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FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
Thread started 17 Oct 2013 (Thursday) 23:13
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So what storage options do you all have?

Senior Member
341 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Nov 2010
Location: Austin
Oct 17, 2013 23:13 |  #1

I've bought a 3TB Segate Barracuda internal HDD knowing that I would have problems in the future since it is well, a Segate product. Well I used it to house all of my photos. Well I move, and I'm unpacking. I take out my enclosure that houses my Segate drive, and when I boot it up, the friggin HDD isn't spinning. I swap enclosures and sure enough, it's the hard drive. I knew that this would happen. I've always had problems with Segate products but still I was pissed.

Anyhoo, I do want to get a bit more serious with photography but now I need a reliable storage option. I'm looking now for raid systems that I can invest in.

What is your process for storage and what do you use? If you can offer suggestions it would greatly be appreciated.


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Cream of the Crop
8,438 posts
Gallery: 48 photos
Likes: 46
Joined Jan 2005
Location: Alberta, Canada
Oct 18, 2013 00:35 |  #2

120GB Kingston HyperX SSD for OS, applications, LR catalogs and previews

1.5TB internal data drive (WD Caviar Black) - also has all of the Windows Documents, Downloads, Music, Videos, Pictures folders relocated to it along with my iTunes music library and Outlook pst files, since they just waste space on the SSD

2TB internal backup drive (2 x 2TB WD Caviar Black in RAID 1) that I can conveniently and regularly backup to using MS Synctoy. After the hassle of relocating hardware RAIDed HDD's into a new build I decided to go with software RAID that comes with Win 8 for my current PC.

2TB WD MyBook external drive (for a less frequent storage backup)

3TB NAS for movies, TV recordings, etc.

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Light Bringer
50,973 posts
Likes: 355
Joined Nov 2004
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Oct 18, 2013 04:06 |  #3

I have two SSD, two Seagate drives, and one WD drive. All hard drives fail eventually, though I've never had a drive fail myself. Just in case I have online backups, on site offline backups, and two offsite backups in separate locations.

If your hard drives fail regularly you should look into that. 3TB drives are still new, so they shouldn't be failing. Power problems are a common cause.

RAID will protect against drive failures. RAID 1 is a good bet, and can be done in software or hardware.

I don't use RAID, I use SSDs and hard drives, and I back up regularly.

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Senior Member
567 posts
Likes: 117
Joined Nov 2011
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Oct 18, 2013 09:33 |  #4

2 local 256 GB SSD's. Images are imported here and kept here while being actively processed. Once the images are processed and delivered, I archive them to my Windows Home Server. My Home Server also backs up this desktop nightly.

Windows Home Server
4 x 2 TB internal drives configured in a RAID 5 array. Archive images as well as PC backups are stored here. This Home Server backs itself up nightly to an external eSATA array and to Windows Azure storage.

External eSATA array
3 x 2 TB drives configured as a RAID 5 array. Used solely for Windows Home Server nightly backups.

Windows Azure Storage
Obviously I don't have any control or visibility to the hardware being used but I'm including this here for completeness of my backup workflow. My Home Server performs 2 backups every night, the first is to the eSATA array mentioned above, the second is to Azure so I have cloud storage as well. A product called Cloudberry WHS2011 Backup manages these backups.

The result is 3 copies of every image, one of those copies is offsite (Azure), and the entire process is completely automated.

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Senior Member
869 posts
Likes: 17
Joined Mar 2010
Oct 18, 2013 10:33 |  #5

I have a 1.5 TB with my photos and other stuff imaged to an internal 4 TB drive.
I also back up my images < 100 GB to GoDaddy's online backup service, which is dirt cheap.
With coupon, it's like $20/year for 100 GB.

Senior Member
341 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Nov 2010
Location: Austin
Oct 18, 2013 17:07 |  #6

Cheers for the replies.

Well as an update, A friend loaned me his SATA/PATA/IDE Drive to USB converter and upon plugging in the power, I smelt some burning from the Segates PCB. Hopefully only the PCB needs to be replaced. We will find out soon enough as I'm looking to see how I can get a replacement PCB for me to connect. If this all works, I'm taking all of that crucial data off, or at least backing that up to a more tried and tested HDD system.

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1,059 posts
Likes: 27
Joined Nov 2009
Location: Aptos, CA, USA
Oct 23, 2013 09:47 as a reply to  @ contributor_M's post |  #7

I suspect I approach storage a little differently than most folks:

System Drive: PCIe attached Dual 6GB/sec 120 GB OWC SSDs in Striped RAID, not for the stripe, but in order to not have to deal with two 120 GB Drives

Internal Data Storage:

1. four 300 GB WD 10KRPM Velociraptors in a four stripe RAID
2. 1 600GB WD 10KRPM Velociraptor as Time Machine
3. 1 120 GB OWC SSD as OSX Home Folder

External Data Storage: NAS Server running FreeNAS ZFS Raid 10 on five 500GB Hitachi UltraStars for a total of about 1.9GB

Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là.

32 posts
Joined Feb 2011
Oct 27, 2013 08:34 |  #8

I have a 2 TB internal drive backing up media only to a 4 TB Western Digital MyBook (set up as Raid 0) over Firewire. Media duplicating on another 2TB Western Digital Drive. I have a 1TB drive setup for Time Machine the OS and Apps only. Finally - I am backing everything up to Crashplan.

3,824 posts
Likes: 66
Joined Jun 2010
Location: Atlanta
Oct 27, 2013 12:28 |  #9

external LaCie 2Big 6TB running in RAID 1 at 3TB mirrored. The internal SSD and external LaCie are backed up by 3TB Time Capsule.

1,955 posts
Likes: 14
Joined Oct 2005
Location: Modesto, CA
Oct 28, 2013 16:42 |  #10

I run a 2 x 2TB RAID0 with 2 2TB partitions and then 2 single 2TB drives as a backup to each partition on the RAID0 (using Seagate ST2000DM001 Barracudas). Mitigates risk of drive failure or mobo/RAID controller failure. I use a software program to mirror the partitions with their backup drives.

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62 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Jun 2012
Location: Orlando, FL
Nov 13, 2013 10:00 |  #11

My storage/backup system is really, really simple but takes time to explain because of it's many levels of cascading backup. For the most part, each level is cloned by the level below it - data cascades down the chain. Dropbox is at the bottom not because it backs up everything above, but because it is just a small backup for important data and I didn't have a better place to put it. Crashplan is be the master of all prior data.

SSD + HDD. SSD holds preview files, catalog, etc. HDD holds last 3 months of shoots.
SSD is also cloned to matching sized partition on HDD every week in case of SSD failure.

External FW800 drives
HDD Dock, 2 2TB drives rotate with clones of last year of photos + catalog/preview. Rotated drive is held offsite every other month. My internal HDD is cloned to a partition on these drives.
4TB RAID 0. Holds ALL photos, catalogs, etc. The last 3 months are on here too as a 3rd backup (internal + docked HDD + this). Everything not in the last 3 months is referenced from LR to this drive. Feels as fast as my internal spinning drive, no problems with access speeds while editing.

UnRAID File Server
All files from all computers are backed up here along with media and photos. This is the FOURTH place my latest photos are stored, 3rd place that archive is backed up. Acts as media streaming server, file server, etc

Mac Mini Server
Used for email, web, internal projects, backs up catalog and preview files along with last shoot, and HTPC duties.

5th/4th backup location for my photos, more importantly it's off site. It also holds backups of everything on all machines.

Holds catalog file along with all kinds of other important data.

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So what storage options do you all have?
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