Storage devices for digital files and photos should have long term storage features. Long term storage devices and file archiving in general is becoming an issue for many photographers in recent times, considering the increase of the image files size due to high resolution sensors of the new digital cameras. DVD’s have a short shelf life. There is need to think through on how we back up photos. Standard DVD’s have a shelf life and this is dependent on the coating and how the discs are handled. The materials used to build the DVD’s can spoil over time and make them unreadable.
Storage devices for digital files and photos – Hard Disks
Hard disks are a much safer set of long term photo storage devices. However, these still have their low points. A major concern is that standard hard drives also have a shelf life determined by the frequency of use and the way they are handled and stored.
Hard disks are high precision tools. They are sensitive to magnetic failure caused by: power surges, shock from dropping them, the file structure becoming corrupt. All these, point to the possibility of losing all your data.
Multiple backups using variety of media. Moving your files to newer technology and long term photo storage devices such as cloud storage, in most cases so affordable that is FREE!!! (check this article: Popular cloud storage offers for free) . Then, keeping the outdated ones safe. Digital “space” is not so expensive now. So, there is no excuse for not being able to afford back up for your important files in multiple ways.
If something goes wrong?
Unfortunately, if something goes wrong with a DVD, definitely, there is trouble! It is almost an impossible task to retrieve data from a corrupt disk. However, because they are cheap, you can make 2 or 3 copies for safe keeping. For any category of media card, even when formatted, the files can be recovered.
Hard disk drives
Data is easier to recover one way or another. There are companies that specialize in this area. Such companies have software for just about any type of hard disk recovery that you may need. You can also check out this photo back up software at picturekeeper.com . It is PC and Mac compatible. I recommend that you always have redundancy for your hard drives, by adopting external enclosures or NAS servers with RAID 1 redundancy.