Hard Drive organizing. Need Advice.

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    • #90031

      For a year I’ve had constant mess with hard drive organization. i’d like to solve that but not sure exactly what the best setup should be for my workflow. Here is the programs I use for my business which requires both Video, Photo and Audio editing. I am using an iMac Intel Core i7 processor with 2GB of Video Ram. I have four USB 3 slots and two Thunderbolt slots which are already taken up for two display monitors. Below is the software I use and what I use each one for.
      Video: Premiere Pro, After Effects and Speedgrade. Footage is converted to Apple Pro Res.
      Photo Editing: Lightroom, Photoshop and digital scanning
      Audio: Avid Pro Tools, Adobe Audition CC and Reason. I edit, mix and produce music tracks and also edit audio for podcasts.
      Out of all those software programs I use and what I do with each one should I do this for my hard drive management?
      Have one External Hard Drive that holds every media file such as video, audio and photos
      Get a second External Hard Drive for cache files such as Render files? (known as scratch disk in Premiere.)
      Get a third external drive for all exports of completed media files.
      get a fourth external hard drive large enough to backup drives 1 through 3.
      I once read an article that said I should be using one external hard drive per software program. That sounds like overkill to me. Why would I need external hard drives for every program I use?
      Can someone please give me advice as to whether I’m in the right ballpark for finally getting my hard drives organized?

    • #213974

      –Having separate drives (physical or logical/partition) is the way to go. It will help to keep your system from getting sluggish. Your cache files are constantly changing. Your work files typically change. While your system and program/application files only change when updated. This is true no matter what operating system you use.

      –Having cache files on a separate drive is a great idea. I do not see a need to backup cache as they are temporary files. In fact, clearing out or cleaning your cache files on a regular basis is recommened.

      –Having your Operating System and Programs/Applications on their own drive is also a great idea. This drive can be reconstructed by reinstalling everything. However, the settings must be set by hand. A backup of this drive is only highly recommended. I highly recommend it only because of the time involved in getting all of those pesky settings right.

      –The last drive that I would suggest is a work drive. You can further add more drives as needed for workflow. But this is more of a personal choice than anything. Maybe divide the work up by project. Or maybe having things divided up by the program used, as you suggested. But again, this depends on your workflow. Backing this drive up on a more than regular basis is a necessity. Your source files are irreplaceable. Your time is valuable. Why would you chance losing hours or days worth of work?

      –And, offsite backups are the way to go. Another building or house or even a cloud storage. I have heard far too many people doing the right thing with backups and losing the backups to a tragedy.

    • #213983
      Kevin Mc

      I think the multi-drive approach becomes too cumbersome, when done as described by the OP. I have eight drives, half of them are used for daily backups. My boot drive (C:) is an SSD, which doubles as my cache drive. No data is stored on this drive, only programs and settings. Following the initial setup of Windows and all software and settings, I created an image of the drive, so I can wipe and reload back to a working state in under an hour. Windows has its default folders, such as Desktop, Pictures, Videos…etc., which I have moved to another drive, which is automatically backed up twice daily, so they remain unaffected in the event of my main drive crashing.

      When you take a *single project* (say, a shoot for a client) and start spreading it across multiple drives, in a year or two when you go back to edit the project, you would have to locate all of the pieces, which are spread across too many drives. When projects are done, I tend to RAR archive them to another drive, removing them from my production drive. For this to work smoothly, and to be able to get the job back onto my production drive QUICKLY, if the client ever needs another version or changes (which happens often), I keep the entire project in one folder, broken out into sub folders such as, STREAMS (all video & audio – further broken down by the camera or audio recorder), PHOTOS, GRAPHICS, SFX… etc. My production drive is a RAID 0 array of two Western Digital Velociraptors, at 2X 10,000 RPM, they are certainly not sluggish when combined into a single drive array at 20,000 RPM. These drives are automatically backed up to an external drive twice a day. Backing up to a cloud is a lovely idea, but – I think – impractical. I have one project that is over 250GB. Uploading or retrieving that project from the web would take just way too long.

      Long story short – I like to keep single projects grouped together. 1) They are easier to work on, 2) Easier to archive and retrieve, and 3) Easier to transfer to a laptop when I’m editing on the road.

      I may not have answered your questions *exactly* but hopefully have laid out some helpful ideas.

    • #213988

      Have you tried using a service like Google Drive or Dropbox? I use both and I absolutely love it, because I don’t need to worry about storage space and all my files are backed up.

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