Digital Storage & Back-Up Plans

61 posts / 0 new
Last post
Digital Storage & Back-Up Plans

I'm starting this thread mainly because this topic is obviously one of the most important topics for us as Digital Scrappers/Artist.

You don't have to comment here necessarily, but I am doing this so it can be made into a sticky at the top of the Digital Scrapbooking Forum so ALL our wonderful members can find all of the ongoing topics and read all the information we have available and post in those threads if they still have questions. I hope this is helpful for you guys! smiley

Please let me know if I left any out or overlooked and I will add them here to this list for easy find-ability (I know that's a "made-up" word) LoL:

so TWO main Fantastic resources are
by Jordan right here started a couple years ago
and a Blog Post about Online sharing and BackUp right here by Marisa (please note: the contest Marisa had was back in March 2013, so I'm just giving you the info for perusal).

and others that were started by our members and have a lot of info, maybe some repeated but still useful are these threads:
File Storage Location and other info started by Jessica
How Do You BackUp Your Files started by Kat
Backing Up started by Cindy

Note: A few of them have been locked in order to try and keep the main threads with the MOST information as Active ones for ALL to use. smiley

I'm responding specifically to Joy Anzalone's locked topic:

I , like Susan mentioned, I currently use multiple EHDs but I also use the cloud and I recommend the cloud, here's a link to a cloud storage review supposedly listing the top 10 cloud storage sites, maybe this will be helpful to you:

I use both Just Cloud (#1 on this list) and Dropbox (not on the list but I love it and it's what my IT manager husband's employer uses and recomends - you can take a tour of dropbox here)

I can't reiterate enough to people the online of backing up photos, layouts, and digi supplies. Personally, I upload all photos and layouts to Costco Photo, plus save them on a hard drive. So far, I just keep my digi supplies on my laptop long enough to use them, then I save them to my external. If anything happened to my external, I'd be up the creek without a paddle as far as supplies go.

I am always concerned about going on vacation and getting my computer and EHD taken because I am always adding things new every day but don't back up EVERY day. I try to backup several different ways On EDH, (I make several copies of these and have one of my daughters who lives a bit further from us store them just in case something should happen locally. Or if we are on vacation someone would break in and take my computer. Also, my husband has warned me NEVER EVER store things on C drive. If it crashes you could loose everything. The Cloud, I burn things onto CD's and even send copies of the CD's out of state. I store on large jump drive. I guess I am saying you can't have tooooooo much backup

Thank you so much for this!! As I posted in my introduction post, I lost nearly 100gb of downloads recently. I do still have my pages and I have one slim hope for finding at least some of my kits, but even if I find some of it I've lost so very much. I had it all on what I thought was a good external drive but after we moved I tried to plug it back in only to find it wouldn't even turn on. I eventually had to take it to a local geeky store and pay $300 or so to have them pull off what they could...but none of the scrappy stuff survived.

I've been looking into good online backup for a while. I do have a Dropbox account but it's no where near large enough. I'm just hoping for something besides putting it all on disc as the cd drive on my laptop is really slow, not to mention the potential for discs to get lost (as I think has happened to my disc backups of my lost kits). As much as I love my digital art, the backing up is such a pain!!

Rose, your comments on this storage stuff is SO helpful, so I'm hoping you can help me (and maybe others) get a full understanding of another aspect. Is it necessary to download the cloud application to our computer? I'm beginning to think that it just makes it easier to copy files into that instead of dragging/dropping to the site itself. For instance, when on the PC at work, I'll just log into Dropbox from the browser and upload files that way. I had it on my PC at home until I switched to the Mac, now it just seems to show in the top part of the Finder as opposed to being installed on it. Naturally, it syncs anything I've added at work via the website.

I've got an account for Google Drive (haven't used it yet) and am figuring on going ahead and getting some others (JustCloud, Copy, etc.) but don't want to necessarily download them all to the computer, especially here at work. I guess what I'm ultimately trying to figure out is this - if I download/install the app and copy files there, am I just making yet another (huge file lol) copy on my computer? I thought I'd gotten it figured out from another thread (with your help), but I'm just wondering if I need to download all those cloud apps on the computers.

Thanks in advance. If anyone has feedback other than Rose, throw it on in!

ETA: Okay, so I put the Dropbox app on my computer here at work. If I just drag and drop a file over to it, it takes it takes it out of the folder on the hard drive. I have to copy the file and put it in DP. So, the files aren't duplicated on the hard drive. It just makes it easier to toss it in the cloud if the app is on the computer. Right?

I really am pretty computer savvy, but this cloud stuff can still confuzzle me!


So I wanted to take a minute to tell you about an alternative to EHD storage. I personally don't like to carry a EHD around with the fear of it being damaged or lost. About a year ago I wanted to see if I could use my SD card slot with a card as storage. It worked and worked well... The trick is to use a large and fast SD card. Here is the one I just upgraded to 256 SD card Since I have a built in SD reader it takes up no space I leave it there all the time unless I need to upload photos then I switch it out. Works like an EHD but no cords...

Cindi, I just checked out your card link, and I couldn't believe they make SD cards with 256 GIGABYTES!!!! of storage! Unbelievable! It's certainly another option for backing up and storing - and I'm sure I'm not the only one who didn't even know that it was an option!

Yes most people don't realize that you computer sees that reader as another drive...

Cindi, what's the difference between that and a flash drive? Flash drives seem to be really coming down in price and I've thought about just getting a big gig one of those.


Flash drives stick out of the side of your laptop. The SD card reader is completely non-obtrusive. With a flash drive you have to remove it when you put your laptop away. With the SD card you just leave it in place. It also seems to me that they read better since they are designed for cameras. I have never had good luck with flash drives. I also seem to miss place them.

Ok, I see. I don't use cameras and don't have a laptop. I keep flash drives handy, just never thought of them for storage as I think I've gotten so much into the cloud stuff (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.).

Thanks for the info. smiley


Love the SD card idea, and my new laptop has a built in reader! Thank you!

I actually have a couple of these for my Nikon when shooting in RAW format... Cindi is correct about the speed has to be high you can't do the same thing with the cheap lower speed ones. smiley

Glad I was able to give helpful advice!! smiley

Me being a belt & suspenders kind of gal... I burn everything onto DVDs & I also have 2 1 terra-bite external hard drives ..I try to backup my 'goodies' at least once a month but it's usually every 2 months...& when I get around to it I do a thumbnail print out on all the new stuff that's in the cd kept in a notebook for easy browsing & blank pgs w/notes on those 'special items I really really liked along w/possible ideas to use them in

My EHD crashed recently & it is heartbreaking. Whatever I can recover will go to the cloud. I have some space with amazon & google. I'll have to see which gives me the most storage. Everything had just been moved to the EHD 2 weeks prior. You just never know when it will happen.

Cindi said that she tends to misplace flash (USB) drives. I recently bought 3 x 32GB USB drives and a thing that you can plug up to 4 USB drives into (sorry, brain's not working and I can't remember what you call the gadget!) I also have quite a few 8GB ones, and I've started to keep all the USBs I'm not currently working with in one of those spectacle cases that snap shut, which keeps them all together.

... a USB HUB -I have one and i love mine!

a thing that you can plug up to 4 USB drives into (sorry, brain's not working and I can't remember what you call the gadget!)

Has anyone considered Flickr for storing photos? I have a free account there which includes one terrabyte of space. You have the option of making them private only for friends and family or public if you really want to share them. I'm thinking seriously about uploading my keeper photos there and onto DVDs. My digi supplies will go only DVDs and I'll look into cloud storage also.

I signed up for Dropbox, but the way their synching works meant that anything that was on my EHD but not my computer might get wiped from Dropbox. I've signed up for amazon web services, which has a free tier, but also charges a minimal monthly amount. The problem is going to be uploading 500 gigs of stuff on a rural connection...but I agree that there's no such thing as too much backup. I have DVD's I burned (of photos) only 6-7 years ago which are becoming unreadable (they do deteriorate over time), and I have pictures on hard disk that I can't get at at all, since the technology is obsolete.

I use Know How Cloud, I have the software downloaded on my laptop and desktop so I can get to my files on either machine.

I haven't been backing mine up! I know this sounds crazy-but hadn't thought about it.
Definitely getting on this ASAP-today! Thanks for the information.

Thanks for all the great information. I'm looking into storage options now and you've given me some I hadn't known about.

I like the external hard drive, but only because they don't make an sd card large enough for me. My EHD is 2 TB and almost full!!! I use it for storing everything, so that if my PC crashes, no biggie...just replace/reinstall OS and reinstall apps (I keep installer files on the EHD) and can move on. I also use CrashPlan to back up the EHD online. I believe they have an option to have them load a hard drive for you, ship it to you so you can grab the files then ship it back (or maybe you get to keep it).

i using a Raid 1 NAS for my storage but again... do i need backup for my NAS?

Jess, the old hard drives should not be obsolete--you may need an IDE to SATA converter to get to the files, but they CAN be pulled off of it as long as the drives still work. You can get both USB adapters and internal PCI cards that will allow you to connect to the older-style drive connectors. They'll usually be under $20, and you might be able to find one on sale for less than that.

Steven, the RAIDed NAS will help make it easy to recover if a hard drive fails, but you also want an offsite backup. If you have a fire (or your neighbors do, if you're in an apartment building or the houses are close together), your NAS is likely to get damaged by smoke and/or water and be useless. So yeah, you DO need backup for your NAS, as good as a network storage device is.

Thanks for this info everyone. I know I need to do something to get my stuff backed up soon.

My sweet BFF worked in the computer industry for over 30 years, and his favorite quote: "It's not IF your hard drive fails, it's WHEN your hard drive fails ..." I am lucky enough to have had only one hard-drive related issue in all the years of owning a computer, and I had warnings, he tested the computer (it was manufactured in HIS factory!!!) and we were able to get the EHD updated before it failed! I am the proud owner of multiple EHDs which I back up regularly. I currently am using 3 EHD drives: one for ghost of operating system and software install, and two others containing my digital collection and photos, + extra important files. I have multiple smaller drives (which I outgrew... ) and have tasked one to be photo only offsite! (at BFF's house!)

I use DropBox, but not for the kind of storage space I need for my collection! (mostly transferring files and hosting my monthly FREEBIES for my blog and FB page!)

Great discussion! And such an important process for any digital creative. I have not been good about making external hard drive backups for the past year but have been using Backblaze for auto-backup for a couple years. One of the things that did help save me when I experienced a computer failure was having a pretty recent 'system image' from the computer. But like most people when it happens, it's usually pretty bad and we are bound to lose something...but hopefully it's never a total loss.

And, just as a side note...back up your website regularly too--you can't control your hosting company's hard drives, or the chance of your blog's database getting corrupted. Save a copy of it on your own computer, and one elsewhere in the cloud! At that point, it's relatively easy to restore if an upgrade goes wrong or there's a problem at your hosting provider--a couple of hours of work to restore, but better than having lost all previous posts and having to rebuild from scratch.