Thursday, January 18, 2018

Backup Your Computer Online – Don’t Risk Your Videos And Business!

May 10, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Business Practices, Resources

Backup Your Computer Online! I say this from recent experience, very recent experience in fact.

This past weekend I thought I had lost all of the data on my computer. It had been acting twitchy and just getting ornery for some time, and then just refused to boot up at all. My heart sank. I spent several hours trying to resurrect it without success. After a fitful night I tried again in the morning and finally got it going. Whew, close call and a lesson learned.

Kim asked me, “Didn’t you save it to the Cloud?”  Well to my chagrin, I had not. I occasionally save important files to my Amazon S3 account, but I haven’t been that disciplined about it, although I live in a constant state of paranoia about hard drives crashing. I’ve had at least three hard drive die that I can recall, so I do not trust them. Your can bet I spent some time on Saturday backing up. I’m still doing it. I’m going to buy several drives and back up everything.

Since I started shooting HD video, backing up has become a real challenge. The files take up so much storage that I can see a time in the future when I’ll have a closet full of hard drives. That’s one of the reasons I still like shooting with tape – it is a very inexpensive and durable storage medium. I like shooting to flash memory because of the ability to instantly review it, but that tape backup is still an advantage, in my mind. I’m always interested in good backup systems.

You know that it isn’t a question of IF a drive will die – it’s just a matter of when, so you always want to have a back up for your important video and project files. One of the best options for that is plenty of external hard drives. They have gotten much more affordable in the last couple of years.

I recommend that you get 1-2 TB (terabyte) drives. Larger drives than that are still expensive and if you have a 4 TB drive die, you’ve really lost a lot of material. I’d rather use two 2 TB drives than one 4 TB for that reason. At least I’d still have half my data if I had a drive failure. If you’re just using the drive for storage then you can get by with a less expensive USB drive. They are far too slow for editing but are OK for simple, relatively inexpensive backup storage.

As I write this I’m transferring a 339 GB folder from a USB drive to a Firewire 800 drive for editing and it is taking about 3 hours! I have another 900 GB to move, so that’ll take a total of about 12 hours. Allow plenty of time if you are moving lots of data to or from USB drives.

One of the latest speed boosts is the Thunderbolt interfaces found in the LaCie 1TB Little Big Disk with Thunderbolt drives that are just now coming out. They are up to 20 times faster than USB and even 12 times faster than Firewire 800.

Production models of thunderbolt drives haven’t hit the market yet. We talked to drive manufacturers at NAB and most said they’d have the first Thunderbolt drives out this summer. The tsunami in Japan has interrupted the flow of essential parts, so they may be slow in coming to market. I’m really excited to get my hands on one of those, but I’m sure they’ll be too expensive to use for simple backup storage.

While at LaCie’s’s booth at NAB, Kimberly Myers, PR Manager was so kind get in front of my camera and share her advice on how to backup your computer online using the LaCie 1TB Little Big Disk with Thunderbolt. That video is below.


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  1. […] 3 TB of files. This footage is invaluable and I don’t have any videotapes to go back to should my editing drive fail. Having had more than my share of hard drive failures, I’m paranoid of that happening to […]


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