Digital? Great?

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  • I haven't been active the last month because we had a big problem with the computer. My husband was doing some adjustments and he lost all our data by mistake!!!! I could not believe it, all our photos in the past two months were gone!!! Pictures of our baby, pics of our vacation, pics for TE...everything! We paid a hefty price to try to recover part of the data and got everything except our photos!!&*%#@ So now I started to go back to my old SLR and 35mm camera which I had been neglecting, at least I'm sure I have some tangible prints which will stay! Anybody out there had similar experience? Any solutions (apart saving periodically, which did not prevent us from losing our last pictures)?
  • Re: Digital? Great?
    apart saving periodically, NO solution! sorry.

    My own solution is to have a usb external disk (40Gb) to which periodically backup all my images. If the disk on my computer crashes or undergoes bad manipulation, it's safe.
    If my house burns, it's not safe.
    Not having had such a problem, I still prefer digital.

    (After some thinking,there is another way : print your prefered shots without waiting)
  • Re: Digital? Great?
    Well, for starters, keep your husband away from the computer ;^). But the only way to prevent this is regular backups. Yes, I know, easy to say, harder to do. While full system backups are a good idea, XP can't do it, by design. You didn't say what system you are using.

    Beyond that, try to keep all data in one place, i.e. all data for everyone goes into this folder, no exceptions. Making sub folders in the data folder (or drive, or partition [my method]) is Ok, but keep it all together. That way if you backup that one folder, you are sure of getting all the data. You don't have to remember to adjust your backup system for a long time. Depending on how much data, CD's, DVD's, or even an external hard drive would be useful.

    However, do not use any proprietary backup formats. If it requires special software to do the restore, stay away from it. I've seen clients burned by this when the restore software install disks are lost or ruined and the manufacturer is out of business or charges you up the whazoo (they know you're desperate, never mind the time delay in starting recovery) and the only working copy was on the hard drive that just died.

    As an alternative for pictures, you can get prints made of the good ones, and the cost isn't much more than regular one-hour developing where I live (or do it over the internet). Since you only have the best ones made into prints, overall, it can be effectively cheaper than film.

    Finally, if you are doing something and accidentally delete some files, STOP USING THE COMPUTER IMMEDIATELY. Turn it off and call in someone who can help. This will greatly increase the chance of recovery. If the hard drive is making funny noises, stop using it immediately too.
  • Re: Digital? Great?
    It'a a very easy and practical way to have all the time your photos safe...After each photographing session before any manipulation of the photos in PS burn the files from your camera memeory card to a CD or a DVD. Having your master captures there (RAW or JPGs depends on the camera) is like having your negatives from your film SLR. Even if your PC crash or what ever the CDs or DVDs will be there with all your photos safe and ready to be used again...
  • Re: Digital? Great?
    In addition to George's hint I also bring the backup CD's / DVD's to my parents house. One never knows...

    Yours, Jan
    And I feel sorry for you / we put so much into the pictures we take, what a pain to lose them :(
  • Re: Digital? Great?
    Sorry to hear about your loss. I know how horrifying that must have been.

    Clearly the solution is to back up your photos regularly. If you want to be relatively safe, then right after you take them, copy them to your computer and, at the same time, copy them to a CD or DVD as well. This way you always have at least two copies. For added safety, make extra copies of the CD/DVDs and store them at a relative or friend's house. Keeping your photos on a single hard-drive is not a very good idea, as you found out. In addition to user error, hard drives do fail occasionally.
  • Re: Digital? Great?
    Thanks to you all for your suggestions and sympathy. WE'll try to discipline ourselves and try to follow your advice as much as possible. Copying on a CD everytime I copy to the computer might take a lot of CDS for not too many photos... I'm not sure about that. One thing I'm happy I did is send the best pictures to family and friends who can now send us back those photos. The only thing is the resolution was modified for web, but at least I get to see the pictures. I'm afraid Robert that your suggestion about keeping my husband away from the computer cannot work since I myself know next to nothing about computers and without him I would be in big trouble! I think he's not that bad. :o)
  • Re: Digital? Great?
    <p><i>...keeping my husband away from the computer cannot work since I myself know next to nothing about computers and without him I would be in big trouble!...</i></p>

    <p>A good reason to take lessons. Besides, you may discover easier ways to do things in the process, and the extra job skills will never hurt in the long run. If you are afraid of damaging your system in the learning process, a Knoppix CD (google for it; it's a free download) might help. It's a full, no install, won't touch your hard drive unless you specifically tell it to, runs completely off CD (it's slow because of this, but usable), version of linux. Even Windows users can learn a few things about computers from it. And if you really screw up, just reboot and everything is restored.</p>

    <p><i>...Copying on a CD everytime I copy to the computer might take a lot of CDS for not too many photos...</i></p>

    <p>You might use a flash drive as a temporary solution. Wait until it fills up, then transfer to CD. Rewritable CD's are another solution, but beware that they are not universally readable. It seems completely random whether a given CD drive will read a particular one or not.</p>
  • Re: Digital? Great?
    You're probably right, Robert. Some lessons would not hurt at all even though I've never had much patience with computers for the very reason that there is always something that does not work! Up to now it has been pretty convenient to have someone at hand to handle all the complicated part of operating a computer. Your idea of using a Knoppix CD sounds good as well as the flash drive. Thanks for the advice. Take care.
  • Re: Digital? Great?
    Rather than storing everything to CD right away, you could just
    copy the best ones.

    One other thing that occurred to me... if you have broadband Internet access, you could open a free gmail account with a 1GB mailbox. Then, mail your very best photos to that account and keep them there until you have backed them up sufficiently. Then delete to make room for new pictures. If your photos are 5MB apiece, there is enough space to store 200. If they're 2.5 MB each then it's enough for 400.