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I’ve been freelance designing for over 3 years now – since 2014 – and I wanted to share to you and other designers my experiences with these blogs. To find out more about me, check out my about page. I hope you enjoy the readings.

Throughout my years of designing, I have accumulated an enormous amount of project files, stock vectors, images, fonts, patterns, etc. Needless to say, most of these files were client projects and reports. I saved all these files on a 1tb external hard drive and believed that it was durable enough to withstand general wear and tear until all my  securities came crashing down –  literally. The hard drive fell out of my hand and landed on the carpet. No big deal, right? Wrong! Apparently, the disk heads were severally damaged and needed to be sent to a data recovery lab which turned into a $2100 bill. So I decided to create, what I call, a “disaster backup drive”. A disaster backup drive is a separate hard drive that saves copies of all your files. Ideally, it should not be moved or touched at all – I recommend using an internal hard drive for this.


Internal HD and Precision Screwdriver set

Here’s what you will need

  • an internal hard drive with SATA and power cable
  • a reliable computer
  • some precision screwdrivers

…thats it.

First of all, you should always follow the installation instructions that come with any internal hard drives and make sure your computer is unplugged from the outlet before you begin any upgrading process. But, all you have to do is open the computer case, safely remove the hard drive from its box, and carefully fit it into the hard drive slots insides the case. Connect the SATA cable into the SATA ports. Do the same for the power cables. Close the computer case and power on the PC.


SATA Cable and Power Cable

The next step is formatting the hard drive for use. This can be tricky but there are a ton of YouTube videos that can show you how to do this step in more detail (Search “properly configure HD as storage drive” – they don’t pay me for any personal referrals). So after you have successfully and safely installed the hard drive, boot up the computer and search for the computer management settings. It’ll be under ‘Computer’ or ‘This PC’ – manage – disk management. Here you will see all the drives connected to the computer. Find the new hard drive you installed and (right click) create a ‘new volume’. Go through the set up using the default settings and name the drive as “disaster back up”.


Computer Management screen

Now your “disaster back up” is set up and ready to be used! From now on, you can save a copy of all your projects here just in case your trusty-dusty hard drive fails somehow. Simply plug it into the computer and copy all its contents to your new “disaster back up”. The lesson here: always back up your work with a $120 hard drive or shovel $2100 for data recovery. To me, its a no brainer. Thanks!