Do you back up your external drives?

I participated in a presentation for Washington Apple Pi last Saturday. I was a part of a panel on tips and troubleshooting. In preparing for the session, I packed a bag of my favorite computer hardware.

Along with a few other pieces of hardware, I took my favorite portable hard drive and my favorite drive gadget, the NewerTech Voyager Q.


I participated in a presentation for Washington Apple Pi last Saturday. I was a part of a panel on tips and troubleshooting. In preparing for the session, I packed a bag of my favorite computer hardware.

Along with a few other pieces of hardware, I took my favorite portable hard drive and my favorite drive gadget, the NewerTech Voyager Q.



The Voyager sits on my desktop, ready to accept the next bare drive I want to mount. I have quite a collection of external hard drives. They connect to my iMac and they share their files with the other computers we own.



These drives are not my primary backup. Those duties are handled by an Apple Time Capsule. Instead, they are filled with other files that are too large to keep on my internal hard drives. One is filled with the graphics used to do digital scrapbooking and copies of the pages I have made. Another contains the archives of articles, projects, presentations and CDs that I have made over the years. Still another drive is the archive of all the digital photographs and videos that I have taken. In fact, there is a separate library for each year. Another contains the iTunes library that feeds our AppleTV.

Notice the NewerTechVoyager. Inside it and to its left are four additional hard drives. These contain backups of the four drives to the right. Missing from the photo are two additional drives that are stored in our safety deposit box. They are larger capacity drives that also contain a backup of these drives.

If you have outgrown the internal hard drive of your computer, you need to have a system similar to mine. For each external drive, you also need to have a backup drive. If that backup is stored in your home, you also need to have a separate backup that is stored away from your home. It could be in a drawer at the office, in a safety deposit box or at the home of a friend or relative, but it needs to be in a different location than you desk. It protects your data in case of a theft, fire, flood or other natural disaster.

Backing up is expensive. To cut down on the expense, a device like the NewerTech Voyager that allows you to easily mount and use bare drives can save you lots of money--I calculate it at about $70 per case. So, this $99.00 device has saved me over $360 already.

Because I am a consultant, the Voyager is also helpful when I upgrade the drives of local clients. I had a client last week who wanted to put a larger hard drive in his MacBook. He brought me his new, larger hard drive. I attached the Voyager to his computer and I used SuperDuper! to clone his old drive to the new one. Then I swapped the drives. I suggested that he use is old drive to store extra files. To do that, he would either need a case for the drive (notice the two drives to the far left in the photo above) or he would need a Voyager.

No matter how large they make internal drives, eventually, we all need more space. A combination of external drives in cases and a hard drive dock like the Voyager help you keep your data backed up and safe.

If you need some help in planning your external storage and its backups, give us a call at Dr. Mac Consulting. We can help you with plans and purchases to protect all of your valuable data.

Safe computing --

Pat

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