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Need Advice Data retrieval/storage

Discussion in 'Community Broadband & Computers' started by Sesame, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Sesame

    Sesame New Member

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    Please forgive me if I use the wrong words here - I'm not the computer geek in the family but I'm the one who uses this message board!

    We have two older computers - one tower and one laptop that we no longer use. There are old files - mostly word documents, photos and likely some music that are on there. We don't need to use these files (obviously as the computers have been cocooning in our storage for years now) but would like to have them for just-in-case later.

    Where can we take them to have the data pulled off?

    Thanks!! :)
     
  2. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    I don't know of any place local that does that. Can you not boot them up and copy it off?
     
  3. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    You could simply purchase a couple of empty external enclosures that connect via USB and stick the drives in them. You can then connect them like external hard drives to any computer anytime you want access to the files, or to pull them off and onto another computer, etc. External enclosures are pretty cheap and available on Amazon or even at Microcenter in Vienna, VA.
     
  4. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

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    You could buy a portable hard drive and copy the files from both computers onto it. Choose one that has enough space for your files. A bonus of getting one with extra space is that you can use it as a backup for your most current computer (run backups once in a while so that if your current computer crashes your data is safe).

    Or you could do what Mr. Linux said and just buy some empty hard drive enclosures for each hard drive. Then you would remove the drives from their machines and put them in the enclosures for safekeeping.

    If you really want to go all out with protecting the files, keep the portable hard drives in a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box at the bank.

    Cloud storage is also an option but while there are some free options, for the amount of space you may need a free account may not be enough. In which case, you would be paying a monthly or annual fee, making the physical storage option possibly less expensive.
     
  5. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    Quick word of advice if you decide to go with empty hard drive enclosures; make sure you get a model with the correct interface for your hard drives. Much older drives will use an IDE/PATA interface, while more recent ones use SATA. A quick way to figure out the difference is IDE/PATA drives will normally be connected with a wide ribbon cable made up of 40 smaller cables and headers on the end that are almost 2 inches wide. SATA will be much smaller and look like one big cable. It will have 7 small pins/connectors on each end. Additionally, make sure you get the right size enclosure. Desktop hard drives are large and are considered 3.5" format, smaller drives such as 'laptop' hard drives are considered 2.5" format. Quick way to tell the difference, if the drive is the size of a deck of cards, it's 2.5" format, otherwise, it's 3.5. 99.9% of the time, desktop hard drives are 3.5" format...

    If you decide to go down the enclosure route and you're still unsure what type of hard drive you have, take a picture of the end where the connectors are and post it here - folks will quickly/easily be able to tell you what interface it's using.
     
  6. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    They also have universal PATA/SATA USB dongles (as opposed to an enclosure which is a more permanent solution) you can use that have all the connectors you could possibly need. I would just hook the drives up one time, copy the documents to a safe place (like dropbox + optionally truecrypt) and then wipe the old drives and dispose of the old hardware and never have to worry again! Alternatively you can keep the drives in a safe or something like others have said, but they could fail, so getting the data off is a priority.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Sesame

    Sesame New Member

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    thanks everyone!!!!
     

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