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How to Backup a Computer to External Hard Drive?

Even though it may seem a great idea to gather all of the important files in one folder and let it reside safely over any local storage directory, but this is not true for every situation. With the growing influence of the Internet of Things, our data has been exposed to various vulnerabilities. Whether it’s a drive failure or system corruption or any cyber-attack, data is the only thing that suffers a lot.

In conventional planning, the most vulnerable one stands the right to be addressed on a priority basis. The same applies to data protection planning. In this case, data is the most vulnerable thing to lose, henceforth, it should be protected at first.

Although there are many ways to protect data and every method has its own pros and cons, data backup tools are the only sustainable and widely used data protection method. This is usually done with the help of various supportive local backup and Windows backup solutions. For instance, depending on the scarcity and importance of data, various storage methods are chosen. This may include local backups or online backup services such as cloud storage like Google DriveTime Machine and other backup and restore tools.

While all methods have their own characteristics, performing good backups on an external hard drive is still considered as the most traditional and simplest backup storage medium. There are various reasons due to which it has such an unprecedented popularity. First of all, it is very easy to use, just plug an external hard drive to the system, create a system image and copy it to the external hard drive in the same way as we copy files and folders to any other local storage directory. Secondly, it is extremely handy when it comes to backing up a huge volume of data having long file history. Besides that, instead of transferring a complete system image file, a user can also transfer directly important files and data to the external hard drive.

External hard drives come in various storage capacities, ranging from 10GB to 16TB. In this lieu, they are an ideal choice for anyone looking forward to backing up a complete computer system.

Steps to Backup a Computer to External Hard Drive

Owing to the simplicity and compactness of external hard drive, it is always recommended to prepare a backup copy of individual files on an external hard drive. For data enthusiasts, doing so is a kind of data insurance. It is so because in case the users lose their important data, then they’ll be able to retrieve their lost data. However, such retrievals are possible only if data has effectively been backed up.

It is an admitted fact that if nothing is handled professionally, then fruitful benefits cannot be reaped. Although there is a lot of third-party software to ease the process of preparing backups over an external hard drive, following are some of the generic steps to let the users do this on their own:

Step 1

The first step involves sorting out some of the pre-backup tasks. For instance, a user must know how much storage space will the subjected data take? This step is important in letting the user choose the appropriate external hard drive, in case the local drive fails.

Step 2

The next step is related to hard drive connectivity. Generally, external hard drives have USB connectivity. But it is important to check if it supports USB 3.0 connectivity or USB 2.0 connectivity? Then check what type of USB port does a user’s laptop or system has.

After getting done with the USB port identification. Just connect the external hard drive with the subjected system through the USB cable. As soon as it is connected, an acknowledgment bubble will pop up and automatic driver installation will begin. Once an operating system compatible driver has been installed, the external hard drive is all set to become operational.

Step 3

After setting up the hardware, the next step involves software installation. Usually, an installation CD or DVD comes along with the hard drive. Insert this CD or DVD into the CD/DVD-ROM and follow the installation steps to configure hard drive with the subjected machine.

However, it is not always mandatory that the software kit comes with the external hard drive. This thing depends totally on the manufacturer. Generally, modern external hard drives are sort of plug and play devices and no software installation is mandatory in their case.

Step 4

This step is a sort of execution type. In this step user is supposed to run the software or program, he or she has just installed. This is where the external hard drive will be configured with the subjected computer.

However, if a user cannot track the program, then search for the hard drive icon, click the start menu and find it. From here on, the user will be navigated to the hard drive’s dashboard and can monitor hard drives storage attributes and connectivity.

Step 5

In this step, computer backup will formally begin. In this step, the user is all set to copy the files into the external hard drive. Here the user can either send the system image file of the whole computer files, applications and system settings, or the user has three options to directly transfer specific data. In the first option, the user may just simply drag and drop the subjected files and folders onto the external hard drive window. In the second approach, the user can also copy the data by right-clicking the concerned folder and just send it to the connected hard drive. Thirdly, a user may also copy all of the concerned data by opening the hard drive window and simply paste all this selected data onto the drive. It must be noted that this step might take a longer time in completion than expected. Basically, it depends on the data volume and the system’s attributes.

Step 6

This last step is a sort of preventive one. In this step, once data has been copied, the user is recommended to disconnect or close the hard drive window. After this, safely remove the external hard drive. This step is often neglected but in reality, it is very important for the safety of the device and so does of data.

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