Thursday, 25 July 2013


We all do it, unless you are perfect and highly organised and who is both? I missed backing up some work and the hard drive failed.

Fortunately my laptops 1000Gb memory was made up from two 500Gb disks and only one had failed. Sods law applied, it was the one with a lot of current work and images on, including all the sorted images for two talks for U3A. If it had been the other disk I’d have lost the operating system and all the programmes I use. That would not have been such a calamity as I’ve all the disks for those. I do have all the RAW camera files for the images on DVD but it's hours of work to replace those slide shows.
 I normally backed up to rewriteable DVDs but as I’d been making small adjustments to both talks I was leaving backing up until I’d finished doing this. Of course the drive failed before that happened so a lot of hard work went down the drain. Repairing the computer was relatively inexpensive and quickly done but I’ve lost a lot of images.
The guy who repaired the laptop said solid state memory is the least likely to give trouble if you get a good one. Stand alone disk drives are just as vulnerable as the drive in your machine, the last one I used lasted 8 years of hard work. I normally use CD or DVD disks but the dyes used in these have a finite life, maybe 10 years for good ones, a couple of museums I’ve worked for in the past replace theirs every 5 years.
Ironic is it not as I’ve got negs taken over 60 years ago and they are still printable, digital  by comparison has a very suspect life span.
If you store all your images on your computer hard drive, as many people seem to do, you are asking for trouble.
You have been warned!!!

Tony Middleton

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