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Thread: Portable Back-up Device

  1. #1
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Portable Back-up Device

    I am planning to buy a Toshiba Canvio 3.0 Portable USB Hard Drive of 1 TB to use as back up device for all the photographs I have.

    I do not intend to use DropBox or similar cloud service.

    However, I would like to know if I can use it as a diff or else I will have to copy the files all the time, over and over.

    I have been looking for this info but I have not seen it or I have missed it

    Do you have any experience with this kind of equipment ? Would you please share it with us all ?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    Antonio,

    If you are looking for it to be desk-side backup, you might want to consider something like the Western Digital MyBook Duo's that have two hard drives internally and thus can mirror the data between the two drives automatically for a bit of redundancy. Those little 2.5" drives are sometimes prone to failure because they are so small and easily bumped around. The MyBooks use the 3.5" drives and thus are a bit bigger. Ideally though - I'd recommend both the dual 3.5" solution as well as a small 2.5" solution. That way, when you travel, you could sync the photos to the 2.5" drive as well as your laptop - giving you redundancy on the road as well. Then when you get home, you sync up with the 3.5" dual drive. That way you end up with 3 copies (1-on the PC, 2-on the 2.5" drive, and 3-redundant mirrored copy on the 3.5" drives (so I guess technically 4 copies)).

    As for the diff - oftentimes those drives come with some sort of backup software that will do exactly what you want to do (only copy the updated files). I personally don't know of any, I would just setup some sort of rsync job to keep it backed-up to multiple locations. But I'm sure if you search for 'windows file backup' you'll come up with all kinds of hits.

    - Bill

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    Re: Portable back-up device

    Hi Antonio,

    For synchronising files on my PC I use Pure Sync:

    http://www.jumpingbytes.com/en/puresync.html

    It is free and easy to configure. It does a good job of copying any changed files to my external hard drives.

    You can set options to auto sync on a schedule or when the drive is connected. I've not used these features but at least the options are there.

    Alex

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    Re: Portable back-up device

    Hi Antonio,

    I use a Seagate Extreme 2TB drive and it has software that comes with it that automatically backs up any changes to files almost real time. I also have another Seagate that I back up manually with all photos and a Seagate GoFlex which is portable which i also manually back up and keep in a fireproof safe. I know I'm a bit paranoid, but it gives me some peace of mind.

    Brian

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    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    Thank you all
    @ Bill and Alex - I use Mac
    @ Brian - The Seagate GoFlex is incredible. I have been looking at it on the web but I am not sure if it is sold in this country.
    I am going to contact them as soon as I can, I mean tomorrow morning
    ... some minutes late ...
    I have been searching and I found that - of course, of course - it doesn't matter if it is sold in Portugal or not. Because I can buy inside the EU space, so...
    This Brian, was the tip of the month Thank you.

  6. #6
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    +1 on PureSync. It's the best tool I could find. Plus it's free.

    Edit: Sorry - just saw that you've followed the dark path and went Mac.

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    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguyfromvienna View Post
    +1 on PureSync. It's the best tool I could find. Plus it's free.

    Edit: Sorry - just saw that you've followed the dark path and went Mac.
    That is a good joke Alexander. May God have mercy on your soul. Amen

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    I use a slightly different approach. I use a D-Link DNS-323 NAS (Network Attached Storage) unit. Instead of hooking it up to my computer directly, the NAS box is sitting in a totally different location in my house, so if something happened in my work area, my backup would be someplace else that might survive a disaster there. I run this box on a hard-wired network, rather than wireless for increased reliabilitiy. The unit holds 2 drives (in my case 2TB eacg) and I run it in a RAID configuration, so if one drive fails, I will be able to recover.

    Primary storage is on my main computer, recently upgraded to a Hitachi 4TB drive (I figured I will need the additional storage once my D800 arrives).

    As for backups, I do these manually, although I could use a diff approach. I've had corrupted files overwrite my good files in an automated backup routine, and with the diff approach all my "good" files were overwritten by the corrupted ones...

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    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    I am sorry to read this Manfred. Then you work the security side even if that gives you an extra work. It is an option.

    Thank you for dropping these lines.

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    thatguyfromvienna's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonio Correia View Post
    That is a good joke Alexander. May God have mercy on your soul. Amen
    I bet he will.
    Antonio, I asked a Mac savvy friend of mine and he recommends this alternative:
    http://www.goodsync.com/

    Have a look, maybe it will suit your needs.

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    Re: Portable back-up device

    For those with PC's you might take a look and see if Micro Soft SyncToy fills your needs. I designate files or folders I want to maintain copies of and where those backups are located. Everything is auto. My tower has two hard drives in it and I can't imagine both going bad at the same time so I only sync the files between those two. It's cheap and is done primarily to get my important data off of the operating system drive. I use XP Professional and it's solid as a rock but you never know. Out of system backups are done to another portable drive which I do on a monthly basis. That frequency is fine for my needs but if photography were a business for me I would certainly have a protocol more calculated with guaranteed.

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    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonio Correia View Post
    @ Bill and Alex - I use Mac
    Hi Antonio,

    Sorry for suggesting PC software for your Mac. You left that out of the original post. Hopefully you will get something that works for you. There seems to be a few good ideas on the thread.

    I would suggest that you look for a mirroring solution. Something that creates a copy that you can simply access like another drive. Any back-up solution that creates images or a series of diffs will not be good. They are very space efficient and useful for reconstructing your system but that takes a while. It is much easier to have a drive that you can plugin and find your file within a few seconds.

    Alex

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    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    With OSX, you could set up a RAID1 mirror using the RAID Utility if you wanted, but it's probably easiest to just get an external drive that's larger than your main one, and set it up as a Time Machine disk.

    I tend to manually clone drives, so I use CarbonCopyCloner; a friend prefers SuperDuper. I like having a full bootable image of my notebook hard drive sitting about. That way, if the notebook's drive goes down, I can still work off the clone on an external drive to diagnose and hopefully repair the drive, or (worst case) until I get a new drive to replace the failed one.

    Being kind of a belt-and-suspenders type of personality, I clone regularly to one external drive, and use Time Machine on another.
    Last edited by inkista; 12th April 2012 at 10:16 PM.

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    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    I do not know how to begin with.
    You guys are incredible. Very helpful and kind. It is also true that I would do the same for others. This is not a joke, mind you !

    Today I almost bought a portable drive when suddenly I stopped.
    In Lisbon they asked me 170 € for a portable drive of 1,5TB but in Setubal I found yesterday a similar one but with 1TB for 120. I was then paying 50 € for 0,5TB.
    Then I have decided I will get the 1,0TB for 120 €. But again I hesitate. I am not the kind of guy who hesitates continually without making decisions, you know.
    Today I was told that 0,5 TB = 500 GB is about 70/80 €. That means that in terms of security instead of having all the eggs in the same basket I can have all the eggs in two baskets spending some 20/40 Euros more. Sounds good: two drives instead of one.
    I have to investigate tomorrow more about this and will let you know.
    However, I do have at the moment this:
    On the right - Lacie drive 500 MB - I store my pictures from 2012
    On the left - can't remember the brand and it doesn't matter - I have my time machine with 1TB (the same as the computer itself)
    I will have then two more drives with the same capacity 500 MB each to copy everything, every week as total back up.
    I will give more news tomorrow.

    Thank you all

    Portable Back-up Device

  15. #15
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    Well... I made my mind and I bought the Toshiba for 120 € 1TB USB 3.0 which I am using as back-up now.

    However, I do these back ups in a peculiar way: I copy the files into the drive using the drag command. It is stupid I know but it works.

    I have tried to import the images to LR from the drive and it works fine. Slower of course but acceptable.

    That gave me an idea: when I'll buy another drive like this I will erase the files from the computer itself liberating space for it to work.

    I will have then 2 drives with the files and the back-up of Time Machine.

    Thank you all

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    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    If I might just chime-in...

    Regarding the title of this post, I use a SANHO Colorspace (Portable Backup Device) while I'm out and about. It's essentially just a 2.5" hard-drive in a case with multiple card slots.

    At the end of the day I simply slot whichever CF card I was using in the camera into the PBD and it automatically copies all my RAW files onto it's disk. I don't wipe the card until after I get home and transfer the files into Lightroom.

    This way I have a continuous 'running' backup of my cards just incase there's a huge problem and a card cannot be read.

    I hasten to add I am just an amateur - but amateur or pro, it's still a PITA when we lose our files....

    PS. Epson used to market a very nice PBD the P7000 but I don't think it's available anymore - great shame.

  17. #17
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    I actually own a Sanho Colorspace as well, but I wouldn't use that as a permanent backup device. I use it only as my travel backup to make sure my trip photos make it home ok.

    - Bill

  18. #18
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that I use it as a permanent storage unit - I leave that to a series of G-Drives (RAID configured) both on and off site.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 22nd April 2012 at 12:27 AM.

  19. #19
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Portable back-up device

    Thank you Ian and Bill.

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