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Reviews on digital imaging, Nikon Cameras, Canon Cameras, Macro, Micro, Telephoto and Super Telephoto lens and all things photo optics and equipment, such as the D5, D500 and D850. My ambition is to provide useful and solid photography tips and information with the best real world reviews of all the photographic gear and astronomy equipment - that I use.

Photo Storage +
TrueToad / Saturday, January 14, 2017 / Categories: ToadTech

Photo Storage +

Mass Storage Solution

About a week ago, my main PC suffered an internal drive failure - which so happens to be were my most recent source images were stored along with some other important data. What did I say - I said oh well, I have my trusty external backup and other backups, which I could use to make a full recovery.  No worries! So, I ordered a new drive to go inside my main PC and upon arrival I was all set to install and recover from the LOCAL backup.   Then Things started to turn bad with the reality I and laziness I fell into over the last couple of years.

First, I realized my backups were spread across several external sources and not one had a full master copy, It was a puzzle to "remember" where all the bits were at. I had most of the files, but I was having trouble pulling everything together, and to realize my crashed drive was fried, which left me my local backup - So, technically I only needed to recover my local files. But then,

In my hast as I was opening my PC side compartment I needed to move the external drive out of the way, taking a short cut, I just moved the external over to the side.  I then then slide open the PC, I leaned the side cover against the wall,  then tilted the PC over slightly to get access to the bad drive, but at the same time I knocked over the cover with my elbow, which in turn knocked the external drive, down to the floor about 3 feet. Upon impact it made a weird noise, at this point I was like, this can not be happening but it did, i just dropped my only good backup to the floor.  

I went ahead and installed the new drive, formatted the drive, reapplied power to the external drive and of course - blinky blue light.  I tried and tried to access the drive but to no avail - in a last hope attempt I downloaded recovery software from the mfg. all recovery attempts failed. I turned the drive upside down and gave it another try - luck was with me, very slowly the recovery bar made it's way across the screen, I left the room and did a prayer.  The recovery did not finish and stopped at about 80%, with a failed report. At least now I could mount the drive and access almost all my photography files along with some of the most recent folders still on my desktop - I had recovered them.  Some files were lost, but not my images. Many lessons learned here.  

So, what did I do to future proof ?  I purchased a Synology DiskStation 2415+ with  a set of six 10 Terabytes of Pro NAS and six 10TB Surveillance drives, for a total of 12 10TB drives, and in a RAID setup you get about have the full volume size.  The SkyHawk is setup as two volumes to support continuous IP camera recording and a secondary backup of certain data from the main NAS which ensures I have 3 full copies of my most important data. While the IronWolfPros are setup to support the mass storage needs along with a wake on demand 20 terabyte of additional backups. I am covered.

What is my workflow and setup now:  The Mass Storage Synology DS2415+ is setup in a redundant raid configuration, My PC is still my main work area due to its local (now SDD) disk connection - real fast and the source for most of my files.  All data is backed up to the DS2415+ with secondary backups going to attached storage - back ups of backups now.   The only concern is a local hazard like a flood or fire.  I now sleep without worry about my data, but dream about a off-site solution for full protection - it is coming.

Learn More about This System:

Synology IronWolf Pro SkyHawk

So where do I store my long term archives - the offsite storage?: I keep a copy of my data on Amazon Glacier, low cost solution for protection of your data  - do it for your protection!  Stuff happens, be prepared.  I have 4 TB on glacier, and at night rest assured my data is recoverable - fires, floods, or or otherwise.

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Update on Setup:  I am very pleased with the ease which Synology has developed to make backups effortless.  This is beyond a basic NAS it is more like a full blown NAS system with many available applications.

Performance Boost:

  1. I used link aggeration to increase overall bandwidth, this particular unit supports 4 giga ethernet ports which can be bonded to form 2x. 
  2. I added a 256gb SDD as a Cache read, which speeds up the overall system, on a heavy backup load the cache shows about 100gb usage.


  1. In addition I set up my IP Cameras with the Surveillance Station, although the software is free the license beyond the 2 free license, additional ones have a one time cost, about 60.00 per, or you can buy them in bulk at a reduced cost. Surveillance Station is a very useful tool, featuring analysis, and motion detection.  With the analysis you can set it to send emails when a package is dropped on your doorstep, or someone approaches for that matter. Also features timeline video recording / playback..



I live at the edge of the forest in semi-moist locations, I enjoy larva, and other delights. Although I am toothless and mostly warty, I am a sight to see.

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