External Disc Drive used for backup

  GMD 12:17 29 Jun 2011

I use an external disc drive to store my photos and as a back up for other important files etc. in case my computer crashes. It is always attached to my computer but only turned on when I am transferring something to it. My question is: If my computer crashes would the external disc drive be affected (a) if it is not switched on (b) if it is switched on

  HondaMan 12:48 29 Jun 2011

I think "No" and "Might Be". Depends on what caused the error. Technically a "crash" is I believe whan the heads hit (crash) into the platters.

  robin_x 13:01 29 Jun 2011

Very unlikely you will have a problem with PC fault taking down external drive (lightning strikes excepted). Virus/trojan might have a look for other connected devices. Mostly they are of nuisance value, hiding files rather than deleting and infecting all your .exes. That can be put right.

Your photos should not just be on ext drive in case it fails.

Keep on main drive and use ext as backup. You may also wish to burn DVDs or make extra backups to another PC/laptop depending on importance and space.

Macrium Reflect Free and/or Easeus Todo are excellent imaging programs which will copy Windows + drivers and everything on your main disc to external or network location. They are too big to use sensibly with DVDs, but they can do.

Images can be mounted for individual files/folders instead of a full restore. The apps can make boot CDs to restore images on a non-booting computer. Note the terminology: Image backups are not the same as backups. Image=everything on partition/disc.

Keep two or more images if space allows. They can be corrupted.



  GMD 13:03 29 Jun 2011

Thanks Honda Man. Cross fingers my computer has never actually crashed - didn't know the technicalities - but it occurred to me it wasn't much good using the external drive as a safe back up if it wasn't actually safe.

  GMD 13:09 29 Jun 2011

Many thanks Robin. I am not a computer whiz kid (72 year old female, but amazingly with it accordingly to my childre!). I do take your point about storing photos on external drive only but as it is hardly ever switched on (and the reason was to make more space on my main drive) I thought the risk was slight. Thanks for all other info.

  wee eddie 13:40 29 Jun 2011

Always a good idea to have 2 Back-ups, with one kept in a different place.

I have 2 external Hard Drives, each has everything on it. One is kept in the Shed. About every 3 months, or so, I change them over and do an up-to-date copy onto the old one.

I also have 3 Memory Sticks to which I rotate putting copies of my essential Files, Accounts Outlook .pst Files and Jobs-in-Hand Folder, on the 1st, 11th and 21st of each Month. They are kept on a peg by the Front Door.

  GMD 13:53 29 Jun 2011

Good idea wee eddie. I think I have all the information I need now. Thanks to all.

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