TECH NOTES – SEP 22, 2015

When you buy a new computer, you never know how long it will last before it breaks down. Twice I had a PC die before the warranty was up, and had to package and ship it back to the manufacturer. Here’s the thing – we all have mail programs and browsers that have personal emails and passwords on the C: drive. There is no guarantee that a technician couldn’t access any of those files. Many manufacturers will not honour the warranty if the box was opened and tampered with, so it isn’t an option to remove the hard drive. (Sometimes it is the drive that has failed.)

Solution: Use Portable Apps on a USB device such as a USB stick or an external drive. Most of the programs you use every day are available to download to this app. I mostly use it the a browser which has all of my saved passwords.I bought a 3TB external USB drive and I use that for all of my data. The C: drive remains empty except for installed programs that need to be on a fixed drive for better performance and licencing requirements.

The second time I had a new PC fail before the warranty was up, I was prepared. I could send away the complete machine confident that there could be no breach of security. It’s a good idea to monitor your documents folder (Users) on the C: drive as some programs will leave a cache of working files there.

The external device with your portable apps can be accessed on any other PC that you plug it into. You might only need a stick if you want to take a few programs to work and use it on one of the company machines. (Don’t forget to remove it when you are done.)

Tip: Be sure to back up that external device to yet another external device, as any technology has the potential to be fallible.


Caveat: Use at your own risk. You are responsible for backing up your data safely.