You know me. I’m always up to something on the computer. I can’t remember if I blogged about this a long long time ago or not, but I had a hard drive go bad.
I had to “undelete” about 300GB of data ranging from several years of irreplaceable family photos to website backups and database backups to my music collection to VHS family videos that I had been in the process of converting to DVD, etc.
To say the very least, it was a horrible nightmare. I thought I had lost all of the family photos that I had been archiving for so long and even had organized by picture dates in folders and such.
Well, fortunately I was able to get about 80% of the data back off of the hard drive that went bad and store it all on another hard drive that I had at the time. The other 20% was basically expendable data that I could replace or was honestly just wasting space and wasn’t worth the effort of spending more time to recover.
I did manage to get most all of my photos back, however, I was not about to go through and try to date each and every photo again. Luckily for me, I had already done this and tagged them in Flickr and as it turns out you can use a Firefox extension to download all of the photos in your Flickr account (this may be limited for non-pro users) and it stores them in the appropriate folders based on the albums and tags that you apply.
This great extension is called Firefox Universal Uploader (fireuploader). I’ve actually used it in the past to verify that it worked as I needed it to, but I hadn’t actually used it dependently until now. It’s been around for a while and I’m sure that if you Google it you will find plenty of reviews and how-to articles.
I won’t cover how to use it, because it’s actually very simple. If you do need help then just Google it or see if it’s mentioned on the extension page.
I’m well on my way to backing up all of my old photos again and even organize my new ones into the collect. For a while I had just been uploading to Flickr and didn’t really store the pictures I had taken since I knew I was going to eventually just download them all into an organized group of folders.
If you have a large collection of important family photos then you should also invest in storing your photos online in places like Flickr (free 100mb/month but only the last ~200 photos are accessible..or..Unlimited Pro account for $25/year) or even just using Gmail to store them with GPhotoSpace for free.
Another thing that I’m doing now is using two separate storage devices to backup my photos and other valuables and synchronize them across machines so if I lose one then I still have the other.
If there is one thing that I’ve learned about storage, it’s that hard drives can and will go bad and typically with bad timing so it’s best to stay on top of your game and keep everything backed up all along the way.