Right after Christmas, I was curled up in bed with my laptop fixing the Features page on my blog. Then BAM! My computer got smacked with a virus* and became immediately unusable. It was very scary as I tried to figure out what I was going to lose and how to fix it.
What was surprising was that I hardly lost anything. Some of my organizational quirks paid off and I am so very thankful.
Lessons Learned About Storing Photos
Aside from the general annoyance of spending half the day restoring my computer to its original factory settings and then reinstalling a bunch of software, it was actually pretty painless in the grand scheme of things.
Back. Up. Your. Photos. I can’t stress this enough. Around the middle of November, I had made a copy of my entire photo library and put it on my external hard drive. That meant I only had to worry about photos I took from then through December. They were still on my memory card. No, I don’t let photos rot on my memory card. I actually sort them into folders as soon as possible. BUT (this is a big but), I leave the original photos on the memory card until I back up my photo library on my external hard drive.
It turns out the only photos I lost were from an event in November and a Christmas party in December where I swiped friends’ memory cards and copied some of their pictures to my computer. I really liked those pictures and I’ll be able to get them again. If I had tagged any December photos in my library, I lost those tags and will have to redo them.
Lessons? I think I’m going to back up my photo collection at least once a month instead of once every quarter or so. If I have a big event that has very important pictures, I’ll back it up as soon as possible.
What About Files and Documents? I actually store quite a few documents in the cloud (like all of my recipe cards) and they were saved. I’ll share my strategies about that in a few weeks. I lost a couple wedding scrapbook sketches, but I had already finished those layouts. I lost a few flourish designs I made for the Silhouette, but I can redo those.
Want more information? Review my posts from last year about photo organization:
- Organizing Non-Digital Prints
- Organizing Photos as You Take Them
- Taking Control of Your Hard Drive
- Advanced Organization Techniques
- Organizing Cell Phone Pictures
I still get the shakes if I think about what would have happened if my photos weren’t backed up.
*Yup, I’m aware that a virus is not the same thing as my hard drive crashing. I’m just being dramatic.