Backing Up you Hard Drives

It is the end of winter (we hope) and thoughts of all those pictures that you will take this summer dance in your head. Are your photos protected? You should have some backup strategy in place to protect your valuable images.

I am somewhat paranoid about losing images. So I back up all of my Hard Drives three different ways. Since Hard Drive have gotten pretty inexpensive, there is no reason not to backup at least once.


My first backup is done right at my office and every night starting at 6 PM my backup drive is updated with whatever I worked on that day. Since I use a Mac computer, I use SuperDuper by Shirt Pocket It is a pretty easy program to use, you just tell it which is the original drive and which is the backup drive. Its only drawback is that you are basically cloning the whole drive, you cannot pick just a certain set of folders. This program is also great for making a complete clone of your operating system, which is also another good thing to do.

I then schedule it to do a smart update, it just adds whatever is new since the last backup, this keeps the backup time reasonably short. This happens to all of my primary drives, and it happens daily. The cost of SuperDuper is $27.95.

My second form of backup it to cloud storage. I use Backblaze  it is $50/year with unlimited storage. It takes a while to upload your files the first time (depending on your internet upload speed), but once you have the main group of images upload, Backblaze will work in the background to keep everything up to date.

My third backup is an offsite backup. I do this about once a month, I bring the Hard Drive from my house, which is separate from my business and I back my photo files up to that set of backup Hard Drives. Now to show I am really paranoid, I also use a different Backup program for this set. I use GoodSync this backup program does work for both Mac’s and PC. It cost $39.96 for the program. It does work a lot like SuperDuper, you can schedule it to run Backups whenever you need to. So once a month a bring in this set of backups, and I get my third backup. I use a different program just in case the other program misses something or does not work right, this gives me my third set of backups. This program also lets you pick specific sets of folders and not just the whole Hard Drive.


 Now I go one more step, I also take all of my very favorite images ( the ones I mark 5 stars), and I copy those to another Hard Drive, usually in a DNG format (Adobes General Raw Format). That way I have my very best photos backup a fourth way. I also do this again, but by doing the images as high-quality JPEGs and this backup, I store on a solid state hard drive. These are a little more expensive but have no moving parts, and my best of the best are stored away for a total of 5 backups.

The reason I have so many backups is that one summer, we had a strong thunderstorm come through and lightning hit our power pole and sent a surge through to my computer and Hard Drives. I have these all on surge protectors and battery backup, but the surge when through all of my surge protectors and wiped out my Hard Drive, both my primary and my secondary. Fortunately, I had my third set of Backups to put in place, and then the fun started as I had to recreate all those other backups from my third set of backups. So you never know when you could lose some images, it just takes a freak storm or something else, and you could lose your pictures forever. So please back up your hard drives, because one day you could lose all of your data. It is not if a Hard Drive goes bad it is when.