Taking Care of your Backup Media

By: James Walsh


Today, computers are fast approaching a stage where they might become as ubiquitous as the television sets of the day. This may sound like hyperbole; nevertheless it clearly reflects the vast expanses covered by the computers in a relatively short time span.

Computerised Data

As long as we have computers, we will automatically have computerised data also. All the data that is stored on the computers can cover several million reams of paper, if not more. As with data of all kinds, the computerised data also needs to be safeguarded.

Most of us take our computer machines for granted. We are not overtly worried about a possible loss of data. We tend to be carefree about it, thinking that it is something which happens to other people. It is not till disaster strikes that the reality seeps in.

Precautions towards a Data Loss Event

Only when we have lost some important file or programme do we tend to realise our initial folly. Then we regret as to why we had not taken appropriate measures to safeguard our data. Alas it is too late by then and the harm has been done.

Nevertheless the lost data might be recovered. Yet one must always be prepared for a possibility of a data loss event rearing its head in regard to our work. This can be done easily. All that one has to do in this regard is to make a back up copy of the important data. In this manner even if something were to go wrong with our computer systems, we will have the back up data to fall back upon.

Backup Media Available in the Market

If one were to look around then one can easily come across several options that can act as a backup or contingency plan storage media for us. These options are both commonplace and easily available. Besides this they are also very cheap, specially considering that the data they can hold might be of great value to its owner.

These options can range from the very large and well co-ordinated data storage centres to the nominally priced floppy disks. Other nominally priced devices that can act as backup data storage media, for an individual, are the external hard disk drives, the DVDs, CDs and the now popular universal serial bus flash devices.

External Hard Disk Drives: The external hard disk drives are, perhaps, the best option available to an
individual computer user, for having a backup of his or her important files. This is because these hard disks do not need to be installed inside the computer casing.

The external hard disk drives are cheap and easily available. Not only that, these hard disk drives can hold a very large amount of data. They can store more data than any other corresponding storage media. The most important point is that with the help of the external hard disk drives one can store the backup at a different physical location from the computer system.

The problem with the external hard disk drives is that first of all like other removable storage media, they can be easily stolen or misplaced. Secondly they have a tendency to overheat. In this scenario the computer may start to run slowly and its BIOS may refuse to recognise the hard disk drive. Besides this is the problem of data recovery. If data is lost from an external hard disk drive then it is more difficult to recover the same as compared to an internal hard disk drive.

Digital Versatile Disks: These are optical storage media. They are chiefly used for storing data and video's. Generally the digital versatile disks have the same dimensions as the older compact disks. Yet the amount of data stored on these disks can be many times over.

The problem with the DVDs is that they are prone to scratches. Scratches on the magnetic layer of a DVD can make it useless to its owners. Besides this, like other similar storage media, these too can be stolen easily, owing to their compact size.

Flash Drives: The universal serial bus flash drives are the latest development in the field of storage media. They do not have any moving parts and are small and lightweight.


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