page provides guidelines for:
An overview of different media options for the
Do You Know Where Your Drives Are?
When saving files, you can store files on:
Your PC’s hard drive
A folder on the CCAC network
An external source
Click on any word in
more information on that topic!
More information on storage media can be found on the Talkin'
Choose Your Media Wisely.
You should know the advantages and limitations of storing
files in any of these locations:
(a.k.a. flash, pen, jump, thumb, key
drives & memory sticks)
Information: A USB
drive is a compact USB memory drive that is similar to an external
hard drive, but with less storage capacity. USBs store an incredibly large amount of information on a device
that looks like a highlighter marker. About the size of a pack of
gum, a USB drive slips easily into your pocket and can be used
in place of a CD, floppy disk, external hard drive, and zip disk.
USB drives can store and backup large amounts of information.
Due to the small size of USB drives, they are particularly good for files that need to be transported
from one location to another.
The fairly new,
compact USB drives have become an extremely popular storage
media. USB drives are more durable than other popular forms
of storage media (i.e. floppy disks, zip disks, external hard
drives) because they do not contain internal moving parts.
storage capacity of a USB drive depends upon what size you purchase. A USB 2.0 can store over 4
gigabytes (GB) or 4000 megabytes (MB) of information, which is 6
times the storage capacity of a CD.
Transfer speeds of a USB drive are miniscule and can occur in
USB drives can store information for approximately 10 years
and they are not vulnerable to magnets.
High-end drives can be
expensive. Due to their small size, USB drives are easily
drivers needed” on the package. USB drives are plug
and play devices, which should be recognized by the computer as soon
as the flash drive is inserted into a USB port. However, flash
drives that use “compression” will require installation of
drivers on the computer.
- Buy a USB drive that has “
Do not just pull the drive out. (Please see "How to Use a USB Drive"
- Always remove USB drive by
right-clicking on the Remove Hardware icon that is located near
Links that will answer your
to Use a USB drive
Tips for Caring for Your Digital Media
External Hard Drive
drives come in various storage capacities, which range from
20 gigabytes (GB) to around 1
terabyte (TB). External hard
dives are not always truly external. Some external
hard drives sit within a cradle in a free drive bay in the
computer, but others are truly external and connect to the
computer via a cable. To connect your external hard
drive to your computer, you may choose either USB (USB 1.0
or USB2.0) or Firewire cable (requires a Firewire interface
card). Moving Files or Data transfer rates with both USB
2.0 and Firewire are very quick indeed.
With any external hard drive it is
fairly easy to drag and drop files from the main hard drive
to the back up. However, some external hard drives
have a single button on their case for data transfer, which
makes the whole process very easy indeed. With one
button push, the preinstalled software creates a full mirror
backup of the computer hard drive onto the external drive.
manufacturers, the lifespan of an external hard drive is
2 to 10 years, but realistically the lifespan of an
external hard drive may range from
2 to 5 years.
External hard drives can store individual files, but are
best used to backup your entire PC’s hard drive.
External hard drives are fast and it is easy to move files
between the external hard drive and user’s PC. It may
also be stored offsite and is portable.
The external hard drive and power supply are expensive.
Links that will answer your questions:
What is the difference between
Firewire and USB?
A CD (Compact Disc), which is
only 4.8 inches in diameter, can hold up to 700 (MB) of
information or about 80 minutes of music. Information
is recorded or burnt onto bumps that form a single, spiral
track. A laser within the CD drive reads and interprets the
bumps and plays the requested information
There are two types of
recordable CDs: CD-R and CD-RW. The CD-R allows one-time
recording only. CD-R media are economical and are preferred
storage media for one-time backup of information.
Unlike a CD-R, a CD-RW disc can be
re-recorded or re-written up to 1,000 times. While the
CD-RW disc is priced slightly higher than a CD-R disc, the
CD-RW is one of the most economical forms of storage media.
If your work computer does not h, your department may
purchase a CD burner. When purchasing a CD burner,
please follow these specifications:
On the CD-R and CD-RW disc,
you may see "Certified up to 24x". The 'x' on the CD refers
to a speed of data transfer of copying one CD to another.
For instance, if you were recording at 2x, it would take
about 40 minutes to record an 80-minute CD; at 4x, it would
take about 20 minutes to record an 80-minute CD.
With up to 700MB of data storage, CDs
can store the information of about 500 floppy discs. Holding
between 650 to 700 MB of data, CDs are more than adequate
for small backups and have a fast transfer rate.
Since CDs are fairly small,
they are easy to transport and store. They are inexpensive
and can last from 5-10 years. Also, CDs are not
susceptible to magnets.
If mishandled, CDs can be easily
scratched and made unusable.
data side of the disc must remain free from scratches,
fingerprints, dust, etc.
- Always handle CDs by the edges or the center hole.
- Always return CDs to a jewel-box or sleeve when
done; don't stack them or set them down on hard
- Never write on the data side of the CD, and use a
felt-tip, permanent marker to write on the label side.
- Never leave an unprotected CD in direct sunlight,
and avoid exposure to extreme heat and humidity
Links that will answer your
How CDs Work
How to Burn A CD using Roxio
Storage Media Recommendations
Backing Up your Files
Even if you
have chosen to store your files on the F: or U: drives, you are
responsible for backing up your documents regularly and faithfully. All
network drives are backed up on a nightly basis. However, you should not
rely on ITS disaster recovery processes to secure your personal
documents. It may be very difficult or impossible for ITS Operations to
restore only a segment of the network for one individual.
It is your
responsibility to regularly back up your documents to an external media
source. Jump/ Flash drives, CD/ DVD and Zip drives all provide
excellent resource for you to make backup copies
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