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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎11-01-2015

Saving our photos to external hard drive?

I would like to buy an external hard drive?, or whatever, to store our photos on and view later. We have them stored on our computer and it is going to take up a lot of memory.Is there a device you can recommend?

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,373
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Saving our photos to external hard drive?

NEVER trust your important photos to one hard drive. My personal recommendation is to copy them to 2 good brand name portable hard drives & do it regularly. I do not like letting back up programs that sometimes come with the drives because they sometimes change the file numbers or use a compressed file system etc. I copy the same files to each drive using the same folders etc. Western Digital & Seagate are good choices but there are other reputable brands too.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
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Posts: 13,180
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Saving our photos to external hard drive?

I personally use three external USB, 2 TB hard drives. I have two 1 TB hard drives in my desktop.  Two of the external HDs remain off most of the time.   They are not even kept in the same location as the others.  They get backups from the other drive at regular intervals.  Now that I have retired this is pretty much overkill but it worked well when I was working. I never lost a clients photos.  I also do direct copies.  No back-up software.

 

The photos come from the camera to the two internal HDs. First to one then the other. They get copied to the first external HD.  Later that drive is backed up to one of the other HDs and is removed from the area.  I used to guarantee customers I would have their photos for six months but in reality I have had some for years.

I had a couple come up just a few months ago and wanted to know if I still had copies of their wedding.  They had a fire and lost most everything.  The wedding was several years ago but I found them!  A small bit of happiness after a tragedy.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Posts: 10,581
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Saving our photos to external hard drive?

I prefer to use a mix of USB and network drive storage.  There are many inexpensive NAS devices.  I use 4TB devices from Western Digital, some of which can function as a personal cloud.  I just picked up another one recently for $##.  Note the number of digits.

 

Network storage comes in two basic varieties.  There are the inexpensive devices that come with a single drive already installed.  Then, there are the multiple drive bay devices, which can accommodate 2 or more drives. 

 

One feature of the inexpensive drives that I like is that while they come with a single fixed drive, most of them do have a USB port where you can plug in an external drive, just as you would with your computer.  Others contain DLNA server software and can connect to other DLNA enabled devices, such as DVD players and some televisions.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎11-01-2015

Re: Saving our photos to external hard drive?

Another thought I had is to use 1gb sd memory cards and label them and keep them in a holder. Then when we want to see them we can just put the card into our bluray dvd player or our portable dvd player or the computer. Does this make sense?

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,373
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Saving our photos to external hard drive?

Idon't know whether they sell cards that low in capacity but it will be the most expensive way to store your images. If you want them in low volume form then burn them to DVD's.

As to why I recommend portable USB style hard drives vs desktop versions it's because they don't require a power supply other than the USB cable needed to transfer the files. Desktop drives have dedicated power supplies & you need to keep track of them & never mix them up. I have about 4 with the very same end to plug into the drive BUT they aren't standardized in polarity. Burned out one drive learning that. so now each power supply has a label identifying which drive it belongs too. 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
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Posts: 10,581
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Saving our photos to external hard drive?


@cicopo wrote:

Idon't know whether they sell cards that low in capacity but it will be the most expensive way to store your images. If you want them in low volume form then burn them to DVD's.

As to why I recommend portable USB style hard drives vs desktop versions it's because they don't require a power supply other than the USB cable needed to transfer the files. Desktop drives have dedicated power supplies & you need to keep track of them & never mix them up. I have about 4 with the very same end to plug into the drive BUT they aren't standardized in polarity. Burned out one drive learning that. so now each power supply has a label identifying which drive it belongs too. 


I few years ago, I bought a server in a tower cabinet, which had 8  internal drive bays.  I purchased mine without an operating system, which means it cost me about the same as a Rebel T5 kit.  All I needed was an OS that could function as a file server with RAID 1 drive management.  I run Windows on my PCs, but Linux on the file server.

 

I usually download to my local hard drive, but later back it up on one of my NAS storage devices.  The RAID 1 file server is the archive device.  I use an old XP machine to remotely manage the file server [it doesn't have a fancy video card, which helped to keep the initial cost down].

 

I use Windows Sync Toy to automatically copy and backup files between the NAS devices and the server.  I typically do not store hundreds of images on my laptops.  I host them on the NAS devices, which are also personal clouds that I can share with immediate family members. 

 

The NAS devices are DLNA enabled.  Windows Media player is a DLNA enabled device, which means I can stream slide shows and videos, even wirelessly, to my tablets, picture frames, or even the television set through a DVD player.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,558
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Saving our photos to external hard drive?

 


@Waddizzle wrote:

@cicopo wrote:

Idon't know whether they sell cards that low in capacity but it will be the most expensive way to store your images. If you want them in low volume form then burn them to DVD's.

As to why I recommend portable USB style hard drives vs desktop versions it's because they don't require a power supply other than the USB cable needed to transfer the files. Desktop drives have dedicated power supplies & you need to keep track of them & never mix them up. I have about 4 with the very same end to plug into the drive BUT they aren't standardized in polarity. Burned out one drive learning that. so now each power supply has a label identifying which drive it belongs too. 


I few years ago, I bought a server in a tower cabinet, which had 8  internal drive bays.  I purchased mine without an operating system, which means it cost me about the same as a Rebel T5 kit.  All I needed was an OS that could function as a file server with RAID 1 drive management.  I run Windows on my PCs, but Linux on the file server.

 

I usually download to my local hard drive, but later back it up on one of my NAS storage devices.  The RAID 1 file server is the archive device.  I use an old XP machine to remotely manage the file server [it doesn't have a fancy video card, which helped to keep the initial cost down].

 

I use Windows Sync Toy to automatically copy and backup files between the NAS devices and the server.  I typically do not store hundreds of images on my laptops.  I host them on the NAS devices, which are also personal clouds that I can share with immediate family members. 

 

The NAS devices are DLNA enabled.  Windows Media player is a DLNA enabled device, which means I can stream slide shows and videos, even wirelessly, to my tablets, picture frames, or even the television set through a DVD player.


I don't see anything in your workflow description about offsite storage. Fires, floods, etc. can happen to anybody and will happen to somebody. And when such a disaster does occur, recovery probrams usually aren't much help.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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VIP
Posts: 10,581
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Saving our photos to external hard drive?

@Bob

 

No, I do not use off-site storage.  I have been considering putting a tower server in each of my sons' houses, and setting a VPN through another server that I have laying around that runs Windows Home Server and/or Server 2008 R2, and is simply collecting dust.  It's been idle due to bad health on my part in recent years, but I'm well into recovery now.  I was using it as a media server for home movies.

 

I have been considering using the Windows server as my main machine, and gving my sons the Linux machines.  They're both grown with homes of their own.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,373
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Saving our photos to external hard drive?

The important thing is to have a back up & I agree at least one set should be somewhere other than in your home because fire & theft are not very forgiving. I keep my second set in a storage building on site but well away from the house. I have 4 hard drives in my desktop, 2 are dedicated to specific types of photos, Events on 1 and Family related on another. Both get backed up to another 2 drives one of which is stored in the shed which is really a high quality building used to store collector cars. 

One very important aspect of this is that there isn't a foolproof plan & I've been saying that since we first started moving to digital. I spent several conversations with a magazine editor that wanted to cover the topic but who gave up because it's just too big to say "do this & everything will be OK" because it won't. So far the ONLY storage medium that we use that has been around from the beginning is the hard drive, and they fail for many reasons. CDs & DVDs are popular now but we have no idea how much longer there will be drives to play them. We started off with floppy discs, moved to 3 1/4 or 1/2 inch discs & no one sells computers with those drives anymore PLUS we've changed file formats. FAT 16 was replaced by FAT 32 which will be here until????

Make your back ups, keep up as things change by backing up to the new tech as needed because none of this has stood the test of time like negatives have. My negatives & old prints are also safely stored but they don't have multiple copies BUT I did convert the important ones to digital years ago.  

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
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