When my computer packed up for no good reason, or so it seemed, I decided it was time to upgrade my machine. But being certain my hard drive was still intact, I had to decide what to do with it. Filled with my personal data and sentimental photo collections I didn’t want to just send it off to landfill, in fact, despite its faults I was hoping to sell my netbook for cash. Instead, I opted to take my computer apart and pop the hard drive in an external enclosure that I could plug into my new machine – a real money saver. If you’re considering how to back-up an old hard drive, here are the options:
If your computer won’t power up:
External USB hard-drive enclosure
If like my machine, your computer has seen better days. You might want to just take the hard drive out and get a new machine. You’ll need to be proactive for this solution, spending time researching how to first take apart your machine, and then take out the hard-drive. You’ll also need an External USB hard-drive enclosure which will allow you to plug your old drive into a new laptop with ease. These cost under a tenner online, so are very affordable.
Professional data recovery
When your computer is bust but you don’t have the confidence to take your machine apart, the easiest option is call up an IT professional for a full data recovery service. They’ll be able to access your hard drive and move all your data onto an external storage device like a USB drive or CD. There does seem something quite intrusive about a stranger being able to access all your personal files, but if you opt for a professional IT company with a good reputation your data will be in safe hands.
If your computer is still functioning:
USB Hard-drive back-up
Large USB storage drives are a lot cheaper than they used to be. You’ll be able to pick-up an external device the size of your computer hard-drive in any good computer store or online. USB back-up systems are so straightforward to use, just plug-in and go. You may be automatically asked if you’d like to back-up or you can simple copy and paste your files onto your new device.
The newest form of data back-up is cloud storage; an online storage space for your data which means you can access your files and folders from any computer with an internet connection. Microsoft provide their own cloud storage system – Sky Drive – or you can look into options like Dropbox. As with data recovery, there’s always an element of putting your trust in other people when it comes to your files. For added security, encrypt your data before you upload to the Cloud servers.