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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:38 am 
I have been talking photos for the past 4 years first 2 years i didnt shoot much, and you can imagine how many photos i have. about 20,000 photos.

Is it better to back up to an external hard drive, or a flash drive.


Currently im backed up to an external but wanting another one just for photos.


What is the biggest FLASH Drive avalable?


thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:10 am 
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A test in a dutch computer magazine af few months ago said that backing up to flash drive isn't the way to go. The best way to back up they said where hard drives and tape. But tape being a professional product, consumers should look into hard drives.

the best way is to back up to a physical different drive that is not in the same location as the main drive.

Also pay attention into what file format your pictures are in and what is currently used. This may sound strange but even big companies and organisations fail to pay attention to this. At my work we must have a digital file of every project we worked on and store that for at least 10 years. But recent investigation has shown that after 10 years we can't open those files no more. Software has changed and doesn't support that file format no more, and the original software doesn't work under the newest OS.

Jpeg and raw should be supported for quite a wile to come but nevertheless it's comthing to pay attention to.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:11 am 
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Schultze, what was the reason given for not using a flash drive? Purely for backups, I don't see any reason they shouldn't be used other than cost/capacity, where hard disks are far better.

Personally I backup to hard disks purely for capacity. There is no other medium that offers the cost/capacity performance combined with a big enough size. I use software to synchronise my main desktop copy to the backup drive.

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 Post subject: got.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:44 pm 
just purchased the Iomega 1TB hard drive. I backed up 99 gigs of pictures. lol


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:05 am 
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popo wrote:
Schultze, what was the reason given for not using a flash drive? Purely for backups, I don't see any reason they shouldn't be used other than cost/capacity, where hard disks are far better.

Personally I backup to hard disks purely for capacity. There is no other medium that offers the cost/capacity performance combined with a big enough size. I use software to synchronise my main desktop copy to the backup drive.


The reason given not to use flas drives where the high failure rate over prelonged periods (even the big brands, and is was a recent test).
And they are not able to contain information over a longer period due to the design of flash drives.
Flash drives use a charge to retain information, the moment this charge runs out the data is lost. Hard drives use magnetical energie to store information, this also deteriates over a given period, but this takes longer than a flash drive to lose all charge.

it was quite a while ago when I came by this subject in school, but basicly it workes like this:
There are to types of flash/ssd memory. One uses permanent power and one is none-powered. The powerd one is like the ram in your computer, it need continious power to retain its information. This can be done by a battery. They other one is a "none-powerd" type, thuis one uses capacitors to store information. A charged capacitor represents a 1, and a un-charged one a 0. But capacitors that are charged lose there charge over a period of time. Although slow, the flash drive will lose all it's information faster than a hard drive does.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:12 am 
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Good point. Not normally a problem as I'd imagine it is pretty slow, but was there any indication of what sort of time scale would be a risk area? Months? Years? Decades?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:19 pm 
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they did not give a time scale, they said that with flash drive the detiriaton could be measured by months and with hard drives in years. But that is not mutch help. And I think the time it takes for information to detiriate on a hard drive or a flash card depends wildly on the design of the drive or card.

With cards there are a number of desing features that are factors in information deteriation. But the ability to retain information for a longer period has nothing to do with the card functioning on a day to day basis.

With hard drives I just don't know. I know that they are better for storage, but with all the new technologies arround to store more info on the same squire cm of disc space, I expect they are becomeing more fragile.

You can put some of these things to the test yourself. If your computer still has a floppy drive, search you house if you can find a old floppy disc, and try to read out the data on the disc. Mine stopped working after being in a box on the attic for 5 years.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:31 pm 
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I have 5.25 inch floppy disks from 10 years ago. Many, but not all, are still readable. But it seems to be degradation of the media itself, not just the data fading, as even a format does not restore full functionality.

I think hard disks are good for much more than years. While it is true the technologies to increase the data density results in less definite bits, the error correction in them is quite strong too. I don't know if flash does similar.

Personally I don't worry about the lifespan of hard disks. In general, after say 3 years or so, the capacities have moved on so far it is not economic to maintain the smaller drives. I often update to newer sizes, copy the data off them, give them a good wipe and sell them on for whatever little they're worth. As such I don't run disks to their deaths unless it happens early.

Back on flash, I wonder if fading is a potential hidden problem for SSDs in future. Or will the drive's wear levelling essentially keep the data refreshed throughout its lifetime?

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Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:28 pm 
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Go buy yourself an external 500-1000GB Hard Drive, if your computer has E-Sata, get one with an e-sata AND usb port, if not, one with just a usb port will be fine. Unless you plan on leaving this thing unplugged for the best part of 20 years, it'll be fine.


The rate of data loss due to basically - the hard drive / ssd / flash drive not being turned on is totally useless.

For starters, they are NOT archival backup mediums. Go grab some Tape drive if you want it to last 10+ Years.

Also who has a hard drive not switched on for 3 years? Plus We have plenty hard drives we've found in our computer shop that are WELL over 3 years old! (Some are less than 500MB...) and they still worked...

SSD's well if you have one I'm doubting its gonna be unpowered for any more than a month (if you go on holiday) so thats not an issue. Plus I'm sure they'd last more than a couple months.

Flash drives, well I've found some from years back, some 64, and 128MB ones, all the data is intact and working...

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:57 pm 
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well, I myself are more worried about some rare movies I have on dvd than the photo's on my hard drive. I tend to switch computer systems once every tree years, so I doubt that I ever will see a failing hard disc.

But as I said, the technical part is what they tought me in school, and you can overcome a lot of these by making a good design. The rest was part of the article i've read, but again who doesn't switch drives every 3 to 5 years

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