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Where are your files? 

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Where are your files? What if your hard drive fails?

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Backups … It’s one of the most un-sexy topics out there. No one wants to be distracted by actually managing files, let alone think about a backup solution.

What would happen if your hard drive failed? Would you lose anything? What if your apartment burned down? Or the entire city got wiped by an asteroid? Would you lose your files?

Most of you probably would. I wouldn’t. Sure, I’d lose some files, but not what is most important to me: my photos.

“But Kris”, I already hear you thinking, “you’re a professional, I don’t need all that”. Don’t you? That amazing holiday you took, the first birthday of your child, or even memories of people no longer among us. Let alone memories, what about other important things like contracts, financial information and more.

Your Hard Drive Will Fail.

Everything on it will be lost, unless you have more than one back up.

My girlfriend used to put everything on an external hard drive, and a cloned version on a separate drive. Until the moment came both failed at the same exact time. Talk about bad cosmic luck, eh!

So, what is my backup strategy? First of all, this is a strategy that has grown over time, from several separate drives, to bigger, faster and overall better systems.

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I have all of my work on a PROMISE Pegasus 2 R6 18TB drive. First of all, the 6 drives in the huge RAID array are set in RAID 5, enabling me to lose 2 drives before I even start to lose files. And it has already happened to me! A HDD failed on me. All I had do to was to switch drives and start a utility. Tadaa!

Everything gets copied to my Mac Mini server with Time Machine to a 12 TB LaCie 4BIG, also set to RAID 5. That is the drive that will be upgraded next, since my content that needs to be back upped is slowly growing towards that level.

Next up: Off-Site copy! Thanks to CrashPlan Pro, I’m doing an offsite copy of all my RAW photos, Lightroom libraries, graphic projects and rendered video files to an 8TB hard drive. The biggest commercial available at that time.

Of course, we still have everything in the cloud! With files backed up in the cloud with things like Google Photos, Google Drive and Dropbox, it’s hard to imagine to loose absolutely everything in a disaster. Music, movies and TV shows are also no longer backed up offsite, since in the event of a hard drive failure, I can restore everything from the iTunes Store and Apple Music.

So, this is my strategy. What is yours?

(And please don’t tell me your strategy in case of lost files is to make an angry Facebook post and break down crying)

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