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  • Writer's pictureJan Bishop

Are Your Memories Safe?

I have been thinking about this post for a while, and it is so hard! But with the devastation in Hawaii, it feels like the big elephant in the room! Before I say any more, I want to say my condolences to those who lost loved ones or their homes or livelihoods. It is because this is so tragic that I have hesitated to post about this, but I think it is crucial. We are always incredibly grateful that our families and pets are safe when unfortunate events happen. We mourn the loss of our homes and other possessions. Still, the regret of losing irreplaceable family memories seems to be a common thread among victims of such terrible disasters.


Are Your Memories Safe?

A flooded city.

A home on fire.

The remains of a neighborhood after a tornado.


Unfortunately, there are many more ways your photo memories are at risk. In the last few weeks, the San Disk external hard drives have been in the news for reports of failures and corrupt drives. Even when a hard drive works as designed, it won't last forever.



Computers crash. If this happened to you, you know how frustrating and disappointing it can be to lose information and precious memories.


Computer crashed!

Phones are lost, stolen, or damaged.




Printed photos stored in hot, humid environments risk getting moldy. Photos stored in direct sunlight will fade more rapidly. Printed photos can last a long time if stored in good conditions. Choose archive-quality boxes and materials for storing your photo memories.




Photos stored in magnetic photo albums will discolor and deteriorate more rapidly. And the sticky surface of the page often sticks to the back of the photos even after removing them from the magnetic albums.




The tapes in VHS tapes with your home movies are degrading. "On average, tapes degrade 10-20% over 10 to 25 years. If you've been holding on to home videos since the 1990s, there is a good chance some of the footage is already skewed due to aging. Kodak recommends converting your VHS tapes to CDs because disks last over four times longer than tapes."


VHS tapes/family home movies

Vintage Film formats-16mm, 8mm, and Super 8 films are older movie recordings and should be transferred to a digital format. These formats have a shelf life similar to VHS tapes due to magnetic remanence decay.



What about slides? "Unfortunately, slides are prone to degradation; the troubled history of permanence in color photography (an extreme example being the rapidly fading Kodacolor prints from the 1940s and early 1950s) is a continual reminder that these items will not last forever." http://www.micrographics.co.nz/


A slide from the 1970s with a great deal of fading.

Do you have negatives? "Most negatives can be expected to last around 50 years. The problem with the negatives isn't the plastic, as we've already seen. The problem is the pictures on them. After a bit of time, and stored in imperfect conditions, the images begin to fade, discolor, and generally warp." https://kodakdigitizing.com/


My recommendation, and that of the Photo Managers, is the 3-2-1 backup plan! There are three copies and two types of media, and 1 of the copies is off-site. This method helps ensure your memories are safe.


Don't let your precious memories disappear!


Disclaimer: This blog and this post contain affiliate links. If you should decide to purchase from a link, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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Guest
Sep 05, 2023

Dee | GrammysGrid.com wrote: Jan, CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at the #UnlimitedLinkParty 128!

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Guest
Aug 31, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

What a brilliant nudge to keep your memories safe. I have literally never thought about this. Thanks for the nudge to do so.

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Jan Bishop
Jan Bishop
Sep 03, 2023
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You are so welcome. Good luck and if you need help let me know.

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Guest
Aug 31, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Dee | GrammysGrid.com wrote: Great reminder for folks who don't backup and securely save. I probably go overboard but I have about 5 backups of everything, better safe than sorry. Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedLinkParty 127.

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Jan Bishop
Jan Bishop
Sep 03, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for hosting! And thanks for stopping by!

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Guest
Aug 30, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I didn't realize that the San Disk external hard drives don't last. I learned something new. I do want to be able to keep my memories without the worry of it being lost forever.

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Jan Bishop
Jan Bishop
Aug 30, 2023
Replying to

Sandisk has been a reliable option, this newest development with faulty hard drives is not the norm for this company. Most Hard Drives last 3-5 years, they should be checked periodically and have another type of back up in place. Either another Hard Drive (or a cloud back up).

Thanks for stopping by!

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Guest
Aug 29, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you for giving me a lot to think about in relation to photo storage. It is something that most people never think about until it is too late and I am grateful for your tips that I will be able to implement to make sure my memories are kept safe!

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Jan Bishop
Jan Bishop
Aug 30, 2023
Replying to

You are welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

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