Any DIYer will tell you how important it is to use a secondary storage device while fixing your computer, may it be a portable laptop or a PC. Even if the repairing has nothing to do with the internal hard disk where all the data is stored, you’re not protected from anything going wrong that could impact your files. Let’s review the benefits of using an external hard drive (HDD).
Advantages Of An External Hard Drive
Extend Your Storage Space And Save Old Files
At first place, external hard drives and other secondary storage hardware were developed in order to store files and make more room on your PC’s internal hard disk. Indeed, an overcrowded hard disk can much slow down your computer or else lead to overheating and further computer crashes.
So, not only is an external hard drive important to save your files (see below) while repairing a laptop, but it is also precious as it can help you to avoid some technical problems that could need repairing.
Back Up Your Important Data
The second most important function provided by an external storage device, and the one needed when repairing a computer, is to save your files. Indeed, when fixing a laptop or PC, and even if the fixing has noting to do with internal data storage hardware, you are not shielded from something going wrong that could damage your files. For this reason, it is highly recommanded to copy your files into a secondary storage device to make sure you will find them intact whatever happens.
Of course, some maintenance manipulation will need files to be saved, like when formatting your operating system. In this case, you have no choice but save your files somewhere safe. But even if you just have to repair a fan or change a RAM module, imagine you short-circuit the system by mistake… Externally saved files would still be safe.
Secure Your Files With Encryption
Now, if you own very very important files and that you need to keep them absolutely secret, you probably have installed a high security on your computer and you might be scared about using a non secure portable storage hardware. In this case, be reassured as some new models of external hard drives provide an encryption option: once transferred on the device, the data is as good as alien talk to anyone who wishes to read it without permission.
This solution is actually even better to save secret files than keeping them on a computer, even if the latter possess a very high security system, as an unplugged HDD will remain safe from cyberattacks: no hacker will be able to access your files, however hard they try.
Transfer Your Files At your Likes
It might seem obvious to many, but movable storage devices were not means to transfer files at first place, but just store them. We usually used USB keys to transfer data. But in the end what is an HDD? Nothing else but a big USB key. So obviously, you may use it to transfer data, especially heavy ones that would not fit on a simple key.
Disadvantages Of Secondary Storage Devices
Now as we have seen, an external hard drive can serve several important purposes. But keep in mind that is it also an electronic gadget and like any electronic gadget, it can fail, bug or crash. Sometimes even a simple shock can damage the device and lead to data loss, either repairable or definitive.
So, in order to keep your files as secure as possible, especially if you use your secondary drive as a mobile device, we highly recommand that you buy a second HDD to back-up your data. This way, you can use your first external device as a transportable one, and buy a specific back-up hard drive to store in the back of your bottom drawer or at a friends place in order to keep it safe. Note that electronic gadgets manufacturers often offer specific models for that purpose: they usually cheaper but also less solid as they are meant to be kept in a safe place rather than be transported from places to places.