[Editor’s note: Genealogy expert Thomas MacEntee discusses keeping backups of your digital files.]
Many of us have spent hours, days and months scanning precious photos and documents only to lose them when a computer crashes, a backup system fails or a natural disaster strikes.
In the past, when most photographs existed in paper form, there were several ways to obtain a copy—a reprint from the negative, a photocopy, etc. Now, when a hard drive fails, those digital images are often gone for good.
I have just started working with an easy-to-use backup device to save all of my digital photos and scans of documents. I first mentioned Picture Keeper in a previous post and now I’d like to explain how to get started using a program that many call “the simplest automatic picture backup device.”
Getting Started with the Picture Keeper
Just plug the Picture Keeper drive into a USB port on your computer and it will walk you through the process of backing up your photos. The software is already installed on the USB drive and is ready to start saving your digital photos and scans.
The first time you use the Picture Keeper drive on a PC, the “Auto Play” dialog will appear. With your mouse, double-click on the “Open Folder to View Files” option.
Normally, the main PictureKeeper window will appear, but if not, click “LaunchPictureKeeper.exe” to launch the program.
For Mac, look for a drive on your desktop labelled “PK” or “No name”. Double click on that drive. When it opens the window, just double click on the item labelled “PictureKeeper” that contains a small icon in front of it. The other files are for PCs.
Then the Picture Keeper dialog will appear.
Using the Picture Keeper Program
Click “Start Backup” to begin the initial process of backing up your photos. The Picture Keeper will automatically navigate your hard drive looking for image files (jpg and png). It will then copy them to the Picture Keeper drive using the same folder and files names as those already on your computer. You can use the “Options” menu to add additional image file types such as bmp and psd.
Picture Keeper 8 (PK8) will store approximately 8,000 image files, provided your pictures or scans are approximately 1MB in size. If more space is required, a second Picture Keeper drive can be purchased which will seamlessly continue the backup on the second drive.
Additionally, you can use one Picture Keeper drive for a second computer. When the Picture Keeper program has finished backing up images on the first computer, simply plug it into the second computer and it will back up images on that computer as well.
Finally, remember that when you remove the Picture Keeper drive from the computer be sure and put it in a safe place!
Picture Keeper Will Backup New and Updated Images
Now the best part! Let’s say a month has gone by and you were reminded to back up your pictures again by the Picture Keeper auto-reminder. Plug the Picture Keeper device into your computer and it will automatically back up any photos or scans that were added or changed. That is all there is to it! It certainly cuts down on duplicate copies of images on your hard drive or backup device.
Overview of How Picture Keeper Works
- Plug the Picture Keeper drive into a USB port, click “Start Backup” and Picture Keeper automatically begins searching for and saving all of your digital images. No software to install or setup. No wires. No passwords. No monthly fees.
- After the initial backup is complete, each subsequent backup runs faster as Picture Keeper only copies recently added or modified photos.
Picture Keeper Features
- The Picture Keeper is a simple and easy way to back up digital images. No technical knowledge is necessary—just plug in the Picture Keeper drive and let it go to work!
- The Picture Keeper stores up to 8,000 digital images depending upon the image size.
- You can create a “Plug & Play” slide show on any digital picture frame or television that has a USB port.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your digital images are safe and secure!
- A second Picture Keeper drive will work in conjunction with the first one for continuous back up.
- Each time you plug in the Picture Keeper drive it automatically finds the new or modified images added to your system and includes them in the backup.
- The Picture Keeper can help consolidate digital images from two or more computers and help eliminate duplicate images.
- The Picture Keeper is compatible with Mac, PC and Linux* operating systems.
- The Picture Keeper is more than just a USB flash drive…it does all the backup work for you!
- You can contact the U.S.-based Picture Keeper customer service support team by phone or email.
- The Picture Keeper comes with a one (1) year limited warranty.
The Picture Keeper 8 (PK8) is available from the Flip-Pal.com shopping cart.