the grumpy genealogist

backup harddriveI got a new 1 terabyte hard drive for Christmas, to replace the 500 gigabyte drive in my old laptop (which was over 90% full). So now I can move the old 500gb drive into my computer backup rotation.

Previously, I had a 100gb and a 250gb backup, but now the 100gb is too small to hold all my genealogy and family pictures.

I like using the compact 2.5" laptop drives for backup, because they can be stored in a modified DVD case. I can make a cover page describing the contents, and a backup log showing the dates. I keep one at home and another at my mother's house, a few miles away.

To make the hard drive fit, take a standard DVD case (slim cases are too thin) and cut out the plastic hub which fits into the hole of a DVD. Make the hole about an inch bigger than the hub, but be careful not to damage the outside plastic film that holds the cover page..

Next place the hard drive in a regular 3.5" x 6.5" envelope and seal it up. Then tape over the seal for surety. Fold down one end of the envelope, so the drive fits into the DVD circle, and tape in place using mailing tape.

Take the fold of the envelope and cut off the top 1/8" so the drive can be easily removed and inserted. But make sure there is enough fold left, so that the envelope remains closed when the case is closed, and the drive can not slide out if the case is turned upside down.

I like the DVD cases that have tabs on the left to hold an insert page, and use that for my backup log. If a blank case doesn't have that, I just go through my DVD collection and swap out a suitable case.

For the cover page, I have a 5 generation picture on the front, and details about individual file folders on the back. My genealogy program and how to install it, my family tree folder, family picture folder, my documents folder, and when there is room I backup our music files.

There is also a note that this is not the only backup, if it is found after I'm gone.



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"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance." - George Bernard Shaw