From time to time I get emails asking for suggestions and advice. I always respond and am happy to do so, but with this one from Darren I thought I would open it up for discussion, as I think the topic is one that many will be considering as we approach the launch of Leopard.
Itâ€™s my birthday soon. This year Iâ€™ve really wracked my brains to see what Mac gadget I can convince my wife to buy me.
So Iâ€™ve decided to try and get my back-up strategy/plan up to date and purchase an external hard drive maybe even two!
I donâ€™t push a lot of data (is that the correct term?). I donâ€™t buy a lot of music online, instead sticking to conventional CD. But one thing I do have is an expanding iPhoto library.
I own a MacBook 60GB Intel Core Duo. Itâ€™s currently running with approximately 30GB free. So Iâ€™m not bursting at the seams yet! What I want to be able to do is have a fool proof plan in place if I was ever to lose my digital pics.
Hereâ€™s my predicamentâ€¦ what to buy?
Firewire 400, 800, ESATA, USB 2.0 so many choices? After a bit of digging around I quickly realized that USB 2.0 drives are significantly cheaper than their Firewire cousins. 50% cheaper in some cases!
After discovering this, I quickly calculated I could afford to buy two USB drives for the price of one Firewire drive. This would mean I could mirror my back-ups for extra protection. But then again, FIrewire has always had the reputation of being better and faster, but more expensive.
Currently I back-up to DVDâ€™s using Backup from Apple. This seems to work OK for me. But a back-up is only ever really tested when itâ€™s executed.
So I thought Iâ€™d ask you the ChrisMarshall.ws faithful. What would you recommend? What do you do for Back-ups currently?
Important factors to consider are:
â€¢ 1 x 500GB Firewire drive, or
â€¢ 2 x 250GB USB 2.0 drive
â€¢ Needs to be a Bootable drive (Have heard conflicting reports about USB 2.0 being bootable)
â€¢ Reliable Brand
â€¢ RPM – do I need to worry/what should I get?
Any comments very much appreciated.
The old adage is true – buy as big and as best you can with this type of technology.
Personally I would go with the 500GB Firwire, for the speed, capacity and ability to reboot. I would use something like Super Duper to clone your Mac, and make it bootable when you do so.
Additionally I would copy all of my photos (and any other content) to DVD and make two copies, one for the house and one for off site.
Why so much capacity – well your digital library is only going to grow. There is a good chance that your next Mac will be in addition to your current one (even if you have no plans for that at the moment it just sort of sneaks up on you) and it will be useful to be able to fully back them both up. Leopard’s Time Machine will swallow up a lot of space if you allow (or want) it to.
Brand wise I like LaCie, especially the USB and Firewire Hub models as it is always useful to have more ports available.
One other thing to consider is your Workflow for your photographs. What I do is copy every new picture onto the Mac. I then copy them all over to the external drive and IF they are vitally important I copy them straight to a CD/DVD. If they are not that critical I wait until I have enough on the external drive to fill a CD/DVD and I make two copies. One I keep in the apartment, one I keep away from the apartment. I do this before I do any editing and before I delete any of the pictures off the camera.
What are your views and suggestions?
And Happy Birthday – July is a good month to have been born!!!