Backup Last Year’s Pictures

Here’s a New Year’s Resolution that you can keep right now!  Back up all your pictures from 2012.  Picasa makes it easy.  I recommend using DVDs for this backup, but you can use a USB Hard Drive, or USB thumb drives if you really want.  I like disks for 2 reasons:

  1. Once you burn the DVD, you cannot accidentally delete or overwrite the pictures on there
  2. You don’t use the disk for anything else.  Burn your backups and then put the disks away in a safe place.

Make a New Backup Set

Open Picasa and click the Tools menu and Backup Pictures.  You should now see some options open up at the bottom of your screen.  There is a box #1 and a box #2.  In #1 you should see an option to use an existing backup set, or create a new one.  You need to create a new one here for the complete year of 2012.  You have your choice to backup to CD/DVDs or to an external drive.  Give it a meaningful name like 2012 Complete.

backup

Once you click ‘Create’ you now need to select every folder of pictures that were taken in 2012.  Just click the checkbox in front of each folder that contains pictures from the past year.  In my case that is each monthly folder (201201, 201202, 201203 etc.) plus all the special event folders I made during the year (Cozumel Diving, Disney World with Grandkids, etc.)

backup

The blue status line tells you exactly how many folders you have selected, how many files are in those folders, the size in Gigabytes of all the files you’ve selected, and finally, how many CDs or DVDs you will need.  In my case, I need 6 DVDs.  Make sure you have the DVDs handy, insert the first one, then click the Burn button.  When Picasa fills up the first disk, it will ask you for the next one.  It will keep asking until the entire backup set is finished.

You’re not Done Yet!

Whenever you make any kind of backup, you’re not done until you test it.  There’s nothing worse than believing you have a good backup and not finding out that it didn’t work until you need it.  It’s best to use a different computer for this, but if you only have the one, that’s fine too.  Just take one of the disks and put it in the drive.  It will initially pop up with a dialog box asking if you want to Restore – no, you don’t – so just click Cancel button.  What you want to do is simply Explore your disk.  You should see a folder named $pictures, open that and you should see your folders.  Open a couple of folders to check that there are indeed pictures inside.  If so, then you’re all set.  Put the disks away in a safe place and give yourself a pat on the back!

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website.  There are lots of tutorial videos on editing your pictures with Picasa’s tools.  The first 3 are free for all to view.  To see all of them, you need a Geeks On Tour membership.  It’s only $7/mo or $58/yearly.  Join Today!

If you are a member, here are some videos about backups:

  1. Backup Last Year’s Pictures
  2. Backup to External Hard Drive
  3. Move Folders of Pictures to an External Drive
  4. Backup your Photos to CD
  5. Backup Monthly to Disk (CD or DVD)
  6. Get one Picture from a Backup
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Move Pictures to a New Computer

Question: I need to transfer my complete Picasa library from my desk top computer to my new laptop computer.   Suggestions?

Great question!  I know a lot of people are getting new computers these days, and Picasa can make it very easy to transfer all your pictures if you do it right.  What you do is make a complete backup of your pictures on your desk top computer, then restore that backup to your new laptop.  Use Picasa’s backup tool to do this.  You will need a USB drive to do this.  A thumb drive will do if it has enough capacity, otherwise you’ll need an external hard drive.  Picasa will inform you how much capacity you need.

You can use a thumb drive if it has enough free spaceimage

Otherwise, you can use an external hard drive.

image

Step one: Using Picasa’s Backup Tool

While you’re viewing your complete Picasa Library on your old computer, click on the Tools menu, then ‘Backup Pictures’.  At the bottom of your screen, you will see some backup options in two steps:

  1. Create a Set or Use an Existing One
  2. Choose Folders and Albums to Backup

For #1, on the left, choose ‘New Set.’  You should see the following dialog box.  Make sure to check Disk-to-Disk backup and then Choose… to get the drive letter of your USB drive.  Mine is I:

Click Create.

image

Now, under #2: Choose folders and albums to backup, click the Select All button.  This may take a few seconds.  When it’s done, Picasa will report to you the size of the combined files.  Make sure your USB device is large enough to hold all of it.  In my case, I would need a device with at least 85.6 GB of free space.  You may want to use disks (CDs or DVDs) for this, then you will have a permanent archival copy of all your pictures as well.  I am recommending USB drives because of the potential space necessary.  There’s no way that I’m going to sit there and feed it 20 DVDs!  If you want to use disks, you would need to change the option in #1 above.

image

When it’s ready, click the Backup button.  If your Backup button is grayed out, it probably means you don’t have enough free space on the destination drive.

It is important to use Picasa’s Backup tool rather than some other kind of backup because Picasa will also backup your Album definitions, Face recognitions, and other Picasa-specific data and settings.

Restore to your New Laptop in Original Locations

When the backup procedure is completed, you can take the USB drive to your new computer.  After you plug it in, it should automatically run the restore program.

If it doesn’t automatically do this, then you’ll need to navigate on your USB drive to the Picasa backup location, find the file named PicasaRestore.exe and double click on it.

Make sure to Restore files in Original Locations.  This is important if you want your Albums to be restored correctly.  Remember, Albums are just pointers to the actual pictures.  The pointers won’t work if the pictures aren’t in the same places.

image

Click Next, then click Restore Files.  In just a minute, your entire library will be recreated on your new computer.

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.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

move-folders-of-pictures-to-an-external-drive

Moving Folders Among Multiple Hard Drives

Backup your Photos to CDBackup Monthly to Disk (CD or DVD)

 

Burning Pictures to Disc

A friend of mine, had her house severely damaged in a flood.  The house has now been cleaned and gutted and they will spend many months putting it back together.  To help the construction workers in putting shelves etc. back in her desired places, she decided to go thru all her pictures from the last few years and collect appropriate photos of each room.  She then wanted to put all those pictures onto CD to take to a printer to create a large format print to be tacked to the wall in each room. (pretty ingenious don’t ya think?!)

Pictures in an Album

All the pictures were organized into a Picasa album, but how does she burn them to CD?  She couldn’t find any command to ‘Burn to CD’ or ‘Copy to Disk.’  When she tried to Export and specified the DVD drive, she got an error message, “The Destination Directory could not be Created.”

She was afraid that she had to use Windows and find all the pictures all over again, copying them to CD as she went.  She could have exported the album to another folder, then used Windows to burn that folder to CD.  But Picasa can do the entire job, if you know where to look.

Two Choices

Picasa actually makes it very easy to copy pictures to disk, but you won’t find it listed in quite the way you might expect, so a lot of people miss it.  There are two ways to copy files to disk and both are available on the main menu.

  1. Backup (Tools menu, Backup Pictures)
    Just click on the desired album and then Tools, Backup Pictures.  Click ‘New Set’ and give it a name.  This will copy the original pictures *and* all Picasa edits
    image
  2. Gift CD (Create menu, Create a Gift CD)
    Same start – select the desired album, then choose Create, Create a Gif CD, and Picasa will burn your edited pictures to the CD or DVD in your drive.image

Picasa will complete the entire job for you, burning the CD or DVD.  The only difference is that, with Backup, you’ll have your original pictures plus any edits.  To see the photos as edited, you would need to restore and work with the photos using Picasa.   Using the Gift CD method, the .jpg files on the disk will be the edited versions – just as if you Exported them.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

 

 

 

Backup and Tree View

Picasa allows you to see your list of folders in either Flat view, or Tree View.  In Flat view you can sort the folders by Date OR Alphabetically.  In Tree View you can’t because it has to show your nested folder structure as you created it.  If you understand that, please read on about how it relates to Backup.  If not … here are the videos that will show you what I mean by Flat View and Tree View

Flat View / Tree ViewWhen you use the Tools / Backup Pictures command, you might be distressed that the option to view in Tree or Flat View isn’t there.

Here’s the trick – get into the view you want *before* clicking on the Backup command.  The screen shots below show you the difference in looking at the backup options:

Backup with Flat View selected first Backup with Tree View selected first
Notice how they are sorted alphabetically so BigBend is just before California Coast
flat-backup
In Tree View, you see that California Coast is on its own, and BigBend is inside the Texas Folder.
tree-backup

Everyone organizes their picture folders differently.  Just like any filing system it’s up to you how to file them.  Backup is a very important factor in how you organize, so, if you’ve nested folders for backup purposes – this is a very handy tip to be able to see your nested ‘tree’ view in the backup process.

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.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

Need to learn the basics?  Check out our ‘Beginner’s Guide to Picasa’ complete with show-me videos.

Backup! Backup! Backup!

by Chris Guld of Geeks on Tour:

I sometimes feel like a broken record, telling people to backup their photos.  Just when I figure that *everyone* has the idea and I can rest, I read something like this post in the Picasa Help Group where someone lost 15,000 photos when their computer crashed.  !?#!!??@!!

How can anyone possibly collect that many pictures without at some point wondering, “What would happen if my computer crashed, or it got stolen, or it fell out of the car, or it burned up in a fire or … “

One of the biggest reasons that I recommend Picasa so highly is that it makes backups SO easy.  First, let me make sure we understand each other with the term ‘Backup.’  It means having a copy of your photos somewhere separate from your computer.  These are for emergency purposes.  I recommend using CD-Rs or DVD-Rs.  I buy the discs in bulk, they come 50 to a spindle.  I make a backup every month, of that month’s photos.  Then I put the backup discs on an old spindle and keep them in a cupboard.  I’ve been backing up photos and other important files this way for over 10 years.  I had occasion to look thru some of the older backup discs the other day, and the pictures were in perfect shape.

Here’s a step-by-step of how you might back up Pictures, using Picasa, for a whole year:

  1. Tools, Backup Pictures
  2. Click ‘New Set’ give it a name of 2009
  3. Check the box next to every folder of pictures in 2009 (that’s easy for me because I store all my pictures in folders by month)
  4. Picasa reports that I’ve selected 4,347 files and I’ll need 18 CDs or 3 DVDs.  I choose DVDs ( I use the DVD-R type)
  5. Put a DVD in the drive and click ‘Burn’
  6. Wait until it completes that DVD.  It will spit it out and display a message requesting the second DVD.  Then it repeats for the third.
  7. When it’s all completed, label the disks with a Sharpie marker then take the disks to another computer to test them.  There’s nothing worse than thinking you have good backups and finding out much later (when you need them) that they didn’t process correctly.  When you first put them in the drive, you should be prompted to do a Restore.  You don’t want to restore, you just want to look and see that the pictures are there, so cancel the restore prompt.  What you want to do is ‘Explore’ or ‘Open Folder to View Files.’  If you see that option, just choose it.  If not, you can go to My Computer and right click on the DVD drive, then choose Explore.  You should see a folder called $My Pictures. That’s where all your photos are. (Tutorial Videos:Backup your Photos to CD)

Do it!  Do it now!  Here’s a very short video I made a while back that goes thru the process:

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.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

 

Don’t Delete your Original Photos

I’ve had a few emails from Picasa users lately that got me worried. They said that they uploaded some photos to their web albums then deleted them off their computer.

What?!

NO! Picasa Web Albums is not a way to backup or store your photos. It is a way to share your photos with others over the Internet. If you want an online storage website, we recommend Carbonite.

Photo size, and file size, is important
When you upload photos to Picasa Web Albums, you should be using a much smaller size than your original photo. My camera is a 6.3 megapixel camera – yours may be more or less. That means a picture taken by my camera at highest resolution will have 6.3 million pixels – the little dots. Usually that’s 3,072 pixels wide by 2048 high. When a photo is displayed on a computer screen (which is the whole purpose of Picasa Web Albums) an 800 by 600 pixel picture looks big.

Most computer monitors are set to 1024 pixels wide, so an 800 wide picture will take up 80% of the screen. I upload my photos at the 1024 pixel setting. This is 1/3 of the pixels in my original photo. This also means the file size is a lot smaller. I have several hundred photos online and I’m only using 60% of my alloted 1Gigabyte of free space.

Deleting your original photo because you have it uploaded to a web album is like throwing away your original Van Gogh painting because you have a copy print.

Even if you upload to Picasa Web Album at full size, it will be compressed, and the result is not as good as your original. If you ever want to print it, you’ll want your original.

Who’s in Control?
But, probably the main point though, is that once you’ve uploaded your pictures to a free website like Picasa Web Albums, things could happen to them beyond your control. I’ve heard of people who had Web Albums that had been tagged as violating the Terms of Service and were then deleted by Google. Even if it’s a mistake, it can take a long time to clear it up. I know other websites that got hacked and the content destroyed. Admittedly, this is unlikely, but if you still had your pictures on your computer, it’s a simple matter of re-uploading them.

So, what is a good procedure?
Here’s what I do:

  1. Transfer pictures from camera to computer. Keep them all in folders by month.(Member Tutorial Video:Import from Camera)
  2. Upload just a sampling of the best ones to Picasa Web Albums to share with others.(Member Tutorial Video:Upload Photos to the Web)
  3. Backup-Copy all photos for each month to a CD (or DVD if CD isn’t big enough) Store CD in a safe place.(Member Tutorial Video:Backup your Photos to CD)
  4. Each year I move all photos for prior year to external hard drive. This external hard drive is usually connected to my computer – so, when I’m in Picasa I have access to all years.(Member Tutorial Video:Backup to External Hard Drive)

You don’t have to follow that exact procedure – just make sure you follow a procedure that allows you to work with all your pictures, share a few of them, and have a duplicate set of all your originals in case catastrophe hits.

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.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.