Data Redundancy: Backup vs saving to an external hard drive.

With the holidays fast approaching, everyone is certain to be taking lots of photos. To make sure you don’t lose those valuable pictures (We currently have a hard drive freezing in our freezer in hopes of salvaging the 6000 pictures that on it that are our client’s ONLY copy…), the best bet is to ensure you have redundancy. We recommend keeping a copy on your computer’s hard drive and making sure you have a backup of them. If you like to take your pictures with you, then a USB memory stick is the way to go – hard drives don’t like to be moved around a great deal as the internal bearings can get out of alignment and then your drive is toast.

Always – the best way to ensure you don’t lose your pictures is to burn them to a CD or DVD. While a CD can hold 750MB (about  200 high resolution pictures), a DVD can hold much more (around 1000 high resolution photos). This way, you needn’t worry about failing hardware components, and you can tuck the DVD away like a photo album!

A backup is not the same as using an external drive for storage. You can set your computer to do regular backups. While this is a good way to ensure your data is safe, to restore the data from your removable media you need to use the restore function of the backup program. There are programs like Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image that will allow you to make a full copy of your hard drive – including your operating system and programs – that you can recover from in case of hardware failure.

When it comes to your valuable data – pictures, documents, business data, you can never have too much data redundancy!