Articles tagged: external drive
If you’ve got an old hard drive and you want to get data off of it, there are several approaches.
I’ll review the characteristics of external drives and include a couple of specific recommendations.
If you’re backing up regularly to an external drive, chances are you’re accumulating lots of data. I’ll look at how to organize it, and what to keep.
Backing up your computer’s data is critical. What backup program should you use? There are many, but pragmatically, the best is whatever you’ll actually use.
Some people disconnect their backup drive when not backing up because they fear ransomware. I explain why that’s a Really Bad Idea.
When I’m given an old computer, there are a few things I do for the safety of the original owners, myself, and the planet.
You can take the internal hard disk of an old computer and install it as an additional drive in a new one; or, consider a more flexible alternative.
My best practices for external hard drives concern software, hardware, and — you guessed it — backing up.
You can defrag your external drive using Windows File Explorer, from the command prompt, or using a third-party tool. But should you?
External hard drives are handy and portable, but occasionally, it might be nice to move all that storage into your PC. You probably can.
DVDs can be a clumsy solution for backing up – especially if you want to take a full system image. It’s much better to go for an external hard drive.
Moving a file almost always leaves traces behind. So deleting any file securely is only the first step.
Certainly any hard drive can fail. Failure is a fact of life – data loss does not need to be.
Malware can certainly insert itself on external drives. The question is how high is the risk?
Quality and features in hard drives can change over time. So first, look at your needs.
If you’re backed up, this isn’t going to be a problem. Otherwise, there are only a few steps we can take to help us retrieve your data.
It’s not just power you need to worry about; connected drives can also get malware. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep yourself safe.
It’s incredibly rare for a software crash to damage any drive connected to a computer. Other things, like a lightning strike, can do serious damage.
My fairly strong opinion is that if you’re backing up to an external drive, leave it plugged in. Otherwise you’ll be missing backups on those days you forget to plug it in.