How To Backup Your Computer {WD Passport Review/Giveaway}

I know you’ve heard me say it over and over again.  You KNOW you have to backup your computer.  Hardware fails every single day, and if you don’t have a plan in place to backup your computer you are just asking to lose all of your pictures/videos/documents etc!  I prefer backing up to an external hard drive.  I currently use a Western Digital Passport.  Online backups (to me) take too long, and I don’t like the idea that I have to be online to restore.  What if my internet is down when I need to restore my files?  What if something gets corrupted in the transfer?  I just prefer to have my backups with me at all times.  Here are some of my “best practices” for having a good backup at all times.

Do NOT leave your external hard drive plugged into your computer at all times, or plugged into power at all times.  Typically an external hard drive has the same kinds of parts as your internal hard drive.  It’s just in a nice plastic casing to protect it.  Would you leave your PC turned on ALL the time, even when you are sleeping?  There is a reason that PC’s have a sleep or hibernate setting.  You want to rest your hard drive, and the rest of the pieces of your computer from time to time.  You wouldn’t leave your car running at all times either, right?  So it is with an external hard drive.  If it is constantly plugged in, it is constantly spinning the disk inside.  that takes power and causes wear and tear on the internal parts.  An external hard drive running in this manner will fail sooner than later.  Best practice is to plug in the hard drive during the backup.  When the backup is complete then unplug and store it in a safe place.

Offsite backups.  Companies do this, and you may not have to be super crazy about it, since it’s just your personal data, but a good idea is to have your backup stored in a place that can’t be damaged when your home gets damaged.  Two good places for this is to either store your backup at a friends house, or in your car.  If you are getting out of the house during a fire, you may not remember to grab your hard drive.  So to save you the hassle, backup to two different hard drives.  Store one near your computer for easy file retrievals (say you accidentally deleted that file you’ve been working on for months, luckily your backup is there to save you), and store the other one in the car or at your friend’s house.

Come back tomorrow for the rest of the best practices for backing up your computer!

Western Digital was kind enough to give me an external hard driveto use with my review.  It’s ultra portable, and can hold up to a TB of data (that’s 1,000 GB).  My backup transferred to the hard drive lickity split and it’s a sleek black and blends in nicely with my desktop.  I hardly know it’s there!  They also offered to give two of my readers a 500 GB PassportTo enter to win the external hard drive simply leave a comment on this post.  As always, only one entry per person.  Giveaway will end on Sunday November 21st.  Again there will be 2 winners!

I am a mom who can fix your blog, your computer, or your server. I have been in the IT industry supporting small businesses for over 15 years. As a diehard PC and Android user, I can usually be found sparring with Apple fanboys, or watching movies with my family.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.




  1. Ashley M 16 November, 2010 at 10:21 Reply

    Would LOVE to win this! My mom has been wanting to buy an external harddrive now for a while and has been doing a lot of window shopping. I would LOVE to give this to her for Christmas!

  2. Tracy 16 November, 2010 at 16:19 Reply

    Anyone that’s been through a computer crash knows how critical it is to be diligent about backing-up. Thanks for these reminders!

  3. Rachel S. 17 November, 2010 at 10:09 Reply

    Oh my! I SOOOOO need this! My computer keeps telling me that my hard drive is almost full! I need a few extra hard drives! 1 for pics, 1 for music & 1 for educational stuff.

  4. Tanya E. 19 November, 2010 at 07:51 Reply

    This would be great for all my pictures and videos. I know what it is like to lose everything because of a computer meltdown.

  5. Al 20 November, 2010 at 03:26 Reply

    Hi – I am a volunteer looking after the website for Friends of the Pound who rehome the cats and dogs that sadly find themselves in the Tweed Shire Pound. I would love to be able to automatically back-up our website.

  6. kjovus 20 November, 2010 at 09:43 Reply

    UGH. I had a back up hard drive that broke. Yes not destroyed by me or my kids, but broke! only to have 7 years of photos and legal documents and all of our adoption correspondence with out birth mothers lost. I purchased another back up, but now want a back up for my back up. The emotional sickness made me physically sick when it all happened.

    Sorry about the rant, it obviously is still a touchy subject.

  7. Richard 14 March, 2011 at 10:45 Reply

    Would love to win this WD External Hard Drive for backing up all my important documents,pictures and operating system.

  8. fern white 3 May, 2011 at 14:46 Reply

    I have the Passport and the book Elite.. but nobody can give me an answer once I back up my computer how do I go and find my pictures.. I have a mac and I am scared to delete Iphoto but I need room

  9. Andrus 27 June, 2011 at 08:25 Reply

    Has there any pc expless card or something similar which allow to use this drive usb 3.0 from my Dell XPS notebook

  10. Rebecca 2 October, 2014 at 21:17 Reply

    The passport WD plugged in to Mac and just spinning. Never asked to start backing up but it’s spinning endlessly. When I look at finder. Is it working?

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