Today’s Question: I’ve decided I am long overdue to create a system to better back up my photos. Can you provide an overview of the workflow you recommend?
Tim’s Quick Answer: My primary local backups are created using GoodSync (http://timgrey.me/greybackup) to synchronize each primary storage drive to two backup drives. I also use Backblaze (https://timgrey.me/cloudbackup) as an online backup solution, which provides an offsite copy of my data.
More Detail: I was asked this question a couple weeks ago, but since today is World Backup Day I decided to hold the question for today’s newsletter.
My primary method of backing up my photos is to create exact copies of my primary hard drives used for photo storage to at least two other backup drives. By synchronizing photos to other drives, the backup drives represent an exact copy of the primary drive. I use GoodSync software (http://timgrey.me/greybackup) for this purpose, but there are other solutions available as well.
That means that when a primary drive fails it is very easy to recover. You basically just need to connect the backup drive in place of the failed drive, and the data structure will be the same. This is especially helpful when it comes to managing photos with Lightroom Classic, because it ensures the catalog won’t be confused by a different storage structure for your photos on the backup drive.
While I always maintain at least two backup drives (and often more) for my primary drives, I also want to have an offsite backup so I can still recover even if all my drives were lost at once in a disaster. I prefer to use an online backup service for this purpose rather than having to move hard drives back and forth to a remote location myself, and I have been very happy with the online backup provided by Backblaze (https://timgrey.me/cloudbackup) for this purpose.
As a side note, because I’m a Macintosh user, I employ the Time Machine backup for the internal drive on my computer, backing up to at least two external hard drives for this purpose. This doesn’t relate to my photo storage, since I store my photos on external hard drives, but Time Machine does make it remarkably easy to recover the internal hard drive if there is a failure.