Backup of multiple cards creates a mess

I am new to the My Passport Wireless Pro and expected cards to be backed up in full, as my other backup devices have always done, but I found that the MPWP backup tries to be smart and avoid backing up the same file twice. In the process, it created a holly mess, with files and folders from two different video cameras mixed, some files not backed up, and overall confusion that I have now spent more than a day trying to resolve and it seems that I have lost some critical files.

First, why does this happen? Second, how can I have full backups with no intervention from the drive? I don’t want the drive to help me, I just want to know that the entire structure of my backed up card is there!

Are you using the same SD card between the two cameras you have? Do you see this problem if separate cards are used? The MPWP uses the UUID in the SD card to distinguish. Sometimes the card vendor does not have proper UUID on the card and the camera may format and create one. This may be the confusion. If that’s the case, then the workaround would be to use two separate cards as MPWP copies new files only.

I use separate cards. In fact, the cameras were used at the same time (different angles). The cards are all 64GB SanDisk, new models. The folders created on the drive showed the card ID, but the files were mixed.
There was another issue, since I had to clear one of the cards overnight, that the second day backup didn’t cover all files as they had the same names as the previous day’s files.
Again, what I want is a full backup, no intervention, and I don’t care of files are backed up more than once. I want to know that the backup of a card on a specific point in time is an image of the card at the time, with no reference to any other backup. Really, anything else doesn’t work for me.

Anyone from WD care to respond to this? This is a serious problem. After going through everything, it appears I have lost 2 key hours of an un-replaceable documentary sequence. I blame myself for not creating more than one backup, but it doesn’t absolve WD from sorting out this mess.

Does Western Digital not care that a customer is facing such a serious problem? I don’t get it!

Hi @erans, The ability to copy call files repeatly is not something that is supported in MPWP today. Thanks for your suggestion. This has been passed back to the product team for consideration.

A few comments:

  1. An apology for taking a month to respond would have been nice. Some would say, appropriate.
  2. Don’t you think the fact that it’s not a full backup, along with details of the logic the device uses to decide what to copy and what to skip, should be front and centre in your documentation, and deserves at least a mention in your marketing material? After all, what it means is that it’s not a true backup device!
  3. You have yet to respond to the query that started this - I lost files because the device mixed content from various cards. That is SURELY a defect, don’t you think?

Hi @erans,

I am sorry to read about the issue you are having with the MPWP and the support received thus far. This community is designed as a place where end user can interact with one another for WD product related discussions. While from time to time WD Staff do comment on topics this community is not intended to be an official support tool.

As @jchen mentioned the MPWP uses the UUID of the SD card to differentiate cards. For files from the same card the MPWP uses a checksum process utilizing RSYNC so files of the same name should not cause a miss in what is backed up.

For the issue you are experiencing we would need some additional information to investigate what the root cause may be. I would suggest to contact WD Technical Support directly and provide the exact camera and SD cards make and model along with the MPWP device logs. This will help the support team try to identify what may have happened in your case.


Can you just do what the person in this thread does?

Seems that by renaming the base folder after each backup, it seems to no realize that files were previously backed up.

I am a little concerned by this report. I just picked up a MPWP for this very purpose. We travel and have taken well over 4000 photos and videos. No real concerns on the photos as we usually carry two 32GB SD cards for that and they never seem to fill both up except when we went to Europe for two weeks. So I don’t see a need to format those even after backing up to the MPWP. However, we have a new Sony Action Cam and GoPro where we will backup and need to wipe the card to record more, even with 128GB micro SD cards. I have noticed when using it after formatting, it restarts the numbering of the new files at %1. So when backing those up again, it seems that the MPWP won’t copy over those new files because it will think that they were previously backed up.

The entire premise of this backup logic is faulty, because putting together a working version of the content of a card from the multiple differential backups may be so difficult as to be practically impossible. And then there’s the implementation, of course, where the drive clearly makes some very imprudent assumptions which end up confusing files from multiple cards (the prudent assumption, BTW, would be “this is confusing so I’ll make a full backup”).

I’ll write to tech support, but for now I don’t use the device’s own backup (I use it as dumb 4tb drive) because it’s simply not reliable enough.

Yes, I also figured that if I rename the base folder it solves the problem, but that’s a clunky solution that is not always easy to implement in the field

I would agree. The backup is simply comparing file names to prior files in the SD card folder for that specific card. It really should be looking at not only file name but modified date or size to determine if the file was modified. It should be doing this so modified files get backed up. Currently it would seem that if you modify a file on the SD card, that file won’t back up if it has the same file name as a file previously on the card.

I think I can make this work for our application as we will be using it on vacations and backing up SD cards and reformatting them. We will probably just move the files once backed up in to a new or separate folder or rename the base folder as I think that can be done from within My Cloud?

I have been doing some testing. I had a SD card with nine video files on it. I backed those up to the HDD. Videos one through eight were copied over on 2017-11-11 and put in a folder named such. File number nine was copied over on 2017-11-12 and also put in a new folder. I then formatted the SD card and filmed 11 short video files and then had those copied over to the HDD. This is where it gets ugly. It did copy all 11 files over. Numbers 10 and 11 were put in the 2017-11-12 folder. Number nine was recopied with a backup of the previously copied file and both are in the 2017-11-12 folder. Numbers one through eight were copied over in to the 2017-11-11 folder. Backup copies were made of the previously copied one through eight files. The weird thing is that the backup copy has a modified date of 11/12/2017 where the new file that was copied over top of the existing file retained its old modified date of 11/11/2017. I know for a fact that the backup file is the file that was actually copied over on 11/11/2017 because the original videos I shot were very long but the new ones were only a few seconds. So the file size is much larger for the original files.

It does seem to indicate that the MPWP will copy over modified files and it places them in to the original folder where they were previously copied and creates a backup.

If one is constantly filling, backing up and formatting the SD card, it woudl seem that most of the files would be in the earliest date folder with a few others in subsequent date folders. It is messy, but I suppose if you just end up importing them in to Lightroom or some other program, it won’t matter as you can rename them on import and have the program import from all sub-folders. Lightroom should recognize the Metadata and it won’t matter what the actual file name was. It still isn’t real pretty and I wish there was a setting where you could just force the drive to copy the entire SD card each day to a new folder. Though problems would still happen if you fill and format a card in the same day. The folder name in the structure really should also contain the time stamp that the copy was completed.

I think I may turn off the automatic SD copy function and just try manually copying files from the SD card and see how that works.

Okay, it seems as long as I will have a mobile device along it will work. Not ideal in the field, but workable. I tried doing manual moves by selecting all of the folders on the SD card and then moving them to a new folder on the Storage. After I created a new folder I would get an error message and had to go back one folder level and then back in to the newly named folder, I was then able to successfully copy over all of the files. However, there is no status of when this function is complete. For a really full SD card, it would be good to see a status. So this isn’t the best option I found.

With auto copy turned off, I instead inserted the card and pressed the copy button, the system then copied all of the files in to the SD Card Imports folder. I then renamed the SD Card Imports folder and initiated the copy process again. I did this multiple times. So it does seem that this is really the only workable solution when you are working with a single SD card that you will be filling and reformatting multiple times.

I really wish there were an easier way. I can understand the current backup functionality when backing up computer files to the drive as you want to retain prior versions of a file. However, it doesn’t work well for the photographer or videographer in the field trying to unload SD cards to the drive to format and use again. SD cards are cheap enough and small enough that for a photographer, using multiple SD cards is perhaps the easiest method, however for someone shooting HD or even 4K video, using a laptop or MPWP is really the only workable solution. So I guess we will have to use the work around of renaming the SD Card Imports folder to make this usable.

Hi guys,
Very useful thread going on here.
So to refelect it to my own scenario.
I have 4 devices using SD cards or harddrives
• Sony HDR520 harddisk recorder
• Sony FDR-X3000R action cam
• Panasonic DMC-T60
I’m feeling much safer when having 2 copies of my data. So I’m buying some extra SD cards so I do not need to overwrite the cards during my vacation and making a copy to the MPWP but what is the correct fix?

  1. Can I just do a backup each time I insert a new card or will there be a risk that an earlier imported card will have the copy process skip files.
  2. Should I do a copy job with the coy button on the MPWP and then connect with my android phone to the MPWP and rename or move the folder?
    I really need the MPWP copying all the file, also the files it doesn’t know. I don’t know if it will read .ts or .avchd or .raw files.

The copy function of the MPWP doesn’t differentiate between file types. It doesn’t care if it is a .raw, .xml or.mp3. It just copies all the files. I have found that it even copies over the hidden folders and files from the SD card. So there is no worry that it will not copy every file from your SD card, regardless of what it is. As long as you are not reformatting the cards each time after you copy them to the MPWP, then there is no real issues with the backup function of the device. It works okay. However, if you are formatting the cards after each copy, this could make things messy and then I would suggest to rename the base folder associated with each of those chips inside the SD Card Imports folder after each time you copy them. This will ensure that there is a clean back up of each time the card is copied.

The only devices I would be concerned about are the Sony Hard Disk camcorder and the FDR-X3000 (I have the same action cam). These will consume large amounts of SD card space and you will probably have to format those cards/drives at some point. My testing has found that 1080P at 50M on the FDR-3000 will only record about 5 hours to a 128GB micro SD card. Cut that in half if you are recording at 4K 100M. So I would suggest that after you backup your videos each day that you rename the base SD card folder (not the SD Card Imports folder, but rather the one inside of it). You can do this by connecting to the MPWP through the My Cloud app. I would suggest naming it something like [Camera]_YYYY-MM-DD. Then format it each time so you don’t get a lot of duplication of files in different folders.

The above of course doesn’t mean you will have multiple copies of the files from some of your devices, it may just save you from having to take along a laptop or other device to move your files to. Unless of course you want to buy a ton of micro SD cards. They are cheap, but you may never know how many you will really need. They are also pretty easy to lose, but then again that is what you have the MPWP for.

I should add that my thoughts when buying the MPWP was to be able to unload photos and videos from the SD cards to the device and reformat the chips and start again then the next day doing the same thing. This is perhaps more risky because there is still only one copy of my files on the more fragile MPWP device, but it is more feasible when talking about huge amounts of video data, perhaps several hundred gigabytes. Then the thought was after getting home to simply import all of the photos and videos from the device to Lightroom or moving them all over to the computer hard drive or NAS. It doesn’t seem to work as well as I had planned and it will take a little more work than thought.

Mate, thank you so much for the thorough investigation. Your test results mirror what I have found, but I only did it once, and lost files (in addition to having a royal mess with the remaining files).
Frankly, this isn’t a backup drive. It’s just an external drive. It’s way to hard to use, and if only my trusty Colorspace UDMA could use a bigger drive and read cards bigger than 32gb, I would continue to use it - it’s SO much better.

I read throuh this topic and are horrified that the “Backup” function of such an expensive device is so bad. I received mine yesterday and are so happy i read this topic prior to going out shooting weddings and relying on this device. I will not use it Before knowing this issue is resolved. Frankly I consider sending it back and just buy 10 pcs of premium SD cards instead.

Anyhow, could I ask (@erans) which firmware you used during theese tests? Would like to read the release notes for any firmwares being release since your firmware version if any.

My Passport Wireless Pro / SSD Firmware