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Life After the Computer Crash.....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jeff Lee, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee

    May 16, 2006
    Well it was last week at this time that my computer failed to boot....Toasted power supply, CPU, Motherboard.

    I backup my business files every other day, and have the original RAW files and 98% (lost about six images). I really want to have a mirror drive, but just haven't done it yet.

    So, after reinstalling all of the software, I'm now "back online".

    Found an interesting thing about Photoshop. I have upgrade online for the last three upgrades, and I lost my original PS7 disk. I was able to use the serial number from CS2 to reinstall CS3-kept me from having to call Adobe and go through the process of explaining why I need to reinstall.

    I realize just how much time I have in my images including the website. My machine that failed was just about two years old, and I had put in a much stronger power supply. Won't make the mistake of getting a big box machine again, built one out of custom parts. Nothing special, but a fast dual core with 4 gig's and lots of bandwidth to use it.

    I use to backup my images before I processed them, I stopped a while ago and backed them up after I reviewed them in Bridge. Back to backing up first, while I only lost 6 images, two of which I can easily re-shoot, it made me realize how important taking the time to back the images before I delete them from the card.

    Well I survived the crash, have a faster, more powerful computer, and realize just how import it is to have a good backup system and my fireproof storage areas even though my images are just "for me". Perhaps this reminder will help one of you if disaster strikes.
  2. PeteZ28


    Oct 5, 2007
    Newtown, PA
    I got the wake up a few weeks ago. A friend (girl) called me crying, absolutely destitute. She was having a problem with her computer and gave it to someone to repair. Guy calls here back and says "I got it fixed but I had to delete everything".


    I downloaded a recovery program and got probably 90% of her stuff back. She also does photography and had nearly 8 years worth of work on there.

    That's when I realized, all my stuff is on ONE external HD. Went out that day and bought a second.

    I just couldn't imagine!!!
  3. 98% isnt to bad. My geuss is some folks would have 0%.

    I mirror my hard drive with the pictures via RAID and have an external drive I back up to. The software keeps the backup current. I have all the software for the programs I use so I'm not concerned with those and dont bother to back them up. Between the internal drives mirroring and the external backup, it's all automatic.
  4. Lurker


    Jul 21, 2007
    2 identical external drives and a script that reduces making backups to a single button click. Learned a long time ago that backing up is worth "the hassle".
  5. NPA2008


    Apr 15, 2008
    I have always backed up my work and personal data. Even many years ago I was doing it with tape drives. It is done on a daily basis.

    The funny thing is that throughout many years of using computers years I have never met a single person -- whether a friend or a co-worker -- who backs up his or her data from their personal or home business PC. They talk about backing up and often in a strong tone of voice, telling me how often it should be done. Then I ask them point blank when was the last time they backed up their computer. After a short pause I always get either extended silence or an embarrassed, "I don't back up" response.
  6. RAID makes a lot of sense, but so does backing up the original NEF's. I have started downloading the RAW images to my iMAC and then burning them to DVD before any processing. Call me an old school film freak, but it just makes me feel more comfortable to know that everything I shot is on a stable media (probably more stable than film). I also have an external hd which has a bootable copy of my OS, it also has incremental backups of my media files and other important "stuff."

    I also appreciate that NX (and my trial of NX2) does not destroy the original image. Actually neither does iPhoto, but only use that for slideshows and such.

    Feel confident that I can always recover the original: ill exposed, poorly composed, badly lit, and of questionable interest image!
  7. I know I'm not diligent enough about backups, so I've started to use the Carbonite online service to back up my files in addition to the local backups I do.

    And I've migrated both my regular files and photo files to separate new 500 G hard drives.

    Using CDs or DVDs is woefully inadequate considering the number and size of photo files, going back to my first digital shots in 2002.
  8. When my last computer crashed 4 years ago (an old Dell Laptop) I had just finished my first 100% back up of it about 8 hours earlier. Made a believer out of me!

    In case you were wondering--my backing up had nothing to do with the demise of said laptop! It was giving every indication of committing an early suicide via a motherboard malfunction--so I took over and saved my sanity!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2008
  9. a great post
    i'm sure your "some folks would have 0%"
    is quite accurate, unfortunately
  10. Lurker


    Jul 21, 2007
    Remember their are two kinds of hard drives: those that have crashed and those that will...
  11. Since I was deep in the industry of PC a couple of thoughts that might be of use:
    • Put more RAM in your machines, it is very cheap. It means that the harddrives have to work less and they might last longer, I have been lucky I never had a crash.
    • Buy a good quality drive, I like Western Digital, YMMV
    • Setting up RAID is a bit tricky, if you are not versed maybe you should have someone do it for you....

    Separate your system and your image storage:
    • If you have only 1 system drive use an system image backup program like Acronis to backup a working system drive to a small external drive you so you can get your OS, applications up running much quicker if the main harddrive fails.
    • Backing up is easier then you think: Buy a big external drive with RAID built in, For instance Western Digital has an enclosure with two drives in it up to 2 Terabytes that can be set as RAID 1 (2 disks that mirror each other) which makes it into a 1 TB drive, and then you have automatic backup.... You dont even have to think about it, it does it all the time for you....
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2008
  12. I lost a hard drive some years ago on a PC I was using as my primary computer. I lost some really important stuff. Sad truth was I had always talked about backing up, doing this, or that.
    It was a lesson learned and I have insisted my family heed my advice and back up their stuff.

    If your reading this, and do not have a back up plan- what are you waiting on cause it is not a it will not happen to me, rather a WHEN it WILL happen to ME scenario...

    Got backup?
  13. About two months ago, my lawyer neighbor was broken into. The stole the computer from his receptionist's desk. A couple of weeks ago, he got hit again. This time they got his. He was crying about how bad this was going to hurt him. "Everything I have is on that computer."

    I said, "Surely, you're backed up, here and off site, huh?"

    "Not for several months." Whatta idjit.

    Back it up, folks. Now. Yes, I am.
  14. Working in the IT industry for many years, I have witnessed what happens when clients don't backup and lose everything. At home I have an external NAS with 1.6TB of disk space which is in a raid 5 config, my photos get backed up to it every night, so I do not have to worry. I also have a second copy of my photos on a single external hard drive just in case.

  15. There has got to be a better way to do it, but this is cheap and serves a dual purpose. There are 5 ext HDs on my desk, 2 hold older images, they are mates to the ones at my sons house. Three HDs are a set, and are being loaded now. When not copying, one of the three goes into the safe. When they are full I will give one to each to my son and daughter, then start over with 3 new drives. I started using three drives last year when I stopped copying to DVDs.

    The fear of losing any image has been a strong motivator to keep updated. I screw up sometimes, and have 200 images that are on a damaged drive. I can see the files, but can not access the pics. I guess that is always a risk, if do not back up everyday.
  16. mdruiz


    Feb 18, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    there are alot of companies that offer offsite storage for a fee
  17. CurtisBilly


    Mar 22, 2008
    Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard makes backing up easy with Time Machine. Never backed up regularly before. I sleep a little better now.
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