7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2016 2:28 PM by Just Shoot Me

    Personal Project: Back up plan and strategy For lightroom

    Hekko Level 1

      I have been using Lightroom and Photoshop for, almost three years now and I still haven't got around of making a solid strategy for backing up my photography work. Probably needless to say, but I am not professional photographer, nor am I advanced. I am going to make a strategy for backing up my photo related stuff. The reason I am writing this here is because I hope you might point out the flaws of the strategy. Let me start by defining the goal to my strategy.

       

      The Goal

       

      The primary goal of the project is to get me a way to ensure I don't lose my pictures or my work. Secondary goals are that the backing up should be easy, fast, and it requires minimal space.

       

      How I hope to achieve my goals

       

      On what I should backup, I lean towards this article http://www.lightroomqueen.com/backup-lightroom-files/

      So basically things I would be backing up would be:

      • The catalog
      • The previews
      • The catalog backups
      • Presets and templates
      • Settings shared with camera raw
      • Installed plugins
      • Preferences
      • and the actual pictures (input and output)

      I would search all of these files and put them in one single file (keeping the file hierarchy simple). Lets call it File A.

      The actual backing up plan would be that I command a backing up program to copy File A to external hard drive. First time this would take very long time, but in the future I would order backing up program to sync files from File A to the copy of File A (in external hard drive). I would do this maybe once a month. Also I am going to look into an could backup system that does the same.

       

      So looking back if the goals would be completed:

      • Ensuring that I don't lose my pictures or my work: Yes because I have backup in external drive (and possibly in the cloud).
      • Backing up is easy: Yes because I need only to tell program to sync when I wish.
      • Backing up is fast: Yes because backing up will only sync. files that have changes in them.
      • Backing up requires minimal space: I am not quite sure, but I imagine that this leaves enough space for my computer and external hard drive.

       

      So do you think this is ok plan? Have I overlooked something? Does the plan suck? Why? Any feedback is appreciated. Once I get forward in my project I will post it here.

       

      Thank you for reading.

        • 1. Re: Personal Project: Back up plan and strategy For lightroom
          Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

          No real need to backup the Previews and or the Previews folder. LR will recreate it if it isn't found.

          You need to store the LR Catalog Back ups on a different physical disk than where the actual catalog is stored. Making a Backup of the Backups is overkill IMHO.

          Yes backup all your images to one or two other places like external drives or other computers on your home LAN. I do both so I have 5 copies of all my images. One on my main system (the actual folder andc files I use in LR), one on each of the 2 external drive that is always connected to my main system, one on another physical disk installed inside my main system and one on a drive connected to an old computer sitting in my second bedroom.

           

          But for the rest of the things you list I do something better. I use a Disk Imaging program to create Disk Images of my main OS and Programs SSD. That way when (Not IF) I have a main drive failure I can install another drive and re-load the most current disk image and be back up and running in less than 20 minutes. All programs installed, all settings the same for all programs, all add on files included.

           

          I also Back up those Disk Images to both external drives and to the other computer on my network. Redundancy is the key to not losing data.

          • 2. Re: Personal Project: Back up plan and strategy For lightroom
            trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Along with all of the LR and photo related items listed you should be backing up all of your, video, music, and document files. You can do this is with a file-synchronization software application and make backup copies to one or more external drives. To protect against fire, flood, theft, etc. keep a 2nd backup drive copy in a separate protected location, or use Cloud Storage as secondary backup. You will need to keep these backup drives and Cloud storage updated on a regular basis to minimize file loss if something should happen.

             

            Comparison of file synchronization software - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

            • 3. Re: Personal Project: Back up plan and strategy For lightroom
              Hekko Level 1

              Just Shoot Me

               

               

              But for the rest of the things you list I do something better. I use a Disk Imaging program to create Disk Images of my main OS and Programs SSD. That way when (Not IF) I have a main drive failure I can install another drive and re-load the most current disk image and be back up and running in less than 20 minutes. All programs installed, all settings the same for all programs, all add on files included.

               

              Did you mean that I should backup my whole computer? Sounds time consuming.

              • 4. Re: Personal Project: Back up plan and strategy For lightroom
                dj_paige Level 9

                Hekko wrote:

                 

                Just Shoot Me

                 

                 

                But for the rest of the things you list I do something better. I use a Disk Imaging program to create Disk Images of my main OS and Programs SSD. That way when (Not IF) I have a main drive failure I can install another drive and re-load the most current disk image and be back up and running in less than 20 minutes. All programs installed, all settings the same for all programs, all add on files included.

                 

                Did you mean that I should backup my whole computer? Sounds time consuming.

                Yes, some people do make backups of the entire hard drive in your computer. Yes, it is time consuming. Yes, there are benefits as JustShootMe explained. One such benefit is that you don't have to know which files you should back up.

                 

                Or you could just back up certain files and folders on your hard disk, in which case it takes less time, but there aren't as many benefits (but still certainly a good thing to do if you know what to back up).

                • 5. Re: Personal Project: Back up plan and strategy For lightroom
                  Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                  Hekko wrote:

                  Did you mean that I should backup my whole computer? Sounds time consuming.

                  I have 4 physical disks in my system. One is a SSD that has 2 partitions, C & D. On that SSD I have the operating system, Win 7 Pro, and all the programs that I use.

                  The OS is on the C partition and 99% of all the programs I use is on the D partition. I also have the My Docs folder on the D partition along with my work files from the CAD program I use and job files.

                  I use the Disk imaging program to create images of the SSD, the C & D partitions, which totals about 60-80 GBs of data.

                  All my images are on another physical drive and backed up to a third drive in that system and to 2 external drive. I also had a 4th drive that holds all the downloaded files I have collected over the years and miscellaneous other files. most of all that is backed up to at least one external drive and then on every other computer I own.

                   

                  So to backup the SSD takes maybe 15 minutes saving the backup to one of the other internal drives. I also do those backups from a USB stick that has the disk imaging program on that I boot the computer from.

                  • 6. Re: Personal Project: Back up plan and strategy For lightroom
                    trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Hekko wrote:

                    Did you mean that I should backup my whole computer? Sounds time consuming.

                    The primary purpose of creating a "disk image" backup is to save time in the unfortunate event your primary system hard drive fails. Reloading the OS and all of the application programs previously installed can be an arduous and in some cases impossible task if you have lost serial numbers, installation disks, etc.

                     

                    If you 1) have very few additional programs installed on your system, 2) have a set of the original manufacturer system recovery disks, 3) have the additional program disks, and 4) have all required serial numbers then you're probably OK.

                    • 7. Re: Personal Project: Back up plan and strategy For lightroom
                      Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                      Hekko wrote:

                       

                      Did you mean that I should backup my whole computer? Sounds time consuming.

                      You know what is time consuming? It is when you have a hard drive failure that wipes out everything on your computer. The operating system, program, data files and the like.

                      Restoring all of that can take DAYS if not weeks to get everything back to the way it was. With a disk imaging program If I have a drive failure or I just want to switch out one drive for another 15-20 minutes after connecting the new drive my system is back up and running just as it was before the failure or drive switch.

                       

                      Now you may never had a drive fail. If you change computers ever 2 or 3 years chances are you might never had a drive fail in your entire life. But that is a big Might.

                      Once you go through a drive failure and trying to restore your system back the way it was you will understand that good, frequent backups are a MUST.