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News & Information

Bitter experience

None of us think it will ever happen to us
None of us think it will ever happen to us and fortunately for most it never will. For me it recently did. Yes it was the dreaded hard drive crash.

Whilst downloading images taken on our recent trip to London and Sussex my external hard drive was knocked off the table, by accident and by me, good job it was me, it could have been very unpleasant if someone else had.

After several attempts to view my folders containing all of the images and post production done on them, it became apparent that the hard drive was critically, if not terminally ill. As I write this, diagnosis, possible treatment and cure are unknown. That will have to wait until full examination has been concluded by a suitably qualified IT doctor.

Now you’re probably saying, everything will be OK when I get back to the office as it will all be backed up. Well some of it is, but unfortunately when you’re busy the backing up you meant to do, but didn’t get around too, suddenly gives you the realisation that you’ve lost a whole stack of images.

After a couple of sleepless nights and a whole barrow load of anger and frustration, coupled with , why didn’t I do the backing up when I planned to, rather that doing post production on those images for the next competition or exhibition. Well I will in future and I’m going to make sure I back up after each use, rather than leaving it for nearly 6 months.

However, not everything is lost, no pun intended. I realise that the memory cards from my trips to Scotland, Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales may still have the original images on them. I’m now going through my memory cards and checking for those images and backing them up on my 500GB travel hard drive. I think I’ve found a good number but I’m still not sure how many I will have lost completely.

So how can you avoid the frustration, anger, regret and sheer panic? Well here are some do’s and don’ts that I have partially complied with in the past and will now make sure I do in the future.

Don’t do's
Never remove images from a memory card in your camera, it’s so easy to delete the whole card and lose that competition winner.

Never keep just a single copy of your images. Once it’s lost it’s lost forever or at least that’s the mind set you should have.

Never put off backing up your images and if you know how to set up automatic back up, do it. I wish I knew how to do it.

Never take your major drive on holiday with you. Look what happened to me.


Back up your images on a regular basis.

Keep your full memory cards until you have downloaded your images and backed them up.

Keep you original RAW/JPEG files just like you used to keep film negatives. If necessary you can always re do post processing.