Tuesday, September 17, 2013

TIL about iPhoto backups

TIL stands for Today I Learned.

As you may have read I've recently gone through an iMac hard drive failure, and had great difficulty in restoring from a Time Machine backup. My user account is mostly restored (done old school thanks to advice from Steve), and applications, though I have to play with mouse settings. A few songs and an ebook got eaten.

And, wait for it, about 20 GB of photos. My big learning is that Time Machine can't back up photos properly if iPhoto is running. Since mine is always running because I periodically use them in my blogs, that means I have lost a bunch of photos. I don't know quite yet how many. Some have been restored, but there are a lot of blanks. The moral of the story is to periodically turn close iPhoto, and let the back up utility run.

There are a great many, 1000 to be exact, at least, on my iPad and iPhone. I need to think very carefully about turning Photostream on. What I think OUGHT to happen, is that it should see a file number on the iPad, and not on the iMac, and copy it over. That will probably leave a bit of a gap between the newest one that is backed up from Time Machine, and the oldest one recovered via Photostream. I have no real idea how big that gap is. The best of the photos of course, are here on my blog.

As I say, I'm going to think about this very carefully. The next steps are to see what else I might have lost. If I don't discover anything else, I'm going to consider myself quite lucky. Over the last few days I've heard some horror stories about hard drive failures.

A 2 TB drive like the one I have is $200, and there are a variety of choices around that price range. Carbon Copy Cloner is about $40, and there are other products. If you have a Windows computer there is probably an even larger variety of products to choose from.

The main activity is tidying up my desk. Storing away the various notes I made. Finding the various bills that need paying. Sorting out a big pile of email.

Ran this evening, a short one. Good warmup, a couple of longish strides, and cool down. Felt good.

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