The Digital Pack-Rat
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The Digital Pack-rat: I Don’t Have A Portable Hard Drive, Now What?

Okay,

So you have read my first entry and realized that we save a lot of data but you cannot afford an external drive or are still saving for one what do you do in the mean time. Here is what I used to do before I had an external drive

1. I would always keep my data sorted in to folders and make sure that I knew where everything is from documents to music to my videos I knew where all my stuff was. That was always the first step

2. I would get some blank CDS/DVDS and would make sure that I was able to make a backup to some sort of blank media. In the days of zip drives I would store all of my data on to blank zip discs that were 100 megs each. This would include all of my drivers, program installers and of course music and documents. But now that we are in the DVD era it is time to move forward

3. Once everything was backed up and labled I would put everything in a safe location and make sure I knew where it was when it came time to access the data when I needed to recover a file or re-do my computer

When you want to backup your data make sure you have a good program that will burn data cds for PC I recommend Nero and for the Mac I recommend Roxio’s Toast but any program that can burn data cds will do well. Nero even has an BurnLite version of the their program that will burn data dvds without having to buy the full program

But this is not always a safe option I am finding DVDs that I made 2 years ago and the data is not being read. Always make sure that you have an alternate way to get the data that you need to save. I find that certain brands of dvds don’t last as well.

I have used LG, Sony, Memorex, Maxell and even Verbatim and found that the best brand is Sony they even after 4 years still run the best I can still get my data and never had a disc go down unless I scratched it. All the others I did not know from disc to disc what to do. It is crazy to see that from brand to brand how they last over the years. So be careful and watch out

When ever you backup your data weather to a cd, dvd or portable hard drive you always run the risk of loosing data, I have learned that nothing lasts forever and some times I even find discs and I think to myself “when did I save this” But always remember backups are good for the recovery of the data when you need it.

Backup and Backup Often!

Matthew Dykstra Visit Website
Matthew is the Founder of MJSiebolt and Owner of MJSiebolt Productions, a consulting company specializing in video content creation, website design and computer repair. if you wish to contact me please do so via Twitter.
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The Digital Pack-Rat (Part 2)
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The Digital Pack-Rat: Organizing Between Computers

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