11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 15, 2013 5:58 AM by Kurt Lang
Wendalore Level 1 Level 1

I told him "The information only goes in one direction: from your computer on to the external hard drive. Like water coming out of a faucet. It doesn't go back in." But that's not very technical. I need a technical answer to satisfy his worried mind!  Thanks!

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    Say, "It will not erase the data on your computer." After which you should encourage him to take his medication.

  • Wendalore Level 1 Level 1

    Oh, no, that isn't going to help at all! But thanks for being funny. Now go take YOUR medication!

  • Kurt Lang Level 8 Level 8

    A file cannot disappear from one physical drive or partition when performing a default copy to another drive/partition.


    When you drag and drop files or folders from one drive to another, the mouse will get a green circle with a white + symbol next to it. That means it's a copy. In order for it to be a move (where the files will be removed from their original location after each copy is complete) you have to hold down a modifier key. In which case, the mouse will have no symbol next to it.


    Non technical explanation, green + symbol is good.

  • Wendalore Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for answering! Well, in this case (I guess I should have explained) he's going to be using Time Machine, so it'll be happening automatically. Maybe to him it's that "out of my control" feeling. You know, "if I'm not in control, something could go horribly wrong"? 


    Can you think of anything theoretical and technical that would explain how the external hard drive does not "get into" the computer hard drive? or that it doesn't "suck information out of the computer hard drive, so that the computer hard drive will lose information? Hey, maybe that is what he thinks. I'll have to ask him!

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X

    Just tell him to do it and check to see if it loses data. No theoretical explanation will cut any ice.

  • Wendalore Level 1 Level 1

    Well, thanks, but I know him, and if he does that experiement, he will say things like... "maybe I lost something but I don't know what it is." or "maybe I didn't lose it this time, but I might next time."  I really did want a techological explanation, but I guess no one can provide one. But thanks for answering. I know what you mean, but I don't think it's accurate. About him. An accurate theory sometimes does help him to understand things better in spite of his irrational side.

  • Kurt Lang Level 8 Level 8

    I'm afraid there's little then we could say that would ease his mind. Some people are just downright afraid of computers and won't use them unless they have to.

  • Wendalore Level 1 Level 1

    Wow, I thought one of you guys at least could say something that would make sense. My brother is not afraid of computers. Where did you get that idea? He is paranoid. He had his first computer in the 1970s.  Before they had mice. I don't know what makes him crazy, I just try to help him. I guess aging isn't helping his mind be any more acute. I suppose I should thank you for answering. Thanks.

  • BobHarris Level 6 Level 6

    Making a backup will NOT affect the original data.


    In fact failure to backup his data is more likely to result in data lost sometime in the future.


    Disk drives are mechanical devices, and subject to failure.


    If he is really paranoid, then he should be using the 3-2-1 backup method.


    3 copies of his data including the original


    2 different backup formats as one format is a single point of failure.


    1 copy should be off-site.


    If he uses an on-line networking backup solution such as CrashPlan, Mozy, Carbonite, Arq, etc... that would satisfy both off-site as well as using a 2nd backup format from Time Machine.  The off-site protects him from theft and natural disaster.  If not going to use an on-line networked backup, then consider using a cloning utility such as SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to an external disk and then take the disk to a family member, friends, or work.  Several disks for cloning means you can cycle through the disks always keeping at least one off-site at all times.


    Also a backup is protection against his own mistakes in accidentially deleting or modifying a file he really needs.


    If he is really paranoid, he should be backing up Big-Time, not thinking of reasons to avoid backup.  That is just asking for trouble.

  • Wendalore Level 1 Level 1


  • Kurt Lang Level 8 Level 8

    Not trusting the software to do what you told it to do is a type of fear. "Afraid" doesn't necessarily mean you can't approach an item without trembling. His fear, if I've read your posts right, is the loss of data.


    BobHarris has outlined a well known redundant backup plan.