Today’s Tech Tuesday

Posted on March 26th, 2018 by tssadmin

Today’s Tech Tuesday is from Elaine Hughes. Elaine works in our User Services group providing hardware and software support to the community. She joined IT@NJMS in 2003 and is also a graduate of Rutgers University. She has 25 years of experience and expertise in computers and networking. Where Kenton provided you information on Cloud Backup Options, Elaine is going to share with you some information on local backup options.


Data Backup

Wherever I go people are always asking me for advice regarding their computers such as what make or model to buy or how much memory or what type of warranty to get. Every time I get asked these questions my answer is always the same. I tell them that the most important thing is not what you buy but to always make sure you have a good backup system.

I have found that in most cases people neglect to back up their data. I have worked in this field for twenty-five years and over the course of that time I have lost count as to how many times I had to deliver the bad news that data had been lost due to a hardware failure of one kind or another.

In some cases it is possible to recover lost data but most times this process can be very costly and the companies that do this will charge a large fee for “attempted” data recovery whether they are able to get your data back or not.

There are many options when it comes to data backup and each one has positives and negatives about them.  Here are three types of backup options that I personally recommend.


External Hard Drive Backup System:

There are many external hard drives to choose from but the one that I use and recommend is a Western Digital “My Passport.” It is a light weight compact external hard drive that connects to a USB port on your computer. It comes in various drive sizes depending on your needs.  For example, you can pick up a 1TB size for about $50 at Best Buy.


This drive comes with backup software for your PC that once you install it will do a continuous backup of your data. For Mac users, this is perfect for Time Machine backups too. The other nice thing about this drive is that it is a portable drive and easy to carry with you if needed.


This is a hard drive and like any hard drive it is subject to fail without notice. You should never store data on this or any portable drive that you do not also have someplace else.


Network Drives:

Here at the Medical School you may have heard people refer to the H, J, K, R or S drives.  These letters refer to space on our own internal file servers. H: for Home, J: for department shares, K: for restricted shares, R: for research data storage, and S: for encrypted clinical / research data storage.


Data stored on these drives are backed up on a daily basis which has come in handy when a user accidentally deletes a file or folder.  Data is easily shared.  On restricted drives you can be very specific about which users can access certain data.

Also, Researchers can get 100 GBs of data on either the R or S drive, while additional storage on these drives costs $50 per 100 GBs.


You have to be directly connected to the Network to access these drives.  Space is limited on the Core servers (H, J, and K) which has been a challenge for some departments because they have no control over what users put on those drives so they can fill up very fast and sometimes the files are duplicated and some things should not be stored there at all such as personal pictures or home videos.


Internet Back Up or Cloud Backup:

See Kenton’s summary at: Cloud Backup Options

In conclusion, these are just a handful of the many options available to users to ensure that if data is lost it can be retrieved. Remember, the three most important things when it comes to data are backup, backup and backup!


If you have any questions or need assistance on this topic or other IT matters, please contact IT@NJMS at



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