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The importance of multiple backups

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The primary HD on my iMac went south on Monday. After discovering this, I was not too concerned since I have a TimeMachine backup and CrashPlan backups locally and in the cloud. I did get concerned when I when looking for my latest LR catalog backup file. The volume where (I thought) my backups were going to be found only had catalog backup files to April 24th. Through some system glitch, that volume was unavailable temporarily and so LR reverted to a backup folder created in my LR folder on the primary (and dead) drive.
Except for my images in my LR folder, in Crashplan I exclude everything else in that folder, even the master catalog file. Relying on the backup catalog file for recovery since the master catalog may be open and unstable at the time of backup. So, as far as CrashPlan is concerned, no LR catalog file newer that April 24th. Recoverable but a PIA since I would need to reimport a month and a half worth of newly added images.
TimeMachine operates on the opposite principle. It backs up everything that is not explicitly excluded on the primary drive. So, TimeMachine saved my butt. It dutifully backed up the LR backup folder on the primary drive when it was created. The last backup in that folder occurred on Monday just before the HDD crashed for good.

While I wait for Apple to build me a new 5K iMac, I hooked up my MBP to my EHDs and other 27" display and have recovered the master catalog file and all locally stored image files. I am "open for business"
 

Jimmsp

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Good, but painful, advice. I am on Windows and I use multiple backups as well. I let LR do it's backup thing by making a BU and sticking it on the main SSD that my catalog etc is on. That is ready for a file/catalog corruption.
I then BU everything (including the LR BUs) on the SSD to two external HDs. I get 4 catalog backups that way. Those are ready for a SSD failure.
 

PhilBurton

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Good, but painful, advice. I am on Windows and I use multiple backups as well. I let LR do it's backup thing by making a BU and sticking it on the main SSD that my catalog etc is on. That is ready for a file/catalog corruption.
I then BU everything (including the LR BUs) on the SSD to two external HDs. I get 4 catalog backups that way. Those are ready for a SSD failure.
Jim,

And SSDs fail without any warning, unlike regular drives. Happened to my wife's system about two months ago. Fortunately all data was backed up, and I even managed to restore all her browser bookmarks and other settings. But, again, a PITA.

Phil
 

wirrah

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Glad you got it sorted. My iMac is a late 2009 27" and is starting to do some odd things.

You are lucky that you can back up to external servers. While we have more data allowance than I could ever use I have a maximum (on a good day with no drop outs) 1.5mbps connection which makes backup up of large quantities of data impossible. I do backup the catalogue and an ascii dump of it to Google drive & iCloud each night via a cronjob while time machine and "backup" are used to external hard drives.

We have one machine with an SSD. It failed 10 months after purchase (under warranty though).

Offsite backup means taking drives to the shed! Which reminds me...
 

davidedric

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Even with slow upload (and I was limping at .5 mps) using an incremental back up like CrashPlan may still be practicable. It took me about six weeks to get set up, but now it catches up pretty quickly. Of course if the hdd crashed after a big shoot CrashPlan wouldn't help, but my main disks are mirrored and I also have a copy on an external hdd. As Cletus said, multiple backups are the way to go.

Dave
 
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Glad you got it sorted. My iMac is a late 2009 27" and is starting to do some odd things...
This is exactly the situation that happened with my Mac before the disk failed completely.

If you are using cronjob to back top to iCloud and Google Drive, then you could certainly manage with CrashPlan to the CrashPlan servers. As Dave has pointed out the initial CrashPlan takes at least a month. But it does this backup during idle periods (like at night and when you are not surfing the internet). Incremental backups are managed as easily as your Google drive/iCloud copies.

I have three/four backups running on my primary computer. TimeMachine alternates backups between my network TimeCapsule and a local EHD. Crash plan Backs up to another local EHD and to the CrashPlan servers in the cloud. The CrashPlan Central backup is for the extreme event where some catastrophe might destroy my desktop computer, all of the EHDs and my home network including the Apple TimeCapsule. With CrashPlan you don't need reminding to take a fresh back up to the shed. Your shed and your home could get wiped out in the next wildfire that comes ripping across NSW.

For local use, CrashPlan is free. I recommend this over cronjob or any other file copy/sync as it is a true backup system like TimeMachine. At $60USD/year for unlimited backup CrashPlan to the cloud is a remarkable bargain.
 

wirrah

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I take everyone's points but our ADSL is simply too unreliable to get the initial backup done. While it would take about 8 weeks if all was well it drops out too often to be effective for such a large initial data transfer (I was wrong in my post above - the speed I have for upload is only .35mbps). It would be months before it completed and that's hoping I don't get another 8 weeks of black spots like last year! Although, if there is another dead service, they do give me a 4G mobile device to compensate and I could take advantage of that and I usually get movie tickets as well.

To quote the previous technicians repairing the connection "I'm surprised you can even get ADSL so far from the exchange". Our only alternative is the 4G mobile network and it is far too expensive for the amount of data we move for business purposes let alone my photography hobby. But it's nice to have when they give it to us for free when the ADSL is out. I might just have to cut the wires :)

My cron setup date stamps the backups so they go back as far as I can fill the available space. The zipped catalogue is about 90mb which it handles ok barring drop outs. Of course it's only the catalogue and a couple of ancillary files. It's really the 350gb of images that I need to back up off site. As well as all the other items that are unrelated.

In any event I'll follow up on this. I agree that the cost of CrashPlan is a bargain even at the current exchange rate and will visit their site. Hopefully we'll have a faster, more reliable connection soon as they have built a very impressive tower down the road but, at the moment, it's the shed and small files off in the clouds.
 
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I thought I'd follow up with the progress to date. I had the Apple store replace my HDD and this took a little over a day. I picked up the iMac and of course OS X 10.11.5 was preloaded. On boot up, the machine asked if I wanted to restore from a Time machine backup and presented me with both choices. The Tome capsule backup on the network and a Time Machine backup from the Thunderbolt EHD. I chose the network backup since it was the most recent. The recovery took 6 hours over the network and I'm sure the Thunderbolt backup would have been much faster. When I booted fresh, it was like I was on my old computer. Except, I did not back up the App folder so OS X did not install any of the apps except those that ship with OS X. I D/L'd the Adobe App Managers, signed in and had to "uninstall" LRCC & PSCC even though they were not present in my Applications folder. Once I did that the Adobe App Mgr allowed me to install PSCC & LRCC. When I opened LR for the first time my latest catalog came up. I was not expecting this since I thought I had excluded and my master catalog. Several weeks ago, I had renamed my master catalog file and previews. My old catalog file was on the excluded list but the new on was no. So it was getting backed up regularly with TimeMachine.

From the LR perspective, everything went smoothly. Today, my new 5K iMac arrived and I get to repeat this little exercise. This time I will use the Thunderbolt EHD backup and I have modified settings to include my apps. So I'll get to see if Adobe App Manager, PSCC & LRCC get migrated to the new computer.
 
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