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Ask Slashdot: Best Long-Term Video/Picture Storage?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the y'tell-the-kids-that-today-they-don'-believe-ye dept.

Data Storage 499

First time accepted submitter (and first-time parent — congratulations!) SoylentRed writes "I recently have had my first kid, a wonderful healthy daughter who is now just over 6 months old. As one can expect, we have an abundance of photos and videos, and have started to scratch our heads about the best way to store these files and back them up long-term. My parents have asked us (funny thing is it was my mom — the least tech-savvy person among our family) what our plan is to make sure these files are saved and available for her when she is older — which made me realize that we don't really have a good plan! We are currently using TimeMachine on my wife's MacBook Pro; for now we are doing OK with that as a back-up. But my parents have offered to help pay for something that might be a better solution. We could burn DVDs — but that is tedious and gets to be a pain as we would need to back those up (or recopy) them every year or so to be sure we aren't suffering from degrading DVDs. Is our best option right now to pick up two hard drives, back up all our pictures and videos to the first, and then use a 3rd party app to mirror that drive to the second just in case one of them craps out? Is there an online solution that would be better? We are still a few years away from being able to afford the DVDs/CDs that are the 100+ year discs. Is there a better solution I haven't thought of?"

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Good question (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557094)

Every media I look at appears to suffer over time. My 10 year old burned DVDs are already exhibiting decay.

What's the life span on Flash RAM?

Re:Good question (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557128)

I imagine that magnetic disks (or tape?) have better storage life than flash drives.

Re:Good question (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557304)

You've never had to do an emergency restore from backup, only to find that the tape has seriously degraded over the past year.

Re:Good question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557298)

Better question: what's Flash RAM?

Re:Good question (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557604)

Flash Gordon's cousin.

M-Disc (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557346)

I didn't want to promote their product after catching them astroturfing, [] but an M-disc is a perfect solution for this.

Re:Good question (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557352)

Flash is generally rated for a decade of data retention; there doesn't seem to be much firm data(given what a reasonable chunk of flash cost a decade ago, and the nontrivial differences between today's flash and that of yesteryear) as to whether that is the pessimistic, 'underpromise, overdeliver' number, or whether that is the bullshit optimist's number.

Re:Good question (1)

SpankyDaMonkey (1692874) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557354)

With most modern CDs and DVDs they use an organic dye as the data medium. If the seal at the edge of the disk is not perfect the dye will oxidise and you will lose your data. Best bet is probably usb flash drives - they are so cheap you can just send the family a new one each year with a full set of all your pictures - current and historical. That way you also know that you have an offsite backup for the important stuff. I'd also recommend looking at a raid-1 setup for your local machine - with 2 drives mirrored you have that additional level of safety so that if your hard drive fails you don't lose everything (and yes I lost my entire mp3 and media collection due to a drive failure and then got wise afterwards).

Re:Good question (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557580)

Decay isn't what you should be worrying about, you should be worrying about what you're going to be able to verify regularly. It doesn't matter if it's a reliable medium if you have to spend 6 hours every few months verifying that the data hasn't gotten corrupted and then figuring out how to restore the files.

A better solution is to just use an external HDD which is backed up to an external location. I personally like to use SFV to provide the verification function. It takes a bit of time on large collections, but is automatic once started and will give me a list of files that have gone south if there are any.

For large important files I'll sometimes use PAR and for discs I'll generally use DVDisaster to store parity information on disk. I'll generally also store an image of the disc, which is why I only do that for DVDs and CDROMs that I buy as it's more unwieldy than just using SFV on a number of smaller files.

For audio CDs, I'll, generally rip those discs to HDD using these instructions. [] and combine that with SFVs for verification and a proper off site back up.

Print (3, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557114)

Select the best photos, and print them. It's cheap, lasts a long time, and you can easily print multiple copies for safekeeping.

Re:Print (3)

DrEnter (600510) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557244)

For the price, services like SnapFish are remarkably cost-effective. The paper and ink are archival rated (200 years), and I've found it less expensive than the cost of a decent printer and ink. Seriously, this is the way to go. Anything else is going to require data migration (for compatibility and ease of access if nothing else) every 5-10 years or so.

Re:Print (2)

Kadagan AU (638260) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557290)

That's a good idea for photos (costco photo center is a personal favorite), but it's much more difficult to print videos..

Re:Print (3, Insightful)

Cragen (697038) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557422)

Interestingly, a distant cousin of mine just today posted a picture of a family group which includes our great(-great?)-grandfather, which is a copy of picture taken around 1875. One of my cousins presumably still has this picture. I have no idea where the pictures I took of my daughter currently are. I took movies of her and her brother on the mini-tape format. Only way to show them is through the camera to the VHS machine. (Not exactly sure where the camera is.) So, good luck with that! My advice. Take a few pictures to get it out of your system then enjoy every swinging second of being with your kids. They will grow up and head out into the world unbelievably fast. (I still can't believe mine are in college.) Good Luck!

Re:Print (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557448)

Actually I am not so happy with the print option.
I have quite a family photo collection at home, and it seems the newer prints will not last as long as the older prints.

For example, I have hand developed black and white photos from 1920's they are just awesome.
The color photo's from the 1960's are also OK, but the color photos from the 1970's look worse.
The 1980's photos look better than the 1990's pictures. These are all machine developed I might add.
WTF is going on? (Economies of scale fucking the general populace I think..)

All my hand developed pictures tend to hold up reasonably well.
Probably because of the amount/quality of fixer and photographic paper used.

If anything I would be tempted to print to film/slides, and not paper.
Though the film options these days are getting harder to aquire.

Digital information has yet to prove itself. It will take awhile for formats to stabilise.
Maybe we should torrent seed our home videos mixed with pRon, and let the world back it up.

my 2c

Re:Print (2)

Xupa (1313669) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557538)

Modern inks and papers are acid-based and will not last as long as they used to. I recommend multiple backup options. For photos and videos, keeping a copy somewhere online is a good idea, and for your local storage do what I do - refresh your drives every couple years. I've got almost 20 years worth of archives on a drive I replaced in June. I'll be replacing it again a June or two from now.

Don't go optical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557116)

Get a SATA dock and multiple bare HDs. Purchase SuperDuper! and set it to automatically dupe your HD to the external drive whenever you dock it. Store one in a fire/water proof safe at your home and one at your parent's home. Rotate the backups regularly and backup weekly.

The time machine will handle the daily backups.

That gives you 4 copies of your data (boot drive, TM drive, and two backup clones).

I do this, but with a few mirrored RAIDs as well.

Re:Don't go optical (3, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557220)

Daddy Warbucks...Is that you?

Memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557118)

Bring the kids over.

Hard copy (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557134)

(no, not for video)
But a couple of years ago, I was cleaning out my parents house in preparation to sell. And came across old family photo albums from the twenties and thirties. Easy to browse through, and trivial to store.

I don't expect my current thousands of digital pics to be readable in 80 years without siginificant and ongoing work.

Re:Hard copy (3, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557506)

While it is true that digital data needs to be maintained, it's not a lot. If there ever comes a time when you won't be able to cheaply and easily store your digital files, you will have much more serious things to worry about than preserving old photos.

Over time, data gets smaller relative to storage devices. Something that seemed like a lot 15 years ago can easily sit in the slack space on your phone.

Print them (1)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557148)

It does no harm to print the pictures, in case of atomic bombing or zombie attack they would be as doomed as any electric device; but they don't change the format every 10 years.

Post it on Facebook. (5, Funny)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557150)

Facebook NEVER deletes or forgets ANYTHING, even when they claim they do.

It is probably is the safest storage there has ever been.

Post It Notes (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557152)

Have all your video transcribed to post it notes. When you want to watch hire a local school kid to flip through the pages real fast and read the dialog aloud.

The most commonly asked question on "Ask Slashdot" (4, Insightful)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557156)

Every 3 months, never ceases to amaze me.

Re:The most commonly asked question on "Ask Slashd (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557278)

Probably because nobody ever replies with a reasonably affordable solution that is guarenteed to last for atleast 20 years.
I do use those 100+ year DVD's (they're not as expensive as TFA implies), but whether I can trust the vendors' claims, I'll just have to wait and see.

Re:The most commonly asked question on "Ask Slashd (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557530)

I have 15 year old media files already.

Been there. Done that. It's really not as hard as people try to make it out to be.

Re:The most commonly asked question on "Ask Slashd (1)

ninjason (596096) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557306)

You are right. I've been a consistent reader since the beginning and these types of posts crop up repeatedly. I'm very interested in the subject so I don't mind as much, but perhaps we can come up with a better solution. I'd like to see Slashdot and The Long Now Foundation issue some sort of joint, annual report on the current state of the art when it comes to long term media storage and management. Hey, it might even be worth paying for!

That tells me there is a market for a solution. (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557362)

Acid free paper is the best bet at the moment, it can last several decades to centuries. But then you have to be sure the inks/toners are stable etc.

Digital storage is "brittle" it relies on all sorts of technologies and assumptions which are not valid over a longer term. Basically when the power goes off, we as a civilsation are fubar.

Re:The most commonly asked question on "Ask Slashd (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557540)

> Every 3 months


> , never ceases to amaze me.

Not me. I care deeply about this topic and all the common answers/options are shit.

Re:The most commonly asked question on "Ask Slashd (1)

kerohazel (913211) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557558)

Which tells us that no one cares about the past anyway, unless it concerns you or your family.

There's plenty of tools out there! (1)

kinarduk (734762) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557166)

I would recommend you look at crash plan: [] It works great for me, I use their hosted service, although you could use crash plan to backup to a friends computer as well as their hosted service. Also if you start now it wont take you three weeks to backup your collection like it did mine (200gb)! I also use TimeMachine for local backups, that has also worked great for me. I used to use Mozy but switched when they changed their price plans.

Plenty of options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557178)

there are various options available to you. you are smart and ahead of the curve when you realized that optical discs are not a good storage method. Maybe back 10 years ago. Not today. I have CDs and DVDs burned a decade ago that are 100% readable right now, and I have others that were burned less than a year ago and are already degrading. Personally, I blame this on piracy, I honestly believe they've tweaked the "recipe" for the disks to make them degrade faster.

anyways, online storage is something to consider, you can setup a Gmail or Live email account and get gigs of free storage right there.

If I was in your position, my backup method would be 2 fold. I would have an external hard drive or even a NAS box with RAID capability. Save the data on your timemachine box, but also back it up to the NAS box using RAID with parity, this requires more drives, but can recover any data lost if one drive fails. That done, I'd find a method to store it online,either paid or free, I prefer free. So I'd create a gmail or hotmail account, use a compression utility to compress and archive all the files, splitting them up into 5-10 meg pieces, then email them all to myself.

This way you have at least 3 locations with your data.

Re:Plenty of options (2)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557386)

No, blame it on the price of DVD blanks. When they were a couple bucks a pop the quality was better than they are at under a quarter. But you can still buy good media if you look. Anything important I burn to two quality name brand media and make sure they are a different brand and tech (dye color). That way if one is a bad batch or the dye doesn't hold up the other copy should be OK.

And for now all of my photos are still on the RAID and the backup drive. One set of the DVDs is in a fireproof box, probably should put the other one off site but haven't done that step yet.

rdiff-backup (1)

steevven1 (1045978) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557180)

Use rdiff-backup to create incremental backups. This allows you to go "back in time" to any older version of the backup in the future if you discover some of your files became corrupt on the laptop, and potentially got backed up multiple times as corrupt files. Store one backup on one external hard drive which you update frequently (you can decide how big...I imagine 2 TB would suffice until it's time to replace the HDD anyway) and the other on another external hard drive, which you keep in a different geographical location (maybe keep it at your parents' house and update it each time you visit them).

Re:rdiff-backup (1)

steevven1 (1045978) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557224)

Oh, and I forgot to add: It doesn't really matter that hard drives don't last forever. Just make sure you buy a new one every so often and move the WHOLE rdiff-backup (keeping all increments) to the new HDD. I imagine you won't spend more than $250 every 5 years to keep this whole system operating VERY safely.

Proven longterm storage (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557188)

Film - good old silver based film. 100+ years.

Long-Term-Backup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557198)

Forget long-term-backup (as in years and years and decades and decades).

Create some archive that is mirrored (at best offsite in case your house burns) and copy that every five years to "recent technology". Done.

Why should you bother with some super-solution (that will be outdated anyway regardless of what companies claim) if your collection keeps growing with the years (which means you somehow "use" it, even if you "only" add new stuff and never look at the old things). Also, your non-mirrored collection will die in a fire, flooding, whatever if you have not stored it somewhere else.

Therefore I suggest: Forget long-term storing. Have a copy of your pictures nicely sorted on some normal computer, make a backup once in a while (over the net or by burning a DVD of everything every year or every time you add something big), and have an off-site-backup "somewhere". Just move with the technology and the stuff will always be recent and you will never, ever have to bother if your collection can still be read with that ages old hardware in your cellar.
Storage is cheap and will only get cheaper, the internet is fast and will only get faster. Why bother to use something really elaborate, expensive, that is not that reliable in the end (for various reasons, some mentioned above, many not) anyway?

Nas Drive, with offsite backup (2)

Yo Grark (465041) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557202)

I invested in a NAS Drive which has Raid 0 AND I back it up once a month offsite through the web through an FTP script.

It was cheap (under $500 including upgrading my whole infrastructure to gigibit) and it's the "set it and forget it" variety.

Best part, it's scalable to whatever drives come out....wait that's a lie, that was my original plan but I just learned yesterday it's limited to 2GB drives (SCREW YOU SPARC!). Go with the more expensive expandable 4 bay x86 ones and it might push up the costs but worth it in my opinion.

As a happy bonus, I now get my FAMILY to backup their videos and photos to it as well over the internet in the same "set it and forget it" way.

Lastly, Once a year, I give a set of DVD's (Dual Layer) to my lawyer to add to the Will. Overkill yes, but hey you never know.

Yo Grark

Re:Nas Drive, with offsite backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557470)

Uh, SPARC isn't the 2GB limit. Haven't you heard Sun was the one to develop the "you'd have to boil the oceans to exceed it" 128bit filesystem that runs on SPARC?

Re:Nas Drive, with offsite backup (2)

jowilkin (1453165) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557492)

Raid 0 is a real bad idea for backup, if one drive fails, your whole array goes down. A NAS is a good idea IMO, but you should not be using Raid 0. A better solution would be to use something like Raid 6 (which allows 2 drives to fail without loss of data [] ).

Re:Nas Drive, with offsite backup (1)

nakhla (68363) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557496)

RAID0 doesn't buy you any type of assurance in the event of a drive failure, though. If one drive goes you lose everything. It'd be better to use RAID1 to get data mirroring. That way, if one drive dies you have a second one as a spare.

Re:Nas Drive, with offsite backup (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557514)

I bought a QNAP TS-109 about 5 years ago, it worked great as a central storage for everything.... until... its power supply went flaky and couldn't handle the drive anymore. RAID doesn't do you much good when the drive controller goes down. Worse, the TS-109 kept files in some kind of format that was unreadable by Ubuntu, OS-X, Windows, and my local Linux Guru's hobby farm of machines - could see the partitioning, but the data partition was unreadable. Months later, after grieving the loss of 1TB of files, I reformatted the drive and it works fine, but the TS-109 can now only manage to power internal laptop drives, the bigger desktop drives are too much for it.

Now I have a pair of 2TB external USB drives, one is live and powered 24-7, the other is powered up periodically to back up the live one. These drives can plug into virtually any host (including a TS-109) and be read, the live drive is currently hooked up to an ASUS eee nettop running XP, more than sufficient to serve media files, very cool and quiet, and files written by vanilla XP are probably going to be supported for some time to come.

There are better things to do than what I'm doing, mirroring to the cloud comes to mind, when a hurricane approaches, I copy the "core" stuff out to storage on our ISP.

Re:Nas Drive, with offsite backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557516)

Either you're an idiot or a troll. RAID0 offers no data protection, and in fact severely reduces the the safety of the array, since a single drive failure renders the array destroyed. Additionally, I can only assume you mean 2TB drives and ARM, not 2GB and SPARC.

I second this (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557584)

Get a good consumer NAS for storage that can mirror. Then backup offsite (cloud storage or Blu Ray disks). If you lost your backups, create new ones from your NAS. If you lose your NAS, use your offsite backup. Cheap and elegant.

Re:Nas Drive, with offsite backup (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557590)

I invested in a NAS Drive which has Raid 0

FYI, RAID 0 isn't very safe.

Kodak Paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557208)

All the photos from when I was a kid are still around, and that was a LONG time ago!

Re:Kodak Paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557412)

They may be around you, but it's unlikely. Photos do not store photons. They work by a chemical process that photons play a role in.

Bad idea (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557212)

Is our best option right now to pick up two hard drives, back up all our pictures and videos to the first, and then use a 3rd party app to mirror that drive to the second just in case one of them craps out?

What happens if that first drive craps out in the middle of the mirroring? Now you have NO backups. The only thing to save you here is if you still have everything you've ever taken on its original location, your primary computer.

Best bet? Two external drives. Back from your PC to one drive. Then repeat the backup on the second drive. Every so often, back up to optical media.

I set up an FTP site that contains all of my child's pictures that we want to keep. My parents hit the ftp site and download anything new. This adds a remote backup as well.

Right now, I'd go with double hard drive backup (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557216)

You have your main backup drive, and then occasionally back it up to the secondary drive. Since you are not using the 2nd drive as much, as long as you keep it in a safe place (not knocked around, good temp & humidity control), it should last for a long time. Using SSDs could also be an option, but others should chime in as I'm not very conversant with the state of tech in regards to SSDs.

Online solutions are an option, but then you are at the mercy of the company that is storing that data. Not a bad idea for a 2nd/3rd backup. But this all depends on how important all this photos & videos are to you.

Re:Right now, I'd go with double hard drive backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557348)

Good idea, but keep the backup drive unplugged, or off premises in a bank vault.

Re:Right now, I'd go with double hard drive backup (1)

cHALiTO (101461) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557394)

I was going to suggest SSDs too. What's the life expectancy for SD cards?

NAS with backup (1)

Wandering_Burr (730075) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557226)

I considered the online cloud solution but for long term i just wasn't comfortable with that. I bought a NAS product that mirrors one drive to a second. Many of these offer backup to a remote NAS drive that runs as a croned rsync across the internet. For my dollars this makes the most sense. Optical data is a pain and degrades over time. My setup I just swap out the drives as they fail and they get re-mirrored. But the backup to the backup is to sync to an external drive once a month or so and keep that offsite. My biggest challenge is having all the computers in the house access the same file set without danger of corruption. I just let my wife edit files on her local machine then once every few weeks copy her file set onto the NAS. When you get to the part of the project about how to best keep metadata about your photos come back-i'd love to have help in that area as it is a total mess in the marketplace. Congrats on the baby!

Print'em. (1)

bryanp (160522) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557230)

Realistically the best long term storage solution is proper film prints. I have pictures from my parents and grandparents that are 60 and 70 years old that are still very viewable. Funny how that works.

But to answer the question you've actually asked, I'd probably sort them all out on a hard drive and keep that synched up to some online system, be it cloud or otherwise. The goal being that you can occasionally move the home archive to a new a nice new drive once in a while, and if you lose that you can just download them all again.

Or were you wanting "Buy this hard drive, install that software, and sync to this other online service." ?

crashplan online backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557234)

highly recommended. They have an option to backup to a friend's computer, for free.
backing up to a remote location is so much safer than having backups in your house.

CrashPlan (4, Informative)

heypete (60671) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557236)

I'm a fan of CrashPlan -- it can handle backups between different local media (e.g. from one hard disk to another), between one computer and another, between your computer and a friend's computer, and between your computer and their online storage service. In all cases, your data is encrypted so that the other party (be it the second computer, your friend, or the online service) has no access to your data.

One of the features I like is that the software does regular integrity checks on the backed-up data. Still, if the original data is corrupted, the software will dutifully back up that corrupted data, so that won't help you much.

If they're important family photos, I'd use keep the files on at least two local drives, as well as remote backup using something like CrashPlan. If you're particularly concerned, you might keep the photos on Amazon S3 -- they claim their storage infrastructure is highly durable and reliable, which could be beneficial.

Re:CrashPlan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557466)


Crashplan is a really nifty service. It also sends you emails with information about the data that was backed up (to both the local and remote servers). The security around the data leaving your machine (for the remote servers) is also pretty cool. Essentially the data first gets encrypted and then sent out on the wire.

The added plus is that it works on linux, windows & mac. Woo Hoo.

I have crashplan constantly syncing to a local storage server at home and also to Crashplan Central.

Re:CrashPlan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557468)

Crashplan is right on -- I have 300g in the cloud, and I have two offsite drives with two different friends that I sync. It's the best system out there, and relatively cheap considering the cost of drives.

Many baskets for important eggs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557240)

Multiple external hard drives are a good start. Additionally a home file server so that a backup of the files are on an active file system would be a nice touch. Then to finish it off get some free disk space from google and upload them there also. For syncing to external hard drives and/or home file server take a look at Syncback free edition, it works pretty well.

Online Backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557250)

We use Backblaze for our online backup solution. It has been fantastic and saved my data once already. It's very reasonably price, but there are many players in that market so you should shop around. The number one drawback, it takes a long time for the initial backup to complete. It helps to bring your laptop to work and utilize the upload bandwidth offered.

Re:Online Backup (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557430)

I'm not a customer but I'm thinking about it.

I have a workstation and a sheevaplug both of which are always on.
I run rsync on my data directory periodically between the two.

I also have an offline external drive that I keep in my fireproof safe.
Every couple months I'll plug it in and run an rsync.

This has been working fairly well and isn't that tedious, but I don't have off-site backup.
This is why I'm thinking about BackBlaze.

I was reading about BackBlaze and some of their hardware designs. I like how they do things. They're small and have low overhead.
Time to look into it again.

Love and Tender Care (1)

X-Power (1009277) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557262)

That is the solution.

It doesnt matter how you choose to backup your data.
What matters is that you dont just put it there and forget it.

If this was me, I would get 5-6 drives in a nice little NAS box with a RAID that doesnt let a dead disk ruin the whole thing.
Look over the drives and replace them as time goes by.

Every few years, buy a new NAS box to make sure you have newest chipsets etc.

Oral History (0)

itchythebear (2198688) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557274)

Forget this whole notion of printing pictures or burning videos onto DVDs. Just pass on the memories via word of mouth. Bed time stories, campfire songs, etc... The best part about this is by the time your great-great-grandkids start reminiscing about you and your family, (as far as they know) you'll be 10ft tall nobel prize winners who vanquished dragons and discovered the moon.

Oh for chrissakes (3, Insightful)

slaker (53818) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557282)

Drives break. Accidents happen. DVDs degrade. Consumer grade storage just isn't a good idea for anything long term.
Pay for Mozy or Crashplan or some other commercial service. Your stuff can go on whatever ridiculous combination of disk arrays and tape backups they use for you and anyone else who is paying the $50 a year or whatever it is to keep your stuff available. This is by far the least hassle of any available option.

External RAID enclosure + CrashPlan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557286)

Similar situation here. Since my son was born 20 months ago, we've amassed nearly 100G of photos, and somewhere between 300 and 400G of video. Currently, we have a Drobo with two 1.5TB drives in it (expandable on the fly for up to 4 3TB drives) and we back that up online with CrashPlan. Cost of CrashPlan is roughly $6/month for up to 10 computers for unlimited storage if you buy a 4 year plan.

Online Backup - Carbonite (1)

alphax45 (675119) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557294)

Carbonite seems to be a good service and it's not expensive at all

Optical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557296)

Optical media is not all that bad for storage, especially if you get high quality media and make more than one backup.

I've recently cleaned out my computer closet, and in the process of getting rid of about 500 old / outdated burned CDs and DVDs my OC nature had me backing up as many of them as I could before discarding the old discs (90% of them were CDs and hard drive space is abundant..)

I was genuinely surprised how many of them were readable without problems given the things I've heard. Only discs with actual scratches on the media where I could see light come through holding it up to my monitor had read problems. Luckily even for some of those, I had multiple copies and I noticed my image extractor (ImgBurn) was perfectly happy to have me swap 2 dirty scratched up discs back and forth in the reader to overcome any unreadable sectors from a single disc. Any disc that was kept in good storage conditions (in a sleeve, out of sunlight) read back perfectly, and that includes my very first burned CD from back in '97.

I'd say doing online storage (either raw file storage or image hosting like picasa), combined with live storage on your hard drive, and a once a year optical backup (don't worry about re-copying your old discs, just make a new copy once a year) would be a pretty safe bet.

AGAIN??!! (2)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557308)

Cloud (offsite) + NAS + RAID + Backup drive. Seriously, why does this question in various forms keep getting posted on Slashdot? I'm sick of it.

Hard Drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557312)

Even hard drives have bit-rot. However they're large, cheep, fast and offer random access. If you value your time at all an array of external hard drives is really the only modern answer.

You need at least two, one is a backup of the other. You should have one on site and one off site (like in a safety deposit box). Every so often (a month or two? What can you tolerate loosing?) you should swap the drives around and copy the stuff that was not on the remote drive to it. If you have family members with HSI you might use your family/friend as your backup instead and have it online (however that won't save you from area wide disasters or user error/virus infections; weigh your risks).

This is the important part; you backups are always /active/. You must validate that they can still be read, and proactively repair them. Every few years you'll need to replace the drives as they near their end of life; at the very least you should fully re-write the material that's on them to refresh the magnetic pattern. This is a great time to upgrade to larger drives.

Hmm (0)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557316)

Nothing really for video outside of the old fashioned stuff will last. Current stuff who knows, but it generally breaks down fast under 15 years get sticky and the recording surface will bind to the backing. Old style developed frame-by-frame 9/10mm video films can have the same problem, but generally wear better if stored properly. Stuff that was made in the 50's is viewable now with little trouble, same with reeled audio. So that's 60 years. Printing and storing is the best right now, as long as it's in a proper environment. I mean I've got pictures that are pushing 80 years old. They've been kept in a cool, dry place that's dark. The real problem is, is that photography paper has changed a lot in the last 10 years, so finding good photopaper will be the challenge.

Electronic stuff? Well CD's/DVD's will degrade, you also have the chance of having the fungus eat the discs for you, even if you do get more than 10 years out of them. Electronic WORM-state will last 10 years, regardless of whether it's SLC/MLC based.

Electronic storage is still in it's infancy, it'll easily be another 10-20 years before we find a good long-term storage medium by my guess, especially since we're getting close to the age of infinite storage redundancy. Well with that I suppose you could always build a NAS-raid5 array.

Re:Hmm (1)

cmtuan (897618) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557508)

I like slides for long term archival. They can be viewed or scanned and you don't have to worry about color conversion. Also they last a long time if stored properly. The color will fade a bit after 50 years, but it's still visible. If you need really long term archival, maybe oil on canvas?

Multi-step plan (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557320)

1) Never use DVDs. Ever. They eat data like no tomorrow.
2) Guard against bit rot. Make sure you have checksums of all files so you know when your media degrades.
3) Maintain at least three separate copies in at least two different locations.
4) Ideally, have offline storage, as well. Check on it twice a year, but else: do not touch!
5) As of today, git-annex is your best bet to automate all of the above. Make sure you use the most current version and prepare for a somewhat bumpy road if you don't know git, yet.

personal experience (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557322)

What I've done is keep them on a RAID array, and back them up to external media routinely. This has worked well for 7+ years, so far.

However, the better pictures often just 'disappear' in the gigs of files. Knowing which is which is not always so clear. What I plan to do is go through at some point and have the better ones printed out for safe-keeping in a physical photo album (like my parents did, and their parents). This does not really address the 'video' situation, however. We mostly just keep those on the original DV tapes, or encoded on the same system the holds the photos.

Professionally, I'm faced with the same problem, and have seen people implement the solution in a similar fashion: lots and lots of storage with backups to secondary storage.

Backup the backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557332)

1. Print; if within your means, print more and give it away to those who matter.
2. Backup using CD, DVD or external hard disk. Always have at least two sources of backup media...
3. If the assets are important to you, do a backup of your existing content to newer media (disks, external drives etc) very 6 months or so. This has to be a conscientious effort.
4. Backing up data on one media and expecting it to work 15 to 20 years is risky.

Already a good solution (1)

tofu2go (727555) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557364)

Disc media, e.g. DVDs, are not necessarily as reliable as people may think. Your time machine is actually already a very good solution. The likelihood that both your hard drive and your time machine would fail at the same time is low, and one can be used to restore the other. The only thing that might improve your backup is adding off-site backup; for that, you could add backup to a cloud service.

With regards to a cloud service, you need not choose a service that is explicitly about backup either. It could be a service that is aimed at media sharing (photo + video), and in this way you could use the service as not only a means of backup, but also for sharing those photos and videos with friends and family.

Jungle Disk and Amazon S3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557366)

I've got gigs and gigs of pics stored in Amazon S3.
It looks just like drive J: and their rates are very low (something ;like 15c per gig per month).
It also runs an automatic backup on each of my machines every night.

Compared to an onsite NAS (no use in a fire ) or DVD/tape (who ever actually keeps them up to date ?) it's a piece of cake.

to the cloud! (1)

chegosaurus (98703) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557372)

Stick them on an HDD until Google or Amazon start offering to keep everything for you for free. The more I think about it, the less I think anyone will keep any data at home in the near future.

Re:to the cloud! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557518)

Stick them on an HDD until Google or Amazon start offering to keep everything for you for free. The more I think about it, the less I think anyone will keep any data at home in the near future.

I just don't understand this thinking. You can't solve the "how to back it up problem" so you just assume Amazon and Google will solve it for you? They have the same problem of storage, backup, off-site storage, etc. Who's to say giving your private data to a big company will make it more reliable?

Flickr for Offsite Backup (1)

TREE (9562) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557374)

You can very quickly generate a lot of data with pictures of your kids. I have on the order of 80 GB with two kids under 5.

You definitely want multiple layers of protection, both locally and remote. For remote storage of pictures and videos, Flickr can't be beat price-wise. It is *unlimited* storage for $25 per year. And you can always retrieve the original file, and there are tons of APIs and clients available.

It's also useful for sharing photos and videos, with a strong security model that lets you control who has access to pictures of your kids.

Flickr does have a 500 MB per video file limit for uploads, and a 90 second limit for playback (you can download the original longer than 90 seconds, but no one else can view more than 90 seconds), but splitting videos up can be scripted with tools like ffmpeg, of course.

The key, though, is to *always* have more than one accessible copy of the originals in different physical locations. (i.e. two hard drives in your house doesn't count)

I also use an online backup solution. Look for unlimited storage for a reasonable price. I settled on CrashPlan+ Unlimited for $50/year, but there are a lot of options out there, now.

Multiple copies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557406)

Digital copies will be the easiest to transfer from one medium to another, copy them to a drive and make a backup. As someone else pointed out, remind yourself to update the medium on which you transfer the files on an occasional basis in order to ensure compatibility with current technology and hedge against hardware degradation.

Time vs. Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557416)

Pay for an online storage solution or two. Secure home storage takes a lot of work, and while you may be able to keep it up for a while, there will eventually be a time when you are too lazy to take care of a problem (say with RAID, for example, a disk goes bad, and you don't replace it right away, and then another disk goes bad, and you lose everything (or a third disk in the case of RAID 6)).

If you can trust your future self to take care of such problems, I'd go with a couple of home NAS (with RAID) products. Get 4 hard drives, 2 (different) 2-bay devices, set them up with RAID 1 (this way you'll have a definite way of knowing if/when a disk goes bad). Make sure they aren't both mounted at the same time (human error is a major cause of lost data). Replace the drives when they go bad (be sure not to get all the drives from the same production batch), and upgrade your NAS devices when they get old.

Redundancy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557432)

TimeMachine for daily back-ups. Every couple weeks everything is backed up to another external drive which is put in the safe (HQ gun firesafe). No guarantee it will survive, but it is added protection from fire/ theft. A lot of the pictures we like are uploaded to FB or blogs. Others are emailed to family. They are not HQ but they are something.

Yes, might loose some in ABC disaster, but it is far better odds than in past generations. Despite era of information, I'm not concerned about saving every scrape of my life.

Lots of extant copies of DVD/BluRay (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557458)

My answer for video is slightly different than pictures, somewhat, but basically, the best guarantee that the files will still be around is to have lots of copies, and they should never all be bad at the same time (at least, with some maintenance).

Got a home video (or collection) you want to save? Make a DVD or BluRay of the video (or collection of shorter videos). Give a couple copies to mom and dad. Give a couple copies to any sisters/brothers/aunts/uncles/cousins you may have. Give a copy to your best friends (you were gonna anyhow, right?). Of course, those burned copies might only be good for 5 to 10 years. Keep copies on a giant external HDD (USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, or eSATA). You can fit quite a few movies on a 1 or 2 TB drive.

Of course, none of those will last forever. Plan on copying the HDD once every 2 or 3 years to a new drive. On your kids 8th or 10th birthday, re-copy all the movies to new DVDs, BluRays, or whatever media is current by then (10 years from now, optical drives might be as common as floppy drives [that is to say, almost impossible to find], so of course, move the copies to whatever's current before it's too late . . . this is also why I laugh at the idea of a 100 year DVD disc - great, you've got a perfectly good DVD, now try to find a drive or player to read it in 20 or 30 years).

There's a reason the bible, and many other texts, which have at one time or another have been tried to be suppressed, still exist - not because of the durability of parchment or paper, so much, as copies, copies, copies.

That's true of pictures of course, too, but pictures are more practical for saving with online backup systems (good luck backing up a 4GB DVD home movie online - it can be done, but might take 3 days per movie).

Don't wipe the flash cards. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557472)

Time Machine is great until something goes wrong and you find out that your entire iPhoto Library never got backed up at all (as happened to a coworker of mine). In other words, don't trust Time Machine as your only backup solution unless you have inspected the Time Machine backup volume on another machine and confirmed that everything you think is in there actually is.

For photos and video clips, the simplest backup is to never delete the originals. Flash is cheap. Memories are priceless. Never wipe your flash cards. The odds of both your hard drive and a flash card failing at the same time are pretty minimal, and the odds of your hard drive, a flash card, and your Time Machine backup failing are close enough to zero that it probably isn't worth worrying about. For added security, back them up to an online photo sharing site.

For non-media files, since they are usually fairly small, you can probably keep a backup copy on a flash drive.

Of course, you should take my paranoia with a grain of salt. After a hard drive crash cost me a fair amount of work on a novel I was writing, I've been rather insane about keeping backups:

  • A fireproof hard drive attached to an Airport Extreme stores my Time Machine backups.
  • Important data files are backed up periodically (by hand) as I modify them to either my home file server or a flash drive in my pocket, depending on whether I'm online.
  • Media (photos, video) are also kept on their original flash cards or tapes (no wiping).
  • Media files are also backed up by uploading them to my home server for photo sharing.
  • Every night, my home server automatically uploads a copy of any newly uploaded media files to a second web server in another state for faster web sharing and even more backup.

So at any given point in time, pretty much every photo that matters to me exists on at least one flash card and four different hard drives in two different states, one of which is in a fireproof enclosure. I'm protected in the event of nuclear armageddon. Are you? :-D

mod 04 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557478)

rivalry. While but it's not a would mar BSD's community at moans and groans resulted in the don't be afraid all over America users. BSD/OS The public eye: server crashes won't vote in if desired, 3e downward 5piral. don't be afraid community. The variations on the took precedence

Online is the way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557494)

I am a big fan of online backups. Your costs are trivial and the host company takes care of all of your infrastructure worries. The main concern to have (which can and probably will be an annoyance) is if the company that you choose goes out of business so here would be my advice.

1. Choose a "big" provider, Amazon comes to mind, but Microsoft has an online storage offering and even Google is supposedly coming out with one. I am sure that there are others as well and none of these is in danger of going away anytime soon.
2. Pay attention, odds are if/when whatever host you choose does go out of business you will probably have some warning be it a letter, email or something else. This will give you an opportunity to move your backup to a new provider. Remember, loosing a backup is not a big deal, as long as you know about it and immediately take steps to solve the issue.
3. Archive, assuming you really want to ensure that you save these pictures, you can never have too many forms of backup. I would periodically archive your whole collection as well to some physical medium either a hard drive, SSD, DVD, or anything else that you want to use. This ensures your data against unforeseeable occurrences or even accidental deletion on your part. I would never entrust important data to just one backup, in essence you should have a backup of your backup.

Hope this helps.

All the above. (1)

ninjackn (1424235) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557500)

It's always a balance of cost, security, and access. I say back it (all) up with multiple hard drives, duplicating the drives every so many year with new harddrives. Also copy select files to share online (which also serves as a back up). Finally take a look at the sandisk memoryvault.

Amazon S3 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557504)

If you're going for the really long term and want ways to share with others, I'd take a look at Amazon S3. It's relatively inexpensive and they even have a free tier of a couple gigs for a year so there's almost no downside to trying it. It's easy to upload (just create a bucket, select your movie and go) and fast to download, as long as Grandma's not on dialup. Secure, easy to configure privileges, and very reliable/durable. Heck, they guarantee 99.999999999% durability now; you're not ever going to match that without building your own concrete bunker and co-locating on Mars.

The only two downsides, neither of which I think is a dealbreaker. One is that if you're really into the photo thing, you're probably going to want some sort of tagging/categorizing system. A possible solution to this is to use Gallery3 and the Amazon S3 plugin (run Gallery on your local server, store your photos in the S3 cloud.)

The other issue is that while S3 is relatively inexpensive for bandwidth and storage, it does add up over years, especially when it's so easy to put stuff up there. The best advice I'd give you here is don't save everything. Really, pick the best photo of Johnny's piano recital, not all 794 that you took. I have a friend who's wife is a compulsive saver of such things, and it's just sad... they have a full basement of memories in the form of photos and scrapbooks and old school papers that nobody will ever look at, because all the crap is mixed in with the real memories. Frankly, I would target no more than 100 photos/kid/year as an absolute maximum.

Another vote for printing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557522)

I lost the 4 years of my daughters' life in pictures (and she's 8 now). I had thousands of pictures (first kid and all) burned to CD and DVD. I had an external drive. I had raid 1 hard drives - mirrored drives, identical in every way (manufacturer - bought 4 months apart -, drivers, etc). I had 4 layers of protection.

My primary HDD drive died suddenly. Loudly. I immediately began to back up the second drive until the replacement drive came. During the backup, that one died in the same way. Nothing was saved. I went for the external drive... which had been moved to a box by my wife. A box with a set of speakers. Speakers with earth based magnets. I had to use a screwdriver to separate the HDD from the speaker. Toasted.

My new drives arrived and set to work restoring the DVD's (my latest backup). All of them were corrupt. I don't know how, as they were less than 4 months old - but all were unreadable. Wouldn't even load. I grabbed my CD's. All had deteriorated. The image files are there, but they are unreadable.

My sister in law brought over her 'ibook' something or other albums about a week later. She produced albums of her kid (same age as my daughter), had them printed and sent to her. She makes a photo album about every 3 months, pays about $20, and has it sent to her. It's professional looking, permanent, and reliable. PRINT 'EM. (Should also help cut down on the 500 pictures of your kid farting / smiling).

What I use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557524)

I use MOZY and like it pretty well. I was running it on a Macbook and switched to a Win-7 PC (no innuendos intended here) I was able to switch the service over to my new computer (and all the files with it) pretty easily. It costs a bit (I think it was $150-ish / yr - don't remember exactly), but I'm glad I have it.

Always active hard drives (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557526)

skip the DVD world. You don't have any 5.25" drives anymore, the disks are useless. you always want a solution that you can simply plug into any computer forever.

right now, a thirty year-old IDE drive with a 10 year-old IDE controller card will still work on a modern motherboard.

today, what you want is the pair of drives that you mentioned -- in external enclosures with SATA & USB interfaces. SATA will be around and supported for another 20 years. USB likely for longer than 40 years from today. You'll use the SATA today, for writing and such, and the USB as the fail-safe.

down the road, think every 10 years, you'll buy a controller card and stick it in a closet. nothing more. so when SATA is no longer on modern motherboards, you'll buy the whatever2SATA controller/adapter/dongle. You'll then have another 20 years to care about copying your stuff to a then-new drive. But you'll want to anyway, because the 3TB drives you get now will be full by then, and you'll want a 3EB drive to quickly expand your library.

It's all about retrieval. A real, live, active drive makes that a breeze.

Offsite! (1)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557528)

Automatic offsite backup services like Crashplan [] , Mozy [] , Carbonite [] etc ensures your data will survive both media failure, theft and fire. You may also choose to keep a local copy of your media, because downloading hundreds of gigs over the net takes a while. But: I'd first put my money into one of these providers, and if I felt I still have too much money then I'd consider a NAS/Time Capsule kinda solution as a supplement.

And never, ever, ever exclusively store data you care about on DVDs and external hard drives.

For the first time in history, our pictures and videos can live forever - completely without quality degradation. It's amazing. And it's disappointing how few people take opportunity of this.

(Of course, you should take care to double-check your new computer can play back whatever media formats you have used - and convert if necessary. )

Don't plan on keeping the same media (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557532)

Whenever something like this comes up, lots of people go straight to thinking about which media will survive for 100 or 1000 years, but I don't think that's the right line of thinking. First, even if you buy a DVD that theoretically *can* last 100 years, that doesn't mean that your particular disk won't fail after 5 years. You have the possibility of improper storage, physical damage, manufacturing defects, or just... whatever. Random failure.

Mostly, treat it like other data. Create a backup plan, and make sure your backup plan is one that you'll actually stick to. People constantly come up with backup plans, do the backup once, forget, and then 2 years later their hard drive dies and they've lost everything in the last 2 years. In order to be a real backup, you need to keep backing up on a regular basis. The backup needs to be on a separate physical device, and you should periodically check the backup to make sure it's working, and that your backup copy hasn't been corrupted.

Ideally, you'll periodically send a backup offsite. This protects you from things like fires, floods, or other disasters where your entire house might be ruined. If you're writing stuff to a hard drive or DVD, periodically buy new backup media and send the old one to your parents or something. Or if the required storage is small enough, buy an online backup plan.

But the point here is, don't create 1 copy somewhere and expect that that copy on that medium will be around in 50 years. Instead, plan on moving the data to new media as newer/faster/larger media become available, and don't expect any medium to last more than 5 years or so. You'll get a new computer with a bigger hard drive, and you'll move the data to a new hard drive. The key here is to make sure that you don't lose your copy by accident, so keep good backups!

Long Term Data Archive (1)

dentin (2175) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557536)

I've been doing this for a long time, and have settled on the concept of a long term data archive for this purpose. It contains approximately half a terabyte of data that I consider to be 'important', and a few hundred megabytes of data that I consider 'very important'.

The first thing to be aware of is that a data archive is useless if it's not readily available 24/7. You don't back up data by putting it on tapes and throwing it in a box in the closet. Putting tapes in a closet is useful, but it should be considered a 'catastrophic recovery option to be used as a last resort'.

The main machine that houses the 'live' archive contains two large drives, each with a full copy of an operating system and the data archive. The currently booting disk is considered current; its archive is live. The second drive is an older copy of the archive, and is generally only a few days out of date. Rsync via atq automatically mirrors the archive and operating system to the second drive every few nights.

The backup machine has a similar setup, but it has older versions of the data archive. I update each archive on the backup machine every two months, staggered so there's always a copy of the archive about a month old, and always a copy about two months old. Having older versions of the archive available helps in the rare situations where you blow away something you shouldn't have. The backup machine should be off site if you can manage it.

For the 'very important' data, I keep copies on a handful of external machines and maintain them either via revision control or rsync. In the 'catastrophic backup' regime, I keep decommissioned disks containing old copies of the archive off site, usually in the hands of reliable friends and family.

It should be noted that I've found it important to run a nightly MD5 or SHA-256 checksum of every file in the archive, even if you don't do anything with it. (I actually compare against previous values, but that's not the important part.) This seems to greatly extend the lifetime of disks and reduce disk failure; I don't have a good explanation for this, but I suspect that reading from the bulk of the disk periodically allows the drive to identify and rewrite refresh questionable sectors before the data is unreadable. The disk need not go bad or have a catastrophic failure for data to become unreadable; mechanical aging and magnetic decoherence can simply put a sector above the ability of the FEC in the drive to recover, if left too long.

I don't use revision control on the bulk of the data in the archive. 95+% of the archive is considered long term read-only storage. Your usage may be different, and you may choose to use revision control on the entire archive. That doesn't really change the nature of the backup process though.

Duplications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557550)

My advice is to cover several bases cheaply. Namely:
1. Get a couple of external drives, backup your pictures and video to those. Keep one locally in case your drive crashes and leave one at your parents' place in case something happens to your home.

2. Consider cloud storage. I know that's a dirty term on /. but it's a very easy and cheap way to keep backups. And, since you have external drives too, you're not relying solely on the cloud being there tomorrow. Services like Ubuntu One let you easily publish photos for your friends/family.

3. Print off your favourite photos. DVDs degrade, hard drives fail. A photo stuck in a physical album will last decades with no checks or maintaining. If you don't have a high end printer most big-name chops will take digital photos and print them for you.

Multiple Solutions is Best (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557554)

I would recommend mixing the media types because you really can't rely on just one solution. I personally would go with a media server with a few 2TB drives and then an Internet-based solution like Carbonite. They offer unlimited storage, but you are limited to one computer and can only backup items on internal drive space (hence the media server with internal HDDs). Carbonite doesn't allow you to delete from your computer but keep a copy on their service (not longer than a month, anyways), which is why I say you should have a few 2TB drives.

Good question (1)

captainzilog2 (2436430) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557568)

I use multiple media for backup. I have a primary backup which is a RAID 1 1T drive. Periodically that is backed up to a eSATA external drive that is then rotated off-site (my mom's house). I also make periodic backups to optical (blueray). I also use SHA ckecksums to verify the integrity of the files when they are copied. I started using the blue ray when I read that the Solar disturbances that are peaking next year could possibly damage flash or magnetic storage. I haven't, but an online service would be an alternative. I am not confident with these, yet.

simple if you're already doing what you should be (1)

PJ6 (1151747) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557578)

Keep them on your main home computer's HDD and set up daily backups to a separate drive (you should be doing this anyway - and forget RAID, it's not a substitute). Integrate the movies into your normal computer usage lifecycle (new machine, new drives, etc) and they will be preserved for as long as you own and use a computer.

If you burn anything to disc, use dvdisaster (1)

WD (96061) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557588)

If part of your archiving strategy is to burn data to disc, make sure that you pad those discs with dvdisaster error-correcting data. Optical discs generally fail in a way where only part of the data is unreadable. Without extra error-correcting data, then those parts are gone forever. However, with dvdisaster, you'll:
1) Know when a disc is failing before it's too late
2) Be able to recover the data
3) Be able to migrate the data to fresh media []

Film negatives and vinyl records (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557594)

See subject.

USB Hard Disks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37557600)

The USB Standard is going to be compatible with new hardware for a very long time.

They can store a ton of stuff, only have one cable, and are small and portable.

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