Have you Backed up your Pictures Lately?

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?”

silence …

That’s not a good sign.

Monthly Backups

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:

Yearly Backups

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.

Continual Backups

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.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

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Chris is a teacher. Although she comes as close to an expert as possible in many areas of computer usage, she can still remember what it's like not to know these things! That means she can communicate with students in a way that teaches and doesn't demean. She really enjoys teaching one-on-one and for groups of people, but she reaches a worldwide audience with her tutorial videos on the GeeksOnTour.com website. She currently travels the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. As Geeks on Tour, they present computer seminars at RV rallies, computer clubs, and Senior Centers all over the US.

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