As I was backing up the hard drive that stores my images (a 1TB drive which I refer to as my ImageBank), I realized that I had a lot drives lying around my office. Some were in external cases, others I had stored in those anti-static bags and were stacked beside each other. In fact, I realized that I had so many drives I didn’t know exactly what was on each drive nor when was the last time I updated them.
I did a quick count of my drives and realized I had at least 19 drives: 3 in a mac pro, 1 in a macbook pro, 4 in external drives cases, 3 in a ReadyNAS NV raid system, and 8 bare drives for backup (I pop these into a USB docking station). It’s also quite possible that I’ve forgotten some that are tucked away in corner of my house somewhere (or in the corner of my mother in-law’s house).
Anyway, to deal with this mess, I decided that I better catalog at least the drives that I use for backup so that I can keep track of where they are located, what they are storing, and when they were last updated. Hence, I created a spreadsheet to keep track of everything. Nothing fancy, but I gave each hard drive a unique ID number and then recorded:
- make, size, serial no.
- type of drive (e.g., external usb, bare SATA, bare PATA, etc.)
- how much space was used and how much was free
- date last updated, date the drive was last checked to make sure it still works
- what is stored on the drive (e.g., image backup, music backup, TimeMachine, etc.)
- where the drive is located
For my bare drives that I have stored in anti-static bags, I put a big sticker on them and labeled them with the ID and date the drive was last updated with new files. Now I just have to find a logical system for organizing them physically.
In the future, I’m hoping the size of hard disks grows faster than my data and I can just put everything on a single drive and have a couple extra copies as backup.