Q: I would like to store my photos and iTunes music on an external hard drive so that I can delete them from my PC's internal drive and free up space. Do these external drives crash frequently? How reliable are flash drives for long-term storage? -- Larry Ricca, Las Vegas
A: Disc crashes aren't that frequent, although any hard drive will fail eventually because it has mechanical parts that wear out.
Flash memory also will wear out from use, even though it lacks moving parts. However, flash memory is the more expensive of the two, so today it's more practical to store a large volume of photos or music on a disc drive.
But you're defeating the purpose of backup storage if you copy data to an external hard drive, then delete it from your PC's hard disc. For safety, store your data on the external hard drive and on one or more burnable CDs. (Also note that you'll need to reimport your music to iTunes if you move it to a different disc drive.)