Step-By-Step Guide to a Permanent Digital StoryBook Backup

I have received a number of requests to provide more details on creating a digital backup disc for StoryBooks.

A printed photo book remains the best backup for digital photos. The following procedure assumes that you have already printed your photo book and wish to take additional steps to preserve the digital files.

Warning: This guide describes how to create a permanent digital backup of a StoryBook. Many of the steps may seem a bit extreme. They are, however, required to have a reasonable assurance of being able to access files at a latter date.

This guide is intended to create a digital backup that will last 100 years or longer.

1. Purchase an external LG Optical Drive capable of recording M-Discs, either online or from a retailer that carries this brand. Not all LG models are M-Disc compatible. Models CP40NG10 and BP40NS20 are compatible. The disc drive you are currently using with your computer will not work for this process.

2. Purchase blank M-Discs from Millenniata or another supplier carrying this brand. The discs advertised in your Sunday circular at 100 for $10 will not work for this process.

3. Load your StoryBook file into StoryBook Creator 4.0 using the Open Project command.

4. Export the pages using the Export to PDF command. Name the project YYYY_Project Name_Pages to ensure that the projects appear in chronological order and that the pages and cover are clearly identified. YYYY represents the year that year that the photo were taken.

5. Move to the cover and export the cover using the Export to PDF command. Name the project YYYY_Project Name_Cover.

6 (Optional). Combine the Cover and Pages into a single file using a program such as Adobe Acrobat Pro (Not Acrobat Reader). The advantage of combining the two files is that when the files are combined, the cover file cannot become separated from page file. Combining the two files also allows you to open a single file and view the cover along with the pages. StoryBook Creator does not currently support creating a single, combined file containing the cover and pages.

7. Repeat steps 3-6 for additional StoryBooks as needed. I placed 14 StoryBooks on a single disc, using approximately half the disc capacity. The number of files that you are able to place on a single disc will depend on project size and the number of pages.

8. Using Windows Explorer, move all PDF files to a new directory called PDF_Archive.

9. Using Windows Explorer verify that the files in PDF_Archive total less than about 4.4 GB, which is the capacity of a single DVD. If your files exceed this size, you will need to split them into multiple directories.

10. Blue-ray Disc Suite was installed on your computer with your new LG Optical Disc Drive. Open this program and burn a data disc using the files in PDF_Archive. Check the boxes labeled Enable Buffer Underrun Protection, Write Simulation Before Burning, Verify Recorded Data, and Enable Defect Management, if they are not already checked.

11. Remove backup disc from drive and place it an empty DVD case (available at any electronic retailer). Do not write on your disc or place an adhesive label on it as labeling may reduce the lifetime of your disc.

12. Use StoryBook Creator to design a cover for your DVD. See StoryBook Creator Makes DVD Cases

13. Congratulate yourself for preserving your digital photo book files. Your PDF archive may be loaded into any program that reads PDF files, including Acrobat Reader. The PDF archive is not editable. To edit your photo book, you will need to open the original photo book files in StoryBook Creator. The files are in a proprietary format and are consequently not suitable for long-term backup.

About Mark Mizen

At Creative Memories, I evaluate photographic products and related materials so that today's memories are not lost to the future and then communicate this information to Creative Memories Consultants and their customers. My interests extend from preservation of traditional photographs to the production of photo books to the expected longevity of electronic image files. My long-term objective is to direct the development of technology that meets consumers needs for high-quality products.
This entry was posted in Backup, Digital Photos, Optical Discs, Photo Books, StoryBook Creator and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Step-By-Step Guide to a Permanent Digital StoryBook Backup

  1. Debbie says:

    Thank you! I’m sure you appreciate how much Creative Memories has dragged some of us into the technology age! Greatly appreciated the detail

  2. Pingback: Don’t Forget to Finish « All About Images Blog

  3. Pingback: Durable Information | All About Images Blog

  4. Kaye Rhodes says:

    Just in time for the Xmas lists! Thanks, Dr. Mark.

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