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Discussion Starter #1
I make no excuse for stating what may seem obvious to many SN members; if this message helps just one person it will have been worth it.

A computer hard disk will fail sooner or later - it is not a matter of whether - just of when. If you are relying on it for long-term storage of digital images you need to make backup copies or you risk losing your pictures for ever.

The simplest way of doing this is to make regular copies of your image files onto a CD or DVD - I recommend that you take at least two CD/DVD copies of everything. Alternatively you may consider getting a second hard disk installed on your computer and doing a disk to disk copy. Hard disks are not expensive nowadays and the cost is negligible compared with the loss of your treasured pictures.

If you use Windows XP, it has built-in software to copy files onto CD and DVD. If you have an earlier version of Windows (e.g. Windows 2000 or Windows 98SE) you may need additional software like Nero. There are also a number of freeware programs if you are feeling adventurous.

Personally I keep 3 copies on hard disks in addition to DVD copies - of which I get a relative to hold one copy. In my job I have to think about the disasters that can befall computer systems and make sure that data can be recovered if one strikes.

Don't wait for your hard disk to let you down. Make regular copies!

Brian
 

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Very sage advice..it is not until the Disaster happens that most folk take the necessary precautions...and they are "gone forever"..
 

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I use an Iomega 120GB External Hard Drive which comes with automatic backup on the fly. Any files or folders you designate are immediately backed up whenever you make a change to them. It works great and you don't have to worry about scheduling backups.
 

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Copying programme

Here's a handy wee program that will assisting it copying file and folders, Karen's Replicator

Just make up job(s) for to copy your favorite folders on any schedules on to another hard drive - and it'll do the rest. Note it doesn't work with DVD's or CD's, but I find it extremely handy.

rdgs
 

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Very sound advice indeed, Brian.

I can relate to this. Just yesterday I had to inform my brother that he needs to reinstall windows after his computer crashed and corupted his ntfs file system.

All his digital photo's were lost, he had no back up.

Back up! Back up! and Back up! guys.

Rgds
 

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Great work with your site Hugh, what a resource the internet is for keeping memories alive. I'm sure your father would be very proud of you.
 

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Charlie,

Thank you! Your comments are very much appreciated.

Rgds
 

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The other alternative is to get a Mac! But still the advice is valid, back up!
More seriously, an iPod, which works just as well with Windows, has a vast capacity for photos. As a Mac user I use iPhoto, and as well as using the iPod I back up on CD every few months or whenever I've added anything special.
 

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a good note to take???????? when your computer does crash, don’t think that the big computer shop in the High Street will help you, as with mine I took it in for a service and to delete a couple of spy ware , on return all I get is a restored system, luckily I saved most of my pics to a disc, and only lost a few recent ones, ASK SOMEONE WHO HAS AN IDEA OF PCs, before you even think about taking your PC to the politically correct world and there so called fitters

Phill
 

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airds said:
* Malicious worm aims to bite Apple *

A malicious program that targets Apple's operating system has been discovered online. Full story:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/1/hi/technology/4723390.stm
Thanks for the info. This was mentioned in the Melbourne Age newspaper, and if it's the same one it doesn't seem to be too big a threat, as the OS apparently requires a password for the worm to get to any files. Or so I hope!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Reminder: Back up your digital photos

Dear All,

I make no excuses for re-awakening this thread for the benefit of those who have not seen it.

If you don't back up your computer hard drive and it is the only place you store your digital photos THEY ARE AT RISK!

A colleague of mine (who should have known better) had a hard disk crash on a machine that stored several months of work from a project and the idiot had not backed it up. It cost several thousand pounds to get a specialist company to recover the data - he was lucky in that most of it was recovered.

Unless you have a lot of money to waste or don't care about your photos, please find out how to make backups on your machine and do it regularly. Read the thread above for ideas but I would be surprised if there are many machines around now that cannot copy to CDs or DVDs.

Regards,

Brian
 

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Disk mirroring.

An additional bit of security I used when building my latest PC was to use a pair of "mirrored" hard drives. Many motherboards now have this facility, and with the price of hard drives dropping all the time, it's a relativley inexpensive way of protecting your data. What you have is two copies of your data on two different hard drives at all times. If one fails, it can be replaced and the data copied back from the remaining good one. Unless you have the extreme misfortune to have both drives fail at once, you're fairly safe. I would always go for an external backup as well, in case something catastrophic happens to the PC that corrupts your data. Again, external disk drives are getting to be relatively cheap now, so it makes sense to add this extra level of security. After all, many of these photos are probably priceless to the people who took them, and with digital photography you haven't got a set of negatives to go back too. Progress, eh?
 

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Spot on advice -
I always upload from my camera to PC, Laptop and External Drive.
Then I make CD copies of each directory. Neurotic or what?
Be Safe, Be sure ....
 

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Along the same lines. When I bought my first digital, a D70, the saleman told me not to get a memory card bigger than 512mb. He explained that with a 1gb card you are tempted to leave all your photos on there until it is full, and if it corupts you then loose a lot of photos.

Well, they may not corrupt often but they do and usually at the worst time.
During a recent trip to Bathurst one of mine did corrupt with 184 images on it. I was about to put a new one in as there was only space for about another 10/15 images, and bingo, up flashed an error message followed by a re-format sign and indication that the file was mty and the images gone.
I was devastated and hot footed it down to a local camera shop, where they tried but failed to retreive them. They advised me to try at home at a place with more sophisticated gear.
I did this and was very lucky to retreive all my images.
However the technican told me that I was VERY lucky, as usually you lose the lot.
So, as far as memory cards go, I follow the original advice and stick to 512gb cards.

Rgds/Mike Cornwall.
 

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memory stick

After reading this thread I tried to put some images on a brand new 256 mb
''flash memory drive'' unfortunately my pc wouldnt,or couldnt recognise the
device,I have XP..sp 2(MAD)
 

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Recovery

. They advised me to try at home at a place with more sophisticated gear. I did this and was very lucky to retreive all my images.
However the technican told me that I was VERY lucky, as usually you lose the lot.
So, as far as memory cards go, I follow the original advice and stick to 512Mb cards.
The best recovery utility I've found is smart recovery (Best used with a card reader)

Don't think the Pro's would agree with only using 512MB cards - when it REALLY counts:-( What are they up to, 8GB cards?
 
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