External Drive: Getting Started
Welcome to our article on what an external hard drive (or portable hard drive) is and how to hook it up to your Mac or PC.
What is an external hard drive?
Have you noticed that you are running low on storage space on your Mac or PC? Portable hard drives give you the luxury of adding extra storage space just by plugging the external drive into your computer.
What can you use external drives for? Oh, so much. You can store data including photos, videos, and yes, even your documents. You have a lot of flexibility with how much storage you can have. They can go up to more than 4TB to as small as under 80GB.
How to Hook Up Your Drive
An external drive typically has one or two cords, one which transfers data, and the second cord that provides power to the external drive. Some of your portable external drives are so small that they only need one cord that does both data transfer and powers the external drive, as well.
External hard drives are simple: you plug them in, they appear on your computer, and you can simply click and drag your files onto them to copy the files onto the external. You can do this by periodically checking your drive to make sure your files are up to date and still needed.
Where is my external hard drive located?
To find where a connected external drive is located on your Mac, try opening Finder. You can do this either by clicking the default Finder icon at the bottom left end of your Dock or by pressing Command + Space bar and searching in Finder. An alternative method is to press Shift + Command + C. Once Finder is open, you should see your drives listed either immediately or in the left-hand navigation column under “Locations.” From here, you can click on specific drives to view their contents.
Now for a Windows computer, you may see variations depending on the version of Windows you are using. In general, you will find your drives listed in File Explorer by clicking on Computer or This PC in the left-hand navigation bar.
If you are unsure of how to open File Explorer, try looking for it in your Start Menu. You can also try clicking on your desktop and pressing the Windows Key + E together. Once you have located the drives, you should be able to click on specific drives to view their contents.
Be Prepared for Failure
Don’t wait until it’s too late. The average hard drive warranty is one to three years. This number does not take into consideration the human error of operating and ownership such as physical damage and the conditions they are kept in by their owners.
Just like the internal hard drive in your computer, you need to prepare for externals to fail. At Megabite, we suggest replacing your external hard drive every 3 to 4 years. When you start to use an external drive, make sure to keep track of the month and year that you start using it. That way you can be prepared.
Megabite Computer Services is your go-to computer company to go to for getting your issues and questions resolved. Maybe you don’t know what device is best for you. Don’t fret. Get your free tech advice now!
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Categorised in: Technology Information
This post was written by Megabite