Professional-Grade Backup Plans

January 02, 2012 | | Comments 52

Updated Version of This Article

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Filed Under: (01) Backup Advice(11) FAQAdobe Photoshop Lightroom Tutorials


About the Author: David Marx teaches digital photography workshops and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom training classes. David is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop Lightroom and in Adobe Photoshop. David has lead workshops and seminars for the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, the American Society of Media Photographers, FirstLight Photography Workshops, and he teaches annually at the world-famous Blackberry Farm Resort. For more information on his Photoshop Lightroom training seminars and digital photography field workshops please visit You can also follow daily updates and see new images from David on Google+.

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  1. Jerry says:

    Hi David. Put a version of your backup plan in place. CCC seemed to work fine. Today just thought I’d check the drive to see how the backup was doing. Opening up the folder containing pictures I see the Lightroom 4 Catalog. lrcat but when I open the thumbnails are blank, with question marks in one corner. Seems I must have missed a step in the backup process. I have no problem starting over from scratch with Carbon Copy Cloner as it’s only time, but I am not sure what step I missed. If this makes any sense to you I’d love to get your opinion. I can get a screen shot of the CCC window if that helps.Jerry Knaster

    • David Marx says:

      Dear Jerry,

      I don’t think that you missed anything but I don’t think that you are quite clear on what’s going on. Your Catalog backup is a perfect copy of the original which means that it references the files on the primary storage drive. Since that drive is not plugged in, or active, the reference points in the (backup) Catalog lead to a file location that is indeed offline and unavailable. If you wanted to turn the backup into a primary then you simply need to update the path to your top level image storage folder. See Using the Find Missing Folders Command in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

      But please don’t do this. What you have accomplished here is a fine test that the backup is working properly! Connecting the backup Catalog to the top-level image storage folder on your backup disk is easy but then it is no longer a backup…. All is working now please leave it alone until you have a reason to copy files from the backup disk over to another drive.

      David Marx

      • Jerry says:

        David- I have to be missing something here. Two points: 1- When I go to the backup drive which IS connected always, and I look at the Lightroom catalog file and click on it, it opens up Lightroom and all folders have that question mark. Indeed it looks just like the original on my hard drive as far as layout and folder structure is concerned. Just dont understand how images would be linked if a disaster did happen. I thought CCC copied everything so I would not need the original files to have access to my backed up photos. Point two: When I open up CCC and look at tasks, I only see one- the Checksum task. Not the backup task that seems to or should have happend . Im sorry about the disconnect here, but I dont understand how this all comes together if my computer fails. Thank you for your extreme patience.

  2. Sandy Henry says:

    This website is just want I needed. You talked about losing data, how about contracting lyme disease and losing all data in your head. It has been two years, since I have been bitten by the little stinker and I am just getting my brain back on track. Your website has been a blessing. I have had to relearn all my software programs all over again. My short term memory plus a little of my long term memory was gone for awhile,because of the disease. I am getting better a little bit each day. Your site is easy to understand which has helped me a lot. Your site is helping me remember what I once knew. Re learning is not easy, but with your website hopefully I can get back a lot of what I lost. I did not have a backup plan and finding things on my computer has been a struggle. Like finding question marks on all my images. My thought what the heck did I do now, and not remembering made it even harder. So I am starting at square one and with your help I will be off and running again soon. I will visit your site often and hopefully someday I hope to meet you in person. Thank You.

  3. Deb Ingebretsen says:

    David – I’m wondering whether you have any new recommendations regarding online/cloud backup providers 16 months after you originally published this article. My process has been to have my working image files plus LR stuff on an external drive, which is then backed-up to a second onsite external drive, and the third copy of the image file (original only) has been on CD/DVD. I’d like to see about using an online backup service to backup not only the image files but also all LR data. An additional complication I’m facing is that the only ‘high speed’ internet service I can get where I live is satelite … Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing what you’ve got to say about this!

    • David Marx says:

      Dear Deb Ingebretsen,

      Nice to hear from you. Although the blog post title remains the same I actually rewrote this article just a few months ago. For online Lightroom Catalog and image backup I am very pleased with Mosaic. Their customer service is great and they are the only ones that I know of whose backup system is specifically designed to integrate with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Since your living on low-speed Internet you might also find that their drive mail-in for backup option is more practical than trying to upload everything through your existing Internet connection.

      Best regards,

      David Marx

  4. Jerry says:

    David, your tutorial for backing up a dedicated photo storage drive is a perfect tutorial, thank you. My question though is, if I want to create my primary dedicated photo backup drive, exactly which files/folders do I want to have CCC bring over to the backup drive to make access to all photos, information and changes to those photos using Lightroom and or Photoshop? It can’t be just the catalog I assume. – Sorry If i missed basic info in your blog, but I just want to do this right from the outset. Thank you- Jerry

    • David Marx says:

      Dear Jerry,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Your backup plan needs to protect you all of your images and your Lightroom Catalog. In my system this is easy. I have a top-level folder that stores my Lightroom Catalog and I have a separate top-level folder which I created named “PHOTOS GO HERE” that stores all of my image files. My Lightroom Catalog is an index of the contents of the PHOTOS GO HERE folder. If I tell Carbon Copy Cloner to backup both of these and everything that they contain then I have protected all of my images and my Lightroom index.

      David Marx

      • Jerry says:

        David- Thanks for your reply. I think that all makes sense now. Just have to make sure those folders I do have are correct. Now, I did post a question earlier which was probably lost in the shuffle, so briefly- For my first import from a camera yesterday I think I set up one destination folder too many for my visit to Israel. the Hierarchy I have now is :
        1-“Jerry’s Lightroom Catalog”(1291 images)→”Lightroom Settings”(680 images)→”Israel”(680 images)
        2-“Photos Go Here:LR”(611 Images)→”Israel”(611 images)→(inside the rest are folders by date.
        I am sure I ave some work to do here but not sure what I can consolidate and what I have to do from scratch. I could send an imiage capture if that helps . Thank you again.
        ps: do you ever have courses or classes in New York City?

  5. Jim Hagen says:

    David, I’m recovering my photos after a disk drive failure. I’ve loaded Photoshop Elements 7 on my new computer. All photos are both on a stand-alone hard drive, and an online backup service. I can’t figure out, though, how to recover the tags and ratings with my pictures. I had albums stored on All those recovered perfectly, with tags and ratings. For my pictures not in albums, they were not on, so I need to recover them from my other backups.

    When I bring in one of these pictures, in the Windows viewer it lists the tags and ratings. But when I bring it into Elements, no tags come along.

    Do you know any way to get Elements to recognize these tags from the backup files?

    Thanks very much,
    Jim Hagen

    • David Marx says:

      Dear Jim Hagen,

      I wish that I could help you out but unfortunately I am not a Photoshop Elements 7 expert. If you were having this trouble in Lightroom then I might be able to offer you more advice but this one is out of my league. Apologies and best of luck recovering all of your hard work.

      David Marx

  6. Reg says:

    Dear David,

    First this is copy of my message sent to your email address this AM – my apologies I should not have sent it there.

    Quote –
    Dear David,

    Hope you are well and that your LightroomLab site is growing and successful. It is quite some time since we have been in contact and that is because I have [more or less for my purposes at least] got my head round Lightroom and that is in no small measure thanks to the excellent advice and help you provided. I am still using LTR 3.6!

    I have 2 external drives and everything is backed up on the 2nd drive – non of the LR info is on my computer.

    My question – when I have sorted my pics and select those to be deleted I then click Photos and click the “Delete from Disk” in the appropriate dialog. This is removing the pics from the catalog but they are not being deleted from the disk. They are imported onto the external drive designated “L” but they are still here after I have deleted them. The deleted pics appear in the Recycle Bin. Is that because LR does not update any of the “Imported” files

    Can you help me understand why this should be and advise me what I’m doing wrong. Obviously these deleted pics are taking up space and I would like to rectify this if possible? Is it possible to do that?

    I look forward to your comment and advice with interest.


    Reg Gray.

    End quote

    Since sending that I have spent considerable time browsing your various informative posts. In particular this tutorial and it appears this basically answers my above question.

    Must say I am very intrigued and also worried. I had not realized the Imported pics were not being updated after sorting and editing. Am I correct in assuming the Catalog is the only place where the latest edited images are stored? I am and have been backing up each Catalog and this takes place every time I close LR. ie I have 2 copies of everything.

    Your Jan 3, 2012 to Blaine Ellis – “You might be safe this way as long as you never change your file names.”

    If my external drive [assume No 1] gets corrupted/lost/stolen etc would I be able to access everything by using the latest backup catalog on external drive No 2 ie all my files on LR including the most recent updated work?

    However you point out that having changed the file names after import these new names would not match up with the original names of the imported files and it would mean catalog will be full of “Missing images” – some task!!

    I use Windows – will Cobain Backup solve this problem by backing up all the latest LR work including the changed file names?

    Look forward to having your advice and comment.


    Reg Gray.

    • David Marx says:

      Dear Reg Gray,

      I think that you can make your life very simple or you can make life confusing and complicated. Turning off the horrid “Make a Second Copy on Import” preference switch while importing your files makes life simpler since those “second copies” are never updated by Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. These files are “frozen in time” just as they were when they left the memory card. If a disaster struck–something that wipes out all of your Lightroom Catalogs and the primary copy of your images–and you had to return to these files you would have to sort the good images from the bad ones all over again. Once you found your best images again you would then be thrilled to learn that all of your metadata and your develop enhancements are gone too.

      Rather than wasting your time and disk space with a flawed system I would urge you to use software like Cobain that makes a complete and up-to-date copy of your current Catalog and your current images. With such a backup you could return to your current work– your current images in your current catalog–immediately after disaster strikes. See Professional-Grade Backup Plans for more on how to design a robust and redundant backup system.

      David Marx

  7. Rick Louie says:


    I’m really glad I found your site. It’s been very helpful and informative. Thanks for the great job you do. I do have some questions regarding the size of your LR DB.

    I can see that at some point 1.5 TB for your primary Raid 0 drive will not be large enough and potentially your backup drive may also not be big enough to house all your/my images, especially as images sizes grow coming out of the camera.

    I’m not sure if I’m missing one of your articles, but do you archive at some point to reduce the size of your LR DB and does that translate to your backup sizes? I’m guessing at some point you may create an archive LR DB of say 2011 images or something like that once 2012 rolls in, etc., etc.

    I look forward to your response (links, etc.). Thanks again.

    Rick Louie

    • David Marx says:

      Dear Rick Louie,

      For some photographers archiving older work is an excellent solution to this problem. For others the answer is to delete more “less than perfect” images. My current solution is just to buy bigger and bigger hard drives every couple of years! It’s lazy but storage gets cheaper and cheaper everyday so when I need more I just go out and buy another set of drives.

      David Marx

      • Rick Louie says:

        I think I’m still missing something. If your LR DB is larger than 1.5TB, which is your main drive, how do you handle that if you can buy larger storage? Is there a way to split the DB on to two drives?

        • Rick Louie says:

          Should say CAN”T buy larger storage?…

        • David Marx says:

          Dear Rick Louie,

          I see the confusion now. My Lightroom Catalog files– my Lightroom Database (the .lrcat file) and the Previews (the .lrpreviews)–take far less than 1.5TB of space. My years of digital images take up almost that much room but the Lightroom Catalog files are far smaller.

          David Marx

  8. Cyndi Morton says:

    Hi Dave, I was in your Lightroom and Landscapes in Big Sky last fall and I find I need to move my files to an external hard drive. In another one of your tutorials you mentioned that your external Hard Drive was “stripped” . I wasn’t familiar with that term. Is it something I need to worry about? I am using windows 7 on a Dell i7 with a eSATA port.

    Also does the OWC mini work with PC? The link to the website only seemed to refer to MACs

    • David Marx says:

      Dear Cyndi Morton,

      Apologies for the delay. I was off teaching another Adobe Photoshop Lightroom workshop for the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. It is good to hear from you and I am glad to hear that you have been shooting a lot of images. Yes, the OWC mini can be used with a PC and it will work very well if connected to your eSATA port. These drives are formatted at the factory for the Mac OS X operating system but reformatting them for a PC is fairly easy.

      “Stripped” is a term that often gets used to describe RAID 0 hard drive arrays. This term is supposed to describe the way that each disk in the array contains only part of the total file. By breaking a file up into “stripes” of data multiple drives can record pieces of the file simultaneously. RAID 0 setups can significantly improve speed and performance but it comes with additional risk. The danger of a RAID 0 “stripped” configuration is that if any part of the drive array fails you loose everything. You loose everything because none of the drives in the array contain the entire file!

      I am very comfortable using a RAID 0 “stripped” OWC Mini external hard drive for my primary image storage. I like the performance boost and the portability. I am comfortable with the increased risk because I back this disk up to a rotating pair of traditional external hard drives on a regular schedule.

      I hope this advice helps but if you need more info please write me back and we will help you find the right hardware for your growing image library.

      Best regards,

      David Marx

  9. Liam Foster says:

    Thanks so much for such good information.
    I fully endorse your point about backup of images and catalog. So vital. I speak from experience, hard earned.

  10. Bob Domino says:


    Your tutorials are terrific. I’ve learned so much in such a short time about lightroom considering just a few months ago I never heard of it.

    I discovered a relativity inexpensive backup service where you can get unlimited storage space (they say, I think it’s actually 750GB). I paid $166.85 for a 2 year subscription and backup will happen on your schedule automatically. I’m doing it everyday my entire hard drives (internal and external) and I see this as saving an external drive for backup and off site also and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

    Check it out

    It works for Macs also

  11. Justin says:

    Dear David,

    Thanks for your interesting article. I too am trying to develop a proper back-up solution but am a little unsure which way to go.

    I have a Macbook Pro which I use with Lightroom but it only has a small internal hard drive(120gb)
    In my situation is it best to use the internal drive just for the operating system and applications and purchase a fast portable external hard drive as the my primary. Then back the primary up with a 2 bay mirrored NAS drive such as a synology or just use 2 more external hard drives that I can swap out once a week?

    Also, do you recommend using these drives or have you moved on to something else?

    OWC Mercury Elite Pro Mini RAID External Hard Drive.
    OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Performance 7200 RAID Hard Drive.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    • David Marx says:

      Dear Justin Lloyd,

      If I were in your shoes I would start with my programs on the internal MacBookPro hard drive and add a fast external drive in for your primary image storage. If I could spend your money I would go for a performance RAID disk like the ones that OWC Mercury Elite line of drives. If you do a lot of traveling then the mini version makes sense. If the disk is primarily going to stay at home then I would go for a full-size RAID 0 drive. Why pay a lot more for portability if the drive is only used at home or in your office?

      For your redundant backup disks you could use fancy NAS drives or simple external hard drives. Either would work but I personally dislike all things that rely on my network. I find NAS over-priced, slow, and cumbersome for my needs but other experts would disagree. I am currently using two Western Digital My Book Studio 2 TB FireWire 800 External Hard Drive as a rotating pair of backup disks. For my purposes they are plenty of storage at a reasonable price.

      No matter what you choose its great to see that you are thinking critically about your whole image storage system / backup system!

      David Marx

  12. Frank says:

    After upgrading to lightroom 4…i am getting the following message when launching:

    Lightroom cannot open the catalog named “lightroom 4 catalog” located on volume “Primary Photo Storage Drive” because Lightroom cannot save changes to this location. Lightroom Catalgos can not be opened on network volumes, removable storage, or read only volumes.

    Is that a change from Lightroom 3? any thought i why all of a sudden its not able to open a catalog saved on an external hard drive.


    • David Marx says:

      Dear Frank,

      Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has never been able to work with Catalogs that are stored on network volumes (NAS disks.) So the question must be where is your Lightroom Catalog? Where was your old Catalog stored if you upgraded it then where did you tell Lightroom 4 to store the new copy? Trace down the Catalog’s location and then we will have more clues to solve this trouble.

      David Marx

  13. Genna Kasa says:

    Bucket Explorer runs on multiple platform including Linux also. Now it come in new flavor of supports for Amazon Identity and Access Management Service (IAM), Multipart Upload, Distribution on Custom Origin and many more.

  14. Tyler Beedoo says:

    My main concern about putting everything on Google is this: what happens if I get locked out of my account? My docs, pictures, email, calendar, contacts, etc., will be lost to me forever. That’s a scary thought, IMHO. Or am I just being overly paranoid?

    • David Marx says:

      Dear Tyler Beedoo,

      If you were truly locked out of your account–with no ability to recover your password–then the documents still exist but you have lost your ability to access them. A: Why would this happen? B: This seems like yet one more reason to keep both local (offline) and online copies of every critical file. C: This article does not advocate keeping everything in a google account. Google does not (yet) offer the kind of robust enormous file storage that I am suggesting photographers use for online backups. For that portion of the file protection puzzle I prefer an Amazon s3 account. But again if I you loose your password, and fail to recover it, then I guess you could still be locked out.

      David Marx

  15. Deanna says:

    Hi there,
    Please excuse the dumb question, but rest assured that I am not being intentionally stupid. Just bought lightroom, and trying to get myself organized.
    I followed the link to this article from the one where you describe your storage solutions. So if your catalog and images are both stored on an external hard-drive (let’s call it drive Z), how does an automatic daily backup of your computer’s files onto an external drive help with the task of backing up drive Z? If Z is connected to my laptop (let’s say with eSata), will a standard backup program of my computer (using a USB external drive) also backup the Z drive data? I wouldn’t have thought so….but then I’ve never tried. I just use Windows own internal backup software at the moment. Perhaps you don’t explain how to backup an external drive because any fool would know, but I’m not just any fool! Thanks for your patience.

    • David Marx says:

      Dear Deanna,

      These are great questions. The answer depends entirely upon the software that you are using and the way that you configure the software. I believe that you can configure multiple backup jobs with the Windows 7 backup utility. One job could protect your computer’s internal disk and the other job could protect the photo storage disk (drive Z.) One of the reasons that I like the Acronis True Image Home for the PC is that this software can indeed backup multiple primary storage drives into a single backup set. Before you switch to another backup utility though explore your current system’s options.

      David Marx

      • Deanna says:

        Hi David,
        Thanks so much for your answer. I looked at the windows utility more closely and I can indeed backup any “local” external drives. No idea why this seemed so unlikely to me. Even the “let windows choose” (what to backup) option seems to suggest that it will automatically include such drives (if they are connected at the time of backup, of course) but I decided to check the external drive box in the “I choose option” just to be certain.

        No luck so far in figuring out how to set up the utility for different backups. Without reconfiguring my preferences anew each time I backup, I can only do it “all at once.” But it works: Checking the contents of my omnibus backup (which I can only do by pretending to “RESTORE MY FILES” – if I try to look directly at the backup drive, I just see some giant VHD files) I see that my external drive got its own root folder, so that is good, and everything seems to be there. Unfortunately the backup is now huge, which means i need to buy bigger storage devices, but I guess there’s no way around that.

        So I’m assuming I’m OK with what I’ve got (for now, at least) and will put in place your swapping protocol. If you see any problems with what I’m describing, please do point them out!! And thanks again for your help. You’re doing an amazing job and I hope they are paying you lots of money for this on-line advising (which would make me feel better for leaning on you so much).

        One last thing – somewhere along the line, I saw some instructions for manually renaming your external drive Z (in windows) so that lightroom could always find it (otherwise, it can end up with different letters depending on how many externals are hooked up at any given time). I can’t remember if this was your post, or someone else’s, and now I can’t seem to find it — If possible, could you or anyone else provide me the link?


  16. Scott Freemire says:

    For offline archival there is one product that claims to be a permanent storage medium. Basically, a new type of DVD that doesn’t degrade over time.

    The disks are expensive ~$3.00ea in bulk (25-pack) and only 4.7 GB but that is a one-time cost and you don’t have to worry about a service going out of business. Yes, DVDs may go away someday, but I can still find ways to read my old 3.5″ floppys when I really want to (ok, older 5 1/4″ floppys would take a bit more work). I would bet that future computer systems will retain some way to connect today’s external DVD drives for a long time to come.

    Note: Oh, and for now you need to buy their burner but it is not too expensive and the disks can then be read by most DVD readers.

    It could be a good option for your most important shots.
    Millenniata M-Disk


    • Jaime says:

      I certainly agree with Scott. Permanent storage DVD’s and Blue-ray DVD’s are the way to go. But I would qualify that by saying that it would mostly depend on the size of the catalog you’re trying to catalog.

      If your archive catalog is relatively small, burning and storing 25-75 DVD’s while a little voluminous, would still prove to be a worthwhile investment in the media. In terms of storage capacity, we would be estimating the catalog size at roughly 100 Gb – 300 Gb (this number is even higher if using dual layer dvd’s).

      However, there are those of us who have these large collections of captured video and photos approaching 2 Tb of data. The thought of using DVD’s or perhaps even Blu-ray to archive this collection would become unwieldly and impractical.

      RDX cartridges are designed for small and medium businesses. They have gained wide acceptance in the industry since their introduction in 2004 I believe.

      Most importantly, the technology they rely on is not tape like some backup mechanisms for SMB’s. The cartridge actually contains a laptop like hard-drive without moving parts (the main reason for hard drives failing within 5-7 years).

      Again, if you have a large collection and don’t want to go through the hassle of cataloging countless DVD’s and heaven forbid, someday attempting to find a file in your endless stack of DVD’s, you must look into RDX cartridges as a candidate for your archival and storage needs.

  17. Jaime says:

    Finding a good, solid storage solution is a very difficult pursuit. I’ve been thinking about my precious photos and after having examined many alternatives I’ve come to a conclusion: RDX data cartridges.

    You can do the research on your own but essentially you will discover the lack of reliability in most storage mediums: external drives as well as DVD’s and Blu-Ray.

    The one storage device that has been estimated to provide approximately 30 years (and up to 100) of data retrieval capabilities are RDX cartridges. Furthermore, they are interchangeable with any other RDX manufacturer.

    There is an upfront cost to obtain an RDX drive dock ($69 off EBay) and then the data cartridges. They run in size from 80 Gb to 1 Tb. The 1 Tb alternative is approaching competitive pricing with regular USB drives but they are much more sturdy and have no moving parts.

    I bought a 1 Tb RDX cartridge for roughly $200 and I’m in the process of converting all my raw files to dng. The cartridge will be stored at an off-site location. I

    Don’t get me wrong, I will continue to keep my regular backup at home on a USB drive and NAS however, this additional step ensures me that I will be covered in case of a catastrophy.

    I have to mention that the cartridges are built like tanks and can survive a drop from a full meter onto ceramic floors. Can you do that with your external drive at home??

    HP makes a RDX drive called HP StorageWorks while Dell makes the PowerVault RD1000. Meanwhile, several established companies make the cartridges in the capacities mentioned previously: HP, Dell, Quantum and Tandberg.

  18. Carl Socolow says:

    David, This isn’t related to back-ups per se but I was led to this thread by entering “swap drive” in the search field. Feel free to move or position this thread where it’s most appropriate. My question has more to do with performance. In Photoshop I’ve always used a dedicated swap drive. Usually, it’s on a partitioned hard drive where I use the other partition for time-machine backups. Anyway, I maintain a totally empty 200-300GB swap drive that I point Photoshop to in order to improve it’s efficiency and so that it doesn’t have to look around for dis-contiguous clusters. Is there a way I can improve performance- short of more RAM- in Lightroom 3 by dedicating more virtual with my existing swap drive space?

  19. Judy Moser says:

    Hey David,
    Great info from my favorite tech guy in the whole world! I really like the weekly swap out of externals idea…will help solve problem 1 for me. Sounds like organization is the key (always) to protecting those images. Finally getting some snow here in N. Idaho – hope you are enjoying the same!

    • David Marx says:

      Thanks Judy! Great to hear from you. Snow has been sparse so far in Montana but there is great skiing right now up in Canada. Rotating backup disks is an easy way to gain one more level of protection.

      Best regards,

      David Marx

  20. David
    I just read your article about backup. I am still using the system you recommended at RMSP. I have just about run out of storage on my external hard drives and hope to get your assistance when I go to larger hard drives. Hope you are finding some snow. It is scarce this year in California. Regards. Frank

    • David Marx says:

      Dear Frank,

      Great to hear from you. Send me an email or give me a call after January 21 and we can talk about new hard drives.

      Best regards,

      David Marx

  21. There is another option to backup data to cloud storage powered by Amazon S3. Check out CloudBerry Backup . It is one time fee and the rest what you pay for Amazon S3. Besides, there is no proprietary data format and you can access your data using other Amazon s3 tools. Supports all Amazon S3 regions and Reduced Redundancy Storage. It also comes with the integrated AWS Import/ Export service support.

    • David Marx says:

      Dear Andy,

      Thanks for the Cloudberry plug. I experimented with your basic product too and I was pleased but until you support the mac platform your products are not a practical option for my system. Likewise, I don’t see why I need the Server edition just to use the AWS Import/Export option. Couldn’t a clever customer send their drive to AWS before installing your product then just purchase the Explorer Pro for less money?

      David Marx

      • Hi David

        Thank you for taking your time to look at our software. As for the Import/Export service they need to use the backup software as it writes certain metadata so that the files can be recognized by the backup process and not get overwritten. I wish it was that easy!

        We are considering moving AWS Import/ Export support to our desktop edition ($29,99) anyway


        • David Marx says:

          Dear Andy,

          Many thanks to you actually for the s3 backup system suggestion. Apologies if my previous response sounded rude or harsh. If ya’ll make a Mac version of the software this year I would love to try it out! Thanks again for contributing to the discussion. What I find so interesting about the s3 “online” backup discussion is that there is no “one right way” nor do we have a solid list of “best practices” yet. It’s much more interesting than my usual backup discussions about cloning hard drive A to hard drive B and C on a regular basis! :>

          David Marx

  22. Eli G says:

    Hi David, what method do you use to upload your most important files to Amazon S3–do you use the S3 webpage-based interface, or is there another program you use to do this? Thanks!


  23. Giuseppe Falce says:

    I just would like to mention some other options that I use.

    For Windows a Backup Software that’s free (and fantastic):
    Cobian Backup 10 (

    And an Online Backup Solution: Crashplan for 3 USD/Month (Unlimited Storage). The Client works on Mac, Windows, Linux and Solaris. At does all the work for you.

    • Giuseppe Falce says:

      forgot the url

      • David Marx says:

        Dear Giuseppe Falce,

        Thanks for sharing this info. I have never tried Cobain Backup but I am always interested in new options for Windows backup utilities! I like the Acronis True Image software but it is far from perfect nor is it easy to configure. Crashplan, and JungleDisk, are both very good online backup systems but my money goes much further with a straight Amazon s3 account. That said, Crashplan offers some excellent features and it is a whole lot easier to setup than an s3 backup so it maybe the better choice for non-geek photographers.

        I am somewhat fearful though about recommending any particular brand of online backup service other than Amazon. I am hesitant because you are really trusting that whatever service you use today will still be in business three, five, or ten+ years from now when you need to recover those lost files. A lot of professional photographers got burned in the online backup world when Digital Railroad shut down their servers with inadequate notice. I don’t mean to imply that the same fate awaits Crashplan users, or Mozy users, etc. but you, the consumer, are making a long-term investment when you choose to store your files with a business that can terminate its service at any moment. I don’t think that Amazon Inc., and the s3 accounts. will last forever either but I have a sense that if Amazon is going down that the world will get more than the twenty-four hours notice. Poor Digital Railroad customers….

        Thanks again for your insight.

        David Marx