List members who keep all their genealogy records on their computer hard
disk always risk losing all of it should the hard disk crash.
Most tech support experts will tell you that "IF" your hard disk will crash
is not the case. It is rather "WHEN" that will happen.
Right now there are a lot of inexpensive backup options to solve that
All of them are various forms of "flash drives" and external hard disks.
These are all "plug and play" options that connect to your computer USB
ports. All you have to know is if you have USB 1 or USB 2 ports. Older
systems may still have only USB 1 and it would be a good idea to install an
new card (under $30) that will provide the faster USB 2 ports. Then you would
not have to be concerned if the flashdrive or external disk you purchase
requires a USB 2 port.
There is a good article about "jump drives" (a type of tiny flash drive) at:
In that article Richard Eastman describes how he uses a tiny USB drive
to store data that he does not want to lose if his hard disk crashes. He
also uses this external memory device to transfer data from one computer to
List members who do not know about external memory storage options for their
computers can learn about the state of the art by reading that article.
There are other external drives that are less expensive that the one
described in the article. Learn about them with a search of the Internet using:
Note that even if you do not have access to an Office Depot, Office Max.
Staples, Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA or similar store the sells these
devices, you can still purchase them from Internet vendors including the Internet
websites of the stores listed above. Amazon.com
is also a good possibility
and it often provides a choice of cost.
There are also outlet vendors like Direct Deals and Computer Software
Factory Outlet (CSFO) or Software warehouse where you can purchase software and
hardware like external drives at deep discounts. Some of their products are
the latest technology while others may be overstocks of "last year''s model
when the latest version is already on the market.
These websites are good places to set up a Chiristmas, Birthday or other
gift list for yourself. Just be sure that you forward the wanted item info to
persons who may be wondering what to give you while the offer you found for
that item is still good.
Backing up data files of all types is very important. These external
devices do not require any software additions or any other special procedure before
they will work on almost all computers.