Submitted by andrewmriv on Sun, 12/07/2014 - 21:09

One thing that is important for anyone is to have backups. Redundancy is always important when you have files that you can’t risk losing. Unfortunately, some of my carelessness caused me to make some big mistakes.

Original Setup

My original setup was an iMac 27 with an OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual Drive (x2 3tb HDDs in RAID 0). Applications and system files were on the iMac’s SSD while the rest of my documents, music, pictures, etc. were on the OWC Mercury Elite Pro.

I had OS X server installed on it and my Macbook Pro Retina sent its time machine backups to the iMac.

Plugged into my Airport Extreme, I had an OWC Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 (x4 3tb HDDs in RAID 5) which my iMac sent its time machine backups to.

So my MacBook backed up to my iMac’s OWC Duo, and my iMac + OWC Duo backed up to the OWC Qx2.

New Setup

I recently sold the iMac 27″ and created a minimalistic Hackintosh server. I installed the Server app on the Hackintosh and plugged the OWC Duo into it and it flawlessly took over the iMac.

My Retina MacBook Pro started sending backups to the Hackintosh’s OWC Duo and I setup the Hackintosh and its OWC Duo to backup to the OWC Qx2 a couple of days ago. The sever has not been turned off since.

Large iPhoto Library

My iPhoto Library on the OWC Duo drives have photos dating back to 2006. That was the year that I graduated from 8th grade and I am a recent college graduate. I have imported photos from digital cameras back then and then from all of my iPhones since my first iPhone 3gs.

I had photos from family vacations, all of the shows I played in my band, photoshoots from anime conventions, and far more.

Messing Around with iPhoto

I was working at accessing my iPhoto Library on my Retina MacBook Pro and my other “CustoMacPro” Hackintosh over my network via AFP and Apple’s “Back to my Mac.” In the past, I never had issues with this, so I did not think that this would be an issue.

I tried doing weird things like importing a video from my iPhone onto my iPhoto Library from my MacBook and then dragging the video into Final Cut pro on my more powerful Hackintosh. Doing funky things like that messed up my iPhoto Library.

I held option(alt) and command and attempted to repair the iPhoto Library from the server. iPhoto stopped responded while it was rebuilding the thumbnails and it eventually crashed.

Lost Photos

After re-opening the Library, I saw that ALL of my photos, events, and albums were gone. I desperately exited out and right clicked the Library to “show package content” and look into the “Masters” folder but I found nothing.

I found a folder entitled “iPhoto Library Recovered Photos” which had about 542 of my old photos but that was not even close to 10% of the photos that I had in my iPhoto Library.

Incomplete Time Machine Backup

After selling off my iMac, I foolishly destroyed the files on my OWC Qx2 in order to make room for a new full backup of my Hackintosh server and the OWC Duo on it. I had never had a crisis and lost files before so I figured that nothing could possibly go wrong if I re-made the backup since I have done it in the past before.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After the iPhoto Library was gone, I thought “no big deal. I’ll just go into Time Machine and grab the Library from there.”

I then saw that despite having left my Server backing up for 2 full days, it was still not complete. Perhaps I shouldn’t be too surprised since it 3tb worth of files but I am still sad nonetheless.

Moral of the Story: Backups

Always be sure that you have a backup and don’t make the same mistake as me. You never know when something could go wrong on accident. I have certainly learned my lesson. Thankfully, the majority of my important photos are uploaded on Facebook and other Social Media websites too so I have mainly lost “less important” photos.