View Full Version : Field Backup

05-22-2011, 10:14 AM
Any advice for backing up photographs while at WDW? I have a laptop I can take along, but hate to drag it down there and then worry about leaving it in the room while we are away. I've looked at the Epson photo viewers, but they are expensive.

Is it possible to buy a portable hard drive and back up to it via a card reader without attaching it to a computer?

05-22-2011, 10:14 PM
You can do that (such devices do exist) but a portable hard drive is less reliable than your memory cards; in fact, it's probably the least reliable place to store data. If you've got a laptop, I would bring that - for several trips now, I've had a laptop that's on pretty much 24/7 while we're there; I just lock the screen when we're out of the room, and it's never been an issue. If you're concerned about theft, you can get a cablelock for it for fairly cheap. To protect the photos, you'll want redundancy - burn DVDs of your photos or have them on an external hard drive in addition to the local one.

Your other option is to have two portable hard drives and use one of the stand-alone copiers to copy your memory cards to both drives.

Now, certainly, the hard drive will probably not fail... but they do fail with some regularity, and portable hard drives are reasonably cheap - and think about how you'd feel if you got home and found that the drive with all your photos just crashed and they were gone forever? (Or be faced with a $1,000+ bill from Drivesavers or somewhere similar?)

05-22-2011, 10:26 PM
This is one of the big reasons I picked up a netbook - they are cheap, they are smaller and lighter than laptops, have generous harddrives for storage, can also allow multiple copies of your photos via flash drives or external harddrives, work as basic viewers and editors too if need be, and can still serve all the basic e-mail and remote desktop needs for work, friends, or play if need be - my laptop is more of a use-at-home when I don't want to be fixed to a desktop or one room - but the netbook has become the travel companion since it's about 1/2 to 1/3 the size and can do all the same basic things. It won't do high-end editing, video and graphic work, etc, but I don't do that on a trip anyway.

The other option to consider is a download cable and software if you already have a spare drive riding along with you...ie: smartphone, iPhone, iPad, or iPod. There are various cables you can buy that allow transfer of data onto those portable devices for temporary backup.