Storage forum: Do I need an external hard drive?

by: foodfiend September 29, 2007 5:43 PM PDT

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Do I need an external hard drive?

by foodfiend - 9/29/07 5:43 PM

My Dell desktop is 7 years old and and laptop is 5. I've been storing backup data on discs (I try to remember to do this every month, and I make 2 copies). I'm afraid of one of these machines suddenly "dying" and taking all of my records with it. But most of the info that I backup is retrievable from other sources (go ahead and laugh, but I still keep paper copies of my business files) so if I lost them it would be a lot of work, but I would be able to get everything back into a new computer system.

However, I bought a digital camera several months ago. I have been keeping all of the photos on discs, but I read that after a few years discs can become unstable and the photos may be lost. So should I get an external hard drive to store the photos on? So far, I've taken about 2,000 photos and these are taking up a lot of space on my laptop. How do I store them safely, and for an extended period?

And should I also be storing my business files on an external hard drive?

I was researching brands and several reviews mentioned that the user plugged in the external hd one day and it just didn't work. This happened with a few different brands and I'm wondering what happens in that case. Is the information remain retrievable (such as the thousands of photos) or would all be lost?

I apologize for sounding so "scattered". Although I am relatively comfortable with my computers and how they work, it has taken me years to be so. Any problems just put me into panic mode. I would appreciate any help that anyone can give me. Thanks!

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