Backup and delete

A reader wants to know the downside of backing his data to a flash drive, then deleting it from his hard drive

A reader wants to know the downside of backing his data to a flash drive, then deleting it from his hard drive.

Making one backup, then deleting the file from your hard drive, is no better than not backing up at all. You're still violating Spector's First Law of Computing: Never have only one copy of anything.

And if your only copy is on a flash drive, that's especially dangerous. Those things can easily get lost or stolen.

If you're going to keep files on a flash drive and not also put them on your hard drive, you need to back up the flash drive. Copy the files to another flash drive every day or so, or burn them to a DVD.

If you have other tech questions, email them to me at, or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags data backup

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lincoln Spector

PC World (US online)
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?