7 Tips on Portable Storage Devices

Everyday we utilize various storage media types in a variety of electronic devices. These media types range from Secure Digital cards for cameras and portable devices to USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt external drives. However, the common thread is that they all store our data, music, images, movies and documents. I have summarized some tips and tricks that will show you how to remove, reuse, format, backup and keep all your storage devices running in and help to prevent data-loss in the process. Saving data is easy, preserving it forever takes more effort but is well worth it.

Remove your media and external drives properly.

You should never unplug a storage device without checking to see if its in-use first. If it is, you will want to unmount the device properly before unplugging it. Unplugging a drive or an SD card while its writing to the device can easily corrupt or damage the data for good. On a Mac, you can drag the drive to the trash, use the finder and use the eject button, or right click your mouse. With a Windows PC, you use can use the remove hardware command to eject hardware in the taskbar or under my computer.

Backup images/data from your media and external drives regularly.

If you use your media cards or external drive and add important data to them regularly, make sure to backup the data up to another location. In the event of accidental deletion, media corruption or logical file system issue, having a backup of valuable data makes for an easy recovery if something goes south.

Format your camera media for the proper job and interface for its device interface.

Many Mac & PC users don’t realize that storage devices are formatted for specific devices, transfer speeds, backwards compatibility and operating systems. If your SD card is going to be used for your camera only, then use its onboard formatting tool for best performance. For Mac & PC compatibility try using exFat for faster transfer speeds and less file fragmentation.

For boot-ability, you will need to mirror the same formatting that was used for the installation of your operating system.

Clone your media cards when in doubt of a filesystem error or corrupt files.

If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t use finder or my computer to access files from your portable storage device, you could have a physical or logical drive issue. To many users try to format a device in the hopes it will help the process during a data-loss scenario. The truth is “ Don’t format “ the drive in those cases. Your directory, original names and meta data can be permanently lost forever. This can cost you hours, days and even weeks of file re-cataloging. Formatting the drive is never recommended when trying to recover data. To be safe cloning the drive is safest way to go. It does require an additional device to clone the drive to, but it does take the risk out of the scenario considerably. Cloning a drive or device, makes and exact copy of the original drive and many times transfers the data to another device successfully. Once a clone is made you can use it as the source for a data recovery application like Data Rescue 3 or Data Rescue PC3.

Recover lost images and data using Data Rescue 3 / Data Rescue PC3

If you have a physical defect, mounting issue or accidental deletion try Data Rescue products. You can try the demo to see if your files can be detected and we have an excellent support team that is located in northern California and can be reached by phone or email Monday through Friday. Check out our reviews on Amazon.com and the Apple Store and you’ll see that customers love the software and actually love dealing with our support team members. If you’re unsure what to do and have a data loss scenario call Prosoft Engineering Support Team @ 925-426-6306. We will gladly field your call, help you try our free demo and help you recover your files quickly. If you have a physical issue with your drive, call our sister company The Data Rescue Center

Secure erase your digital media before lending, disposing or selling the devices.

Securely erasing your hard drive of your personal information has never been more important. As we accumulate digital devices, our personal information, website URLs, images and locations of those images, documents and many other bits of data get stored and forgotten on these devices. Now these bits of data sound harmless, but what if someone found an old SD card you had thrown out or lost ? It can show GPS location data on you or your family members or events. If the storage device was used to save documents from work or home there can be even more personal information floating around about you or your company. Store your media & external drives properly.

Lastly, store your media & external devices properly. Keep them out of harms way by using proper containers that there were purchased with or buy ones that are specifically designed for that device/footprint. Use padded cases while in backpacks and briefcases. Do not let external drives tip over, drop on the floor or throw them. Prevent abrupt jolts, moisture, magnetic fields and static electricity. It may sound redundant but by preventing these outside elements will reduce your chance of data-loss, labor, time, precious memories and unrepeatable events like weddings and birthdays.