moderated Re: back ups

Zel Iscel

Thanks Ryan. Once again, you have been very informative. 😊





Zel Iscel

Disability Specialist

Inclusive World

Mobile: 0413813885

Email: zel@...


From: <> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Tuesday, 15 February 2022 6:45 AM
Subject: Re: back ups



The size of a backup drive that "fits your needs" depends on several things:

1. How much data (and I'm including the OS and everything else) do you have to backup?
2. How many backups (if any more than one) do you wish to keep.  Some people keep, for example, their backups from the last 3 months (taken monthly) or 3 weeks (if taken weekly) so you'd need something that can hold X number of backups of Y size.

Below I'm going to paste a tutorial I've written for my clients to educate them on how to make a smart choice as far as backup drive size.  I consider having a drive with a capacity far in excess of what you need the purchase of a dead asset.  While a little room to grow never hurts, if your computer has 250 GB of data lock, stock, and barrel then a 1 TB drive is far in excess of what you need.  Buy whatever you want, though, provided you have at least the space you actually need.

How to Choose the Right External Backup Drive for You

Bigger is not necessarily better, as almost no one needs to keep backups that are over two months or two backup cycles (if you take them more frequently) old.  Tons of extra capacity that you don’t use does you no good.  But if you hit a good sale where a drive with a much larger capacity than you need is available at a very low price, don’t hesitate to buy that one.  They keep getting less and less expensive with time, and are already quite cheap.

What follows presumes that the computer you’re intending to back up has pretty much all of the data you’re likely to want to back up already on it, with some room to grow over time.

1. Open File Explorer, and select This PC in the folder tree on the left side.  If your normal view is not the Details View, switch to that view temporarily then switch back to your preferred view afterward.  Look at your system drive, which is virtually certain to be the C: drive with the name Windows.

2. Look for your Total Size and Free space, 915 GB and 251 GB respectively in this example, then subtract the Free Space from the Total Size.  In this case, that value would be 664 GB.  This tells you how much space you’re actually using (and I’m using a lot more than many people do).  Multiply that value by two, in this case:  1328 GB

3. Backup drives are generally sold in sizes that start around 250 GB and go up, usually 500 GB (two times the space), 1 TB (4 times the space, and 1000 GB), 2 TB (2000 GB), 3 TB (3000 GB), and 4 TB (4000 GB).  Pick a size that is approximately the same as that “multiplied by 2” figure above.  Since I am above 1000 GB, I want a 2 TB drive or larger.  You may not need one nearly so large.

That’s it, at least for the basics of choosing.  These days external USB backup drives that are 1 TB in size can often be had for under $75, often under $50 on sale, so this is not a major investment.

For the purposes of backup, choose an external hard disk drive (HDD) rather than a solid-state drive (SSD).  Although SSDs are the thing to have in your computer, they are not nearly as stable as a long-term backup device as a HDD is, and HDDs are much cheaper for the amount of space you get.

These drives are available at Staples, Best Buy, Costco, Walmart, Amazon, and many other brick and mortar stores and online vendors, so shop around for who may have the one you need on sale at the moment.


Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

Friendship. . . Intimacy, untroubled by eros.

         ~ Kim Chernin

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