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Protect your hard drive for PS3
On the surface there doesn’t seem to be a real need for backing up your hard drive for PS3 - after all, the worst that happens is losing a few settings right? But once you think about it, there’s a lot more going on than that, especially if your console has a built-in hard drive.
A hard drive for PS3 means there’s plenty of space for storing more than just game data and system settings (which a thumb drive/memory stick is more than capable of handling). Having gigabytes of space allows for putting a lot more on the hard drive for PS3 - such as using it for your “photo album” for pictures. And as your jukebox for music to listen to or for transferring to your PSP. Of course, the same goes for videos that might have been transferred over from a home network. Not to mention that the internet connection needed for downloading all of these - including movies and video games - to the hard drive for PS3.
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Dangers of the hard drive for PS3
Which brings us to that hard drive for PS3. Everyone expects the console’s electronics to operate without fail because there’s no moving parts. But the same can’t be said of the hard drive for PS3 - indeed the drive is all about moving, because it’s basically the equivalent of a LP record moving under a record player needle (sic) - just at really high speeds. The chance of a crash from the console being jostled is always a possibility, but so is the inevitability of the hard drive for PS3 failing due to use and age (this variable depends of course upon the use and habits of the owner). And of course if you have to replace the hard drive (or decide to put in a new one), it’s a lot easier to have a PS3 backup ready than having to start from scratch.
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Electronics aren't perfect
Not that the console's electronics are invulnerable either - there's always the chance of a component failing over time. Or something unexpected happening, like spilling a drink that gets into the disc slot and mucks things up. There can even be power glitches and brownouts which can affect the electronics of the PS3 - especially if there’s no surge protection in play. And of course should the power kick out while the drive is running the odds then are good for corruption or worse (which is why having an uninterruptible power supply or UPS attached to provide power in such cases can be a good thing).
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Being human can be a problem
And finally, there’s human memory - I have a lot of stuff on my hard drive for PS3 and couldn’t give you an item by item account of all that is on it if I tried. Should everything disappear, I’m sure there’d be some things forgotten when I tried to reconstruct the drive. But with a PS3 backup there’d be no need to worry about that, yet another reason for backing up your hard drive for PS3.
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Don't be complacent
Of course even a PS3 backup isn’t perfect - as some protected movies and games might not copy at all due to copyright protections (plus doing a "Game Save" separately makes sense). And not keeping the PS3 backup up to date pretty much obviates the whole thing. But in an imperfect world, this is about as close as we can get to protecting ourself against the perversity of the Universe when it comes to what’s on our PS3.