Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Advice: the value of external hard drives

I have spoken before about backing up one's computer regularly (post Back up Your Computer). I have four of a seven book series drafted on my computer, so not doing an occasional back up would be downright silly of me.  However, for convenience sake, I also keep my documents on an external hard drive.  The drive that is inside my computer case only holds my programs.  But the external drive has my documents.  My father, who was an electrical engineer and computer builder in his retirement, felt this was essential to increase security, so I have been in the habit for a long time of keeping these two items separate in case of a computer virus or crash.  (In the early days of computer ownership, I had to partition my hard drive to create this kind of separateness.  I like an external drive much better for the reasons I mention below.)
Internal drive in external case
Well, that habit paid off recently when my all-in-one computer's monitor began to fail.  Sure my files are saved, but if I can't see them, what good are they?  I can't even run a back up or open them up and print them if the monitor won't display.  When my daughter's computer suffered this same problem a couple years back, I had to open the computer up, pull the hard drive and insert it into an external drive case. Sure this is no big deal (though it took me some time I didn't have handy to pull the drive, order the drive case and get them together), but when my computer began to falter, all I had to do was unplug the external drive full of my work and plug it into my laptop.  Bingo, complete access to all my work, which, of course, is also backed up on my WD storage drive.

I suppose one could say I am a bit over cautious, but I'll get the last laugh later.

Another advantage: you know that silly question about what do you grab if your house is on fire?  Well, chances are I can grab an external drive faster than I can carry out a computer or even a laptop.

No comments: