A Costly Lesson in Digital File Storage
In the digital age today, most things that we do would require the use of either a computer desktop or laptop. And the key component that keeps our digital life together, is the storage capacity found on the equipment.
Well, personally I have been using a set up that’s quite a known brand in the market [it’s a fruit] for a number of years now. It’s stable, has the resources to keep the frequently used programs installed for use.
However, the only downside to the system would be the storage capacity. With insufficient storage capacity, chances are you’d need to ideally get an external hard drive to archive those files that you no longer will be accessing.
For my case, I had gotten myself a 1TB portable drive ‘x’ number of years ago. On this drive, it contains not only working files from the laptop, but also SD card backups of photos taken on my Nikon D90. On top of that, that same drive was also used as my Time Machine backup.
In short, I’d say practically my WHOLE LIFE resides in this 1TB drive. And on a periodic basis, I’ll do a spring cleaning of files and do a full backup of the computer.
What I had not realised is that, I may have overworked, overloaded the disk all these while. And for the longest time, the disk did not have sufficient capacity to do a Time Machine backup, and there’s a MAJOR risk of the system crashing cuz I’ve been doing much more things on it.
ONE UNFORTUNATE DAY….
The 1TB disk decided to end its life! Oh the horror. Can you imagine how I felt to know that my ENTIRE LIFE in that 1 disk, might just be irrecoverable and gone in a flash?!
I reckon since that piece of disk has so much importance to what I do, looking for data recovery services was the next priority. Glad to say that I did research on a few reputable service providers and found out the cost of these kinda services. Read on if you’d like to know more.
Depending on what the issue is with the disk and the time taken to recover the data contents, the prices would start from the mid 3-digit figures and upwards. Yes, it costs that much to properly recover loss data.
Thankfully, I found a reasonable priced and wonderful service provider who managed to recover the contents of the whole disk like a mirror!
TIPS TO MANAGE DATA STORAGE
After this incident, I told myself I should probably relook at how to efficiently manage the storage of my documents and keeping my system in workable condition for the next 3–5years (at least).
Since 11.11 was around the corner, there would likely be good deals on things. And so, I went round browser shopping and did the necessary research on what to get and how to migrate data from the recovered disk if it needs to be done.
I settled for a 6TB desktop friendly external hard drive. It has all the space I needed to store files and keep system backups.
Tip 1 — If you intend to use the disk as file storage and backup, be sure to partition the disk with the appropriate space you require for each purpose. This way, you won’t be putting all your eggs into 1 basket.
Tip 2 — Always good to have disks formatted for different platforms. If you’re like me, primarily an Apple user, you may choose to format the desktop friendly disk to be compatible with Mac only, since you won’t be moving it much around. You can then safely do Time Machine and file tidying up whenever you are at your desk.
Tip 3 — Have a decent size portable hard disk formatted to be used on both Windows and Mac. In this way, you could still copy files from the system to be shared with your friends who may be running on different platform as you are. For my case, the recovered data was done on a 2TB portable hard drive formatted to ExFAT. This has now become more or less a secondary backup drive which I can still carry around, in addition to the 6TB desktop one.
Bonus Tip — If you’re a digital nomad who works on the go, you may like to consider setting up a Network Attached Storage with remote Cloud access. [more of this next time, perhaps?]
If you have lots of files to maintain and want to keep them in an organised fashion, do considering planning and set aside a decent budget to invest in the equipment set up that will help you manage your digital files.
Hope this article and what I personally experienced helped you along the way.