Articles in Category: Hard Drives (HDD)

Traditional magnetic-media spinning-platter hard drives in all shapes and sizes.

Invalid System Disk

How Do I Fix “Invalid System Disk” Error?

An “invalid system disk” error has several possible causes. Two of them will make you hope you backed up recently.

Delete Key

How Does Secure Delete Work?

There’s deleted, and there’s deleted. Secure delete is one approach to making sure your files can’t be recovered.

HD & SSD

Should I Defragment My SSD or USB Flash Drives?

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.

Flying Paper

Should I Run CHKDSK on My SSD?

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.

Data Loss

Why, or How, do Files Become Corrupt?

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.

Broken Data

Can a Defrag Cause Data Loss?

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 interfaces

What’s the difference between SATA and PATA and IDE?

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.

Shrink Volume

How do I create a new partition on my hard drive?

Multiple partitions can be useful at times. I’ll show you how to create a new partition by “splitting” an existing C: partition.

NAS - Network Attached Storage

NAS Drive Failure: How I Dodged a Bullet

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.

Hard Disk Interior

Why won’t some files defrag?

When you defrag files the pieces of the file are physically arranged for quicker access. But you can’t defrag some files. At least, not easily.

Your Disk is on Fire!

How do I replace my system hard drive without installation media?

It sounds like your hard drive is dead. You are going to have to dig deep to get the computer going again.

Merging Partitions

Can I Make C: Bigger by Taking Space From D:?

Changing the layout of the hard disk make the C: partition bigger requires a few steps and occasionally special tools.

SD and MicroSD cards

Should I backup to an SD Card?

I see the appeal of slipping a little SD card into the slot of your computer for backups, but the safety of your precious data on that card has me worried!

SSD & HD

How Should I Use My SSD and HD Together?

The thing to consider is: what do we love most about solid state drives, and conversely, what would we worry about?

Open Hard Disk

Did My Boot Defragmenter Tool Actually Fix My Boot Problems?

A bad sector on your hard drive could be causing strange intermittent problems. I’ll show you an easy way to find out.

Laptop and Drive

If I buy the same model replacement machine, can I just move the hard disk?

Replacing a hard drive on an identical model laptop might just work, but let’s make sure there are no misunderstandings here.

Your Disk is on Fire!

Why does my computer make a grinding noise when starting up?

A grinding noise and slow computer probably indicate the worse. Stop everything right now and back up!

My External Drive Is No Longer Visible. How Can I Get Its Contents?

If you’re backed up, this isn’t going to be a problem. Otherwise, there are only a few steps we can take to help us retrieve your data.

Will an external drive left plugged in be damaged if there’s a power surge?

It’s not just power you need to worry about; connected drives can also get malware. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep yourself safe.

An Active Hard DIsk

Can I stop an “idle” computer from hitting the hard disk at all?

I’ll show you how to reduce the last little bit of disk activity happening on your computer, but is that really going to help?

Open Hard Disk

Why Am I Getting “Open Block” Errors from My Photo Program?

This feels like a hard-drive failure to me. There are several things you can check, but the most urgent thing to do is back up!

Explosion

Will I Lose All Data When My Computer Crashes?

It’s incredibly rare for a software crash to damage any drive connected to a computer. Other things, like a lightning strike, can do serious damage.

Explosion

Will a power loss cause data loss on SSDs?

When the power goes out, data loss can happen. Fortunately, it’s not more prevalent for Solid State Drives. No matter what kind of a drive you get, you should always protect yourself.

Will a failing hard drive have warning symptoms?

Hard drive failures happen. Everyone needs to realize that. You can probably guess my recommendation for staying safe.

An Active Hard DIsk

Does defragging too much harm my hard disk?

Defragmenting a hard drive speeds it up by moving pieces of files closer to each other. It does no harm except maybe waste your time if you do it too much.

Disk Drive

How hard is it to change a laptop hard disk?

It ‘s impossible to say how hard it may be for any one person, but, let me go down a list of things that you need to think about it when it’s time to replace a hard drive in a laptop.

How do I defragment a hard drive on Windows XP?

Defragmenting a hard drive absolutely has its place. There are several ways to get to the controls in Windows XP.

Does Having Multiple Partitions Shorten My Hard Disk’s Life?

Hard drives get laid out in fairly complex ways. Second-guessing how your disk heads move as part of a decision whether to use multiple partitions is not really a practical way to save a hard drive from failure.

Hard Disk

Should I update my hard drive?

I like to follow the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But there are some considerations here where replacing the hard drive would make sense.

Internet Explorer

Why Might an Update Take a Large Amount of Space?

An update can leave a large amount of temporary files, and even the old copy of the software still on the computer. After understanding what might be left, a cleanup tool might be called for.

Open Hard Disk

If I copy a file to another drive will it be fragmented the same way?

Fragmentation is about how a file is stored on a disk and is not preserved across a copy. In fact, in some cases you can defragment a hard drive using copy.

Does Windows Support Drives Larger than Two Terabytes?

Windows certainly does support large drives, at the worst you may have to overcome some formatting issues.

How Do I Format a Drive Showing as Unformatted?

Formatting a drive that is showing as unformatted can be done directly in a
USB enclosure.

An Active Hard DIsk

How Do I Fix Errors on My Hard Disk?

Hard disk errors come from several different sources, and as a result there are several different approaches to resolving them.

Connected External Hard Drive

Why Won’t My External Drives Shut Down Automatically?

External drives normally shut down or go to sleep after some period of inactivity, or when the computer is turned off. If not you may have to manually turn them off as well.

Why does my 31 gig drive have only 10gig of space after formatting?

The part that concerns me most is why did the behavior change? I assume that you were able to access the partition we’re talking about without problem before that. Unfortunately in reformatting, you’ve probably lost any data that may have been out there. That’s partly what reformatting commonly does: erase the contents of the drive … Read more