Save Data on External Hard Drive

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 166 Posts

This is a tip to save you money, time and concern of not being able to recover data on your computer when, and if your hard drive crashes. After ours crashed I read a article on computers which stated; the odds of a system crashing are 1 in 12.


I have been with out my computer for two and 1/2 weeks due to the hard drive crashing. It is amazing how much I depend on my computer.

Our computer is a desktop, which we have had less then a year. Something caused it to crash and we did not have a external hard drive installed.

We picked up our computer last night with a repair bill of close to $300.00. In that bill was a charge to try to recover data from the crashed system. Some was recovered, but alas we lost a large quantity of stored information.

This has been a expensive lesson! Hopefully you can learn from our mistake. Spend the extra money and get yourself the external hard drive to protect your files, pictures, etc.

By Bobbie from Rockwall, TX

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By bonnie (Guest Post)
November 5, 20081 found this helpful

I just recently got a whole set of back up discs from WP but in the meantime, I had taken my computer to the computer store to see why it wouldnt work anymore. It caught a virus and I was nervous about losing everything on the harddrive especially pictures.


I also paid $300 to get my computer out of the place and now writing all my pictures to discs then when I get enough money, I will get an extra harddrive. Hard lesson learned. It turned out my computer caught a virus.

November 5, 20081 found this helpful

Excellent words to remember, I also learned the hard way. One thing to remember is after you buy the external HD - make sure you USE IT! I now back up my files about every 4-6 weeks with anything new that I may have added (mostly pictures)


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
November 5, 20081 found this helpful

I use CD's and they work great. I back up everything on Sunday nights, then delete all the history, cookies and temporary files, and then shut it off. Once a month, I defrag.


I also delete the original file sometimes, to keep the documents from getting too big and feeling like I am overwhelmed. If I lost some of those photos, I would be devistated.

By Linda (Guest Post)
November 6, 20080 found this helpful

I have several little bitty flash drives -- most expensive was about $10 -- I use those to store my stuff and things. They are small, easily portable (to daughter's computer if need be) and hold a ton of stuff. I use one for my Quicken files, another for my pictures and one even has everything on my computer stored on it! I copy/file to these whenenver I make a major change -- Quicken is on a routine basis! Good 'putering!

November 11, 20080 found this helpful

I have lost 2 computers to viruses. Thankfully we learned from the first time to back up (on CDs and now onto an external hard drive). How awful you will feel when you can't recover your files (particularly for us- pictures!) is unexplainable.


Do yourself a favor and back everything up.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 270 Feedbacks
November 11, 20080 found this helpful

I opened up an email that my sister could not (it was legit) with her computer. Needless to say, she does not depend on an independent self -installed virus protection. She thinks her CHARTER supplied that.
Anyway, the virus attached itself and dumped in my computer, slowly taking out my thousands photos and important info.

Recognizing what it was doing, I called the tech shop, for $50 he backed off all my stuff (I know how to do it, but time was the thing and how fast the virus moved).


I had a seagate internal drive installed in my old computer, but this was the new computer and had just transferred and set up house. SO now I have an internal 500 GB seagate as well as a 500 GB external.
I make the practice of all things go to the external, incidentals go to the inside one. If a fire would happen in my home, I would grab the external from the computer and leave the computer. That is what it is meant to be.

With being down about 6 weeks, I bought a laptop, which hubby now uses. I try not to keep anything important on that, it still has virus protection, just not my important info.

Again, do not make files of your important things you want shared either. All credit card #, bank accts, passwords, etc. Where what is, etc.

I keep a ledger book in my bookcase, looks like a number of other books. I type out and tape in any and all info that is sacred to me.


As I grab the external drive, this book would be grabbed as well.

My family does not know I do this, but if something happened to me, it would be where they would look for information eventually. If you keep email addresses and family addresses in the computer, like me--print out a hard copy. Every year go through it and update a copy. It takes such little space to store this if you crash.

ALSO if it is hardware and not something you did, the computer warranty should cover the bill. This happened on a Friday the 13th, right after the first grandchild was baptized and I had all the photos in the computer. Called the company, BAWLING, and to keep me off their backs, they authorized a local dealer to take my computer, take out the hard drive, put it in another computer and download all.

I had done the required SECURITY update for my computer, which ended up being the wrong one assigned to my model. It shut the computer down completely to blue screen.

Over the years, my kids have taught me how to get into my computer, fix it, switch out hard drives, etc. I keep those travel drives handy for switching between computers, taking photos into be printed, etc.
I am comfortable enough with totally crashing and repairing my computer now (IF THE DATA IS SECURED.) Burn your DVDs for back up.

November 12, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks for the reminder. I just got a new Dell desktop. I bought a 1T Seagate Barracuda and an external enclosure and use it for all my movies and Pics and also back up my computer on it every couple of weeks. It was $150 or so and the best money I ever spent.

May 21, 20120 found this helpful

Get Paragon Backup or equivalent too. Backup to the external hard drive.

I download everything to the hard drive. All programs, photos, documents go there.
When I lost my hard drive recently I went to staples bought a new one for $90 or so, put it in, and then used Paragon Backup on the external hard drive to have everything back to no time.

May 21, 20120 found this helpful

OK guys...
Install AVG (free) virus protection AND Malewarebytes (also free) Do it now!

If you get a really big problem go into safe mode. You can open Malewarebytes in safe mode and run it. If you have all kinds of strange things flying all over or if you cannot boot into your OS (operating System) run Malewarebytes. You will not believe how well it works. It even works if you catch that horror that won't let you open any programs and just wants you to buy their software.

Of course you do have to get into safe mode.

Make sure you have an external hard drive and Paragon Backup is nifty. It will make a file of your entire computer and you can just hit a few buttons and it will restore.

Incidentally Paragon comes up before your operating system when you boot up and you can just choose that option and restore to the last backup. Sometimes Giveaway of the day has Paragon for free.

May 21, 20120 found this helpful

Good idea but also get yourself a couple of gig sticks. I have two 8 gigs and add important info to them all the time.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
February 19, 20160 found this helpful

For the price of your repair bill, you could have purchased two, good quality, 2 terabyte external hard drives...Probably more storage space than you would ever need. Anyone who stores very important data in digital form should have at least two backups and those backups should be kept in different places. If one is stolen or destroyed by fire, you would still have the other.

As for recovering lost data, one of the very best recovery software is free. It is called TestDisk. I have used it more than once. It is a two component software. The PhotoRec component can recover up to 100% of your files including data, pictures, video and more. It is very easy to use. The only downside is that it replaces your file names with numbers. If you had rather keep your file names and folder structure intact, you can use the more complicated TestDisk component. It too, can recover up to 100% of your data. The makers even offer free help at their website.

There are many ways to store backup copies, including email and the cloud. I prefer to have all my copies in my own possession.


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