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backing up files - use flash drive or exernal hard drive?

by mtnpc07 / March 18, 2009 1:07 AM PDT

I have a lot of picture files and other files (word/excel/pagemaker) that I don't want to delete but want to remove to free up my pc. It is working very slowly and right now in word/excel anytime you have to do anything that opens another window you have to wait 20-30 seconds for the window to open and then once you make your choice, click ok then another 20-30 seconds til it closes. something isn't right and i want to try to clean off my pc as much as possible. i don't know if i should get an external hard drive or just use flash drives to store this info. i have a dell desktop, working on windows xp. the ms office is msoffice 97. thanks for any help!

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update original post - using ms office 2003 (not 2007)
by mtnpc07 / March 18, 2009 1:15 AM PDT

I just double checked and I have ms office 2003 not 2007.

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Whichever is most cost effective for you ...
by Edward ODaniel / March 18, 2009 4:30 AM PDT

will serve BUT do not consider this to be a backup of your files. Both hard drives and flach drives should be considered as TEMPORARY STORAGE because they can and do fail without warning.

A proper backup consists of redundant copies (minimum of two and more if data is really valuable) one of which is kept readily accessible and another or more that are kept in different offsite locations (office might burn to ground but home or satelite office will probably not be destroyed at the same time.

I would suggest using the flash media or external drive as the temporary but readily accessible "backup" and a copy of the backed up files on CD-R or DVD for offsite (even if you only keep it in your car) as the write once media tends to fail less often.

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CD-R DVD for backup
by VonHogan / December 29, 2011 12:17 AM PST

I've had lots of problems with burnable media going bad over the years.

For the price, speed, convenience and reliability I would suggest a couple of flash drives.

Today you can get a nice 16Gb for $20. If you need lots of space, get a good quality external drive.

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How do I view files that are backed up on a flash drive?
by dopio / June 30, 2012 2:47 AM PDT

I just backed up on a flash drive - but, how do I view them now?

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Here's my idea.
by FrankQC / March 18, 2009 6:45 AM PDT

If you have, say, 4 gigs of pictures... Then what I would do is purchase 2 or 3 USB flashdrives and black up the pictures in both of them (just in case one of them fails, you'll have a second backup).

You can just buy a Western Digital (which are relatively cheap nowadays) and backup your stuff there.

I wrote a small manual on how to backup files. You can check it out if you want to. It will work on both XP and Vista.

This page

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Western Digital is a bad choice
by Mike2507a / June 2, 2013 4:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Here's my idea.

My experience in using the Western Digital is bad all around. They leave permanent footprints in the registry leaving your computer to think it is there even after you delete the software as well as the machine itself is unstable.
In short it was a pain .Even the return policy was so ridiculously hard to fulfill the phone service techs made it even harder.
My 2 cents.

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by chickenorfish / March 18, 2009 1:53 PM PDT

if its under say 4gb, id get 2 usb flash drives and back up the data 2 times

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by FrankQC / March 18, 2009 11:47 PM PDT
In reply to: usb

That's 'exactly' what I said. Silly

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by chickenorfish / March 19, 2009 12:06 PM PDT
In reply to: hahaha

i scanned it really quickly and thought you meant spread em out over 2 or 3 flash usbs. it didnt make much sense at the time, now i know why

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by FrankQC / March 19, 2009 12:08 PM PDT
In reply to: lol

No problem, then Silly

p.s. I choose fish. I <3 sushi Happy

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backing up files by mtnpc07
by nofret / March 19, 2009 4:44 AM PDT

CDs and dvds are prone to corruption, flash drives get lost, external hddrs, whats wrong with them? Besides being to bulky for mobility. I use lexar flash dr. Inexpensive and come with encryption sotware built in. I use two 500gb ext. hdds with two partitions per unit for backup on four pcs. Even a maxel mini hdd @ 16gb. Just take an hour, to draw up a good backup strategy.
Now that thats done, give your pc a complete spring clean. Defrag; old files, cookies etc.

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by mtnpc07 / March 19, 2009 6:04 AM PDT

thank you for all of your suggestions. i did further reading on other boards too and ended up backing up on cd and a sd card in addition to having my pictures on an online site (shutterfly). the documents are backed up on cd.

as for spring cleaning...i'm starting to do that. do you think upgrading to ms office 2007 would help too? uninstall 2003 products then install new one?

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by nofret / March 20, 2009 8:20 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks

Thats what I would do. Now! I just went to an msn page about the windows installer. Do NOT use on ms office 2007. If you have problems uninstalling from the programs menu, the go to the ms knowledge base. Article #928218. Check it out. Later.

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I had the same problem, too many files and PC slowing down. I bought a "MyBook" external hard drive by Western Digital at $95. Actually bought 3, 2 for the kids. 2 came as 640 G, and one as the advertised 500 G. Free upgrade, I guess. It works great. I did not use the software that came installed on it, but instead downloaded the free "Allway Sync" software that tracks changes and updates the backup whenever necessary. Once I told it where and what to keep backed up, I never have to touch it again. Both the external HD and the backup software work flawlessly.

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For family photos maybe both
by Dango517 / March 21, 2009 4:44 AM PDT

or choose one and make prints. When people loose their homes to fire they nearly always say ...... "The only thing we can't replace is our pictures". Keep these triple safe. Last Christmas we gave many those new scanning photo frames. With us swapping USB might become a new family tradition at the Christmas gathering.

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That's proof...
by FrankQC / March 21, 2009 4:47 AM PDT

... that technology is becoming/already is part of our culture.

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What i use
by Tsan-1 / March 22, 2009 12:32 AM PDT

I use a flash drive to back up my files and Photobucket for all my pic s and it works out well Photobucket takes all your photo's out of your computer all at once with one click that to me is fast and very cool.

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by FrankQC / March 22, 2009 12:58 AM PDT
In reply to: What i use

And no one else has access to those pictures?

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If you've got the room...
by talks_44 / December 29, 2011 8:55 AM PST

I'd say go for both.

If you've got enough space on your flash drive and external, then I would recommend placing the files on both, so you can have multiple copies in case something happens.

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