Are your precious photos safe?
Are you backing up your precious photos? our computers and removable storage media are full with experiences and precious moments.
However electronic media is not safe. Hard disks crash and removable media fails.
Disasters can happen. Digital photo albums are vulnerable and if not backed up you lose thousands of photos and a lifetime of moments in just one hard disk crash.
What are backups? backups are just copies of our files that are put in a safe place. Example of such copies can be photos put on a DVD and placed at a friend’s house.
The DVD could of course be placed in your own house but that would be less safe since in case of a disaster in your house you might lose both your computer and the backups.
A few years ago backups were hard to make. You practically had to be a computer guru to figure our those backup software.
Today however backup was made easy using a number of software solution and online service.
Below you can find two main options for backing up your photo albums: burning them to a DVD/CD or using an online backup service.
Backing up to a DVD/CD
Backing up to a DVD/CD is done by using a DVD/CD writer drive and software that can burn files on such media.
Usually using such solutions requires more technical know-how. Backing up to a DVD/CD is a cheap solution.
You can buy such writer drives and software for probably under a $100 and each DVD/CD media should cost in the cents.
One such software that has been around for a while and used by many is from Roxio.
When backing up your photo albums to a DVD/CD please make sure that you put the DVD/CD in a safe place a good option would be somewhere out of your home maybe a family member, a neighbor you can trust or a friend.
Another thing to remember with DVD/CD backup is that when you take new photos you should remember to refresh your backups.
Usually unless your photo album is very big the easiest way to do that is just to burn again you complete collection.
Backing up to an online backup service
As any other service backup found its way to the Internet too. A number of sites provide backup services today for everything from digital photo albums to your word documents.
Those services usually charge a monthly fee in the $10 to $20 but some provide a more limited service for free.
The idea behind the service is simple: instead of backing up to a DVD/CD you just upload your photos to a site and create copy there.
The site stores the backups for you in a safe place far away from your computer.
If a disaster happens and you need your files you can simple download them back from the site or ask them to send you a DVD/CD with the files (not all provide the latter option).
A broadband connection is needed in order to use this option.
There are many advantages to using an online backup service.
First they are usually very easy to use. Some provide software that you download and install on your computer.
You then point to the folder where your photos reside and the software takes it from there. It will make sure new files are uploaded to the backup service and that your backup is always fresh.
Examples of sites that provide such service are: Streamload that starts with a basic FREE 10GB space (approx 10,000 photos at 2 megapixels) and Xdrive that starts from 5GB for $10 a month.
How to recover lost photos
It happens all too often. You’re downloading your latest snaps from your digital camera, and the computer freezes.
After you restart and try again, there appear to be no pictures in the camera. Or perhaps the photos were on your hard drive and you deleted them accidentally, or you didn’t have a backup and your hard drive failed.
Whatever the cause, there is no reason to panic. The computer may no longer be able to find your pictures, but it’s unusual for a fault to completely wipe them from the storage card or disk.
With the aid of some inexpensive data recovery software, you’re almost certain to be able to get your photos back.
There are many data recovery programs on the market, but for photo recovery I strongly advise using software specifically designed to recover digital images.
This kind of software has several benefits, not least the ability to show a preview of every recovered image. Often, data recovery tools find files that look like they might have been a digital image, but aren’t.
The preview feature saves you wasting time recovering files that turn out to be junk.
Another advantage of specialized photo recovery software is that it looks only for photo image file types.
It knows what JPEG and other image files look like on disk. This improves the chances of a successful recovery, and reduces the number of junk files that are found.
Modern data recovery software is easy enough to use that anyone can do it. You just start the software and tell the program where the drive containing the missing images is.
The software scans the drive looking for the patterns that it recognizes as photo image files. When it has finished, it will display a list of files, with thumbnail images showing the content.
All you have to do is select the photos you want to recover, and safe them to a safe place on your hard disk.