Why You NEED External Hard Drives January 29 2009, 0 Comments

If you are running large amounts of photographs through your computer, you most certainly should be backing them up on external hard drives. An external hard drive plugs into your computer and is like a separate file cabinet where you can store your images. Having two sets of the same files is like having insurance. If one hard drive fails, the other will come to the rescue! Raw images, which are professional files, take up large amounts of memory on your computer. Over time, the more RAW images you have stored on your computer hard drive, the slower it tends to make your computer. And don’t think that if you are shooting large JPEGS that you are excluded because there is another important reason to store images on an external hard drive, computer crashes! If you have a computer crash and are unable to retrieve your files, your images and documents will be lost in cyberspace forever! All of your work, travel, vacations…gone!

Additionally, external hard drives are very small. They can be removed and packed quickly in the event of an emergency. I live near the beach and in the event of a hurricane, I can grab my external hard drives and be out of harms way with all of my work intact. I do occasionally still back up my work by burning CDS. However, it is time consuming, costs more, and CDS are not as easily transported.

Most computers come with at least two built in hard drives. The “C” drive is generally the drive that has all of your computer programs on it. The second drive is for storage of documents, and in my case photographs. I routinely move images loaded onto my computer into this second hard drive, the “D” drive. Then, I copy them onto one of my external hard drives. Sometimes, depending on what the subject of the photographs are, I might move them solely to an external hard drive, in which case, I create a second set of files on another external hard drive. Yes, I have more than one.

I have had good results with my LACIE External Hard Drive and with my My Book External Hard Drive made by Western Digital. You can purchase these drives with 500GB for a couple hundred dollars. For someone who is taking family photos and vacation photos, this type of hard drive space will last you a very long time. For professionals it will carry a good many RAW files. Whatever your purpose, even document storage, back up, back up, back up!