In a forum I visit, a photographer just asked:

Hey friends! I’ve got an external hard drive which is giving me some problems and I can’t seem to pull files from it. My computer recognizes it, but doesn’t let me access the files. There are about 200 that i don’t have backed up elsewhere and I would love to figure out how to get them. Does anyone know any file recovery service which may help?

I am so sorry for her, but on the other hand I wonder why there are still people without backups. EVERY hard drive will fail. It’s not IF—it’s WHEN.

A student in my new Sheridan College course, which started tonight, a student told me she had previously lost two years of her young son’s life in pictures. We have all had this thing happen: please, please learn from these experiences of others, and

  1. Go get a new backup drive or two. Now.
  2. Make backups, perhaps using simple scripts like the one I have described here.
  3. Keep one backup off-site.
  4. Print as many photos as you can.

Then you can sleep, as well as enjoy your photos!


1 thought on “When.

  1. I see this all the time also, its very frustrating and shocking at times to witness. I see this happening with all kinds of folks… Grandparents, Moms, Dads, kids. I get many calls a year from family that have a single hard drive in their computer, and no backups. Most don’t have a clue what they even have on the drive.

    Everyone says digital is easier than film, but I am not so sure some days. With film in the old days you always were provided two physical backups, the negative and the print. Today when you develop film at a processing lab, they offer the developed film, prints, and a copy on CD/DVD. That’s three backups. Not perfect, but way better than what most folks do with digital today.

    With digital most people seem to dump their memory card onto their computer, and then maybe upload a few to social sites. The rest are filed away and rarely backed up. Some days I think most folks are not ready for digital cameras. The upside is that more people are starting to use smart-phones, and now have cloud backup services that are built in. But in the end…folks with digital cameras need to have a dedicated backup process in place or risk losing it all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *