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Back up Your Hard drive

by Archives November 4, 2008

“My assignments were both due last week, but my computer crashed last night and I’ve lost everything! I’m going to fail!” a fellow student was overheard weeping last week.
Her friend passed her a cigarette and said, “You don’t save everything on a USB key?” Even though the friend was trying to be sympathetic, “you got what you deserved” was written all over her face.
There are a lot of ways to make sure you don’t end up in this all too common situation. Lots of students e-mail their assignments to themselves, save on a USB key or back files up on CDs. But even if you do all of this, it’s sometimes not enough.
Whether using Mac or PC, a hard drive is a physical object prone to failure. Any shock, like throwing your bag on the floor, can cause the spinning plate in a computer to move and break. Other than treating your computer with some TLC, which sometimes isn’t enough, nothing can be done to avoid a computer from crashing.
Christian Bilodeau, a technician at Concordia’s Computer Store, estimates that three out of five students do not have a solid backup plan. Most students who come to him have software problems because of viruses. These students usually end up paying $35 to retrieve their documents.
Luckily hard drive failure is less common, since it’s much more difficult and expensive to retrieve data when a computer suffers a physical breakdown.
While it’s possible to save all your data over the Internet, students should be aware of the extra monthly fees they may have to pay. Some companies now offer devices that can work as a router, an external hard drive and an anti-virus all in one package, but they can be expensive and complicated to use.
Elias Makos, a technical instructor at Concordia’s journalism department, believes a student’s best option is to invest about $150 in an external hard drive with a USB 2.0.
The newer products are easy to install and can clone an entire desktop, placing your files, bookmarks and settings exactly as you left them. “The perception is that backing up is difficult, but the software usually comes with the hard drive, and they are all user friendly,” Makos explains.
Everybody is using computers for so much more than work these days – people rely on their computers to keep personal projects, photos, music, videos, chat histories and so much more.
“Most people don’t realize how important it is until it’s too late,” said Makos. Computers can break down anywhere, at anytime. If you backup your work up on a consistent basis, you might be able to avoid a panicked, tearful visit to the computer store.

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