Today’s Question: How would you recover from having your photos hard drive fail in a way that caused photos to be lost from that drive?
Tim’s Quick Answer: If a master hard drive fails, you could simply recover from the backup drive that had been updated by GoodSync. In fact, GoodSync may very well alert you to the fact that a hard drive is failing in the first place.
More Detail: Today’s question is actually one that I wrote myself, because I experienced a hard drive failure that I was first alerted to by the GoodSync software I recommend for backing up photos (http://timgrey.me/greybackup).
After downloading photos via an import into my Lightroom Classic catalog, I initiated the process of backing up my photos drive to a backup drive using GoodSync software. During that backup, GoodSync presented an error message that photos could not be read from the source hard drive.
I browsed the hard drive directly, and found that most of the photos were missing from the folder I had just imported photos into. Fortunately, I had a backup created with GoodSync that I could recover from. I also had a backup of the photos most recently imported into my Lightroom catalog, since I had taken advantage of the option to “Make a Second Copy To” during the import process.
Since I was going to need to replace the failed hard drive, my first step was to purchase a replacement drive. I then used GoodSync to copy all of my photos from the drive that had been used for the most recent backup. I made sure the new drive had the same volume label (or drive letter if I had been using Windows) as the drive that had failed. When I launched Lightroom, everything was in perfect working order. The only photos that were missing were from the most recent import, which hadn’t been backed up by GoodSync because the backup failed when my hard drive was in the process of failing. To recover those photos, I simply copied them to the applicable folder on the new hard drive, since those photos were reflected in my Lightroom catalog already, and were simply missing from the master hard drive at that point.
As a result, I didn’t lose a single photo. I was able to recover my photos very easily thanks to GoodSync, and in fact I was alerted to the impending hard drive failure by error messages presented by GoodSync. So now I’m an even bigger fan of this software than I was before!
Note that if you decide to also use GoodSync to backup your photos, I have a video course in the GreyLearning library that will teach you the workflow I use with this software. You can find that course in the GreyLearning library here: