This is a little late, seeing as how the external hard drive I had my pictures stored on appears to have died. But, for future purposes, I was wondering (and providing a warning!) how you all back up your pictures?
I do recognize the importance of backups and do have some of them backed up on CD. Being a procrastinator a bit short on funds, I have not pressed really hard to get a back up source. I haven't even backed up to CD in quite a while. (Dumb, I know!) We were using Carbonite, but they don't back up externals unless you pay the price for business backup and that can get pricey when you have a bunch of RAW files. We had decided we needed to do something else, but hadn't done it yet. Obviously, Carbonite wouldn't have saved me in this situation.
So, here I sit, just days away from making a purchase of another larger external drive for backup purposes, unable to gain access to my 250GB hard drive which was packed full. In fact, I was trying to change the default location (it didn't occur to me to unplug the thing... duh!) to download my Christmas pics. I finally did unplug it when I discovered it wasn't being recognized by my computer. That's when I realized the default location changed automatically to my C drive when it couldn't find the external! Oh, the external had started making somewhat sporadic clicking noises a day or two before Christmas and died the day after Christmas.
I haven't given up on recovering my photos, but I realize it is probably going to cost a pretty penny to do it. I'm in no big hurry to get it done. I don't really think I want to attempt it myself, although I am considering the "freezer trick" to see if it will work long enough to get the stuff off of there. What I am doing now, however, is uploading more of my pictures (the few I had on my C drive and the ones recently taken that were still on my cards) to online services. I use Shutterfly for prints and books, but hadn't uploaded everything in spite of the unlimited storage because there is no way to recover the full-size image. Well, that was kinda dumb! At least, I would have something and could print from the full-size file.
I also have accounts with photobucket, picasa, viewbug, and flickr, none of which I do much with. I actually haven't used flickr in quite some time, but in going over the different possibilities, I decided it is really a good deal. I'm limited on the free account to uploading 300mb/mo, but storage is unlimited. I would have to pay to access the files, but it's only about $25/year. That's CHEAP! That would also give me unlimited file uploads.
Obviously, those are only solutions for jpgs. RAW files are another story. So, instead of an external drive, we have decided to put another internal drive in my computer and back up the other computers in the house to it. We will reinstate Carbonite on my computer and put a UPS on it as I think all the power surges we have had lately contributed to the demise of my drive. Over time, we will add two more UPS units for Mark's and Mom's computers. Oh, yeah... and I may start burning CDs/DVDs again!
So, what do you do? Is my plan overkill? Is there a better way to do it? We'll be making the purchase on Friday. I would love to hear your thoughts.