything seemed to be working as it was before with the 2 hard drives, I plugged in a second 4 terabyte hard drive. Apple asked if I wanted this for my Time Machine backup. I agreed and asked it to include the hard drive with all my photos on it. A few hours later I had my first back up!

After the computer cooled down from copying 78,913 photos, I installed the third hard drive and formatted it. The Back Up or Die e-book recommended various software programs for back ups and cloning hard drives, I chose the ChronoSync software. I purchased and downloaded the program. In short order I was setting up a scheduled back up of my first hard drive with all my photos on it. Two hours later, I had my 2nd back of my photos. WOW!

From a recommendation in the e-book, I created Bootable clone hard drive of my Mac Mini. Using the ChronoSync software which is very easy to use, I quickly set up a bootable clone. I used a smaller portable 1 terabyte hard drive for this. It was the one I used before as my Time Machine back up, on my previous computer.

From living on the edge, I now have 3 places where my photos can easily be found and I have a bootable clone drive incase the main computer has any hiccups! I think I will sleeping a lot better now.

This plan is a work in progress and I still have lots to learn on how to best protect and back up photographs, but I now know I will be covered incase the worst happens.

My next step is to use the fourth 4 terabyte hard drive and create one more back up of the drive with all the photos on it and store this fourth drive off site. I will then on a regular basis rotate the 3rd and 4th drives. If ever we were robbed or our house burnt down our photos will still be available to be installed again.

Well,…. I thought I was done the back ups and was all set to put the original drives away for awhile! Just incase I did something wrong or missed something and needed the photos on them. The next morning after all the backing up, I was putting the finishing touches on 3 Baby books I have been working on for our 3 older kids. With all the moving of photos from one drive to another the PhotoBook program was showing me a long list of missing photos! My heart started beating a little faster. Quickly installing the older drives, I located the one hard drive with the photos that somehow were not transferred over to the new drive with all my photos. 13,490 photos to be exact! This is the stuff I was so afraid of. Glad I did not start deleting just because I thought I was done. I will tuck those old drives away for a while longer!

Now with the new found photos my Lightroom catalog tells me I have a total of 92,403 photos. I completed the back up on the 4th drive and will shortly find a nice warm location outside of our home to store them. These memories are all backed up safe and sound on 4 separate hard drives. Hopefully, no other photos have gone missing!

Now to start adding to the digital files. I need to scan our old prints from the film days! I have two large boxes sitting under my desk to keep reminding me they are there. That will be another item on the Project-26 list, at least to start scanning them!

Next Project on the List, figure out this Instagram thing!

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