Old 10-18-2009, 05:44 AM   #1
jdirelan87
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Default Flash Drives for long term media storage?

All,

I've been looking for new ways to back up my photos. Large capacity (64GB) flash drives have caught my attention. I have some experience with flash drives, but have never used them for anything other than temporary storage. I'm not the most tech savvy guy, so I was wondering if anybody here knew if flash drives are a good fit for long term storage (i.e., does the information corrupt overtime, etc)? Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks,
John

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Old 10-18-2009, 05:47 AM   #2
Christopher Muller
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Seems they should be ok, why else would they make one with such huge storage ability for temporary files. I havent had any problems with flash drives, other than they do not work very well when they get put through the wash and dryer.
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdirelan87 View Post
All,

I've been looking for new ways to back up my photos. Large capacity (64GB) flash drives have caught my attention. I have some experience with flash drives, but have never used them for anything other than temporary storage. I'm not the most tech savvy guy, so I was wondering if anybody here knew if flash drives are a good fit for long term storage (i.e., does the information corrupt overtime, etc)? Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks,
John
John, I watched a co-worker (an IT guy) grab his flash drive one day and heard the snap from a static charge, he put it in to find that it wouldn't even recognize it, not to mention all the data was lost, so I guess if your going to use one make sure your grounded I use a DVD and make two copies and keep them in separate areas, in case of fire, theft etc... here's a link to check out about it,
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/d...rage-media.pdf

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Old 10-18-2009, 06:25 AM   #4
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I used a flash drive for a while without any problems. Looking for even more space, however, I now back all my photographs up, originals and processed versions, on a 1.5 terabyte external hard drive. I also burn the originals to DVD and store them in a separate space for the reasons sd9 stated.
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:15 AM   #5
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All,

Thanks for the info so far. For a little more background: I used DVDs for several years, but recently it has become too time consuming to burn a DVD almost every week. Images from my D300 are roughly 3x larger than from my D70, so I find myself regularly shooting 1-2GBs worth of pictures per outing. I currently have my photos back upped on two separate external hard drives.

What I am looking for now is something small that can be easily transported that I will keep off site. I shoot regularly, so the device would be moved around frequently (bringing it back to my home to be updated). It also has to be large, as I currently have 80GB of photos to back up. Flash Drives seem to fit this bill rather well.

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Old 10-18-2009, 01:26 PM   #6
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Hi John,

I use a portable hard drive as a back-up. After I load up shots from a trip, I connect up that hard drive and copy the files to it. I then disconnect that hard drive and store it separately. I don't leave it powered up or spinning.

Hard drives will generally hold more material in a small space than other media types and ONE unit is far easier to keep track of and get back on line than a fistfull of other DVDs, CDs, thumbdrives etc. The storage and retrieval speed is also pretty good. Also, since hard drives are electro-mechanical systems, their failure modes typically depend on time in service and the number of stop/start cycles. If the unit is kept off line and stored carefully, you can minimize some of those risks and the unit should last a long time. They are a bit fragile though, so you don't want to store them where they would be exposed to shock, vibration, excessive dust, moisture, etc. I keep mine covered in a plastic bag.

Mine is just one of many storage scenarios, I'm sure......
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:01 PM   #7
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Thanks for the flash drive idea. I'm not sure it is the way to go but it is a new idea worth contemplating. Right now I have two external drives and off-site DVDs but alas the DVD copying is not getting done on a timely basis.
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdirelan87 View Post
I've been looking for new ways to back up my photos. Large capacity (64GB) flash drives have caught my attention.
John

If you just want to play with flash media for its own sake, there's nothing wrong with that, but SSD is more expensive per byte, and not really any more stable, than a hard drive.

I keep one of these in my briefcase, which may suit your needs.

I also keep a couple of these around for backing up our computers. A 1TB 2.5" drive runs about $100, and takes up little space in the briefcase or camera case.

Backing up to DVD is the most expensive, and least reliable, method available. Keep multiple copies of your files on multiple hard drives.

You might want to look into online backup services, especially if you access your files from multiple computers. There's actually a free way to get essentially unlimited online storage: multiple GMail accounts, Firefox, and the GSpace plugin.

http://www.getgspace.com/

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Old 10-18-2009, 06:17 PM   #9
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John,

Keep the multiple redundant HDs at home, but also check out an online back-up service such as mozy.com or carbonite.com. Unlimited space for $55/year in both cases, and keep in mind that these too are redundantly backed up on to numerous servers, thus greatly reducing the risk of losing your data. After all, it doesn't matter how many external HDs you have if lightning fries the whole setup, or if your house burns down...
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:16 PM   #10
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I just signed up for Mozy because Carbonite does not recognize external drives.

Mozy should finish its first round back up of my computer in a year (this is not a joke).
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