This morning, I read a post in a newsgroup where a computer user had endeavored to use the Vista backup facility. The backup software selected the D drive, but the computer user did not realize that the D drive was the recovery partition. The backup reported as failing, so the user FORMATTED the D drive, and tried again without success because the partition held the system recovery files before the format, and was never going to be large enough for a full system backup.
So what can this person do now? If the machine is not exactly new, the chance of the OEM manufacturer having a recovery set is not good and, through no fault of his/her own, the user has lost the ability to do a full system recovery and still has no full backup!!
Every PC should have a backup device as part of the configuration, but how to do it?
I have, at the side of me, a hard drive taken out of an old laptop. It measures 100mm x 70mm x 7mm, and would easily fit into a space occupied by floppy drive. It is more reliable and has a greater capacity than a flash drive, and it doesn’t require a separate power supply because it could easily plug into a PCMCIA style socket, have a release pin like a PCMCIA socket which would release the drive from the pins to keep it isolated when not in use, and the socket could have an LED which lights up when the drive is pushed in and active. The same kind of idea could be used on a laptop in place of the PCMCIA slot.
So why has nobody done this? It could be built in to new models and also be available as an accessory desktop add-on for for fitment into the front panel. Economies of scale would make it a relatively cheap item, and because it is part of the case would not be left in the original packaging as perhaps would be the fate of a fully external drive.
To save cost and space, the multi card readers could be dropped. I would imagine that most people connect a digital camera via the original cable supplied. Owners of digital cameras that I know don’t even realize that the camera memory card is removable.