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eeyun 06-16-2010 07:23 PM

Archiving photos in Lightroom
I'd like to know what other Lightroom users are doing to create DVD archives of their images? As it is now, I have multiple versions of my 90GB libraries on one external drive which is a pain. I'd like to go to the effort to create one consolidated library, and then back it all up, all at once, to DVDs and as a single copy on a portable hard drive.

Are there any good Lightroom plugins? I have come across a few in searching, but none seem very refined.

Oh - I have LR 2, not 3 (yet!).

swebster 06-16-2010 07:46 PM

Hey, LR3 is out, cool. Why do you want to back up to DVD?

ge-an_bas 06-16-2010 08:01 PM


What I do is using the dos SUBST command to create a drive letter for a local directory. All my photo's are imported from this drive. So the catalog thinks they are locate in I:\Digiphoto, that I:\Digiphoto could really be D:\BACKUP\Digiphoto or an external drive mapped as I: if the primary location dies. This has nothing to do with backup, but I think is a neat trick to give you some flexibility if you ever setup your storage differently.

I would not recommend using DVD's. It a use pain to create a full copy, and external USB drives are far more convenient and cheap. If you want add an extra layer of safety you could copy your librbary to the secondary location with a utility that does a CRC check on the copy so that you know the copy is correct, you then run a utility like QuickPAR. Interesting enough is doesn't seem like there are newer utilities then that (2004).

For my most critical pictures (wedding) I have create a DVD backup, burned at single speed on a archival quality (Gold) DVD. The photo's had parity added as well.

I also converted all my RAW files to DNG, guessing that it's more likely a DNG viewer will be available in 10 years then a native Canon viewer.


Mauricio 06-19-2010 05:54 PM

I would also strongly discourage DVD as a backup technology. Dye-based discs degrade over time. Gold-based discs are better, but still not foolproof. Discs burned by one machine will not necessarily be readable by a different machine many years into the future.

Hard drives are very cheap for the capacity they offer. Buy two, backup regularly to them, keep them in physically separate locations. This way you have three copies of your images - one on your computer and one on each of your backups. Whenever one of your drive croaks, replace it with a a new one - you still have to copies to fall back on in the meantime. As long as you are serious about keeping your backups current, It would take two lightning strikes on the same spot to defeat this system.

spetschu 06-19-2010 06:45 PM

I recently converted my collection to DNG. I go with a mix of local (Timecapsule) and cloud ( - $5/month) backup. The local drive is mostly for quick recovery of the OS, while the online backup is in case the house burns down.

Another option would be a USB hard drive that you periodically send to someone you don't live with. But the cost of that over time is probably similar to a cheap online backup solution. I agree that DVDs give a false sense of confidence. Backup offsite and make a point of verifying your backups every once in a while. Expect to change formats every ten years or so.

Bry 06-20-2010 06:45 PM

I don't really archive anything. I have a program to automatically copy photos to a second hard drive and also use Mozy ( for off site storage.

BillyGoat 06-21-2010 09:13 PM

I use external hard drives as well for backup as Mauricio describes. 1TB drives can be had for $100.00 now. DVD's are far too small for me these days anyway

Monster 06-21-2010 10:45 PM

My policy has evolved over the years...

1. Delete all photographs with extreme prejudice, save for the keepers.

2. Twin your media hard drive and mirror it on a RAID.

3. Backup to a third hard drive has often you as can and keep either in your office or other accessible location.

4. Backup your newest images to an online source till you update the backup hard drive you keep off-site, you can then delete your online stash and start the process all over again.

I used to back up to DLT tape backup system using Veritas but lets face it, even if they are more reliable HDs are cheap these days.

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