Tag Archives: Backup

Sorry No Images

I’m currently having problems with my Mac and can’t post any images. Hopefully, I will have this resolved soon. In case you’re curious, the problems seemed to start last year when I tried to back up my hard drive. Each time I hooked up a disk drive it would be formatted by the Mac ready for the backup. But then when Time Machine tried to write to the disk it would report there was no space on the drive. The disk then became unreadable and none of my PC or Mac Utilities could repair the damage.

I trashed three new disk drives before I had the idea of formatting the disk using my MacBook to format a disk first. That seemed to resolve the issue and Time Machine was able to do its thing.

During all this, I decided to partition my hard drive to help organise my data better. I split the drive into two partitions; one of 800Gb containing my applications and the other was 2.2Gb where I would hold data. Halfway through the partitioning process the Mac crashed and on restarting I could only see the 800Gb partition. The rest of the space was still there but couldn’t be accessed at all.

After a lot of support from Apple over a few months, the only option was to format the hard drive, but even that was problematic. Eventually, the drive was wiped, and the backup from Time Machine started. Except now the backup wouldn’t install and failed repeatedly at different points. We then tried installing just the operating system but that also failed several times. In the end, the Mac has gone to an Apple repairer.

I’m sure when I get it back and all will be well, but it’s the inconvenience and wasted time. It also really makes you question your backup strategy for images and Lightroom.

Something to Say Again

North Wales would you believe!
North Wales would you believe!

I had a bit of a scare over the holidays that made me realise how sloppy I have become with my backup process. At one time I was pretty rigorous in processing and backing up my images. Everything went into a holding area on my hard drive which was duplicated to a second hard drive. Once the images had been processed and had keywords applied I would then move them to a processed folder set, again duplicated and then also burned to CD.

Over time the image size has increased and so have my storage needs. At some point I seem to have relaxed control and stopped using my complicated, multi copy process. In short, I have become sloppy. I did recognise this a few years ago and took out a little insurance, investing in a Drobo with 4 drive bays. That way if one of my drives dies I still have the data across the others.

Great idea; I love the Drobo and all has been well for the past 4 years.

The only problem I have with this set up is that it’s not very easy to have a backup of 8Tb’s of storage. Sure if one or even two of the disks die I can recover with minimal data loss. But what happens if the whole unit dies. The first thing a Drobo unit does when you insert a new drive is format it.


I had this thought about a week ago and then the unthinkable actually happened. My Drobo wouldn’t boot. Even when I managed to get it started the PC wouldn’t recognise it and the unit would go back to sleep.

I have managed to get the unit started now. I have no idea what caused the problem but it’s made me invest in a second Drobo and hard disks. I am going to spend a lot more time in the coming year developing a sensible archiving policy for all my images. I’m now adding images to the collection far too quickly. I can’t risk losing everything.

Storage may be cheap but the time taken to manage data and image archives isn’t. I think this coming year will be a year of tidying everything up and becoming as streamlined as possible.