Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dodging the bullet

I wrote recently about the klong you suffer when you watch a spot appear on your pale yellow quilt.  Well, friends, that's nothing compared to the klong when you discover that close to 3,000 pictures from your most recent overseas vacations have been mysteriously wiped from your hard drive.

I came home from each of these vacations, transferred my pictures to the computer, and erased the camera card.  Posted many of them to my blog, emailed some to other people.  Backed up the pictures to my portable hard drive. Then had a world-class computer crisis, during which everything on the main drive disappeared (on purpose) and most of the backed-up photos on the portable hard drive did too (by some evil force we cannot comprehend). 

Well, oops!

My son, bless his soul, found a program that recovered everything from the portable drive.  But that didn't occur until I went through two weeks of agony, wondering just how terrible it would be to let these pictures disappear (answer: really terrible) and how much money it would cost to get them back (hey, they do it all the time on Law and Order so I knew it was possible....).  And then spent several more weeks of discovering, every now and then, that the folders showing on my computer directory didn't actually have anything in them and needed to be recovered as well.

I have found God in the trenches, and have resolved that one backup is not enough, and the backup backup should be offsite.  Since then I have heard that one professional photographer of my acquaintance has multiple hard drives full of pictures sitting in different safe deposit boxes all over town.  That may be overkill, but I'm going to put all my photos and documents on DVDs and haul them to the bank.

By the way, I am reminded that the instructor who presented the orientation class when I bought my new camera told us that the best form of long-term storage is to print out your photos.  I should probably do that too, as soon as I get home from the bank.

So, friends, it could happen to you.  What kind of backup do you have?  If it's not good enough, do something about it already.

After all, I almost missed being able to show you these wonderful pictures.

Vestenberg, Germany, where my great-great-great-grandmother was born.

Klarakirche, from our hotel room in Nürnberg.

At a shrine in Kyoto.


  1. Oh dear, glad you got them back.

    And that's why I load all my photos to my webshots premium account, burn 2-3 DVD's, store them on a portable drive, also stored on mulitiple thumb drives and put them on my laptop too. Overkill yes but I don't want to loose a single photo (good and bad).

  2. Thank goodness for family members who can jump in and figure computer errors out! I can not imagine how you felt.

    Your photography is amazing! I love the street scene through the arch. You are a talented woman!

  3. Kathy- I feel your pain. Take a look at a piece of hardware and software called Time Machine. I have 35 machines to backup at my agency and if we lose even one then it costs beaucoup bucks. This is what our technical folks have recommended. Not too pricey and it works. And the interesting thing is you can actually go back in time and recover stuff. So sorry for your loss!

  4. Judy -- actually I don't know that I have lost anything -- everything I have identified as being lost has been recovered. but I don't feel totally confident that I won't find something new missing tomorrow. hoping for the best!