We bought a new computer and tried the same external hard drive with the same results. We then purchased a program from my husband’s college called Crash Plan. The same result as the hard drive happened. We uninstalled the program. Last week, my husband again pleaded to me to have me backup my files. We purchased a plan for $50 through iDrive. It actually started to backup files – good progress! 50 hours later, we were only at 25%. My computer was hot to the touch and the fan was running so loud that you could hear it upstairs. We paused the program just to let the computer rest. We let it rest for two days. I turned it on this morning and it froze three times within the hour. Even Ctrl + Alt + Delete wouldn’t work. Why will my computer not back up files? There honestly has to be a better way.
Backing up shouldn’t be this hard. All of the things that you’ve tried should work.
Your computer shouldn’t crash after you plug in an external hard drive or run a backup. Technically, a computer should never crash. The only thing that has me puzzled here is that the crash happened on two different computers.
So, let’s talk about what could be going on here.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
The heat and the noisy fan lead me to believe that your computer is overheating and this is what’s causing the crash.
Your computer shouldn’t crash because it gets hot. Its fans should be blowing air through the machine to keep it cool enough.
One of the first things that you need to do is make absolutely certain that your computer has good ventilation, inside and out.
In fact, that’s about the only thing that I can think of that might possibly be common to two different computers having the same problem. You may have set up your machines so they’re prone to dust or dirt (which ends up blocking the ventilation). Maybe it’s just a hot location for those computers.
Plugging in a drive shouldn’t crash the machine. Possibly the backup software is automatically running when that drive is plugged in and that’s causing the machine to overheat or crash.
Again, it shouldn’t. Backup software should be able to run without overheating or crashing your machine.
You need to backup
Despite all of the problems that you’re having, I agree with your husband. You need to backup.
The issue here is not the different techniques that you’ve tried. They are all perfectly valid ways to back up. The problem is that what you’re experiencing simply shouldn’t happen.
Based on your question, the only other problem that I can think of is that there may be a issue with power at your location. But that’s a long shot. All that I can really suggest is to look at fixes related to heat, or have a technician investigate the problem more thoroughly.