Media Backup Dilemma

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Eli writes (unedited):

Hi Chris, OK, I consider myself a pretty tech-savvy guy. But I’ve recently come to this point where I feel like my faith in the digital age’s media revolution is verging on collapse. I’m hoping you may be the man to resolve my dilemma. I have around 250 gigs of data that I like to have access to at any given moment. Whether its a video clip, a song, or a picture I want to tag in Picasa, it’s all part of my data flow.

Now, the PCs I’ve been using for the past 10 years have never really kept up in terms of storage capacity. So I’ve relied on an external drive as sort of media hubs. I’ve kept all my programs, system settings, etc. on the internal drive, so as not to allow a system failure to affect the media content. I now realize that I had sort of fooled myself into thinking that this was a “backup”, when it really wasn’t. The data, while separate, was never being backed up at all.

About a month ago, my external drive died. Fortunately, the local PC shop was able to salvage it, and transfer it to a new drive. But then THAT drive died, and the data couldn’t be recovered. I’m not in the process of transferring the data from the original drive to a third drive! But going forward, the dilemma is thus: how do I have a large and real-time accessible drive running, that is also backed up so that priceless content (baby photos!) are never gone forever? Does one simply need a massive internal drive, with an external drive solely devoted to backup? Thank you so much for your time.

Why not use something like a Pogoplug? While the online backup option is currently not available, I do believe it’s coming at some point in the future.

Of course, you could also sign up for one of those online backup services. That won’t hurt.

Those two options, together, could be a win.

Then again, I hope all of the media you’re tracking is media you’ve either created or have acquired the proper licensing for. If not, I’d suggest dumping “illegal” audio and video in favor for services like Rhapsody or Netflix. Why you’d care about managing THAT locally to begin with is a bit beyond me.