“In this world nothing can be said to be for certain, except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin
The only reason that my man Ben didn’t add hard drive failure was because it was the 1700’s. Certainly if Ben was alive today he would add data loss to his timeless quote.
All drives will fail at some point. The proper question is not WILL my drive fail, but WHEN will my drive fail. Murphy’s Law says that it will often fail at the most inopportune times.
I see many newer photographers archiving their old sessions on a single external hard drive with no additional back up. They are flirting with disaster and could easily lose all of those files in the blink of an eye. I also see photographers that have their computer backed up through Backblaze or Crash Plan as their only back up. This too is leaving your data vulnerable as we are changing and adding such large amounts of data each day that my Backblaze is never fully backed up. It is an extra added layer but not a fool-proof solution.
I have created a FREE PDF outlining the details of my data back up plan that you can download below. There are oodles of different backup strategies that photographers can employ, so the exact details of your plan may vary wildly.
I have found that most successful backup strategies have the following situations addressed….
- You never EVER have only one copy of a file. I believe that each file should be in a minimum of two locations within your home and one location off-site, preferably in the cloud.
- The mirroring of your data needs to be done without human intervention. If it’s up to us to remember to backup files then we will inevitably get lazy or just miss it at times. Make it automatic.
- If you do have a section of your backup that is not automatic, such as saving a copy of all final jpg files to Dropbox, add it into your workflow so that you do it at the same point after every session.
- War Game data disasters. What happens if your computer hard drive fails? What happens if you back up drive fails? What happens if your house burns down? What happens if your hard drive or computer is stolen? Make sure you have a plan and are covered!
Believe me, you will sleep much more soundly with secure data. Then when the inevitable happens the worst of your problems is installing the 3,654 programs back onto your computer. Do you have a data loss disaster that was avoided by a good back up plan? Share in the comments!