backup strategies

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP chironNYC Senior Member • Posts: 2,387
Re: Have a strong backup and test plan

Jason Rickerby wrote:

chironNYC wrote:

Sounds like a strong system. I think your needs are different from mine--I would like to move easily between my laptop and desktop for editing by using the external usb drives. I do like the idea of a networked NAS backup in addition to a backup on a 2nd physical drive.

I think the question for me is whether I can have the portability I want and still have a secure and automatic backup system. Maybe two external usb drives with the Lightroom catalog on the drive and one drive backing up the other, and then a NAS drive as a third backup that is physically separate from the two external usb drives?

Thanks for your help!


My desktop PC monitor is large, wide gamut and calibrated, so it doesn't make a lot of sense for me to post-process on a laptop screen. When doing event photography, I will work on my laptop, but then import the catalog and images into the PC / NAS environment when I get home.  Plus, my desktop PC is way faster than any laptop.

The beauty of the NAS is the automation. The Synology units have a huge amount of functionality and include software to automate backup of data on your computer. With external USB drives, it's hard to know when they are going too fail, verses the NAS with Western Digital Red drives, SMART, etc.

Whatever method works for you: Make sure you're performing regular backups; do not trust the backup - test that you can successfully recover data off the backup regularly. I have first hand knowledge of discovering that the backup is corrupt when trying to perform a restore. One trick - have the back software perform a full scheduled backup, not an incremental. The full backup will take longer, cause more wear and tear, but will alert you that the backup drive is failing. It's possible to do incremental backups for months before finding out that corrupt sectors on the backup drive will prevent data recovery. As a rule of thumb, replace drives every 3 years.

Thank you again for such good advice. I had not thought about the issue of monitor calibration--working on a laptop would certainly lead to occasional unexpected results. I am just beginning to actual use editing software, and so the calibration will matter more than it did before for me. I may rethink my working plans. I also have a nice desktop station to work from. If i did a drive on the desktop backed up to an external usb drive and to a NAS drive, that would be quite secure. I guess I would have to give up working on the laptop, except perhaps as a first pass when the images come from the camera on a cf/sd card.

Thank you also for the good advice on best practices of making and testing the backups. I am sure many other readers will also use your advice.


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