For a few years now, the majority of computers sold have been laptops. It’s not surprising; I’m not sure what I’d do without mine.
But one downside is that laptop-sized hard disks are much less robust than their desktop equivalents. The manufacturers often quote an expected life of just a small number of years. And as more and more people are storing very valuable data – like the family photos – on these little devices, the potential for heartbreak is getting ever larger.
This is why I always have at least two complete recent backups on external hard disks, and why I make sure that they’re full-size desktop drives. I don’t carry them around with me, either, which probably increases their lifespan dramatically! If you’re a Mac user, treat yourself to a copy of the excellent SuperDuper software and £100-worth of external firewire hard disk, and you won’t regret it.
But if all else fails and you have a failing laptop disk and you really need to get your data off it, you might be able to help it along with a little reorientation…