Articles in Category: Hard Drives (HDD)
Traditional magnetic-media spinning-platter hard drives in all shapes and sizes.
Unexpected hard disk activity isn’t unusual. I’ll show you how to use a free monitoring tool to determine what program is causing it.
If CHKDSK freezes when you run it, you may have a problem with your files or hard disk, but CHKDSK didn’t cause them.
Drive letters like C:, D: and so on are assigned by Windows to reference your hard disks. They are not all cast in stone; most drive letters can be changed.
Deleting a partition is a destructive operation, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose the data it contains.
BitLocker is a fine approach to encrypting hard drives, especially the system drive. It’s easy to turn off BitLocker if you decide you no longer need it.
If you’ve got an old hard drive and you want to get data off of it, there are several approaches.
Windows configures itself to the hardware it finds — but changing everything at once by moving the system disk to a different machine might be too much.
CHKDSK is a powerful Windows utility used to diagnose and repair disks. /F and /R represent two types of repairs.
When sending your computer out for repair, you’re handing over everything on it, including your data. Options to secure a hard drive are limited.
CHKDSK can’t check an empty drive, and Windows considers RAW to mean empty.
I’ll review the characteristics of external drives and include a couple of specific recommendations.
Hard disks can last a long time, but it’s important to realize that they could still fail at any moment.
When replacing a hard drive or an entire machine, it can be very convenient to have the old hard drive available in an external drive enclosure.
Formatting is the process of erasing a disk for use or reuse. There are a couple of different ways and options.
Chkdsk checks your disk for errors at a low level, requiring exclusive access to the disk to do so. “Chkdsk cannot run…” means it doesn’t have the exclusive access it needs.
We keep hearing that SSDs and other flash-based drives wear out. Particularly when it comes to SSDs, there are ways you can see how close to wearing out your drive might be.
Occasionally, when moving a drive to another machine it’ll show up as unformatted. I’ll look at some possible causes and actions to take.
Zetabytes? Petaflops? Gigahertz? Confusing terms for our computers’ ever-increasing capacity and speed.
Partitions allow a single physical disk drive to be treated as if it were multiple disks.
The message “Do you want to scan and fix” means Windows found an error on a recently-attached drive. What you do next depends on how disastrous data loss might be.
File systems are commonly formatted as FAT32, NFTS, or exFAT. Which is best for your thumb drive?
Occasionally, attaching a drive to a computer will appear to work, except the drive’s nowhere to be found. I’ll walk through one common solution.
What is Defragging and Do I Need It In Windows 10? What It Is, Why It Is, and What, if Anything, You Need Do
Defragging rearranges the layout of files on your hard disk for faster access. Chances are you need do nothing at all.
You can take the internal hard disk of an old computer and install it as an additional drive in a new one; or, consider a more flexible alternative.
Terms used to measure disk space can be ambiguous. As a result, a megabyte to you might not be the same as a megabyte to your computer.
It is possible to recover deleted data from an old external hard drive, but success depends on how that drive has been used since the data was deleted.
NAS, for Network Attached Storage, is a device that provides shared disk space on your network. You may already have one.
Partitioning, or splitting a single physical hard drive into multiple drives, has pros and cons. I’ll look at those and make a recommendation.
There are signs we can use to determine if a hard drive is about to fail, but it’s also common for a drive to fail without any indication at all.
Windows is changing the default setting for “Quick Removal” for external drives. I’ll look at why, and what it means.
External drives can indeed be used as part of your own home-brew NAS. It’s probably easier than you think.
Extracting data from a hard drive in a dead computer isn’t typically difficult, unless it’s the drive itself that caused the problem.
You can defrag your external drive using Windows File Explorer, from the command prompt, or using a third-party tool. But should you?
When attempting to back up a new Windows 10 laptop, I inserted one of my external USB drives and … nothing. Here’s what I did.
External hard drives are handy and portable, but occasionally, it might be nice to move all that storage into your PC. You probably can.
CRC errors happen when there’s a bad spot on the media of your hard disk. Data recovery and disk repair are often possible with the right tools — but you won’t need them if you have a backup.
Partitions may be hidden for good reasons. Here’s how to peek inside.
Newer machines often come with multiple partitions. While it’s tempting to remove them, there’s little to be gained.
“Hard Disk Failure Is Imminent” is a message you want to take very seriously — so seriously that hopefully, you’ll have planned for it beforehand.
It’s always a good idea to look for the “best”. The problem is that when it comes to hard disks, “best” is a moving target.
If your machine won’t boot for some reason, there are a couple of approaches to try to get data off its hard drive.
An “invalid system disk” error has several possible causes. Two of them will make you hope you backed up recently.
There’s deleted, and there’s deleted. Secure delete is one approach to making sure your files can’t be recovered.
We’ve all been told that defragmenting a hard disk is a good thing for performance – but the same is most definitely not true for solid state drives.
CHKDSK and Defrag are different tools for different purposes, and have different side effects. One is OK on any drive; the other should be avoided on SSDs.
File corruption happens most commonly when there’s a hardware issue or bad sector on your hard drive. I’ll look at implications and preventative steps.
Normally, a defrag operation will not cause data loss. Unfortunately, if there’s a pre-existing problem, a defrag could bring data loss to the surface.
SATA and PATA are two different and incompatible disk drive interfaces. PATA’s the old guard, but SATA’s taking over. I’ll look at the differences.
Multiple partitions can be useful at times. I’ll show you how to create a new partition by “splitting” an existing C: partition.
I had an impending NAS drive failure. I’ll share how I got there, the mistakes I made, the things I did right, and the lessons I learned.