Technobabble: External hard drives are a good investment for laptop users … – The Post

Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2015 5:57 pm

Updated: 6:54 pm, Sun Sep 27, 2015.

Technobabble: External hard drives are a good investment for laptop users, seriously

Clare Palo | Columnist

Imagine: You had a really tough week five. You’ve written three papers, made two projects, finished two different study guides and saved them all in a neat folder on your laptop.

Your snazzy resume that you took so long formatting on Microsoft Word or InDesign is nestled in that folder. Plus, those sweet pics from summer vacations past are all organized in iPhotos. Throw some work documents or leases in there as well, just for good measure.

Then, it all vanishes in a split second. Your laptop has crashed. Or maybe you spilled some mixed drink on the keyboard after a night of DJing with your awesome curated Spotify playlist.

Your parents have told you, the guy at Best Buy has told you, the nice helper at the Bobcat Depot has told you: Back up your laptop with an external hard drive.

That fun little anecdote at the beginning of this column happened to me — and guess what: I hadn’t backed up my MacBook in more than six months (Please scream in horror).

I sent in my corrupted Macbook to Apple, and the technology team ended up having to replace the entire hard drive with a new one, meaning all of my documents, papers, resumes and photos from the past three years of college vanished. They tossed the old hard drive, and tears were shed.

After sobbing on the phone to an Apple executive for an hour (not one of my proudest moments), he was determined to rectify the situation. Two weeks later, a brown package arrived in the mail with a return address labeled “Doc Door #7.”

He had located my hard drive in a warehouse and shipped it back (shout out to Apple exec Scott Castro). I was able to extract all the information, and all was solved. But don’t smirk Bobcats, this situation is rare.

I’ll be the fourth annoying person to tell you, please back up your laptop with an external hard drive. Externals can run on the pricey side, but it will give you peace of mind and quite possibly save your life.

Be sure to research your hard drive before buying one. Make sure it is a universal hard drive and USB port supported. There are 1TB or higher options, prices will depend on the size of drive. Here are some external options for college students:

My favorite:

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB — It is lightweight with multiple plugins that can be used on various devices. Equipped for both PC and Mac.

$89Amazon, $126Wal-Mart

The G-Drive ev RaW — Designed for an active person, it is small and can fit in a backpack, equipped with shock absorbers for outdoor environments. It’s rated well by photographers and videographers that are always on the move. Equipped for both PC and Mac.

$109Amazon, $99BestBuy

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2TB Portable Hard Drive — It is a little smaller and slicker than the Seagate and includes similar components. Equipped for both PC and Mac.

$79Amazon, $89Wal-Mart

Clare Palo is a senior studying journalism and digital content director for The Post. Have you had problems with your laptop being backed up? Tweet her @clarepalo or email her at

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Sunday, September 27, 2015 5:57 pm.

Updated: 6:54 pm.

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