Maybe I'm missing something, but hard drives are known to fail and as such are not recomended as a single-source for back up. This is old news and has been discussed ad-nauseum. Why try to re-invent the wheel? Most folks simply back up an to exact duplicate hard drive. If one fails, you can replace it or reformat it and re-copy the data from the second back-up to it -- presto, done, no data permanently lost and a *lot* faster and a *lot* more convenient than DVD's. Heck, 500G SATA drives are now under $200 -- about 40 cents/Gig which is *cheaper* than quality archival (gold) DVDs. You can buy external cases to hold them for around $50 and still remain under the cost of the archival DVD's. Seems to me to be a no-brainer...
Good luck regardless,
You have missed something.
(1) The external 500GB hard drive was bought for the purpose of organising the RAW images from my last trip. I considered it more efficient to complete the organisation before making a duplicate back-up, which involved deleting duplicate images and duds and grouping images in the same category under a single heading (folder), copied from across a large number of DVDs. This process was carried out over a couple of weeks using different computers in different locations. I did not think it was necessary to carry two
rather heavy external drives around.
(2) It was my intention to clear an internal 200Gb drive on my Win XP 64 system to make a duplicate of the organization, once complete. However, considering the chances very remote of a new hard drive going faulty within the first few weeks of use, I didn't treat this with the urgency I should have.
(3) I have a preference for DVDs as maintenance-free archival storage because I have never lost any images this way in the last 12 years of use. I have no 12 year old hard drives that are still working, but I have dozens of 12 year old CDs that perform better and faster than they did when they were first burned. Example, my first Kodak Photo-CD images took 2 minutes to open. Those same images now open in just 10 seconds.
(4) In Australia, blank DVDs bought in spindles of 50 or so, are far cheaper per gig than hard drive storage, whether internal or external.
(5) Example: A cloth bound wallet with a zip around 3 sides, holding 96 discs in plastic sleeves, costs about A$5 (US$ 3.50). 96 discs are not quite enough to hold 500GB (actually 486GB) of data, but are pretty close. A spindle of 50 DVDs range from A$20 to A$35. Using the more expensive brand, $70 worth of blank DVDs are suffient to back up almost this entire LaCie external drive. The wallet that holds them all has about the same physical dimensions as the LaCie BigDisk and would be no heavier when full of discs; probably lighter.
Cost comparison:- A$75 including wallet (call it $100); LaCie BigDisk A$465. I bought the BigDisk because it seemed at the time substantailly cheaper than competing Maxtor and Seagate brands.
Hope I have filled in what you might have missed, Jack.