Sadly, your computers hard drive will fail someday. Most likely it will be when you least expect it.
The only questions are:
- When will it fail?
- Do you have a backup?
With the lowering cost of data storage and built in backup solutions found on both Apple and Windows based computers, it’s hard to believe that there are so many people out there who trust their computers with valuable and in some cases irreplaceable information. How about your photos? And all it takes to lose that data is a failed hard drive.
It is important that we realize that even a brand new computer or hard drive can and will fail at some point and time. I have seen hard drives fail right out of the package and on the other side I have seen hard drives last upwards of 10 years. There are data recovery services available, but they are extremely expensive and should not be entirely relied on; especially when you can buy a 1 terabyte external hard drive for about $60-$70.
What steps can you take to ensure that you keep your data?
Apple has a piece of software called “Time Machine” and it can be found under your device’s System Preferences. Simply, purchase an external hard drive from a local retailer that is Mac OS ready. A 1TB (terabyte) hard drive will be more than enough for most users, and might be a little overkill depending on how big your computers hard drive is.
Plug the external drive into your computer and open Time Machine. It will then ask you where to backup the data. In which case you will point it to your new hard drive. After that, Time Machine will take over and backup your data every hour. The great thing about Time Machine is that even of you deleted a file you can go back to the day you started backing up the computer and retrieve that file. You can also use it to set up a new Mac computer and it will automatically transfer your preferences and your data with little to no frustration.
Windows 8 users:
Windows 8 has a piece of software built into the operating system called “File History”. Simply, purchase an external hard drive from a local retailer that is “Windows ready.” A 1TB (terabyte) hard drive will be more than enough for most users, and might be a little overkill depending on how big your computers hard drive is.
Then, plug it into the computer and swipe in from the right edge and then click search. Type in “File History Settings” and select it from the list. Click “select drive” and turn on File History. File History will allow you to recover old files as far back as when you started your backup. It can also allow you to retrieve old versions of a file that you may have been working on.
Now that you have set up a backup for you data you can rest a little easier knowing that if your computer fails or that new hard drive fails (I have seen it happen) your data will be safe. Also remember that power surges from electrical storms can be a contributing factor in a hard drive failure. Remember surge protectors can help but unplugging your sensitive electronics while your away or during storms is always a good idea.
If you would like more information on how to setup a backup on your computer you can try one of these helpful links: