A Virtual Assistant loves her backups


This post is one of the few positive examples about file backup.  Usually, they look more like the following: computer crashes, data is unrecoverable, user weeps bitterly, IT guy manages to save data and is the hero of the day (we hope).  In Terri’s case, using a portable hard drive ensured her files stayed safe, even when her computer was on the brink of death.

I recently bought myself a 250 GB Western Digital ‘My Passport’ drive.  It fits in my shirt pocket and holds a massive amount of information.  It is USB ‘bus powered’ (read – no power cord, only a USB connection to the computer).  I paid ninety bucks for this peace of mind.  This also keeps your computer moving faster.  That is, the hard drive on the host computer stays cleaner without your 100 GB of music videos clogging up its space.

Bottom line – for the small business or home business, a portable hard drive is a win-win situation by providing a second copy of critical data and by making sure that data can travel with you to clients.  Here’s a few that I would recommend:

Western Digital My Passport Essential 320 GB.  I like WD because I find them to be reliable.  I would mention that if you use Windows, you may want to reformat the drive because they come with FAT format rather than NTFS (which is the fastest, most stable, and most secure Windows format).  You may find this issue with any external hard drive and you should check the documentation.  If you need step-by-step instructions on how to reformat, just ask.

Seagate FreeAgent 250 GB.  I like Seagate as well.

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2 Comments on “A Virtual Assistant loves her backups”

  1. mrosedale Says:

    I would add a comment here. If you are going to use with multiple OS you should keep the file system fat32. Linux and Mac will work a lot better using this file system than NTFS (though it often works with NTFS). However, there are draw backs to using fat especially if you have large video files on the drive. So it is a toss up. In a windows only environment go for NTFS otherwise use fat.

    Also I really like LaCie drives especially this one http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=10821 as it has USB and Firewire (which is great if you have a Mac). The link is directly to LaCie because I couldn’t find the one with firewire and usb on newegg, but it usually isn’t as expensive as LaCie is listing.

  2. bfpower Says:

    Thanks for elaborating on that – it’s great to have someone with the experience on non-Windows setups.

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