Trending February 2024 # How To Recover A Cryptolocker Infected Hard Drive # Suggested March 2024 # Top 7 Popular

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CryptoLocker is a ransomware which is just simple and devastating. Up until now, computers effected by CryptoLocker were unusable unless you paid the demanded monetary payment.

What is CryptoLocker

We have already covered what CryptoLocker is previously. In short, it is a ransomware trojan which is specifically designed to infect computers running Windows operating system. Once a computer is infected, it encrypts all the data present in the local storage, mapped network drives and any mounted removable drives using 2048-bit RSA public key cryptography, essentially rendering all the files unusable. Unless you pay the ransom (300 USD or equivalent Bitcoins), you won’t be able to get your files back.

Up until now, there was no way to recover the data encrypted by CryptoLocker.

Thanks to the researchers at Fox-IT and FireEye, though, who managed to recover the private encryption keys and Kyrus Technologies for building the actual decryption engine. Combining the efforts, these security firms launched a website which can be used by the victims of CryptoLocker to decrypt their encrypted files free of charge.

Decrypt CryptoLocker Infected Files

Once you have submitted the sample file, the file will be processed and the website will send you the decryption key (private key) along with a link to download the decryption program.

Once you have received the decryption key and the decryption tool via email, launch the decryption tool and use the command below to start decrypting your encrypted files.

Conclusion

CryptoLocker is nasty malware which feeds on users’ precious data. If you are infected by CryptoLocker, you can use the above service to get your files back. In addition, make sure you are using a good anti-virus software to protect yourselves from any future attacks. Do note that even though this process (hopefully) works with CryptoLocker, it may not be able to decrypt the files encrypted by CryptoLocker variants like CryptoBit, CryptoDefense, etc.

Vamsi Krishna

Vamsi is a tech and WordPress geek who enjoys writing how-to guides and messing with his computer and software in general. When not writing for MTE, he writes for he shares tips, tricks, and lifehacks on his own blog Stugon.

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How To Use An External Hard Drive With Xbox One

As you may or may not know, all Xbox One games must be fully installed to your console’s hard drive for optimal play experience. This is regardless of whether or not you purchased a game on a physical disc.

Waiting for the installation isn’t so bad, but the rate at which your storage space disappears is. The problem stems from the fact that Xbox One games are huge. For example, The Master Chief Collection weighs in at a whopping 62.74 GB. Grand Theft Auto V is a hefty 49.03 GB. To put these numbers in perspective, the Xbox One ships with 500 GB, 1 TB or 2 TB of built in storage space. With big budget titles often clocking in around the 50 GB mark, you can see how storage space can quickly become a problem.

It used to be that if you found that you were running out of space, you had limited options, none of which were particularly appealing. One potential fix was to replace the internal drive of your Xbox One with a larger one. Unfortunately this isn’t condoned by Microsoft and voided your console’s warranty. The only other option was to delete a game and reinstall it if you wanted to play it again. This meant that people with large libraries of games hoping to be able to play whichever they wanted at any given time were out of luck.

Fortunately, Microsoft heard the collective groan of anguished Xbox owners and released an update that enables users to attach an external hard drive. Currently, the Xbox One supports two external drives at once, allowing users to easily expand their storage.

Ready to give your Xbox One a storage boost after that massive Mass Effect Andromeda patch? We thought so.

Requirements

Before you take an old flash drive out of a drawer and stick it into one of the Xbox One’s USB ports, there are a handful of stipulations. First of all, the drive must be at least 256 GB. This means that you can use a USB flash drive, provided it’s large enough.

Secondly, the drive has to be USB 3.0. The reason behind this is simple: USB 3.0 provides faster transfer rates. USB 3.0 supports a data transfer speed of 5 Gbit/second (or 625 MB/second). This speed is necessary to ensure games and apps load quickly. The last thing Microsoft wants is bad publicity that could damage the Xbox brand because people used a cheap drive with sluggish data transfer rates. Most modern hard drives and USB flash drives support USB 3.0 nowadays, but double check before you hit the checkout counter.

It has been reported that external storage for the Xbox One is capped at 16 TB which is huge. The size of your external drive will depend on how much space you need and how much you can afford. If you have a large collection of games and apps, you’ll probably want to opt for a fairly large drive. Seagate produces a “game drive” that is marketed to those wishing to increase the storage on their Xbox One. The drive comes in 2 TB and 4 TB varieties, and aside from the Xbox logo stamped in the corner, doesn’t seem to be any different from other portable hard drives. This means that you can use any off-the-shelf external drive. If you have a spare hard drive from an old laptop or desktop computer, you could even throw it in an enclosure and use that.

Portable or Desktop?

There are two different types of external hard drives on the market, commonly referred to as “desktop” and “portable.” Portable drives are much smaller and rely solely on the USB cable for both power and data transfer. Desktop drives are considerably larger and require a separate power supply in addition to a USB cable.

Portable drives are a bit more convenient, but desktop drives tend to be faster. Hard drive speed is measured in RPMs, and more RPMs means better performance. Portable hard drives tend to spin at 5400 RPM, whereas desktops spin at 7200 RPM. Faster performing hard drives offer faster boot times and shorter load times.

Note: SSDs may seem like a good choice due to their improved performance over mechanical drives. However, Eurogamer concluded that there wasn’t much benefit in using one with your Xbox One.

Installing

Plug your hard drive into one of the free USB ports on your Xbox One console. This can be done whether your console is on or powered off. The Xbox will detect the drive and ask if you want to use it as external storage. Say “Yes” and your drive will be formatted. Be aware that any data on the drive will be wiped clean. Also, take note that the Xbox format is a proprietary one, so you won’t be able to use that drive with anything but your Xbox.

The console will then ask if you want games and apps to be downloaded to the external drive by default. It’s up to you but you might see a slight improvement in performance if you opt for the external drive. The internal Xbox drive is of the 5400 RPM variety, so if the external is faster, you might see shorter load times, etc.

Managing Games and Apps

If you want to move an existing game or app from your console’s internal storage to the new external storage, you’ll have to do so manually. Head to the “My Games and Apps” menu. Highlight a game you want to move and press the Menu/Start button. Select “Manage Game” from the menu that appears. Select “Move to External,” and in a few seconds your game should start transferring. You can automate the process by selecting “Move all.” This will transfer all of the games on your internal drive to the external one, saving you from having to move each one individually.

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Why Defragmenting Hard Drive In Windows 10 Is A Big Deal?

Why Defragmenting Hard Drive In Windows 10 Is A Big Deal? And, How Can You Keep A Check On It To Enhance Your Computer’s Performance What is Disk Defragmentation?

Certain operations are important to keep your hard drive healthy. One such operation is defragmentation. By disk defragging, you reorganize the data that is stored on your hard drives. This process helps bring back all the scattered pieces of data together. So, how does the data get scattered? When your files are constantly deleted, written, or resized, fragments start to occur.

– How Do Fragments On Hard Disk of Your Computer Arise?

Now, when you call up a file, you call up the several parts because of which your disk drive has to spin to each location. And, the more the parts of file/s scattered, the more is the loading time.

– The Aftermath Of Fragments On Hard Drive (If Not Treated Prompted) Can Be Abysmal –

Slow PC boot up

PC Crashes

High RAM and CPU usage

Virus scans taking longer than usual

Backups become slow

Applications functioning incorrectly

Performance degradation of PC

File loss and corruption

How To Defragment Your Hard Drive in Windows 10

The drives on your computer mostly defrag once a week, but, in case, you find that it has been a while since they were defragged here’s how you can defrag the hard drive on your computer. Here we shall be broadly discussing 2 ways to defragment hard drive in Windows 10 i.e. (i) manual and (ii) using a third-party disk defragmenter for Windows 10

(i) Defragmenting Hard Drive in Windows 10 Manually

Windows 10 itself has a defragmenting utility by the name Defragment and Optimize drives. Here’s how you can use that option:

1. In the Windows search bar, type defrag

4. If there are no fragments, you will be able to see OK (0% fragmented) in the Current Status column.

(ii) You Can Also Use A Third Party Disk Defragmenter For Windows 10

In case you don’t want to get into the manual nitty-gritty of performing disk defragmentation on Windows 10, worry not! You can instead bank upon some of the best disk defragmentation software for Windows 10/8.1/8/7. For instance, here are 2 great disk defragmentation utilities that will help you defrag your hard drives, repair file system issues, and help improve overall hard disk health.

1. IObit Smart Defrag 6

Read Full Review of Iobit Smart Defrag

This is a utility that is armed with a really powerful engine. It’s a defrag utility with a focused cause, which means it strong -headedly defrags the drives on your Windows 10 PC to not just make your computer fast but, in the process making it ready for more intensive tasks like gaming.

Features:

Modern, intuitive, and easy to use interface

Customize defragmentation file-wise

Comprehensively defrags drives on your PC

Defrags page files, MFT, hibernation files, and many others

It has a dedicated section where you can add a game and optimize it for ultimate performance

2. Disk SpeedUp By Systweak

Read Full Review of Disk Speedup By Systweak

The ultimate disk defragmenter software intelligently defrags disks on your computer and enhances your computer’s performance. In the process, it unleashes the free storage space, that for long had been cluttered.

Features:

Clear representation of fragmented and optimized disks

Efficient dealing with defecting bad sectors

Duplicate file removal

The utility doubles up as a junk and temporary file remover

Facility to schedule scans

Wrapping Up

We recommend defragmenting the hard drive in Windows 10 at least once a week for optimum computer performance and to free up precious storage space that can be used for crucial tasks. If you liked the blog, do give it a thumbs up and for more such tech-related content, keep reading Tweak Library. You can also find us on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flipboard, Tumblr, and Linkedin.

Recommended Readings:

Demystifying The Science Behind How Defragmentation Works!

Best Registry Cleaners for Windows in 2023 (Free and Paid)

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External Hard Drive Not Recognized In Windows 10!

With the reduction in the cost of available external storage options, there are many ways possible to not only store information, but also take it with us on the go. Carrying important files with you in an external hard disk can come in handy for many users who use more than one device in different locations and need these files across devices.

However, many users have reported across forums that they face an error where ‘external hard drive not recognized Windows 10’. Here I shall discuss the easy ways in which you can solve this error.

We have shown a VIDEO walk through at the end of the post for easy solution.

If the USB hard drive not showing windows 10 Disk management, this can be a serious problem as there can be some connection issue between your hard drive and your computer.

For some reason, if you can’t see external hard drive Windows 10, you may also have to assign a different drive letter as the default drive letter may be already assigned to a network drive or some other file or drive.

If the external hard drive not showing Windows 10, there can also be an issue with your drivers and USB controllers. These can be very annoying, albeit very easy to solve.

Now that you know the potential reasons that you are facing this error, you can start resolving this error by following some of the simple ways here to solve the ‘external hard drive not recognized Windows 10’ error.

You can start resolving this error by performing the basic checks, which will help you diagnose if your operating system is at fault, or you have a faulty hard drive.

Connect your hard disk to another computer port, and to a different computer altogether to check if there are any connection issues between the two.

If the external hard disk is recognized in the other computer port, there may be some issues with the port or cable.

If it is recognized in another computer but fails to recognize in all ports on your PC, there can be problems with the operating system on your device.

If the storage device is not recognized on any port on any computer, your drive is at fault and may need physical repairs to run properly.

Sometimes, the device configuration files for a certain device may get corrupted due to some recent application or settings installations. This can cause the external hard disk not showing in Windows 10 error on your device. You can try uninstalling the disk and then reinstalling it to solve your error.

Open a Run window by pressing Win + R.

Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter to launch the Device Manager window.

Unplug the USB external hard disk and restart your computer.

Reconnect the USB and wait for the driver to install it.

Look for the drive-in File Explorer.

This should solve the ‘external hard drive not recognized Windows 10’ issue on your device if it was being caused by a driver issue.

If you can’t see the external hard drive in Windows 10 due to an error from the loaded USB driver, this is the solution that you can use to resolve your error. This method shall be useful to you if there is an unstable or corrupt USB driver loaded onto your device.

Open a Run window by pressing Win + R.

Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter to launch the Device Manager window.

Wait for the device to uninstall.

Then, repeat the procedure for all the devices.

Reboot your computer.

This should solve the ‘external hard drive not showing Windows 10’ error if it was being caused by faulty USB drivers.

Sometimes Windows turns off your USB devices which draw power using the USB cable, to save the device power if it is running on battery. A faulty Windows bug may also enable this setting even if you are plugged into the wall power supply. You need to turn off USB selective suspend setting to resolve this error.

Expand USB selective suspend

You can use the disk management tool to fix partition and file system issues with your drive. This can be helpful if your drive shows up in the Disk Management tool as unallocated space and does not show up in File Explorer. Simply follow these steps to diagnose and solve the ‘USB hard drive not showing up Windows 10’ error.

Open a Run dialog by pressing Win + R.

Type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to launch the Disk Management tool.

If your removable drive shows only unallocated space, you’ll need to create a new partition on it. This allows Windows and other operating systems to use it.

Follow the on-screen instructions through the wizard to create a new partition.

How To Recover A Deleted Database In Windows

How to recover a deleted database in Windows

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In case you’re trying to recover a deleted database, either because it happened by mistake, or you think it could have been moved, there are solutions to fix it.

Most of the time, your computer has a backup copy of the deleted database, so recovery involves:

Restoring the database from the backup database, or

Restoring the deleted database to a previous state.

We’ll show you how to do both so as to recover a deleted database.

How to restore deleted databases Solution 1: Restore a deleted database from the backup database

In order to restore a deleted database, your computer has to have a backup copy of the file or folder, which is also known as ‘known good copy’ of the database file or folder.

This copy is one which you are sure of its integrity and design.

To set off the restoration process, use the Backup Database command within Microsoft Office Access so as to make backups. However, you can also use any known good copy to restore the deleted database such as that stored in a USB flash drive.

There are two ways to restore a deleted database in this case:

Restore the entire deleted database

Selectively restore, or restore part of the deleted database

Without a backup copy, data loss, corrupted database design and unwanted changes are expected so you need to make backups regularly.

How to restore an entire database

Restoring an entire database simply means you’re taking the backup of the database, and replacing the previously deleted database that may have been damaged, or has other issues altogether.

Missing database files almost always have backup copies so replacing the database means you locate the backup copy, and then put it where the deleted database should be – the correct location – because some databases or programs are linked to objects in the particular database, and if not restored correctly, these will not work, or you may have to recreate them all over again.

Before restoring an entire database, delete the damaged file, and replace it with the backup copy.

ALSO READ: 5 best local data backup software to use

Expert tip:

If you intend to restore a part of the deleted database, import the object from the backup copy into the database with the object you want to restore.

Follow these steps to restore files from a backup:

Firstly, ensure the media or drive your backup copy is saved on is available

Select Control Panel

Follow the instructions in the wizard

Solution 2: Restore a deleted database to previous state/version

A previous version of a database has copies of files and folders saved automatically by Windows as part of a restoration point, or restore point.

Such copies are also known as shadow copies.

In order to restore files and folders to previous versions or previous state, do the following:

Select File Explorer

Go to the folder that contained the deleted database

How to restore a deleted database to a previous state

Follow the steps below to do this:

Select File Explorer

Go to the folder that contained the deleted database

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Best Portable Hard Drive & Ssd 2023: External Storage Reviews

There are plenty of portable hard disk drives (HDD) as well as much-faster solid-state drives (SSD) to choose from and we’ve reviewed and ranked some of the best ones. We are focussing on SSDs here but hard drives like the WD Black P10 get an honourable mention.

Portable USB drives are powered by the connected computer, so you can use them on the move without the need to plug into the mains or use batteries. Some will even connect your phone or tablet and let you extend storage that way, or allow you to transfer or open files.

Best portable hard drives & SSDs 2023

1. Crucial X6 – Best Overall

Pros

Enhanced performance

Highly affordable

Easily transportable

Cons

Lacks hardware encryption

No activity light

500GB model slower

Best Prices Today:

SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 836MB/s

It might not be quite as fast as the Adata SE760 but a recent upgrade to the 1- and 2TB models makes the X6 unbeatable in terms of value for money with the 1TB model costing well under £100/$100.

Furthermore, it comes in an ever more portable form factor than its bigger brother, the X8, which is still drop tested to 2m and comes with the same three-year warranty.

As an all-rounder goes, it’s our top pick, even if it lacks things like hardware encryption and an activity light.

Read our full

2. Adata SE760 – Best Value

Pros

Cheap

Great performance

Type-A & Type-C cables

Cons

No encryption

Limited to 1TB

Best Prices Today:

SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 934MB/s

Adata has come up with an excellent rival to the Crucial X8 and importantly done so at a cheaper price.

Like the X8 there are no features like a rugged design or encryption but there are alternative options if you need those things.

Instead, the SE760 provides a hassle-free way of carrying around a large amount of speedy storage without breaking the bank. It even comes with Type-C and Type-A USB cables included.

A solid choice if you want between 250GB and 1TB of capacity.

Read our full

3. Kingston XS2000 – Affordable Performance

Pros

Reasonably priced

Headline performance

Small and lightweight

Cons

Needs USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 for full speed

Limited SLC cache size

No USB Type-A adapter

Best Prices Today:

SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 1986MB/s

If you want the top performance then the XS2000 is aptly named as it offers headline speeds with read peaking at 2092MB/s, though you will need a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port to access this level of performance.

That’s around double many rivals if you do and the price here is surprisingly affordable, plus this is a very portable drive.

On the downside, the limited cache means you won’t get sustained performance for larger files and Kingston doesn’t provide a USB adapter to use the XS2000 with older Type-A ports.

Read our full

4. Seagate One Touch (2024) – Best Backup Software

Pros

High performance

Up to 2TB

Free Sync Plus software

Cons

Short cables

Could be more robust

Best Prices Today:

SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 1,007MB/s

As long as you don’t need hardware encryption then the latest version of the One Touch SSD is an excellent choice.

Plug it into the right USB port and you’ll get double the speed of the previous version, matching many rivals. Capacity goes up to 2TB and Seagate provides useful and free, Sync Plus software to make backing up files easy.

It’s also highly portable and although it’s not as rugged as some alternatives, it’s hardly fragile. The main pain point here is the ridiculously short cables, but that’s not uncommon either.

Read our full

5. CalDigit Tuff nano – Best Speed and Durability Combo

Pros

Super fast

Super tough

Super small

Cons

Not the cheapest

SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 891MB/s

The CalDigit Tuff nano blew us away with its super-fast speeds, which are twice as fast as comparable portable SSDs. using NVMe technology, the 512GB drive we tested achieved Read and Write speeds close to 1,000MB/s!

It’s also robust, being IP67 certified – meaning that it can be immersed in water and is dust-tight. It can also withstand drops up to 3M.

It is compatible with most computers (it comes with USB-C and USB-A cables), and, being USB-C, can also work with Apple’s iPad Pro.

While it might be a little pricy for the casual user, professionals such as photographers and filmmakers will appreciate its blistering speed and tough travel credentials.

Read our full

6. Crucial X8 – Good Value Performance

Pros

Top performance

Affordable

Cons

Short cable

Plain design

Best Prices Today:

SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 1,015MB/s

The Crucial X8 is a great option for those looking for reliable portable SSD.

It’s well-made, compact and offers excellent speeds via USB 3.2 Gen 2 and offers great value for money, too.

There might not be any encryption but for many users, this won’t be an issue. If it is, then there are plenty of other options such as the Samsung T7 Touch and SanDisk Extreme.

Read our full

7. Samsung T7 Touch – Best Encryption

Pros

Excellent speeds

Fingerprint scanner

Compact

Cons

No admin backdoor

Best Prices Today:

SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 929MB/s

Samsung has improved on the popular T5 with a portable SSD that’s both faster and is more secure.

The fingerprint scanner works well but the drive is lacking in a simple way to reset it should you not have the registered finger so just be careful. You’ll also need to be using the right port to get the most out of the T7’s potential speed.

Those are just caveats for an excellent drive which has a lot to like. If you won’t make use of these new features then you may as well grab the cheaper T5.

Read our full

8. SanDisk Extreme Portable SDD V2 – Most Portable

Pros

Faster than SATA SSDs

USB-A + USB-C

Lightweight

Cons

Costly

Confusing naming

Best Prices Today:

SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 930MB/s

SanDisk has done a great job of improving its rugged portable SSD with this new model, although the naming is a little too similar with just ‘V2’ at the end which isn’t even on the box.

If you make sure you’re buying this new model, you’ll benefit from double the speed as well as built-in encryption. The Extreme Portable is also one of the lightest drives we’ve ever seen if that’s important and also has an IP55 water and dust rating.

The drive offers both USB-A and USB-C, just note that you’ll need a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port on the device you plug this SSD into to benefit from the fastest speeds.

Read our full

9. WD Black D10 – Best Gaming Storage

Pros

Lightweight

Reasonably fast

Military styling

Cons

Short USB cable

Can’t run all console titles

Expensive

Best Prices Today:

HDD, Average Read/Write speed: 625MB/s

If you’re lacking in space for your console or PC games then the WD Black D30 is a decent option to gain a lot of storage in a small and stylish package.

The metal container style shell is really the only gaming element of this drive, but it is highly portable and ready to use out the box. You’ll get decent speeds from the USB 3.2 standard.

As usual, we’d like the cable to be longer. If you need more space than 2TB and can cope with slower speeds, the Black P10 goes to 5TB.

Read our full

10. SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 – Best Performance

Pros

Headline performance on Thunderbolt

USB connectable

Ultra-resilient design

Cons

Expensive

Limited capacities

No USB Type-A adapter included

Best Prices Today:

SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 2682MB/s

Those looking for serious speeds in an ultra-rugged casing that will survive the likes of water, drops and more have just found it.

The PRO-G40 gets close to 3000MB/s in read speeds if you use it over Thunderbolt. With USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds significantly slower, it’s not worth the high cost of this drive compared to rivals.

That’s the main issue here, with seemingly most of the cost going on the casing, while the drive inside only comes in 1- or 2TB sizes at launch. At this price, a longer cable and some kind of carry pouch would be nice. The G40 will be a better buy once it starts getting discounted.

Read our full SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 review

How to choose a portable SSD

Even the smallest portable drives are likely to be 128GB in size, which is enough to space thousands of CD albums in lossless FLAC format, or even more in lower quality MP3 or AAC formats. Off-loading your music collection alone from a computer to a portable drive can be a godsend in freeing valuable space if your laptop has limited storage.

Another popular application of portable storage is for keeping critical backups of your data held on a PC or laptop. You may be able to keep a perfect clone of your entire computer’s internal drive, on standby and ready in the event that the computer is lost or its drive should malfunction.

Alternatively, you may choose just to back up the most important files and documents from your user libraries, such as text documents, photos, films, music and stored email. Some portable drives include software that can help automate this process, keeping your selected directories in sync whenever you plug in the drive or by a daily schedule.

Performance

Now that USB 2.0 has been banished from all self-respecting storage, we find USB 3 as the standard for connection, letting these portable drives perform as quickly as the little disks inside will allow.

USB 3 is confusing, as USB 3.0 was retrospectively renamed to USB 3.1 Gen 1. There’s also a newer version, USB 3.1 Gen 2. This doubles the potential throughput from Gen 1’s 5Gb/s to 10Gb/s. In megabytes per second, these equate to 625 and 1,250 respectively. Pretty fast, then.

In reality, most SSDs top out at around 1000MB/s (although you can get faster), and this speed is highly dependent on the device you’re connecting it to so don’t automatically blame the drive if you experience slower speeds. Note that USB-C Gen 2 won’t go any faster when USB 4.0 arrives.

Check out the average speeds in the summaries above, and go to the full review for more detailed benchmark results.

Protection

A rugged exterior will be handy if you want the freedom of being able to throw around the unplugged drive with less worry that it will damage the unit, and more importantly, lose your data.

Look out for shock-resistance ratings such as the US military MIL-STD-810F 516.5 (Transit Drop Test). This means that it should withstand being dropped 26 times onto a hard floor, once on to each face, edge and corner, from a height of 1.22m.

Flash storage – more commonly known as SSDs – can survive more brutal treatment, and some portable drives are even water-resistant. If you were to accidentally drop a portable SSD drive in water, then as long as the port covers are firmly closed, it will work fine to use it after it has been fully dried.

Some drives have an IP waterproof rating like phones.

Reliability

It’s tough to say definitively which manufacturer makes the most reliable hard drives. While there’s a big difference between the technology used in traditional hard drives and SSDs, both have a limited lifespan, and this is why warranties are relatively short – typically two or three years.

What’s important is that you have a well-thought-out backup process and you don’t rely on any single drive to store precious files. Ideally, you should have three copies: one on a PC, phone or tablet, one on a backup drive and one in the cloud.

Value

For many users, a portable storage drive may be an unavoidable commodity, and price will be the deciding factor. 

Often an older drive will be cheaper thanks to a drop in price so you might get a bargain, but make sure you’re not missing out on new tech you’d benefit from.

Professionals will be willing to pay more for the faster and tougher SSDs out there.

Security

The larger the drive, the more you can store – and the more you stand to lose in the event of losing the drive or having it stolen. This is where it pays to lock down that drive.

There are two ways to ensure the data is unreadable by other users. You can scramble the contents through hardware encryption. Or you can use a software application to encrypt either parts or all of the drive.

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