30 Bananas a Day!

Completely off-topic.

Looking for ideas or products that I can store my pictures and documents.

I have a thumbdrive...I think 4GB, but I have business stuff I want separate as well as docs I want separate from pics.  I don't want any online/cloud, but I do want it to be better than just several lose-able thumbdrives.  I want it off my computers since I've already had 3 fail and one is starting to look like it's gonna go the same way.

Ok, another question for you brainiacs...do you know what could cause a comp to completely stop working.  I've traded out the power supply, but that doesn't work.  I have my old pics that I can't get off of those computers.

Thanks for any help or ideas!! 

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Do any of our techies have some suggestions?  


Ironically, I was planning to back up some of my work today too:-D

I personally understand the reluctance to do cloud drives at this point in time.  I know it seems to be the way of the future and or even a greener option, but until things get more dependable I am holding off.  I do use an online service for movies and shows so I am not wasting money and environment resources on DVDs, and plastic covers, paper labels, etc.  
However, I did have some bad cloud experiences.  I bought some software that cost over $100 and was supposed to be held in my so called cloud account if I needed it in the future.  When the company upgraded the software and their made their website more trendy, my subscription disappeared and I had no way to prove how to get it back although my account was still active.  

Another company wants me to pay a yearly fee to access my software of which I am not paying them:-D  

I personally back up my documents and computer accounts two ways.  One is on an external computer hard drive, and then one thumb drive for pictures, and one thumb drive for pressing documents and research.  

I probably back things up about one time every 1-2 months.  

I have found scandisk thumbdrives purchased from costco to be reliable, but this is just based on personal experience and opinion, not science:-D

Peace, PK

Even if you computer doesn't "work" anymore, it doesn't mean that you can't get your data back: in the worse case, get your hard drive out and plug it into another computer ! And there are so many reasons for a computer to stop working, we'd need more infos to reduce the field of possibilities...

Solutions for backup (not cloud):

- external drive: I have an old 200 GB USB HDD, only 1.8' in size (Samsung S1). Too slow for big backups, but for once every few months its good enough. There are faster USB3 drives nowadays.

- bigger thumbdrive: there are also fast USB3 thumbdrives nowadays. I've seen 64 GB for less than 50 €.

- home server: turn an old computer into a local networked backup machine.

hi bella! pk asked me to comment here.

backups on thumbdrives are good, but not the best for longterm especially if you are going to be using them often.

#1 better to get an external drive - lot more storage and generally safer too.

#2 alternately, you could put a second internal in (usually cheaper), but it'll run continuously (unless it's a green drive) so that's something to take into account too.

#3 rewritable dvds can be a good idea too offering a way to organize items and keep offsite. i've read that you can reuse these upto 1000 times in theory, but practically it seems 100 is about it. we don't use them so i can't really comment.

so the best option, imho for your purposes would probably be #1 in combo with what you are doing right now.

as for your computer conking out, there are various possibilities such as memory gone bad, motherboard gone bad. if it is a desktop, you should be able to just pop the harddrive into another computer and retrieve your pics. if it is a laptop, you may need to pay someone to do the retrieval (laptops can be tricky). either way though, the chances should be good to get them back.

no post on computers would be complete without a comment on the operating system of course - right, pk?

if you use windoze, you'll likely pay the price in more ways than one.

linux (or one of the bsds) is a much more stable and safer option ... and your computer will like you for it too!

in friendship,


One should never use DVD-R's as a permanent back up because they are not reliable in the long term.  The way they work is that the disc is coated with a dye and then a laser manipulates the colors of the dye.  If the dyes or DVD writers are of poor quality, then the data may not last very long at all before it gets corrupted.  Even the best quality DVD-R's may not hold data beyond 5 to 10 years.  Therefore, you should back up the files you want to keep on hard drives (external and internal), preferably on more than one hard drive, and also perhaps an on-line storage facility as well in case your hard drives fail, get corrupted, or stolen.

So your computer powers on (you see lights, hear a fan), but it won't start Windows or something?

Does it beep when you start it up?

Actually it does sound like it might be related to the power source, but you said that you replaced that.  You might try replacing or borrowing a different power cable/plug to see if that is your problem.  Do you have another computer where you could borrow the plug?  Also is the voltage on the right setting (110 or 220) for your computer and power source?

The broken computers don't do a thing when I turn them on, no lights, no sound, no internal light on the motherboard.  I was hoping there was a slightly easier way than putting the hard drive into another computer.  

My computer is the other computer and it only has 1GB readable RAM - stinks big time since I can barely do anything and all in super slow motion with all unnecessary running programs off.  Not bad for $2 from the Thriftstore!  Needed the other mem card for the business comp.  Some do-dah put a Win98 reboot disk in and so I guess the original owners couldn't fix it. :)

Gianni: I did try two working power sources with different cords, cleaned everything, made sure everything was plugged into everything correctly.  I used to build computers, but I haven't done much for the last 13 years (married and children) except tinker and fix small problems.

Thanks so much - I had completely forgotten about external hard drives...guess I need to start saving my pennies!

Bella, since you used to build computers, I probably don't know any more than you.  It's strange that your computer is completely dead if your power sources are working.  Maybe your motherboard is fried or rusted or something.

As to retrieving your data, you might try using a USB to IDE or SATA adapter, and then backing up the data to another HD.

The older the computer the less likely a USB will work with them...already had this problem...I don't know exactly how I'm going to be able to get the data off the comp if I can't plug and play an external drive...yes, mine are before USBs were the main.  

You can do it with that adapter I linked in the post above.

One end of the adapter connects directly to the hard drive.  Actually there are 3 different connectors in the one adapter cable.  One for older PC HD's, one for older notebook HD's, and one for newer SATA connections.

First you have to unplug the IDE or SATA cable from your hard drive (the cable that normally connects your hard drive to your motherboard), then you connect the adapter cable.

The other end of the adapter cable has a USB cable with which you can connect it to another computer/laptop.

Also included in the box is a power plug which also plugs into the hard drive to power it on.

Thanks so much, I missed the link before.

You can also check the *BIOS* battery: usually a small CR2032 battery, costs nothing, easy to find. I had that problem once, replacing the BIOS battery made the computer boot again. If it's not the problem, then most probably the motherboard is dead, as even without RAM sticks or with defect RAM sticks, it should still beep, boot and allow access to the BIOS...



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