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[OM] Re: Semi-off topic question about backup of e-1 digital files

Subject: [OM] Re: Semi-off topic question about backup of e-1 digital files
From: Chuck Norcutt <chucknorcutt@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 07:31:07 -0400
I have long had a second, identical, internal hard drive to store a 
complete copy of the primary drive.  Backup is not run automatically but 
only about once a week or whenever I feel I've added enough stuff that 
I'd be uncomfortable losing it.  If I install or remove something I also 
wait awhile before backing up just in case I have to go backwards.  The 
exception to the no immediate backup rule is adding new image folders. 
Those are backed up immediately.

However, the second internal drive isn't really enough insurance so I am 
adding one or two USB external drives and a DVD burner.  Backup done 
with these drives will only be images and a few other important file 
types such as my email files, etc.

I bought two EIDE to USB external drive enclosure kits from CompUSA for 
$29 each on a special sale.  Nice ones with ball bearing fans.  I also 
bought a 160GB EIDE drive to go into one of the enclosures for $40 after 
three separate rebates.  I will probably buy a second drive soon for the 
other enclosure but I've not quite gotten that far yet.

Important:  The reason for having two enclosures is reduncancy on a 
dieing technology.  Note that the enclosures convert EIDE to USB. 
However, EIDE appears to me to be on a rapid path to obsolescence in 
favor of SATA drives.  SATA has better performance than EIDE and saves 
the computer manufacturer some cabling headaches.  I expect USB to be 
around for quite awhile yet but, if the enclosure's conversion 
electronics fail 5 years from now, it may be difficult to find a 
computer to read the EIDE drive that's inside.  If I have two enclosures 
I can just exchange drives into the working enclosure to be able to copy 
off to more current technology.  That said, I think failure is actually 
unlikely since, being external drives, they only need to be powered up 
during backup or retrieval and should have a long, long life.  I also 
made a special point of buying EIDE to USB enclosure kits instead of 
ready made external USB drives.  It's cheaper and makes sure that I know 
exactly what technology is inside.

The DVD drive is for making tertiary backups of images.  They should 
really be stored off site but I have yet to figure out where I'm 
actually going to put them.

Eventually the image files will no longer fit on the internal drives and 
  older stuff will have to come off.  However, when the backup USB 
drives become full they will never be erased.  They'll simply be retired 
to wait in the corner until someone wants an image there and a new USB 
drive will take its place.  The hard drives will provide much faster 
access than the DVD's which (if I do it right) may be off site.

If the price of hard drives keeps going down we may find them to be 
cheaper than DVD's.  $40 net for the 160GB drive is only 25 cents per GB 
or $1.25 for the equivalent space on a 5GB DVD.

Chuck Norcutt

NSURIT@xxxxxxx wrote:
> This dang e-1 camera is challenging my ability to catalogue stuff, to throw  
> cr*p away and also the capacity of my hard drive.  True confessions: I  don't 
> back up anything.  Goal: To mend my ways.  I've about decided  the best way 
> to 
> treat my files safely is to get an external hard drive or  two.  Remember 
> this is Mr. Techno-challenged speaking.  So tell me if  I'm headed in the 
> right 
> direction.  1) Store all my digital photo files  that I intend to keep on a 
> separate external hard drive. 2) Have a second  external hard drive of the 
> same 
> capacity to back up these files. or I could have  external drive one be 
> larger, 
> have it partitioned in such a way as to  store all my photo files in one 
> partition and back up my other files in the  other partition and then use the 
> second external drive to only back up my photo  files.  Please lend your 
> advice on 
> this subject as I am not sleeping  worrying about my image files.  Comp USA 
> has their Lacie 250 Gig drives  selling for about $190 and the 160 Gig for 
> about $120. Any opinions about the  best way to do this and/or equipment?  
> Bill  
> Barber
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