How do you back-up your Digital Images

Well the good news is that I was able to restore 200 or so images scanned in ~15 years ago. If the last back-up had failed, I could have re-scanned the slides. But I used a good scanner "back then" and spent time with Photstyler 1.1 and Photoshop 3.0 cleaning them up.

Main Disk Drive had corrupted, needed low-level reformat.
Second Machine, older Win95B machine, Intermittent Disk would not spin up every time.
CD back-up was bad.
1GByte Jaz Disk with a 1998 backup Failed.
100MByte ZIP Disks from 1998 worked.

Felt like a Star Trek Episode where they come across the 20th century spacecraft and have to read the disk files.

I've got some 20 year old Digital images, Kodak DCS200, Kodak DC50, scans. This evening made be think twice for backing up. CD/DVD can delaminate, even my older music CD's are going bad. Magnetic media fails. High-density Terabyte drives are likely to fail much sooner than the 1GByte drives pushing almost 20 years old. I use a 1GByte drive from 1993 in a machine at work as a backup drive in a tower. It just works, and is 1 of 2 drives in the machine. Everything is mirrored.

But with 36MByte Raw files from the M9- I'm leaning towards using several 500GByte drives and checking integrity every so often. I'm also going to look at the Mass-Store flash drives. I use a 64GByte USB drive at work. But then again: I had CF cards and SD cards fail.


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Digitals are backed up on an external hard drive though what I want to do is Blurb a book every so often so I have something, my best ones, in print as well. Most of the family pics were done in film, only had digital for like 3 years now.


Top Veteran
My images are copied to my wife's computer, and I use Idrive, a cloud based backup solution, as well. That way I have a local backup for fast recovery and the cloud based backup in case something goes really wrong (fire/burglary etc).


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Jersey Shore
Good question. I have a lot of images still on my iMac's hard drive. The six-year old computer is about to be replaced and some or even many of those images I will migrate over to the new iMac. Meanwhile, I back up almost everything that I plan to keep on CDs and DVDs. I should really print my most important images as well - even if only on 5x7 paper and only via the local drug store's lab. I wonder how long those CDs and DVDs will last? All are CD-R or DVD-R, not RW. Somehow, I suspect I'm not doing enough but archiving one's photos can become a full-time job and an expensive one at that.
I'm paranoid about losing photos, because I have lost many many many over the years. I have a mac (well two, actually) and I use Time machine for the internal drive on the iMac, I also use carbon copy cloner to clone the drive to an external (if the internal dies, the external will boot and take over), and I also use CCC for duplication of yet another drive (2TB) to its twin, externally. So I have on a 1G drive: Time machine on one partition and CCC clone on the first partition, and then on a 2TB drive, all edited pix, videos, books, downloads that I am keeping for a while, plus sundry other things like documents I might be working on. This all gets cloned to a second, identical 2TB drive. Overkill? Definitely. Does it work? Yes. will it protect against stupidity? No. I mostly work on the laptop these days, not the iMac.


New Member
Dear all,

I've lost digital images like many of us so I'm paranoid too. I use an iMac 27 and have an external 1TB disk to Time Machine it. Then, I use another 1TB labelled CLONE to duplicate that 1TB from time to time (usually monthly).
I use Aperture, so I update vaults religiously with a 500GB 2.5" hard disk. Then, again, I have another 500GB labelled Vault CLONE and duplicate that. Usually weekly.
I update Aperture vault every time I import a significant amount of photos, usually after a session (say 150-200 photos).

Once every 6 months, I export my best pictures (those labelled 2-Star and above, maybe about 300 of them) out as full-size JPEGs, and put them somewhere in the cloud. And a USB stick.

My only source of worry is that all my backup drives are physically in the same location, so if a catastrophic event like an earthquake or a fire happens, and assuming I survive, all my work may be wiped out.

Food for thought. Anyway, one can never be too careful.