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There is no excuse for not backing up every time you exit Lightroom!

PhilBurton

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From various threads, we read that people don't do automatic backups of Lightroom every time they back up. Why is that? Sometimes it's backup time. That's fair. But consider how much time has to be spent recovering from a corrupted catalog or a drive failure, in the absence of a backup. In effect, you are spending 5-10 minutes each day (if that) to avoid days and days of crisis-recovery of unbacked up work.

Or, backups take too much disk space. In the worst case, you have to spend oh US $100 for another 2 TB HDD. But you have 50,000 images in your catalog. That works out .2 cents per image for that extra backup drive. You can do the math for your own situation.

That extra backup cost is a small fraction of what you spent to produce that image, considering the cost of camera, lenses, computer system including high quality monitor, fast CPU and Lightroom, your printer if you have one, etc.

So what is YOUR excuse for still not backing up daily?

Phil
 
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I assess the time I'm willing to spend to reimport images since my last catalog backup. And the level of risk that I am willing to take. For me, Once a week is sufficient. Some times I might go for several days (more than 7) without shutting down LR. And sometimes I might shout down LR 3-4 times in a single day with out and real processing in between. I don't think there should be a hard fast rule about catalog backups. Everyone has a different level of risk they are willing to tolerate. System backups are another story. They should be continuous, transparent and automatic and never interfere with your workflow.
 

Jimmsp

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I assess the time I'm willing to spend to reimport images since my last catalog backup. And the level of risk that I am willing to take. For me, Once a week is sufficient. Some times I might go for several days (more than 7) without shutting down LR. And sometimes I might shout down LR 3-4 times in a single day with out and real processing in between. I don't think there should be a hard fast rule about catalog backups. Everyone has a different level of risk they are willing to tolerate. System backups are another story. They should be continuous, transparent and automatic and never interfere with your workflow.
I follow a similar practice. I let lightroom backup itself and optimize the catalog about once a week.
But I backup my photos and Lightroom catalogs to an external drive every night (that I use them). Every other night I backup everything to a 2nd external HD.
 

Nogo

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Using laptops is often the reason for people not doing automated backups. When your workstation is portable, being where you can count on being in a place where you can supply power to an external hard drive is not always possible. In my opinion, the speed and capacity of truly portable drives makes them less than idea for use as backup drives. The best backup drives require external power instead of using the power from a USB3 port, etc. Because of that, most people with laptops do backups when it is convenient instead of doing it strictly by schedule.
 

wirrah

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I allow Lr to back up once a week (and sometimes delay that). However, I also have a cron job running each night that compresses the catalogue, an sql dump of the catalogue and a few other ancillary files and pushes them off site. Overkill probably...
 
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Using laptops is often the reason for people not doing automated backups. When your workstation is portable, being where you can count on being in a place where you can supply power to an external hard drive is not always possible. In my opinion, the speed and capacity of truly portable drives makes them less than idea for use as backup drives. The best backup drives require external power instead of using the power from a USB3 port, etc. Because of that, most people with laptops do backups when it is convenient instead of doing it strictly by schedule.
Cloud backup plans are ideal for the traveling laptop. They are automatic and work whenever there is an internet connection. CrashPlan is a $60/yr. solution and is unlimited in storage capacity at that price. Since I don't always have a reliable internet connection when I travel, I also carry a self-contained USB powered EHD for Time Machine and other data storage requirements.
 

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Why do people leave Lr open and running for days at a time?
When you re-open Lr, it goes back to the image you were working on.
So I never leave it open, I let Lr backup the catalog every day. (I have it set to every time I exit, but skip it if planning to reopen it in a bit -- I have found Lr crashes after doing some actions to many times without a restart).
 

Michael D.

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Once a week I backup - I feel no need to do it daily.
If I should ever have a problem between the backups (and so far I never have), I would still have my original images on my camera's card to fill in the missing images since the previous week's backup.
 
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I backup each time I changed something in the catalog, so each time I imported images, edited images, rated images, or added keywords. Even if I have to do that twice a day, because when on a trip I turn off my laptop after downloading my morning shoot and turn it on again after my afternoon shoot. If I only started Lightroom to export a few images for a magazine or another client, I skip the backup because nothing changed. Besides that, I have Apple Time Machine running so I make hourly backups of the complete hard disk, which also includes my LR catalog.
 
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Why do people leave Lr open and running for days at a time?
Why not? It does not hurt. I seldom reboot OS X (although Windows is not as forgiving). OS X puts the system to sleep and everything is where I left it If I shut down LR overtime I walked away from my desk I would be forever in the start up process
 

Daniel Maalem

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hi, i know this is irrelevant but i really could do with some help, i messaged your skype, hope you're able to help.

Thank you
 

PhilBurton

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Using laptops is often the reason for people not doing automated backups. When your workstation is portable, being where you can count on being in a place where you can supply power to an external hard drive is not always possible. In my opinion, the speed and capacity of truly portable drives makes them less than idea for use as backup drives. The best backup drives require external power instead of using the power from a USB3 port, etc. Because of that, most people with laptops do backups when it is convenient instead of doing it strictly by schedule.
Nogo,

Actually you can use an external HDD as a backup device. Just get a "two headed" USB cable, like this one, but matched to the USB connector on your external drive. StarTech USB2HABMY3 3 ft. Black & Red USB Y Cable for External Hard Drive - USB A to mini B - Newegg.com

Or, get a 2.5" external base and an SSD. Besides being lighter and quieter than regular HDDs, SSDs use less power so that a normal USB cable supplies enough power.

Phil
 

tspear

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Why not? It does not hurt. I seldom reboot OS X (although Windows is not as forgiving). OS X puts the system to sleep and everything is where I left it If I shut down LR overtime I walked away from my desk I would be forever in the start up process
lol, well my experience is almost exactly opposite. My Windows 10 machine is rebooted every month or two when I have a patch which requires it. My Mac is rebooted almost every week or two as a patch forces it, or system hangs (mostly due to playing videos on youtube -- a known bug).

As for start time, I am always doing something so I start Lr and go work on something else while it comes up. So I do not really notice any lag. I have had too many years with QuickBooks, Quicken, dBase and other local database applications which get corrupted that I just do not like to leave those types of applications open anymore.
 

mcasan

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I have LR do a backup each time I exit. Then i invoke a Time Machine backup. At least TM backups are in the background.
 

Nogo

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Cloud backup plans are ideal for the traveling laptop. They are automatic and work whenever there is an internet connection. CrashPlan is a $60/yr. solution and is unlimited in storage capacity at that price. Since I don't always have a reliable internet connection when I travel, I also carry a self-contained USB powered EHD for Time Machine and other data storage requirements.
Most of my shooting is sporting events. At times I shoot 1,000 photos or more in a day. If it is a multi day event often times I will shoot two or three days worth of photos before I am able to do even the first culling. My situation is a little different from most people. When I shoot an event, usually I am involved in the running of the event too. I just don't have the time when the event is going on devote to my photography beyond just taking the photographs. This pretty much rules out doing daily Cloud backups for those type of events. At those times, my temporary "backup" is using different cards and just keeping the cards until I am able to do a first selection and then backing up the photos to a external hard drive.

Crash Plan would be a decent way to go but my upload speed is barely even 1 mbps. They are putting in Fiber to the home in my town (near 1 Gbps up and down), but my neighborhood has not qualified yet. I will just continue to use the external hard drives with AC adapters until the time I can get the fiber plan that provides fiber right to the users router. I am not really looking for a better solution, the external drives are good enough for my needs. My point in posting is simply to say, there are reasons many of us don't backup daily.
 
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I agree that cloud backup is far from ideal for the traveling laptop, because you often don't have a decent internet connection. I travel to Africa a lot (I have been there about 50 times), where internet is still a premium service at a premium price in most countries. The places I visit often have no internet at all, or satellite internet at a hefty price per megabyte, sometimes as high as $5 per Mb. You are not going to upload raw images for backup purposes at these prices!

Don't say that the USA is so much better, because it isn't. Campsites in national parks usually don't have internet, commercial campsites around the parks do offer free wifi, but when the whole campsite starts using it in the evening to stream movies, it slows down to a crawl. I always have a mifi with me because of these limitations, but the price of the dataplan makes it impossible to use it for raw file backups.

That doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't make daily backups however. A backup to an external disk is always possible, no matter how remote your location or how busy you are. If necessary you can let it run at night while you're sleeping. And there are battery-powered disks with built-in card readers, so you can even make a backup of a memory card without starting the laptop at all.
 
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Cloud backup for me is not feasible while traveling. So I always travel with an external FireWire HD as my backup HD. I typically use the following workflow to protect my daily work.
  1. Import every days work including make a second copy.
  2. Let LR build all the previews.
  3. Quit and restart LR giving me a up to date catalog backup with the new images.
  4. Backup using Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) with the Safety Net feature turned on. Safety Net saves all modifications and deletions.
  5. Finally once this backup is complete I will erase my data cards.
I think that this protects me from most any hardware failure that might occur. I like using CCC on the road because it is very efficient and doesn't interfere with Time Machine or CrashPlan that I use when at home. I don't know what might be equivalent in the Windows world.

-louie
 

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Johan,

I totally agree. When the wife and I go "out west" in the States we can never depend on decent bandwidth outside a city center or a hotel along the Interstate highways. Same for traveling in Kenya and SA. At most bush camps you are lucky if there is enough bandwidth for minimum email, forget attachments. That is part of us migrating from rMBPs to IPads that can do email, browse, read SSD cards, and write the culled images to an external SSD. We do not want the extra size, weight, and cost of rMBP in the field.
 

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Optimising the catalogue, backing it up, and compressing it takes a bit of time. I think it's unfortunate that LR does the optimising, the backing up, and the compressing consecutively. I used the LR backup plug-in to do the compression before LR took on that job itself and the plug-in started up a process to do the compression when LR started up, working away in the background. I wish LR would take the same approach - it'd allow me to go up to bed a few, long minutes earlier every night !
 
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There are two options to speed things up. First of all, you can uncheck the 'verify integrity' and 'optimize' options, so Lightroom only makes a backup. That doesn't take more than a few minutes at most. You don't need to verify and optimize every single day.

And secondly, you can use a third party backup utility to do the job, so you can tell Lightroom not to make any backups at all, or perhaps once a week or so. The advantage of a separate backup utility is that it will also backup your previews. While that isn't absolutely necessary (Lightroom can rebuild them), it gets you up and running again much faster.
 

mcasan

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For me LR does a backup onto my external library RAID set. Then TM does a backup of the entire file system which includes the library RAID set. So I have 2 backups of the LR catalog onsite.
 
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tspear

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Optimising the catalogue, backing it up, and compressing it takes a bit of time. I think it's unfortunate that LR does the optimising, the backing up, and the compressing consecutively. I used the LR backup plug-in to do the compression before LR took on that job itself and the plug-in started up a process to do the compression when LR started up, working away in the background. I wish LR would take the same approach - it'd allow me to go up to bed a few, long minutes earlier every night !
Why do you wait? I do not.

Tim
 

PhilBurton

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Why do you wait? I do not.

Tim
As the guy who started this thread, I'm glad that people are taking this topic seriously. It doesn't matter how you back up both the catalog and your images, as long as you do those backups.

Phil
 

allen-c

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Why do you wait? I do not.... Tim, I need an explanation ! What do you mean you don't wait? You don't wait for LR to finish to turn off your computer? I doubt that's what you mean!
 

tspear

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Why do you wait? I do not.... Tim, I need an explanation ! What do you mean you don't wait? You don't wait for LR to finish to turn off your computer? I doubt that's what you mean!
I actually do not shut the computer down. The energy saver mode kicks in about five minutes or so after Lr shutdowns. I have watched it while cleaning up my desk.

Tim
 
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