Beth, I think she had multiple SMTP accounts setup, probably similar but with bad passwords which would account for the multiple entires in the keychain. The screen shots were very hard to read due to the size, but one showed the SMTP server as "(offline)"... I think. If that list were dropped down, it might have shown multiple similar entries and I think that's what she cleaned up.
A USB2 hard drive costs between one and two hundred dollars for a Macintosh from a reputable online store such as Mac Connection or where-ever. Any such drive should be reformatted as they normally come set up for a pc. This is done with the appropriately named "Disk Utility" in your Applications/Utilities subfolder.
OUCH!! Not sure I can do that for awhile. Will save links.
But, thank you.
The 750 gb drive in the link is $90 plus about 10 for shipping (or also buy a thumb drive for 10 and get shipping free like I did). The 500 gb drive that I have had for a while is $73 and should be sufficient capacity for most people.
In my area, the 9% sales tax means that on-line is about the same price as Best Buy for these items.
If your Mac User file is less than 8 gigabytes, then copy it to a $10, 8 gigabyte thumb drive. This saves all of your personal information leaving your applications behind.
I agree with Beth, get nothing less than a 1TB drive, 2TB is you can afford it. While a lot of pictures can eat up some space, the real size monsters are audio and video files like songs and movies/tv shows. They can be huge and total size balloons very fast.
I use a SATA drive dock on my system. It looks like a little black box with a slot on top where you insert a SATA drive, either desktop or laptop form factors. I just stick in a drive and it mounts and is usable. The dock goes for like $25 and the bare drives are $60 for a 1TB drive and $80 for 2TB, etc. Prices vary, the above are round figures from Newegg.com (what a great online store, love it).
The size and type of drive depends upon the needs of the user.
I do not save tv shows or movies on my computer. I own some dvds instead. My spouse and I recently flew to another city for a family get together and we took her laptop with a clone of my entire hard drive with us using the rugged, portable drive that I mentioned. If my house had burned down, the data would have been safe with me. (I also left a clone of the laptop at home on an external 200 gigabyte drive.) So the one terabyte is temporarily useful for data collectors and probably not for permanent storage.
I recommend checking the size of your computer hard drive and determining whether or not you have extra data that needs to be saved (such as movies). I also recommend deciding whether you require a portable data receptacle.
The suggestion of a flash drive is great IF you can fit all you want to save on one. They come in different memory sizes and are extremely portable (about the size of a pack of gum). Just bear in mind they are more expensize per GB in the larger sizes than a typical hard drive. I would get your geek friend to help you determine how much space you need for the backup and from there decide what's the best option for you. While I haven't tried it, you might be able to setup a flash drive as the target drive in Time Machine, which would be convenient.
Open your hard disk and scroll down to the folder labeled Users:
Open it and you will see a folder with an icon that looks like a house.
Select that folder and do a Get Info by going under the File icon at the top left of the page.
The page that comes up should have a Size listed which is the size of all of your personal data. This folder contains your mail, your web urls, settings for all of your programs, and all of your personal files. It is all that must be saved to protect yourself. As I said, it should be less than 8 gb. (Buy one that rotates or something and not one with a plastic cap that will get lost or put it in a plastic sandwich bag after loading it for physical protection. Time Machine is only necessary for those who worry about losing the last two hours of computer use.)