Posted 22 November 2014 - 08:55 PM
A damaged key/button on the laptop shouldn't damage files but other things could. As for the "clicker" i would advise getting a USB mouse anyway, speaking for myslef my laptop would be uterly unusable for most purposes if i had to rely on the touchpad, touchpads are such useless things (especially when one uses 3d computer graphics software). Personally i can only imagine two physical scenarios where damage can occur to an external hard drive by plugging it in, the first is that you have the bad luck of getting a mains power surge while it is plugged in and this surge (or maybe a lightning strike conducted along a phone line) then blasts your external device with high voltage electricity, the second is where internal damage on the laptop has lead to a change in the wring for the USB (or ethernet or whatever other port your external drive uses)ad that this could zap the external drive with power directly from the power supply. Both are unlikely. If you are really concerned try plugging in another similar drive into the same slot and see if it suffers at all, if it is usb you can pick up USB sticks for £5. A more plausible danger of plugging backup drives into computers is that a virus on the computr could infect the backup drive, in light of that threat it might be best just to get a new drive every year or so and not check older ones, make sure the new drive contains everything that was on the older ones. The routine would work as follows: early january, you buy a new external drive, retire the previous one and put it in a safe. the next day you make sure you backup everything that was on other drives onto this new drive. throughout the year you write each new backup onto this drive. december, you write files to this drive and get ready to buy a new one. The subsequent january you backup all of the previous years work to new drives before starting backing up more recent stuff. Each year you have a new backup of older stuff, so even if the earliest harddrive with a given file on it got corrupted by water damage/heat/impact/cosmic rays then the same file is safe on more recent drives. if more recent drives have been infected then you go back to the earliest drives and hope thye haven't been corrupted by random chance.
Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.
My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB