From some of the email we’ve been getting, it seems there is a lot of confusion about external hard drives and backing up computers. So we wanted to give all of you some helpful hints you can use when creating backups.
First, we recommend you keep good image-based backups. But whatever type of backups you keep, you need to remember this: storing your backups on the same hard drive as Windows is like keeping your important papers in your desk drawer in case you have a fire in your home. If your house burns down, there go your important papers. If you keep your backups on your Windows drive, if you need to reinstall Windows or your hard drive goes bad – there go your backups.
If you have a computer with two internal hard drives – then back your files up to the hard drive that doesn’t have Windows on it. If you don’t have two internal hard drives, you can install a second internal hard drive. It’s not that difficult, but it does require a little computer knowledge. So that’s why we recommend you buy an external hard drive to keep your backups on. They’re inexpensive (you can get a 1 terabyte external hard drive for less than $90.00 on sale) and the only skill you need to install it is the ability to plug it into a USB port on your computer. Everything else is automatic. It’s really plug-and-play. Plug it in, follow a couple of easy instructions, and it’s ready to go. I will appear in Window Explorer just like your C:\ drive and you can move files to and from it just like you can any internal hard drive.
External hard drives are great for storing your important files and for keeping image-based backups or any other backups you may have. The only drawback to external hard drives is that they are not as fast as internal hard drives – their speed is limited to the speed of your USB port. So you probably won’t to install programs on it, but for storage or keeping your backups safe, external hard drives are perfect. Anyone can install one in less than 3 minutes!
Whatever you do, do not store your backups on the same drive with Windows. If you do, you won’t have them when you need them – so there’s no point in backing them up, is there? You’ll be wasting your time making the backups, and you’ll be really aggravated when you find out all your precious files are gone when something bad happens and you have to reinstall Windows. Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you have your backups on the same hard drive with Windows, move them to another drive – an external hard drive is perfect – as soon as you can.