If this occurs, and the computer user has stored information on their machine’s hard drive, but has not backed it up in any other way, the consequences can clearly be serious. In some cases data is recoverable from the hard drive when it has been removed from the computer, but this is not always possible. A student might lose all of their research data for an assignment, project or dissertation; a business person might lose data vital to the day-to-day running of their commercial operations.
It is true that more recent operating systems, including Linux, and newer versions of Windows, are more likely to recover after a crash, when the machine’s hard drive has been scanned, errors have been repaired, and the system rebooted. Even if this all goes smoothly, data which was unsaved at the time of the crash may not be recoverable.
However, there are several means by which data can secured, so that even if it cannot be recovered after a system crash, it can be accessed on a different machine. The most popular forms of external storage are USB mass storage devices, and external hard drives. The latter are usually able to store as much data as a PC, but the device can be connected and disconnected from a computer, and so data backed up using such devices will be safe in the event of a