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How to Back Up Your Personal Data onto an External Hard Drive

Updated on June 19, 2013

Snapshot of a Hard Disk Drive

Introduction to Backing up Personal Content

There may come a time in your computer life that you feel the need to back-up your personal data to an external hard-drive. As a computer technician, it is my duty to do this for customers, but perhaps this guide will help you to be able to do it on your own (and consequently not have to pay the high prices computer shops make you pay for this process).

Components Need to do it Correctly.

A computer with either Windows or Ubuntu or any version of linux installed. Linux is preferred because Windows has some limitations about what can be moved from where, and can prevent you from transferring all of your files successfully.

The next item you need is an external hard drive. These can be purchased online cheaply, and it depends on how much hard drive space you are backing up is how big of an external drive you will need. 500 gigabyte HDDs are usually sufficient for the majority of userdata, but in some cases, one may request a full one terabyte. Either way, you'll find that you can buy a 500gb external hard drive for under $50. It comes with a cable that will allow you to plug it into your USB port and allow the transfer process.

If You Have All That Correct

Then all you need to do is plug in the external hard drive, open up file system and copy and paste all of what you want to back-up onto the external hard drive. Voila! Your stuff is backed up!

But, what if I can't get into my operating system!?

So what if your Windows doesn't boot up anymore?! Oh no! You've got a dilemma now. Hopefully you can boot into Linux if you also have that possibility, but otherwise, you need a device called a hard drive dock which will allow you to use your removed hard drive and plug it into it. That device will plug into another PC of yours (since your current PC is not working) and allow you to transfer files over the hard way. Once all your files are on the new external hard drive, you are now free to attach that to your new computer or fixed old computer and be able to live again! Be free and live long!


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    • sharingknowledge profile image

      SHAR NOR 4 years ago from Miami, FL

      This is interesting to know. As if you knew that i had a similar problem. Let me keep reading this and see if i can really grasp something. The whole article seems to be having something to do with what happened to me and i just wish that i had an External drive where i had backed up all my data.