Every second user saves digital files to the desktop, which makes sense. It provides immediate, one-click access to all the assets and doesn’t require any extra manipulations on your end. But if you are strict about data maintenance, there are a couple of things that you should be aware of. What is more, having an overcrowded desktop will significantly slow down the machine and will hardly prolong laptop life.
What’s the Problem?
First of all, if you store the data on the desktop, there is no file protection. As noted by the PC world, restoring directories does not affect some of them. File recovery affects files on the desktop, which can lead to unexpected situations when you cannot find a particular file.
Apart from that, there are no data backups, which means that the lost asset cannot be restored.
The problem is that many file backup software ignore desktop files by default. Most useful programs will allow you to change settings and turn on the desktop as needed, but all it takes is one moment to remove an important desktop file from the system.
The story is always the same. You start your desktop collection with a few documents. The collection has expanded over time to include images, music, programs, zip files, and other documents. Suddenly, finding the correct document takes longer than actually opening it.
We guess that this is not the situation that you want to end at. That’s why we have some great data storage alternatives for you to consider.
What’s the Solution?
Choosing a storage solution for your digital assets is a highly controversial topic since today, the range of such solutions is wider than ever. In this post, we will talk about the most convenient and effective methods for storing and backing up information.
Solution #1 – Use Windows Libraries
Every Windows installation comes with a My Documents directory. In Windows 7, it was renamed to Documents and came with different options in there: Music, Pictures, and Videos. They are called Windows Libraries, and you’ve probably seen them before but never used them, right? Well, you have to reconsider that.
In truth, these libraries are handy for data storage and management. These are not just directories but collections from multiple directories. In each library, you can specify different directories to be included. And this library will show the contents of all included directories. Thus, you can save your videos in different locations and link those directories to your video library. Then, whenever you access your video library, you will see all of these files in one place. It’s as convenient as keeping everything on your desktop but infinitely more flexible and organized.
Solution #2 – Cloud Solutions
Cloud storage has become extremely popular over the past few years, and there is a good reason for that. Although cloud solutions like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive come with privacy concerns, they also offer many benefits. If you have never used cloud services, here is how it works. You allocate one or more directories that sync automatically with whatever service you use. These files can be then accessed from anywhere and can be set as private or public. In the former case, it is only you or a pre-set group of users who can access the assets.
Why is it better than keeping it right on your desktop?
- Automatic backup. Thanks to automatic synchronization, you rarely need to worry about lost files. If your computer gets erased in any way, these assets are still in the cloud, and you can always restore them.
- Change registration sheet. Not every cloud service offers a changelog, but most of them do so. And this is an important feature. Basically, the service will track every change made to the file (it might be limited to recent X changes) and allow you to immediately revert to a previous version if needed.
For example, when it comes to multimedia assets, you can make use of free video converters with no watermark. They can serve as both video processing tools and a place to store all the video clips you have worked with.
Solution #3 – Hard Drives
Traditional HDDs are most commonly used to store a wide variety of data. With normal use, their average service life is 3-10 years. At the same time, if you write down information on the hard disk, disconnect it from the computer, and put it in a desk drawer, then the data can be read without errors for about the same period of time. The safety of data on a hard disk largely depends on external factors. For example, magnetic fields can cause premature failure of the drive. That’s why it is better to avoid such situations.
Solution #4 – USB Flash/SSD
The average lifespan of flash drives is about five years. At the same time, ordinary flash drives often fail much earlier than this period. One static discharge, when connected to a computer, is enough to make the data inaccessible. Provided that important information is recorded and then the SSD or flash drive is disconnected for storage, the data availability period is about 7-8 years.
Solution #5 – CD, DVD, Blu-Ray
All of the above optical discs provide the longest data storage period, which can exceed 100 years. But this type of storage is associated with the greatest number of nuances. Of course, optical data storage gives you access to a remarkably cheap yet high-quality platform for the distribution of large amounts of digital data. Once recorded, the data cannot be rewritten, and short of the destruction of the disk, cannot be erased.
So What to Choose?
To make media files and other digital assets accessible from any device, you can use an external drive or locate everything in the cloud. It is more reliable to keep information on the web repository. If the operating system suddenly fails, the hard drive broke, or the user just bought a new laptop, everything safely remains in the data storage service. However, it is up to you to choose what option will work best for you.
More on this topic: Introduction to Data Backup and Recovery