Photos to family videos, conservation of digital files is not to be taken lightly. If external hard drives can be useful, they are not necessarily enough to save your documents. Our advice to limit the risk of loss.
1. Make regular backups
- Transfer files to an external hard drive is a breeze. Just the "copy" and then "paste" them in a folder on the device. However, take care not just "move" files, but out the "duplicate". It is only then that you will have an actual copy that you can recover if the original file disappears.
- Some manufacturers provide their software appliances that facilitate the transfer of data or to configure the computer to automatically create on the hard disk new files backup.
- You can also store his external hard drive "system backups." They are genuine photographs of the computer, which will facilitate the resettlement programs in case of full crash.
2. Avoid shocks and jolts
To keep its data as long as possible, they must have been properly recorded. This is the basis. However, external hard drives are fragile machines that fear the shocks. Avoid moving the hard drive during the data transfer phases. It suffices a blip for the playhead comes to scratch the wafer, which may cause data loss. These devices are not designed to withstand sharp falls, and even if the portable models are stronger than their desktop counterparts, they are not unbreakable. Install your hard drive on a flat surface where it will not be rushed. For backpackers, more resistant devices with shock absorbers and flexible shells exist.
3. Take care of the hard disk
- Hard drives do not like the heat. Install yours away from direct sunlight, so as not to subject it to too high temperatures that could damage it prematurely. Note: If a device is hot, this is not necessarily a bad sign. "We provide increasingly our metal shell models which reflect heat outward , explains Minh Le, LaCie Marketing Director. In touch, the device looks very hot, but the interior is protected. "
- Avoid overfilling your hard disk: overburdened, it will be less reliable. And, of course, be careful not to disconnect during file transfers.
- If you add and erase files, you can occasionally perform a defragmentation. This operation, which consists of a reorganization of the files on the hard drive will improve its performance.
Good to know. Despite all these precautions, an external hard drive is not eternal. Its average life is 5 to 7 years, and there is nothing to know precisely when it will fail. "Either way, users will certainly renew their equipment before both the storage capacity and transfer speed qu'affichent today their devices appear weak in a few years' , predicts marketing Director of LaCie.
4. Vary the backup media
If it is well suited to temporary storage, external hard drive is not ideal for storage of long-term data.
- To keep your data as long as possible, burn to DVD or Blu-ray discs, at average speed. Make sure that the recording was done correctly, and store the disks in a housing protected from light, humidity and sudden changes in temperature.
- It is now possible to keep their data online via the cloud . Providers (Dropbox, Hubic, iCloud, Skydrive, ISPs, etc.) generally offer the first gigabyte of storage. For more ability you have to pay. Also, some external hard drive manufacturers and some Internet service providers make available to their customers online storage space.
5. Check your copies
- Whatever backup method chosen, regular monitoring is required. Check occasionally that the files can be opened. An external hard drive must be restarted regularly, otherwise seize definitively.
- If your hard drive external, some documents have defects, it is time to copy all of the new media. If you have the original file, save it again. Otherwise, try transferring it to the computer. If you get there is that it did not contain an uncorrectable error. It remains only to save it again.