I get at least one email every week from someone with a sad tale about losing their pictures. My first question is, “When did you last back them up?”
That’s not a good sign.
My system is to burn a CD or DVD each month of all the pictures I took that month. I buy my CD/DVDs in bulk (50 disks – $25) and they come on a spindle. I use the empty spindles to store my backed up pictures:
Then, at the end of the year, I also burn the entire year to DVD. That way I can put one copy – either the monthlies or the yearly, at my Mom’s house for safekeeping.
There’s just one problem with this system … you gotta remember to do it! I just took a look at my spindle of backup disks and it ends in December … this is March! My Bad! In the video below, I show you exactly how I backup my January 2010 and February 2010 photos.
Meanwhile, I also backup all my computer data – including pictures – on a nightly basis using Windows 7 backup utility and an External hard drive. I also use Carbonite to backup all my files to the Internet on a continual basis (whenever they change.)
Backup vs. Archive
The monthly and yearly systems I describe above are actually ‘Archives’ because the pictures they backed up may be removed from my computer altogether. I know that I can find a picture from August of 2004 by going to my archive of disks regardless of what computer I happen to be using and what is on it. The ‘nightly and continual backups’ I describe above are for disaster recovery purposes, all those pictures *are* on my computer. I’m backing them up every night just in case something should happen to my computer.
I keep 2 years worth of pictures on my computer – about 8,000 pictures, but I like having instant access to pictures from years ago. So, I keep the rest of my pictures (about 23,000) on an external hard drive. I have Picasa ‘watching’ that hard drive so, when I view my pictures in Picasa I see all 30,000 pictures . But I know that only the 8,000 on my computer’s C drive are being backed up each night. If anything should happen to my external hard drive, I always have my archive DVD disks.
Show Me How: Backup your pictures monthly with Picasa.
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- Backup to External Hard Drive
- Move Folders of Pictures to an External Drive
- Moving Folders Among Multiple Hard Drives
- Backup your Photos to CD
- Backup Monthly to Disk (CD or DVD)
- Get one Picture from a Backup