Aaaargh... Lost them all

For the last two months, I had been driving around the country snapping pictures of localities to be published in local calendars. Had done quite a bit, and was rather pleased because I had even managed to capture some shots of very particular events in each location that only happen there once a year.

Unfortunately, I was moving house at the same time. And I do have to admit here, that I had been procrastinating a bit on the packing. (Wait for it, there is a link here... do you see it coming?)

I have two portable external USB hard drives. Generally, after a photo shoot, I'll transfer all my images from the memory cards to one of the hard disk and during the evening take a backup to the other one. About once every two months I will also copy to CDs.

In any case I moved house... things were going fairly smoothly, unpacked most of the stuff... and then set up my desktop computer. Couldn't get the wireless internet connection working. Very frustrating, especially since the laptop didn't seem to have any problems. After spending a couple of days on that, I decided to take a break from that particular issue and work on the photos instead. Turn on the hard drive... whirrrrrrrrrr.... beeeeeeep.... beeepity beeep. And I'm thinking to myself "You are a hard drive, not a b*** modem. Stop making that noise". After about 30 minutes of this I suddenly realised, the hard drive is knackered. Obviously, during the move it must have got dropped or something and the head has crashed, (that was the link in case you missed it).

I'm not going to get anything off it.

No problem, I turn on the backup drive. Oh crap, during this hectic period I had been extremely lazy and not done any backups at all. So two months of work down the drain. And my deadline was only a week away.

So I just spent the entire last weekend driving around the region taking shots again and getting royally p*** off because of course all the special events are no longer there.

Moral of the story, never move house... OK... the simpler one is to always take backups immediately. But with the technological advances (concerns about backward compatibility) and sometimes the fragile nature of the media (how easy is it to scratch CDs and DVDs), what is the best way to do this. Would love to hear from everyone as to how they handle this and what their routine is.

In any case, I think I've learnt my lesson. Of hell, I think I forgot to take a copy of last nights transfers!

Photo credits: Cerenzio, Olivier Le Queinec, Abdul Sami Haqqani.

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July 11, 2009


Sorry to hear the misfortune. I have been working with IT for years and always stressed to everyone that I work with to backup, backup, backup their data always. I was beginning to wonder if I might be OCD about it, this just confirms that I am sane after all. OK, maybe not completely but atleast in that area :-)

As for advise, I personally keep 1 320gb, 3 500gb, a 750gb, and a few small 60gb to 120gb USB drives and most of them are back ups of backups. I also write to DVD's (always 2) when I get a sizeable group of pictures or for specific countries, shoots, or whatever. Good luck in the future and hope you always remember.



July 09, 2009


from a broken HDD, you can recover more than 90%. I backup my files on an external HDD, and when they are for a dvd 4.7 Giga I make two dvd copies, and one I give to my motherinlaw. you never know what is hapening, so it is the best to have a copy somewhere else, not in your house. :D

July 04, 2009


I have a redundant backup offsite that automatically backs up all of my systems @ 3:30am every day

July 04, 2009


ouch, can you take it to have the disk repaired since the data is stored on the magnetic disk

July 03, 2009


That's crap, sorry it happened, but thanks for the warning to us.

July 02, 2009


Hey, thats ME holding my face! lol. BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP!!!

August 30, 2007


You should be abble to get it back, I'm not a specialist, but that had happens to me and I've asked for help a specialist who have spend time, trying few soft dedicated and the data were back .
have good luck

August 27, 2007


Most all computers have a feature in the bios called smart drive that warns you of a hd mechanical failure coming soon on a boot up, when that happens backup to your new hd fast. If you don't see smart drive on boot it my be off position

Backup your computer with norton ghost or Acronis backup tools which allows you to make an exact copy of your drive (bootable clone) with these tools you can reverse the backup for instance backup is D drive to C drive

Your computer bios may have another feature
called usb boot if you have a usb backup with a clone of C:/ you can boot straight from the backup.

The next best way is an off site data storage company but that costs $$

August 23, 2007


You are not alone here. I had a new computer, so I just postponed backing up my vacation pictures...Guess what? That new computer crashed and I lost them all. Moral of the story? Procrastinators are in for it...Big time.
Astargirl, I also have a few pics that are only on DT now...By the way, any chance we could have them back, obviously for free?

July 26, 2007


Very similar thing happened to me recently and I lost all of the first 40 files I've uploaded here at dreamstime...well, at least somebody can get to them even if they have to pay...

July 26, 2007


Just creating another backup of all files, thanks for the heads up!
I would suggest going with the disk at a local repair shop though.

July 26, 2007


I have two 160GB USB external drives attached to my laptop ANY TIME IT'S ON!!! After losing files a few times I'm now in the habit of backing everything up to both drives. One of the drives just suffered a "corrupt media descriptor file" the other day, rendering it EMPTY in the eyes of the OS. Ten minutes of copying duplicate files and I was back in business.
Experience really is the best teacher, but it's not very forgiving...

July 26, 2007


I am sorry for you. I had something similar earlier this year. It is so frustrating.

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