I've been known to be a little crazy when it comes to being prepared, if you read the "what's in my bag" article, then you know I usually prepare for the worst situations. It's like having a bug-out bag in your trunk. There's two kinds of backups I'm talking about. One is what kind of backup do you have incase your laptop fails you and the other is, do you backup your data on a regular basis?
I've gone through 3 laptops in the past 3 years, 2 by choice and one because it was just time. I've learned that a clean hard drive is a happy hard drive. Leaving files scattered around only makes your job more complicated. I don't know for sure if it makes the computer work harder but it wouldn't hurt to keep everything where it belongs. Not only does it make it easy for you to find what you're looking for but it just gives you a better work flow. That being said, I have 2 external drives and an additional external at home for the master drive. I make a clone of my existing hard drive to each one. I know it sounds stupid, but if you're a working professional using only one laptop, it's a good idea to have some sort of backup to rely on.
You don't need to go crazy with it like I do. You can just scoop up a cheap 1TB western digital drive for under a hundo. As far as brands, i'll leave that up to you. I've gone through Lacie, Seagate, WD, Samsung etc... I usually like to look at the reviews first before dropping a load on tech gear, especially if you're buying an expensive brand. I have multiple just incase mine burst into flames from sitting on my shelf too long.
Some points on buying a good hard drive are:
- Specs - This is all up to the user, USB 3.0, thunderbolt, firewire, transfer speeds, cache size, failure rates. All these things come into play when deciding which drive to get. You ovi don't want a shitty drive. you want something that you're comfortable using with the amount of data you're going to be putting on it.
- Solid State vs Hard Disk Drive - To me this is a no brainer. SSD (solid state) is the way to go, No spinning disks, no moving parts, less power consumed by your laptop. Plus it's FAST! Think of it as a giant flash drive. Ever drop one of those and everything was all good? Remember dropping the first iPod by accident and you had to go home and plug that shit into iTunes only to find the little folder icon with the "!". EXACTLY.
- Size - Hey, go big or go home. If you can afford it, go with a good size drive. You can never have enough space. Look at your room, it could be a little bigger couldn't it? Same with drive space.
- Price - I like to keep it reasonable, I've seen hard drives that can easily break your bank. You would have to weigh your options, see what works best and hope that shit doesn't fail on you. I'm kidding, This is when i really take a good look at the reviews, see what the general opinions are and make my decision based on that. Are reviews reliable? maybe. Do you have any other way to find out besides actually using it yourself? No. but make sure your decision won't leave you eating ramen noodles for a few weeks.
- NOW for the ultra paranoid like myself in the event of a fire or explosion or whatever I have my computer and my 4TB external drive (that hosts everything from family photos to Videos to copies of wifey's hard drive) back-ed up through a Backup service called BackBlaze. I chose them because they had unlimited back up storage for $5 a month Check them out Super easy to use and saved me in the past .
Check them out here:
Ever get to the club or event, you open your laptop and the little circle with the line through it comes up? Talk about shitting yourself. Yea, That happened to me at a wedding. A WEDDING. However, I did know my laptop was on its last leg and I was just trying to get the most out of it. My external drive came in handy, I booted from there and kept it moving. I wouldn't ever recommend anyone to do that knowing you have that problem. I knew my laptop very well at that point and knew exactly what to do. If you plan on using your external as a bootable drive, I'd recommend using Carbon Copy Cloner or Superduper!. Very easy to use and If you need any help, Let me know. I'll send you to best buy and let you learn the hard way (kidding). Anyway, That's about all I have as far as backups go. Like I said, I'm not the king of data or anything but I do like to have a plan. Peace.