A friend recently asked me about what backup hard drive to buy.
He mentioned an external SSD, which made me do a double-take. External SSD?!
Well, yeah. Apparently, they’ve been around for years already, although only recently have prices become a bit more reasonable.
And, until now, I hadn’t even seen an ad for one!
An external SSD as a backup drive has the primary benefit of SPEED!
But is it worth it? And are they reliable enough for use as a backup drive that might sit on your shelf for months or even years on end?
One of the best features ever in Windows is hibernation. You may never even have heard of this feature, but it’s one you should definitely know about – and use!
Of course, everyone is familiar with “Sleep mode”, and it’s probably what you’re already using. But there are certain advantages to hibernation, especially on laptops.
But what exactly is hibernation? How is it different than Sleep?
And most of all, why should you use it?
You’ve probably heard of SSDs (solid state drives). These are hard drives that use a type of very fast and very robust flash memory for data storage instead of a spinning magnetic disc.
SSDs are very fast, and until recently, their storage capacity was limited relative to old-fashioned mechanical spinning HDDs. They were also rather pricey.
You probably haven’t heard quite as much about SSHDs: hybrid mechanical hard drives with a small amount of SSD-type storage built-in. The idea here is that the SSD part of the drive can be accessed very quickly, so it acts as a very fast buffer between your puter and the slower mechanical part of the drive.
The result? SSHDs are faster than a mechanical HDD, not as fast as an SSD, but still offer 2TB, 4TB, or even more storage space – all at an affordable price.
If you haven’t seen Part 1, it’s here:
SSD: Why you need to upgrade your computer with a Solid State Hard Drive
With Part 1 out of the way, you’ve decided to take the plunge. Great!
How do you actually do the upgrade? Well, that can get a bit complicated.
There are a few things you’ll need to know before you even think of a DIY upgrade.
After covering those, I’ll discuss a few options for the different upgrade cases you might encounter.
Everyone is always looking to make their computer faster, whether they realize it or not. Usually, it’s only after an upgrade that we realize just how pokey our machine was running beforehand.
These days, there isn’t a huge difference between a 2-year-old computer and a brand new one. Oh, sure, newer puters will always be faster… But unless you’re doing something hardcore like video editing or gaming, you probably won’t notice much of a difference.
There is one upgrade, though, that makes a huge difference pretty much across the board: the addition of an SSD.
At this point, you probably have 2 questions:
- What is an SSD?
- How do I add one to my puter?
Let’s say you’ve got Windows 7, and you install a second hard drive. Perhaps you have an SSD as your primary drive, and you want to store your GB’s of MP3s, videos, and documents on your second data drive.
Well, you could just copy the data into a new folder the old fashioned way. Doing this tends to break Windows 7’s “libraries” feature, and suddenly you have to tell Windows where to find all your files. That’s kind of annoying.
Fortunately, there is a built-in feature for moving your My Documents, My Music, My Videos, My Pictures, and even your Downloads folder automagically – and Windows will still keep track of everything for you!