A Little Breathing Room

Pedestrian overpass in Roanoke, VA

I mentioned in several earlier posts that I had just about run out of hard drive space, and that coincidentally one of my three drives – the one that had been my main working hard drive for three years – had been acting weird and giving my trouble.  I switched over to one of my backup drives, relegated the old main drive to temporary backup status, and ordered new hard drives.  Exciting, huh?  Non-photographers can probably stop here…this is as good as it gets!

This past Monday I took delivery of three new 2 Terabyte Western Digital My Book Studio external hard drives to replace the 1 Terabyte drives I had been using.  It wasn’t a hard job, in fact it was remarkably easy.  But given that those drives contain all my photos from the last 8 plus years, I wanted to shut down Lightroom and stop processing photos until I was finished.  The third drive finished copying sometime this morning.  It took about 15 hours to copy the data from the old drive to each new drive, but now I have three identical copies, one that stays connected to my computer, one that lives in a cabinet in my home office, and another that lives offsite at my work office.  I then use SuperDuper! to run incremental backups on a regular basis.  I did a backup on each of the new drives just for fun, and each one took 30 seconds.  But of course nothing had changed, so that was what I expected.  No problemo.

Acquainting Lightroom with the new drive couldn’t have been simpler.  I opened up Lightroom, pointed it to the new main drive, and in seconds it was synched.  Piece-o cake-o!  Back in business and ready for a few more years worth of photos.  Hopefully another 3 or so years, but it’s hard to say.  These files are getting rather large!

10 thoughts on “A Little Breathing Room”

    1. Yeah, but the good thing is that storage seems to be the one thing that is getting cheaper. Although we do seem to need more and more of it.

  1. I have a dedicated drive for photos that I back up to another external drive about once per week. But I don’t have a back-up for the back-up. I think I’ll check out the Western Digital My Book Studio and the SuperDuper. I always looked upon back-ups as an unpleasant chore until had a hard drive failure. Then you realize it’s all worthwhile.

    1. For what these drives cost – about $150 at B&H – having a third one is a no-brainer. It’s simple and easy, a solution that suits me just fine!

  2. I can see that same issue approaching in the next year or so for my main work drives….luckily drives keep getting larger and in general cheaper as well. The cost of storage per gigabyte continues to decrease.

    By canceling that D800 order I bought myself some my time with my current drives. 🙂

    1. From what I’ve seen you are doing just fine with 16MP, Earl. I’m a little surprised that you cancelled the D800 order but that speaks volumes about how you feel about the Olympus.

  3. Well, I kept on reading after the first paragraph so I guess that puts my in the photographers camp. My goal at the present is to upgrade my computer, all of it. the laptop is 4 years old and it’s time I had a desktop as my studio. Saving money for all of that.

    1. Monte, I’m very glad you kept reading, and you are most definitely in the photographer’s camp! As Paul alluded to earlier, that is just one of the joys of digital photography.

  4. I heard that Lightroom sill not store a catalog on an external hard drive. Is that true? Bueller? Bueller? anybody? If it does, how does it work?

    1. Lightroom will indeed store a catalog file on an external drive, but not (supposedly – I haven’t tried it) on a shared network drive. I actually store my catalog file on my internal hard drive, but I could easily store it on the external drive. There may be some “conventional wisdom” about keeping the image files and the catalog on separate drives for speed, but that’s not why I did it, and not my area of expertise.

      If I wanted to move my drive between my iMac and my MacBook Pro I could store the catalog on the external drive and switch that easily. I just don’t.

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