My brush with a significant portion of my photo collection “disappearing” has left me with the uneasy feeling that I also need to make sure I have an Archive on a different media (ie not just spinning hard drives). At the moment I am using old hard drives taken from computers I no longer use (this is nice and cheap) but with only two cycles, since starting the air gapped archive approach, I’ve run out of capacity for my full photo archive. More significantly they are old and mechanically, thus liable to eventually fail. The fact that this archive can be accessed from a machine that is not on the internet means that they are largely protected from malware, ransomware, like wanna cry, and viruses. Even though they aren’t spinning all the time, this does not rule out mechanical failure of the drive but it does reduce the risks at lot. As I am only updating the hard disk archives every six months, mainly due to my self-imposed rigorous archiving regime, I only have two cycle a year on which is probably not often enough.
About 1/3rd of my collection is already archived (in two places) on CDs and DVDs. This cover the period 1999 to 2010 and for most of the period to 2013 after that, but I have only one set of DVDs offsite. Thus on the old hard drives I only have to cover my archive from 2011 to present (just under 2TB, terabytes). But due to the lesser capacities of my re-purposed of storage drives, I have had to split the archive across two drives (eg 2011 to 2015, then 2016 to 2018), So everything is covered but it is still a bit messy.
Thus it is time to consider an alternative media (and/or methodology) to suit my growing photo collect and the growing chorus is suggesting to look at the cloud. So over the next few post I will be investigating -