Beginner Backing up

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#1
Hi,

I’ve just spent some time surfing the net and Amazon looking for a good 4/5 Tb hard drive (I use a Mac) to back up my photos. I’ve already got a Seagate 2Tb but want to get one more to have a back up for the back up. The reviews on the net are all quite negative, suggesting the drives fail or crash after a few months. Not what I need!

Any suggestions?
 
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11,710
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Jim
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#2
Just about all hard drives will fail at some time, Western Digital seem to have the best record for durability. I would also suggest a cloud based backup.
 
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Rob
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#3
I would second that the one known constant is that all hard drives fail at some point. With internet reviews you are always more likely to hear the negative reports rather than reports of hard drives working fine. I used WD passport drives for several years without a problem. I’ve since moved to a G Tech setup so can’t comment further on the WD drives.

I’m also a Mac user and can recommend using Carbon Copy Cloner as your backup software. It’s great to automate the backup process. If you are interested I wrote about my backup plan for my website here:

https://spark.adobe.com/page/Os6kX8G8QcZoA/
 
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Grant
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#5
As others have already said - don’t worry too much, with WD, Seagate etc.

Invest in a decent offsite solution such as Backblaze / crash plan too... so even if your main drive fails, and/or your onsite backup disk fails - you’ve always got a safe copy in the cloud.

I work on a Mac and my entire LR library is ran off an external SSD, but also backs up (via time machine) to a slower external drive. I also have Backblaze as an off-site solution, backing everything up.

I’ve actually hit capacity of both my Lr SSD, as well as my time machine drive - so have ordered a direct attached 5bay storage array (Drobo 5d3), which is fast enough to edit from and large enough to provide storage for all my media, and my time machine backups... I came to the realisation that storing media / editing from multiple drives is a false economy, and a bit of a headache from a workflow perspective.
 
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Lewis
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#7
I use LaCie Rugged drives for my secordary back up, as I don't leave them with my computer/main backup. Also another vote for CCCloner on the Mac.
 
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Tilly
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#8
I've had a Seagate external harddrive for years and never had a problem with it apart from it being fairly full as I think it's only 500gb. It's plugged into the back of my PC which backs up onto it
 
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Andrew Cliffe
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#9
I have a mixture of Western Digital / Seagate and Lacie external hard drives and not had any issues except for a portable Lacie and that was down to the USB controller card failing not the actual hard drive. Putting the hard drive into a new enclosure fixed it and its still chugging merrily away several years later.

Unless you have data on more than one drive, its not backed up - people forget that...
 
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Jim
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#10
I've had a Seagate external harddrive for years and never had a problem with it apart from it being fairly full as I think it's only 500gb. It's plugged into the back of my PC which backs up onto it

Your backup is not a backup, it's a copy!
 
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Maarten
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#13
Invest in a decent offsite solution such as Backblaze / crash plan too... so even if your main drive fails, and/or your onsite backup disk fails - you’ve always got a safe copy in the cloud.
This is incredibly important - if you have several backups in the same location they could all be destroyed at the same time due to e.g. a fire. Any backup strategy needs to take this into account. You could use cloud backup for this or have 2 backup drives, one of which is always kept in a geographically different place to the master copy of your data.
 
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Duncan
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#14
Out of curiosity, what is the difference?
People assume a copy of the data on an attached drive (be it USB or NAS) is a sufficient backup.

And it is. But only against failure of the PC/MAC it's attached to.

But not against fire. Flood. Billy Burglar... These are the things that make having an off-site backup essential!

The old IT adage is that "If it doesn't exist in three places, it doesn't exist at all".

When it comes to drives, consider how your attaching them - you want the fastest transfer possible. In a money no object scenario I'd go with an SSD RAID NAS - that's a network storage device with multiple SSD drives, set to mirror each other. That way you can have the NAS device in a physically different part of your house/office, have some redundancy against failure of both original machine and one or more of the NAS internal drives. Make it SSD for the speed.

And then do Cloud backup in case of major disaster. But be aware that many Cloud storgae providers charge more for plans that include a NAS as they assume you're a fully fledged business with deep pockets.

There are many different ways of doing it but do consider having multiple levels so that failure or loss of one item/location isn't fatal.
 
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Dave
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#15
If it doesn't exist in 3 places - it doesn't exist.
 
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wayne clarke
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#16
The US Marines work on the basis "one is none, two is one". I'd suggest you buy at least 2 drives, preferably different makes from different places, this reduces the risk of a duff batch. Personally I use more than two but I'm keeping weddings/studio stuff so it's business (and DVD as well) Yes I probably am paranoid but better safe than sorry.
In an idea world one is kept offsite, your mothers or the office (home if your studio based), anywhere safe really, thats in case of theft or fire at your base.
I know one bloke has a long lead out to his shed, his backup is there, if the house goes up thats far enough away... he hopes.
 
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#18
Hi,

I’ve just spent some time surfing the net and Amazon looking for a good 4/5 Tb hard drive (I use a Mac) to back up my photos. I’ve already got a Seagate 2Tb but want to get one more to have a back up for the back up. The reviews on the net are all quite negative, suggesting the drives fail or crash after a few months. Not what I need!

Any suggestions?
A car will fail unless you keep up with the regular yearly services, an aircraft will fail which is why they have to be checked out regularly, a camera will fail, a watch will fail, technology will fail. No matter what, any technology will have a lifespan like people and animals do. You won't find a perfect hard drive that won't fail at all. But how long they last and how soon they fail really depend on what kind of people are using those technologies. For all we know, the hard drives that fails after a few months belonged to people who keep knocking those hard drives around, maybe a student who keeps bringing the portable hard drive with him to college, in his backpack, which keeps getting knocked around, so start to fail after a few months. I have a portable hard drive that stays in the same place and had never been moved about, yet it is still in good working order after few years so far.

It is good and important to read the negative reviews but don't take them for grant. Same as with the positive reviews, don't take them for grant. Use your judgement, common sense, and gut feelings / intuitions to figure out what you think is best. Also aim for well known brand names, like Seagate, Western Digital, (um, guys help me out, what are the other top well know brand names in the field of hard drives?), oh, there's Samsung, and whatever else, rather than going for a company name you are not familiar with. Also consider this: Amazon do sell brand new things, but sometimes they do also sell used ones too, so maybe the people who posted negative review were the ones who bought them second hand rather than brand new.

Sometimes some people buy something from Amazon, and it works fine for years to come. But sometimes some poor unlucky person ended up with the one item that failed the company's quality control checks, find the item fails in a matter of few months, and take out his anger at Amazon by posting a negative review.

All I can suggest is try the top well known brands, like Seagate, Western Digital, Samsung, (and a few others), also buy brand new instead of opt for used, be careful of who is the seller, and when you get your hard drive, just take good care of it.
 
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#19
The US Marines work on the basis "one is none, two is one". I'd suggest you buy at least 2 drives, preferably different makes from different places, this reduces the risk of a duff batch. Personally I use more than two but I'm keeping weddings/studio stuff so it's business (and DVD as well) Yes I probably am paranoid but better safe than sorry.
In an idea world one is kept offsite, your mothers or the office (home if your studio based), anywhere safe really, thats in case of theft or fire at your base.
I know one bloke has a long lead out to his shed, his backup is there, if the house goes up thats far enough away... he hopes.
Good for the US Marines. I'm a fan of navy, specially the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, but I do also like any other navies and their marries too, I didn't know that the US Marines have this proverb. Nice proverb guys.

Seriously? This bloke really believes in that? But don't some guys keep petrol mower in their shed? I know of a guy next door (long moved out) who kept a petrol mower in the shed, and the shed burned up like a big bonfire. So this bloke you know better make sure his shed is fire safe too, otherwise pointless in having a back up disk in a dangerous place. That would be like Facebook having their cloud storage based next to an awaking volcano! :)

Wow! That is crazy but cool, the back up hard drive in the shed, using a long cable to the computer in the house, crazy but cool.
 
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Peter
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#20
I tend to go for WD for desktop HDD - My essentials 3 or 4 TB are around £80 each - always mirrored. These store the RAWS and JPEGS straight out of the camera.

Once I've edited the JPEGs or LR output and finished with them (sometimes I might not do anything at all with them. I copy these to 2 WD 1TB portable drives, and thumbnails onto 2 Intenso portable drives.

Older drives are kept at my mother's house 200 miles away... current pairs in use are at home. Given they are in the same cupboard as my slide boxes, if it all goes up in flames only the digital copies from 2006-2017 are safe, all film and current photos will perish. I would not be able to operate like this if I was a business, though.
 
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