Thursday, June 10, 2010

Back That Thing Up - Hard Drive Storage Options

The reality is that storing video, especially high definition video on your computer takes up hard drive space. This is in addition to your normal system updates, software programs and other items on your computer.

There is another reason why you need to remove stuff off your system. Intensive programs like photo and video editors require a certain amount of free space when they are open.

These programs need space for temporary storage and cache copies of the videos or photos that you are working on. If you are running low on what your application needs, crashing can occur.

I have an option for the non-techies and the do it yourself person.

For non-techies you can purchase external hard drives. I've seen external 1 Terabyte drives as low at $140 and 2 Terabytes kissing in around $190 at the time of this post. You might not need a terabyte worth of storage now. Keep recording. You will.

Now you do not have to buy a terabyte drive. If 750GB external drive is in your budget go for it! My point is do something to make sure you don't loose your work. The great thing about external drive is that it is total plug and play.

For those in the do it yourself realm installing a hard drive is a no brainer.

I picked up an internal SATA 1TB drive for $109. This is a video by Get Connected that will help you get an idea of how to install a SATA drive. The plastic hard drive carrier displayed in the video is very cool but you might find your hard drive mounted with screws.

I do have to say that planning how you are going to do it can take the tears out of forgetting something. Planning in this case means:

  • Is your system near its end of life? Mine is three and half years old so kinda, sorta but I'm good where I am. Adding storage will extended the life of old faithful. If my system was five or more years old it would not be worth it.
  • Looking at your prior behavior: do you really need to install that 2002 version of Scrabble?
  • Do you want to install a second drive or a new primary drive? Installing a second drive for storage will save you a heck of a lot of time. Installing a new primary drive will clear out the cooties and allow for fresh installations of your programs.
  • Do you have a good backup and restore program? A Recovery CD/DVD?
  • Do you have the software keys to re-install the software printed or copied elsewhere?
There is a lot more to planning to backing up your system for a re-installation to a new drive but you get the idea.

At some point you have to deal with it. For me, that some time is now.

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