Data backups: What software programs do I use or recommend and what is my backup strategy?

3 responses to “FAQs

  1. I regularly make copies of my data using commercial software programs, external hard drives, and online backup services. I also employ USB flash drives to transfer small files between computers.

    I own 3 computers: a MacBook Pro, a PowerBook G4, and an iMac that functions as my file server. My most critical data is stored on the MacBook Pro.

    Once a week I run either SuperDuper! or Synchronize Pro X to clone my critical files onto my external backup drives. The cloning process copies only changed files and folders, so the procedure usually takes only a few minutes to complete.

    During the week, I employ several complimentary backup strategies. I copy work-in-progress files (such as Photoshop documents) to my file server. Every week, on average, I use Mozy’s online backup system (http://mozy.com/) to copy my changed Windows files that I save in Virtual Box.

    When editing audio and video, I store digital media and render files on a G-Technology mini-RAID system.

  2. Bob

    A number of my iPhotos do not open and I get a message: “The photo “11.JPG” could not be opened, because the original item cannot be found.”

    Where do I find the original photo? Is it lost and only the thumbnail is left?

    • admin

      It’s possible that the original photos can be located. Do you have a recent and reliable backup of your home folder that contains your iPhoto library? Also, have you conducted a file search on your Mac to see if you come up with a match for the filenames. If you find what you’re looking for, import the files back into iPhoto and you’re back in business.

      If neither of those options provide the results you’re looking for, the next step requires precaution on your part: it involves taking a look inside the special package file located in your Pictures folder called the iPhoto Library. While this library appears in the Finder as a single file, it actually contains your imported originals, your thumbnails, and the iPhoto database used to keep track of metadata, such as dates, times, picture dimensions, and album names. You can see the hidden information by control-clicking iPhoto Library in the Finder and selecting Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu. While viewing the package contents, look for a folder labeled “Originals” which is where your imported originals exist. Do a file search for 11.jpg and see what appears. You may find one or several. If you find the original, make a copy of it first by Option-clicking and dragging a copy to the desktop. Afterward, re-import the photo back into your library. Do the same for the other photos that are missing. Don’t delete or move any of the files you see inside the library package folder, or else you’ll risk losing access to your entire iPhoto library.

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