Data Loss Prevention

You know what to do.

Preventing Data Loss

(*Note: This article is intended for home computing or very small businesses.  Larger companies should consider investing in more elaborate systems.  We will look at some of those in an upcoming article.)

Most of the calls I get today are about failed hard drives. And 9 times out of 10, it’s an external hard drive that has failed. These are available by several manufacturers, but Toshiba, Western Digital, and Seagate are some of the most popular.

The sad truth is, these hard drives are destined to fail; it’s just a matter of time. And if you’re using the drive daily, it’s sure to fail sooner than later. Unfortunately, the manufacturers don’t -- in my opinion -- stress well enough the importance of creating backup copies of your data.

I learned the hard way, several years ago, the necessity of keeping redundant copies of my data. I have lots of photos and videos that are dear to me, and thought I had enough backups. But, when my external hard drive failed, I lost nearly a year’s worth of photos.

This 250 GB SSD drive costs about $100.

Since that time, I have learned to keep at least 2 backup copies of all of my data, in addition to a working copy on an external Samsung solid state drive.

The Samsung solid state drive allows me to work with large files without cluttering up the main drive on my desktop or laptop. It’s fast, reliable, and portable. By the way, Samsung has become my choice for a solid state drive; internal and external.

Now, to back up my data, I use the Thermaltake dual docking station. This device allows you to insert 2 internal hard drives at once, and then back up data from one another, your computer, or from another device. By the way, internal hard drives tend to be more reliable than their external counterparts, and they cost less.

The Thermaltake docking station costs under $50. (HDs sold separately)

The docking station connects to your computer via a USB port, is relatively fast, and to date, I have not had any issues with mine. Your operating system will view the plugged in drives as it would any other data source, and so you just use your standard file management system to view the contents of each drive.

Again, I recommend that you make 2 additional copies of your most important files, photos, videos, etc. Keep a working copy on an external solid state drive (Samsung, recommended), and make sure that, once you’ve finished editing, you make 2 more copies on the backup drives. I realize that this sounds like overkill, but you will thank me when you’re able to recover lost files.

Surf Safe,

Ralph Shelton
HR Computer Services

You know what to do.

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