Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
LeftCoastIV
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 7:19 pm

Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by LeftCoastIV »

I am in charge of storing our digital family memories. Baby pictures, vacations, etc... In the past, my approach has been to back up on two HDDs to avoid single point of failure on a hardware failure.

I recently began to worry about the HDDs getting old and the moving parts failing, so I ordered two new 1 GB SSDs.

However, I am now reading that if SSDs sit on the shelf for months/years without power, the data can be lost. Not good.
So, now I'm thinking about going back to the HDD plan, buying two newer HDDs to "restart" the timer on hardware failures.
I plan to keep one copy offsite to address the "house burning down" problem.

I have not leveraged cloud backups at this point, although we do have 2 TB of iCloud storage and are only using 200 GB, so plenty of room to go that route.

What are other folks doing?
gtd98765
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:15 am

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by gtd98765 »

Multiple devices are your best bet for treasures like these. I have about 50 GB of photos, between those taken digitally and those older pics I have scanned in over the years. Main storage is on a laptop with an SDD. Two portable USB HDDs for backup at home, and an SD card in a safety-deposit box at the bank for off-site storage. I get 1 TB of online storage with my Microsoft Office annual subscription, and am thinking of copying the pics there as well.
Patzer
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:56 am

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by Patzer »

I do cloud only now. It is so easy and the photos actually have utility.
In the past I would burn photos to DVDs and/or store them on a disconnected drive, but that just resulted in me never looking at the images.
Having them in the cloud lets me pull them up whenever I am talking to someone and want to share a few snaps.

I am on a 2 month long trip right now and I don't have to worry about losing memories if my camera or laptop gets stolen or damaged, because every few nights I backup all my data to the cloud.

For anyone that has Amazon Prime you get unlimited photo storage. I use that for my older images.
I keep anything under 2 years old in my Google Drive, as I find the user interface for that more friendly to quickly pull up images on any device.

Seems like you already have a ton of iCloud space, so you should use it. :)
Normchad
Posts: 2509
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:20 am

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by Normchad »

I’ve got the stuff in many places. Thumb drives. DVDs. Some in the cloud.

This stuff is super important though. I actually have all the pictures I keep, developed on to paper. So I’ve got a huge heavy tub full of pictures.

In Avery real way, I think I am less likely to lose them when they exist physically. No guarantee of course. But if I died tomorrow, nobody in the family would know how to access the digital stuff. I doubt they would even think to try. But they can’t miss the big tub of pictures......
Topic Author
LeftCoastIV
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 7:19 pm

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by LeftCoastIV »

gtd98765 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:32 pm Multiple devices are your best bet for treasures like these. I have about 50 GB of photos, between those taken digitally and those older pics I have scanned in over the years. Main storage is on a laptop with an SDD. Two portable USB HDDs for backup at home, and an SD card in a safety-deposit box at the bank for off-site storage. I get 1 TB of online storage with my Microsoft Office annual subscription, and am thinking of copying the pics there as well.
Makes sense. I hadn't considered the safe deposit box, as just storing anywhere offsite should do the trick. Safe deposit would of course be more secure, but I don't think I'd get around to updating the drive very often.
weirdsong1
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:39 am

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by weirdsong1 »

Similar to some above, I backup all my data to iDrive (which I would recommend as a cloud service) and then separately backup all that data to a local external drive about every 2-3 months which I keep inside a fire safe. Additionally, I have all my photos backed up to Amazon photos.
runner3081
Posts: 4220
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by runner3081 »

Seems like a lot of videos and pictures. Perhaps time to purge? We are minimalists in everything and only have 17 gigs total of photos and videos from the past 15 years (and a 9 year old daughter).

I can't imagine needing a ton of pictures, too many to every look at.

Ours are locally stored on the hard drive and then backed up to DropBox and OneDrive.
rebellovw
Posts: 1118
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:30 pm

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by rebellovw »

Silly - no reason at all to purge - disk space is cheap.

Key though is security - what happens if someone breaks into your house and makes off with your laptops and visible hard drives - for that I encrypt the drives - all drives.

Macbook - all pictures - backed up to NAS - with 2 physical 4 TB HDDs using RAID - drives encrypted.

I also have an external HDD drive that I will plan to perform a backup on of my photo libs.

Now if you stuff gets stolen - drives being encrypted means that can't get anything off the drives - good - but you are out your pictures - bad - so you should have a secure hidden backup.

Like another member posted I also have Microsoft OneDrive (comes with-my Office subscription) with 1TB of storage that I really should move my library to.
User avatar
Watty
Posts: 22690
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by Watty »

LeftCoastIV wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:26 pm What are other folks doing?
For family photos along with all the digital strategies be sure to also get paper prints of a few select photos that you keep in a traditional photo album.

That could easily be passed down to your decedents a hundred years from now. With digital images each generation will need to keep moving it and keep it up to date which is unlikely. Future generations will not care about having thousands of photos but a few dozen could be a family heirloom.

One huge advantage of paper photographs is that it is real easy to write names, dates, and places on the edge or back of the photo or in the photo album. Years from now if someone has a photo with no identification it will pretty worthless. With your digital photos be sure to figure out how to label them so people will know what the picture is.

The paper photo album will also give you some key photos if something goes very wrong and your thousands of digital images are lost since you would still have some of your key photographs on paper.

You also need to be brutal about limiting a the number of the photos in the core collection. 50+ years from now your great-great-grandkids will not want to look through thousands of your photographs but they may find a couple of dozen photos to be very interesting.
gtd98765
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:15 am

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by gtd98765 »

LeftCoastIV wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:40 pm Makes sense. I hadn't considered the safe deposit box, as just storing anywhere offsite should do the trick. Safe deposit would of course be more secure, but I don't think I'd get around to updating the drive very often.
True on frequency of updating the safe deposit box SD card, which I have not touched in six months. But for me, the older photos are the most valuable. I update the HDDs at home at least once a month. Also, these days most of my photos are taken with a cell phone, which automatically backs things up to the cloud.
tinkerman79
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:16 am

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by tinkerman79 »

I used to have a HDD/SDD setup in the past. I would manually prune all my photos/videos before saving to these devices. Back then this was the ideal setup. Space was expensive, cloud capabilities were still not mature, and we took way less pictures/videos with our DSLR cameras and camcorders. I did have some devices fail on me, but never lost any photos.

Now, I exclusively use the cloud (specifically, Google Drive in combination with Google Photos) for several reasons:

- Cloud Storage is cheap and reliable. $2/month for 100GB. We are currently at 50GB used.
- With mobile phones everywhere, we take 100x the pictures and 10x the videos. It would be too time consuming to manually prune/upload/organize all of them. Google Photos automatically does this from each of our mobile devices.
- I find the search feature in Google Photos more intuitive than the "organize by date or album" method I was using in the past. I can easily find very specific pictures using search (Ex: "<Daughter>'s birthday 2015, or "Beach pictures from Cancun", etc.). All of this without me telling google what is in the picture. It uses AI to deduce that on its own.
- I can easily print individual photos or create/print photobooks (again using the search feature to find the best pictures).
Da5id
Posts: 3091
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:20 am

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by Da5id »

LeftCoastIV wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:26 pm I am in charge of storing our digital family memories. Baby pictures, vacations, etc... In the past, my approach has been to back up on two HDDs to avoid single point of failure on a hardware failure.

I recently began to worry about the HDDs getting old and the moving parts failing, so I ordered two new 1 GB SSDs.

However, I am now reading that if SSDs sit on the shelf for months/years without power, the data can be lost. Not good.
So, now I'm thinking about going back to the HDD plan, buying two newer HDDs to "restart" the timer on hardware failures.
I plan to keep one copy offsite to address the "house burning down" problem.

I have not leveraged cloud backups at this point, although we do have 2 TB of iCloud storage and are only using 200 GB, so plenty of room to go that route.

What are other folks doing?
I think any backup that isn't automated and cloud based is much more likely to be subject to data loss. Automation is important because failures (by Murphy's law) always come just when you were going to finally get around to doing that manual step.

I use Backblaze for cloud based backup and a local backup to an always mounted SSD backup myself. I use the Windows backup for the external HDD, seems good enough.
User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 6699
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am
Location: In a house

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by RickBoglehead »

LeftCoastIV wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:26 pm I am in charge of storing our digital family memories. Baby pictures, vacations, etc... In the past, my approach has been to back up on two HDDs to avoid single point of failure on a hardware failure.

I recently began to worry about the HDDs getting old and the moving parts failing, so I ordered two new 1 GB SSDs.

However, I am now reading that if SSDs sit on the shelf for months/years without power, the data can be lost. Not good.
So, now I'm thinking about going back to the HDD plan, buying two newer HDDs to "restart" the timer on hardware failures.
I plan to keep one copy offsite to address the "house burning down" problem.

I have not leveraged cloud backups at this point, although we do have 2 TB of iCloud storage and are only using 200 GB, so plenty of room to go that route.

What are other folks doing?
Likely not 1 GB SSDs. 1 TB?

Redundant storage is important. I set Windows File History to make backups onto a 2nd internal drive (desktop). On a laptop you can do that in a 2nd partition, but if the drive fails you're OOL.

I backup to an external hard drive every 2 to 3 months. No cloud.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.
User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 3761
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by F150HD »

there was a huge thread on this exact topic just a short time ago
User avatar
Will do good
Posts: 1062
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:23 pm

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by Will do good »

Watty wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:53 pm
LeftCoastIV wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:26 pm What are other folks doing?
For family photos along with all the digital strategies be sure to also get paper prints of a few select photos that you keep in a traditional photo album.

That could easily be passed down to your decedents a hundred years from now. With digital images each generation will need to keep moving it and keep it up to date which is unlikely. Future generations will not care about having thousands of photos but a few dozen could be a family heirloom.

One huge advantage of paper photographs is that it is real easy to write names, dates, and places on the edge or back of the photo or in the photo album. Years from now if someone has a photo with no identification it will pretty worthless. With your digital photos be sure to figure out how to label them so people will know what the picture is.

The paper photo album will also give you some key photos if something goes very wrong and your thousands of digital images are lost since you would still have some of your key photographs on paper.

You also need to be brutal about limiting a the number of the photos in the core collection. 50+ years from now your great-great-grandkids will not want to look through thousands of your photographs but they may find a couple of dozen photos to be very interesting.
Agreed. I have 1.5TB+ of photos dated back to 1930's and videos from the 1980's. I can't imagine my great-great grandkids will go through 100,000+ images to find few good pics. I've started to cherry pick ~50 pics for each family member and put it in their own folder for easy searching. The rest will remain in the big hard drives for those that wants to go thought every photo/video.

I'm also printing photo books for each sets of grandparents & parents with their bio, history and the current family tree linking family members. I label these printed family photos with identifications so they will make sense of who is who.

I still can't decide where to store these images for future generations, printing some out seems to make sense for now. Will keep an eye on this thread for better ideas.
ddurrett896
Posts: 1550
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by ddurrett896 »

1) Photos moved from devices to desktop
2) Photos moved to temp family member folders. These are like baby photo books. So if a picture has 3 family members, it’s copied into 3 folders.
3) Each temp family member folder uploaded to Google Photos
4) Each temp family member folder moved to the main family member photo folder
5) Computer backed to to hard drive that is stored in a safe.
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 6001
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by lthenderson »

LeftCoastIV wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:26 pm What are other folks doing?
I have an annual subscription to a computer backup service that includes all my files, not just family pictures. It works seamlessly in the background so I never have to think about it and within minutes of uploading any file, it is backed up to the cloud. I don't have to worry about juggling hard drives between various sites to be covered for things like a house fire or other disaster. There is nothing to break. They are readily available on any computer device at anytime. Perhaps best of all, because it is a backup of my entire computer, when I get a new computer, I just log into the subscription site, select restore and my files are all downloaded and placed where I had them but on the new computer.
ddurrett896
Posts: 1550
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by ddurrett896 »

lthenderson wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:29 am I have an annual subscription to a computer backup service that includes all my files, not just family pictures.
What is the name of the service?
User avatar
indexfundfan
Posts: 3222
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by indexfundfan »

My photos and videos are stored on a local NAS. They are also backed up to Amazon S3 Glacier. The at-rest price at Glacier is $0.004/GB/month. For 100GB, that is $0.40 a month.
My signature has been deleted.
Capsu78
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 10:30 am

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by Capsu78 »

Lost my first 6 months of digital pictures in 2007 when computer died... so I know the pain. So I now have a separate drive on my computer for photos which acts as my main library. I have a side back up that is identical in brand to 2 other HD's I bought. I update them as frequently or infrequently as to the amount of hours I have spent naming and filing new additions. The other 2 drives rotate to my safety deposit box and another at my daughters house. She knows how to accesss them so that is my sucession plan.
I manage over 140,000 images and will disagree with poster above that said Amazon Prime will put all your images in the cloud. It capped me off at 60,000, and which 60,000 I do not know. The want me to subscribe for more space.
As for my printed photos, I had bin after bin of them that I semi organized in 2008. I made the hard call earlier this year to make sure I had digital copies of most of them, especially important ones. After I was sure I had them in my library, I walked them to the shreder, negs and all! It was a hard decision only made easier because I realized that I had not been in the bins since 2008 and retrieval of any specific image would be impossible. I pull aside the kids pics and offered them to them...they didn't want them!
The ability to retrieve a digital photo quickly is now more important to me than the printed ones. Prior to digital< I spent a lot of time doing scrap book type collections for various trips. I started to deconstuct the books, but remebered how much time I had put into them over the years and decided to keep. They would probably fill up one big bin!
hnd
Posts: 551
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:43 am

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by hnd »

we use google. its 100 bucks a year for more storage that I currently need.
squirm
Posts: 3450
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by squirm »

External drives, store them at different locations, and cloud backup. Consider one will fail. The pictures and videos of our kids are priceless.
User avatar
cockersx3
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by cockersx3 »

I used to use iDrive to back up family photos, but eventually just moved everything to Google Photos. It's less expensive and has a great interface for searching photos. It also integrates seamlessly with my Android phone, and it's easy to share pictures with other Android users in my family that want to see pictures of the kiddos.
luckyducky99
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:47 pm

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by luckyducky99 »

Put the hard drives in a NAS and have it back up itself to some cloud is what I do. I use a synology diskstation and have zero complaints with it.
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 6001
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by lthenderson »

ddurrett896 wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:53 am
lthenderson wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:29 am I have an annual subscription to a computer backup service that includes all my files, not just family pictures.
What is the name of the service?
I use Carbonite.
Topic Author
LeftCoastIV
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 7:19 pm

Re: Backing up family memories: HDD, SSD, Cloud?

Post by LeftCoastIV »

Thanks everyone for all the tips. Much appreciated.
Post Reply