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I have lost count of the number of photographs and documents I lost when my first, very old computer eventually died and my second, cheap excuse for one, crashed.
I hadn't backed up any files, despite all the advice being fired at me from every conceivable corner of the community.
"Serves you right." I hear you say.
As some will already know, I am a bit of a technophobe, in that I do not try anything new unless I really have too, and then with obvious trepidation.
My ancient laptop had been showing signs that it's preparing to give up the ghost in the not to distant future, and as sure as eggs-is-eggs, it will when I least expect it, so began thinking seriously about transferring all I wish to save from the laptop onto my new computer and at the same time, keeping a more permanent record on file; but knowing that it can be done is a far cry from knowing HOW it can be done. I tend to learn technical information on a 'need-to-know' basis. The time had arrived to add a bit more knowledge to my memory banks.
It is true, you know - we don't stop learning until our final breath.
Since reading some dooyoo reviews on portable hard drives and how easy they are to install and use, I decided that perhaps this is what I need to store all photographs, videos and documents I wish to keep long term and use those tiny, easy to lose, memory sticks to back up my computer. My faithful old laptop can then fade away in its own sweet time, without my losing any precious files or having to kick myself mercilessly, for foolishly continuing to ignore sound advice. I don't think I could take another "I told you so," comment.
If possible, I do like to support local businesses when buying goods, though the internet is an excellent source of info with regards to brands and prices, which I usually note before venturing to the shops, so that I don't appear a complete ignoramus.
I purchased my Freecom Mobile drive, at one of our local computer shops for £59.95, about £15 more than I could have purchased it on-line, but to me, their expertise was well worth the extra.
I spent about 30 minutes quizzing the assistant and receiving clear instructions on how to use portable hard drives. Having told him what I wanted it for, he advised the 250GB memory capacity Freecom was more than adequate for my purposes, rather than the 500GB, since I had no wish to download masses of music and videos.
Using their shop computer, he then demonstrated how I should transfer files/photos etc from my laptop to the Freecom and then from the Freecom to my computer.
Now to all you computer whiz-kids, it is as simple as ABC, needing little or no explanation. However, for the few of us who do not know how it is done (and want to impress their hubbies and kids) I will give a brief 'How-to,' list of instructions at the end.
---------The Freecom 250GB Mobile Drive Classic II Specifications--------
This neat little 2.5" hard drive is of German design and made in China.
The capacity is 250GB, powered by the computer through its USB connection, so no extra power source is required.
It has no moving parts, so is therefore low in power consumption and very quiet.
It has a turbo USB 2.0 interface, which they tell me means it boosts data transfer speeds.
The USB lead supplied is very short, 34cm long from end to end, the reason why it is so short, I am told, is to reduce power consumption. The longer the lead is; the greater the power consumption.
However the shortness of the lead can be problematical if the spare USB ports are at the rear of the PC tower. All is not lost though, a spare USB hub will solve that problem.
Data transfer rate is 480Mbits per second - to me, that is instantaneous and in non-technological terms, info is transferred in two shakes of a lamb's tail.
According to the information on the packaging; this 250GB hard drive will hold 50,000 MP3 songs or 170,000 JPEG photographs or 55 DVD movies or 250 DivX or XVID movies.
For some reason I was expecting portable hard drives to be the size of an average paperback novel but, much to my surprise, found the Freecom Classic II to be the size of my Blackberry phone- well to be precise 1.1cm wider than my phone.
The actual measurements are: 11.5cm x 7.6cm x 1.2cm, weighing a mere 140g.
--------Price range ------
I have seen these very same models on sale for as little as £39.99 plus P/P and as high as £144 post free, so it really does pay to shop around.
----------How To Use-------
Before the Freecom can be used, it has to be installed on to each computer in turn. It is a quick and simple procedure requiring nothing more than the lead supplied.
Just connect to a USB port and follow the simple instructions, it takes less than a minute, to install the turbo driver, software, manual and helpline support information.
---To transfer files from one computer TO the Freecom hard drive----
Connect the Freecom to the computer via the short lead supplied.
1. Open DOCUMENTS
2. Right click on the required folder(s) - this opens a sub-menu
3. Left click on COPY
4. Close window and return to desktop.
5. Open MY COMPUTER.
6. Double Left click on Freecom drive ( which appears on screen)
7. Move cursor to a white area and Right click to show sub-menu
8.Click on PASTE
-----To Transfer information FROM the Freecom to another computer----
Connect the Freecom to second computer.
1. Go to MY COMPUTER
2. Double Left click Freecom (on screen)
3.Right click on file ( to be transferred)
4.Left click COPY
5. Go to documents (or wherever you wish to store file) and Right click
6.Left click PASTE.
Task complete - simple eh?
Any files collected and stored onto the Freecom hard drive can be deleted if no longer required.
As usual, after completing installations of new equipment, I wonder why I had ever allowed myself to get so anxious about it. This was no exception, thanks to the expert advice from the people who sold me the device.
The installation was quick and simple, and having followed the instructions given me, I was able to use the Freecom portable hard drive immediately.
Fortunately, my PC tower has a couple of spare USB ports on the front, so the shortness of the lead did not prove to be a problem, the device rested safely on the top of the tower.
The transfer of files from one device to another was incredibly fast and accurate. The only thing I wonder now is why it has taken me so long to decide to buy this invaluable and useful piece of equipment. It has saved many a file that would otherwise have been lost.
Am I less technophobic now? Not at all - I shall be just as anxious next time I try a new device for the first time, but it won't stop me from trying. It is the only way is to keep up with advances in technology and has certainly helped me save lots of info that would otherwise have been lost