Thursday, 25 March 2010

Backing up image files a cautionary tale

Backing up image files a cautionary tale

My image files are of great value to me and whilst they reside on my computer’s hard drive. These 20,000 files (200Gb) date back to 1998. I am concerned that if the drive fails they may be lost.

To address this problem I copied them to two external hard-drives and removed them from the hard drive on my PC. So I now had freed up space on my crowded hard drive and had two copies external. All seemed fine.

I had both external hard drives connected to my PC but because of a problem both appeared to fail and could no longer be accessed by the PC. Some companies will recover data from hard drives but at the cost of hundreds of pounds. I left the drives to one side to think more about the problem.

I decided after much thought to take the drives caddies apart and remove the hard-drives. This proved a fairly straight forward process leaving me with one SATA and one IDE drive. I purchased a magic bridge for about £25 this enabled me to access the drives via my PC. The data was all still there and not corrupted; success!!

I am now going to use the 1Tb hard drive in a Network Drive as part of RAID array connected to my network router. This will then provide a storage facility for all the computers on my home network and enable me to store jpeg image files to show as a slide show on the big television via a PS3.

The moral of this is to think carefully about backing up files. I also now have the skills to take external hard drives apart and have the means to get data off.

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