One of the hardest parts of my job is to let my customer know that their hard disk has failed and all of their precious data and particularly photographs have all gone. In some cases, it might be possible to salvage data from a failing drive, but this often comes at a very steep price.
So what can you do to avoid this situation happening to you?
Get an external hard drive
These are becoming relatively cheap and come with a huge amount of storage space – 1TB in most cases. They plug into your laptop/pc in the same way as a USB stick. You could choose to use Windows’s own Backup procedure to set which folders you back up and how often the backup is performed. If you choose this method, make sure you do a restore to ensure that the backup is being done correctly. Instead of using Windows’s backup procedure, you could do your own backup at times of your choosing. All you would have to do is copy the folders and files that you want backed up over to the external drive. One thing you do need to consider if you do get an external hard drive – they like to be used rather than left on a dusty shelf neglected. Keep using them regularly so that the drives spin up. And if your external hard drive is more than 5 years old, I would consider replacing with a new one.
Use the cloud to back up your data
Those of you who have purchased a subscription of Microsoft Office 365 will have access to 1 TB of online storage space via your OneDrive account. If you don’t have a subscription for Microsoft 365, a personal OneDrive account provides 5GB of free storage space, but you can add to this by purchasing additional space.
If you have a gmail email address, you have access to 15GB of free online storage space and backups can be configured to back up your important data. Again, if you need more space than this, you can purchase more at an annual cost.
Once you have your data backed up to the cloud, you are then able to access this data from any other device (laptop, mobile) just by going online and logging on to your account.
I would advise against using USB sticks, simply because they are more fragile and have a tendency to corrupt easily. Plus, if you’re anything like me, they are easy to lose…
With all cloud backups, the backup is real time, whereas if you use an external hard drive, the backup is only as recent as the last time it was done.
As always, if you’d like some friendly advice, please give me a call 0785 509 2227