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Protecting your precious memories…

As mentioned in my last column you have the option to purchase external HDD storage devices to back-up your data for safe keeping. 

On average most people would now own a digital camera and/or iPod and have downloaded all their pictures and music over the years to their computers for use and safe keeping.  I’m sure most of you would believe that your files are stored on the computers HDD safely along with all your other saved documents, emails, etc. 

But be warned, one of the most common things to fail in a computer these days is the hard drive!

As you can see by the Diagram a HDD consists of moving parts which is why they are prone too failing at times, especially if a computer is dropped.

The way the HDD works is a bit like an old record player. The data is read from the platter via a copper wire on the actuator arm.


External hard drives currently consist of this same technology and are useful as backup devices, but are as fallible as internal hard drives. We recommend that if you purchase an external HDD for backups you should restrict this device to just backup use as it will be more likely to fail the more it is moved around.  

We also recommend making a permanent archive file of the data you wish to store long term to be on the safe side. Another way to do this is to copy your most precious documents onto a CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc and keep that safely filed away. We personally make a second copy and give that to a relative or friend who lives nearby as well, in case of robbery or fire. 

Keep these archive backups away from sunlight and check the disc every few years as  CD/DVD/Blu-ray discs will not last forever, on average 7 years. 

By following the first step you will help reduce the risk of losing any of your precious memories.  Following through on the archive backups as well will just ensure that you retain your records forever. 

But don’t panic if you are unsure of how to perform any of the tasks mentioned there are products out there that can automate your backups and make this task even simpler. 

As always don’t hesitate to visit your local computer store and they will be able to assist you with any of your computing needs. 


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