Data Folder on Flash Drive okay (Theft Protection)?

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Data Folder on Flash Drive okay (Theft Protection)?

Post by BillCh » Mon Mar 22, 2021 4:29 pm


is it okay to point BlueIris data folders (Alerts, db, log, New, Stored) permanently to a USB 3.0 flash drive (or USB stick as we call them here)? Any issues to be expected?

The idea behind it:
Having Blue Iris running on my local PC writing to an internal HDD (or directly attached external HDD) would bear the risk that if someone breaks in and steals the PC and the technical stuff around it (like the external HDD), all videos about it would be lost too.
So I want to hide a small USB flash drive behind something and connect it via USB 3.0 and an USB extension cable (so that it would tear apart where USB cable and extensions are connected, not pulling the flash drive with the PC they are stealing).

One problem will be the size, my current BI data directory is already 3.3 TB in size, so I would need to find a solution so that only the newest videos will go on the flash drive (which I would assume is the \New folder?). Which folder should also be on the flash drive, \db maybe? Others as well?

Side question: I believe some files will always be opened by Blue Iris while it is running (which is permanently). So it will not be easy to mirror all files on the fly to a backup drive with a backup software that monitors new files and backs them up immediately. This would allow to turn the solution around an write to an internal or external HDD (or SSD) and only copy (backup) new files to a flash drive for the theft protection scenario?

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Re: Data Folder on Flash Drive okay (Theft Protection)?

Post by Matts1984 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:44 pm

While USB3.x is fast it's really just not intended to replace something like SATA or SAS. It is theoretically possible to do what you're saying... have New save to location A, stored go to location B, etc... and the DB can be somewhere separate as well. I believe the principal you're going for by having New on a small USB stick is that you would retain the video file from the time of the incident. I think anyway... I'm not sure if there would be corruption in the video file if it was removed while in use.

BI is definitely optimized to have the DB and New on the local fastest storage and then ship the older clips to remote/slower storage if desired. You're exploring a use case of the opposite. Is it possible to simply store your BI system in a secure location?

I'm not saying it wouldn't work to have "New" be on a USB attached drive and then Stored and DB back on the server... it's just a lot of read/writes and may impact performance. If you test it, pay attention to the drive performance before just trying something. There are massive performance differences between something like this:

and this
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Re: Data Folder on Flash Drive okay (Theft Protection)?

Post by BillCh » Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:22 pm

Thanks Matts!

Excellent information!

I have no problem using an external SSD rathern than a flash drive, I was just no aware that they come in such small sizes (good for hiding) and without an external power suppy (directly powered by the USB 3.0 requires no power suppy cable leading to the hidden drive).

I am not sure what is exactely written to which particular folder and when recorded files will be moved to another folder and whether or not a coorect db entry would be required to watch the last video recorderd if the BI servers gets disconnected during recording it.
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Re: Data Folder on Flash Drive okay (Theft Protection)?

Post by Thixotropic » Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:28 pm

I shuffle my files up to a hidden NAS.

Yes, if someone was reeeeeeeally determined they might find it, but I doubt it. It's really tucked away and the cabling is all in-wall so it would be tough to find. It's also not in a recognizable NAS-enclosure so even if someone did see it, they probably wouldn't know what it was.
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Re: Data Folder on Flash Drive okay (Theft Protection)?

Post by BryceW » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:56 am

You could always make your "Alerts" folder sync with something like Dropbox/Onedrive.
That way only the alerts are uploaded, versus hours/gigs of footage where nothing happens.
Seems like the simplest solution.

As others have said, a USB drive isn't designed for the amount of writes the camera footage will require.
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