The Heartbreak of Hard Drive Failures

June 25, 2016 Michael Kennon No comments exist

I have been working with computers since the late 1970’s and one of the first lessons I was taught is that you always make a backup copy of your work! Frequently!

In those early days all we had to use were the old 5-¼ inch floppy disks and I was told to use two separate disks alternating between them as to which one to copy my work to. The reason being was that if there were to be a loss of data then I would still have the previous backup from which to restore my work with only loosing the work done in between when the backups were done.

With the progression of technology actual hard drives and other data storage media devices became faster, cheaper, and capable of storing much larger amounts of data. However, you still had the dreadful possibility that it could fail resulting in the loss of all of your work.

Like many of my associates living in the American Mid-West, we are prone to spring and summer thunderstorms. Recently one associate lost his external hard drive to hardware failure and I have just lost my 6 year old tower PC to a similar fate even though the tower has always had surge protected hard connections to the outside world (phone, power, modem, monitors, etc.). When equipment is on 24/7 they just wear out after so many years of usage. Fortunately for me, I employ the practice of backing up my data on multiple locations and devices so I have not suffered a loss of data, only the loss of the hardware.

Where to store your backups?

Using external hard drives and USB flash drives are great because it allows you to store copies of your work locally but that is not on your computer’s internal hard drive.

Your computer’s internal hard drive is sometimes limited to how much you can store there so some people I know store all of their work to their external storage devices to save room. This works out great for the computer’s hard drive management and portability to other computers. However, it does not address the issue of having a second copy of your work – you must still store your copies on a second or third device and location not hard wired to your primary work computer.

The addition of Online Storage services…

Yes, these can be a life saver! But I’m paranoid about data breach security and only use these services sparingly. However, for most people online storage of your data is an acceptable risk to take since there are so many other places your personal data is online. If you’re following recommended safe online practices then you probably don’t have to be overly concerned.

Most reputable online storage services maintain their equipment with a high priority on both access security and hardware reliability so you shouldn’t need to worry about losing all of your data stored there.

If you need to share files with others in your work group then there are many online solutions available. However, I do not recommend these for your own online data storage simply because you do need to limit who has access to your files and once you grant access to someone it is a matter how much you trust them with your security measures. You need to share access to only what they need access to and nothing else.

No matter where you store your backup copies of your data, make sure you:

Locally – store your data on at least two different locations and devices that are not continuously connected to each other via hard connections.
Online – limit access to your data to only those you truly trust.
And always use an updated and reputable anti-virus program!

Source: Michael’s WP Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *