Tuesday, February 03, 2009


My backup strategy over the last few years has been pretty lame. Every month, Outlook reminds me I should do a backup of my source and I burn a CD. This kind of worked for a while but I’ve been getting more and more nervous about it. Am I sure I’m backing up everything I need to? Most of my email is stored on the web in GMail but there’s heaps of other things on my PC that may be vital but I just haven’t realised it yet. Not only that, but I was getting to the stage where a single CD wasn’t enough and the time taken to burn even that single CD was starting to bore me.

So today when I popped into Maplin for a USB cable I thought I’d have a look at the external hard drives. The Toshiba Stor E looked like the best bang for buck, 500GB for £65. So far I’m impressed. It looks pretty robust, with an aluminium case and no pointless bling. Installation was exceedingly straightforward. Plug it in and Vista recognised it immediately. Then simply configure Vista to do an automatic backup every week and that’s it.

Admittedly my first backup is currently happening and it’s not super fast, but I guess that will improve once it’s done the first full backup. Once it’s finished I’ll have to check that it’s actually backed up everything I want it to, since the backup utility is pretty vague about what it’s going to do. And then I’ll have to think about taking my backup offsite, which for me means carrying the drive into the house. If my shed and house burn down, I’ll have bigger worries than having a decent backup. 

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