Technics - Data storage-Data backup

Written by Manuel Faessler
Hi folks,
As my “how-to”-blogs are so well received by you (thanks a lot, really appreciate that!), I want to focus on that part of my blog a little bit more.
Today I want to write a little bit about the “background-topic” data storage and data backup as I think most people tend to pay not enough attention to that, or take it not serious enough.
As with most topics there are a lot of different opinions out there and I’d really like to hear yours ... so please drop me a line or two (as a comment here, via e-mail or on my social-media channels) and let me know. As the saying goes “once bitten, twice shy”, I’m probably more cautious than others when it comes to this topic.
Basically, I have three different approaches to backup my shooting data, depending on the way I’ve shot (during travelling, tethered or “normally” with access to my PC.
Case 1: Travelling
As I’ve written in my Thailand-blog, my “backup-plan” after every shooting (as quickly as possible after shooting) looks like this:
1) I copy (not cutting) both the CF- and SD-card to a hard drive
2) I copy both the CF- and SD-card to a different hard drive and format the cards afterwards
3) I duplicate on of the hard drives to a third hard drive
Having backed up the data this way I separate the hard drives while travelling. I carry one on me, one is in the carry-on luggage and the third is in the main luggage ... this way I end up with at least 2 hard drives and in case both malfunction simultaneously I have the backup in the main luggage left ...
Case 2: when shooting tethered
In this case the data is already on my laptop and I copy them to a external drive right after the shooting (even before I clean up the studio). Arrived at home, I copy that data to my PC at once, where it is backed up automatically to a NAS-System. Only when that backup is complete, I delete the data from my laptop.
This way, I’ve at least one backup at any given time, and as soon as I’m at home even two.
Case 3: “Standard”-Shooting
When I shoot “normally” (without tethering), I shoot on two memory cards (my Canon 5DIV has one CF- and one SD-slot) simultaneously, saving the RAW-files on the CF-card and JPGs on the SD-Card as kind of “emergency-backup”. And I mean that quite literally ... I’d prefer to save RAWs on both cards, but that slows the camera down too much, so I just safe the JPGs, so I have at least something left, if the CF-card breaks down.
As soon as I have access to my PC I copy the data (which is then automatically backed up on my NAS). After that is completed, I make another backup on an external harddrive and format the cards once that is done.
Data backup during working
My PC contains 3 hard drives, one 250GB SSD as “working volume” (C:\) and two 4TB regular harddrives (D:\ and E:\) for data storage. I always save the data of the project I’m working on on the C-volume (which is automatically duplicated to the E-drive). All my other working data as well as the date of the recent projects are stored on the D-drive and backed up on the E-drive as well (continuously). Additionally, all three volumes are constantly backed up to a NAS-system (RAID 3.1).
To make it even more secure all my finished pics (PSD-files and the exported pics) as well as my important working data are stored in a cloud (encrypted of course). That means all my data is backed up at least once, the important stuff even two or three times.
As I’ve had the “pleasure” of loosing data (and made mistakes with the backups) I make sure that doesn’t happen again. This isn’t really cheap or fun to do, but I think it is worth the hassle.
That’s it from me ... if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask ... either here as comment, or via e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. As mentioned above I’d like to hear your opinion on the matter ... and of course I’m interested in “your way” to back up your data.

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