When, Not If: How to Protect Against Hard Drive Failure

By Emily Mudge

Your hard drive is invincible, until it isn’t.

Sure, you’ve heard the stories about hard drives failing and people losing important files. You’ve seen your friends lose it all in vicious, hard drive related accidents. But that wouldn’t happen to your hard drive, right? No, your hard drive is invincible. And anyways, you were going to put it all up on the cloud soon. “I just haven’t had time,” you say to yourself, as you enter the fifth hour of your Netflix binge.

This Turkey Vulture seen in Bonny Doon, CA is waiting for your hard drive to die.

And then, one day, it happens. You power up your laptop, plug in your external hard drive, and… Nothing. It doesn’t work. You try everything you can think of to coax it back on. You even call the actual support people, waiting on hold for thirty frantic minutes. They say it has to be reset, or you need a new one and that your files are lost.

Your mind quickly flashes through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression. And finally, acceptance. It’s fine, you suppose. You didn’t really need the only existing photograph of you with your grandparents. It’s not like you’re upset about it.

How you feel after your hard drive fails: Aftermath of a controlled forest fire in Henry Cowell State Park.

You spend a few minutes researching cloud storage, then go out and buy a new external hard drive because that’s the way you’ve always done things.

But cloud storage isn’t scary, it isn’t dangerous, and really, it isn’t all that different. You could drag and drop your files into an external drive, or into a cloud drive. They both back everything up. The only difference is, cloud services don’t have the same vulnerabilities that hard drives do. So next time you think you’ve lost everything, you can login on any of your surviving devices and it’s still there. And if you use Keenai, it’ll your photos will be organized for you so that photo you thought you lost is easy to find

So put down the hard drive. Switch to cloud storage and never worry about losing another file.

Venture into the unknown: Cloud Storage. Or, this tunnel through the Aloe Vera plants at Wilder Ranch State Park.