Well, once I again, I shall scream out about backups! Create them, update them frequently! A backup is as good as it is current. You will never know when a catastrophe will strike. In my case, this afternoon. I installed a demo version of Sib 5, which wiped out ALL of my Sibelius data files - years of scores. However, since I maintain a very good backup system, not one byte was lost. My backups were excellent. In this case, I did a backup of my C drive immediately before installing the backup, and had backed up my data drive a few hours earlier, just as a precaution.
I have not heard of anyone else having such a problem with Sib 5, but I had a disaster the last time I tried it, and at that time, recovered from backup with no loss. I am now awaiting help from Sib tech.
I was a little back up yesterday but I feel better today. Oh, yeah, sorry. I agree that having a USB external HD is a good way to go. Save all my (what ever I have) on one and also back up on DVD plus I've used a couple of USB flash drives as well and they seem to hold out pretty well plus they're easier to transport small files to and from destinations.
I use a free Microsoft utility called Robocopy which allows me to mirror directory structures to other drives and directories - used in a batch file, it allows me to copy a directory structure to 2 other hard drives, so when I get done in Finale or Sonar, I click my batch file, and it copies all of my files to two other hard drives, one internal, the other external. I also image my c: drive on a regular basis, and some times burn to DVD as well.
I too preach back up to my friends, but they usually don't until they wake up one morning and have lost all of their family pictures, .mp3 library, or something they treasured! Then maybe, they get the picture!
I offenly do backups to DVD and to the hardisk of the other computer. But since midi files (even with the sibelius, sonar or other programs) are very small, i found very good idea to backup my files in internet. You can use your gmail account to upload a zip file of your midi files. Even there exist a firefox extension that make that very easy. The advantage is that you have your backups accesible from everywhere, even if your backups are stolen from home.
I have a USB device put out by Thermaltake called BlacX (P/N: N0028USU). This device allows you to plug in 2.5 or 3.5" SATA I or II hard drives. So it's like a USB hard drive but you can replace the drives by just pulling it out of the slot and then sticking in another drive for more storage capacity. It works quite well. I think it was only about $40 for it.