Will a power loss cause data loss on SSDs?

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If I buy an SSD hard drive to replace my dead mechanical hard drive, what are the drawbacks? I have no UPS. If the electricity goes out during writing, will the data be gone like a USB flash drive?

I’ll admit that the phrase “like a USB flash drive” in your question bothers me. It kind of implies that flash drives always lose their data on power loss and that simply is not true.

Sudden power loss will actually affect all three of the different devices (physical hard drives, a Solid State Drive, or a flash drive) in pretty much the same way.

There are three things that can happen when power is suddenly removed from your computer while you’re using your hard drive.

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Are PCs doomed?

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Greetings, Leo! I’m retired and depend on my PC for communication, personal business, writing, maintaining a modest website, research, education, and entertainment. These days, I constantly read about the end of the PC era. What’s your opinion of the future of PCs, especially for home users? Please advise.

In my opinion, the death of the PC has been grossly exaggerated. They are not doomed. They are not going away anytime soon.  I have several different reasons I say that.

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Why is my picture showing up next to emails I send?

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One of my email contacts sees an image, which is next to my name at the top left side of the email that they’re viewing. Other contacts don’t see this image. I’ve not knowingly put this image there. The image has a URL link, which goes to Facebook. Do you know how to stop this image from appearing?

My belief is that this boils down to Facebook. But things like this – profile pictures and email being shared – are happening more often. Fortunately, there’s little cause for concern. I’ll explain.

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What’s an exploit?

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I recently ran Microsoft Safety Scan, which identified a Java exploit. Are Java exploits a dangerous threat or do they merely function as a tool allowing hackers to infect your computer with malicious software? If the computer is otherwise clean, there’s no reason to worry that the computer has been compromised, right?

The issue here is that the term “exploit” really isn’t clear. In the industry, it ends up being used somewhat ambiguously to mean a couple of things. That can be frustratingly vague.

So, I’ll throw out two definitions of exploit for you.

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Why Does My Monitor Stretch and Distort My Display?

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Do all widescreen monitors distort and stretch the image out sideways? If so, I will sell my monitor and get a smaller one, but I suspect a new video card might cure my problem. I can’t seem to get a straight answer from any computer store and I’ve called a bunch. Can you please recommend a video card for me to buy? I have a new low-end Lenovo desktop PC. I don’t do any gaming; I just want a card that can display images on my new 27-inch widescreen monitor at the recommended 1920 x 1080 resolution without the image looking all distorted and stretched out sideways like it does now. My current video card will not support 1920 x 1080 resolution. It’s now set at 1280 x 960. I do have all of the latest drivers installed for both monitor and video card, but that didn’t help.

The fact that your video card doesn’t support 1920 x 1080 is the root of the problem here.

The issue is something called aspect ratio.

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Will a failing hard drive have warning symptoms?

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My last hard drive yesterday gave me a blue screen of death while I was online. After that, my computer wouldn’t even recognize that the hard drive was plugged in. The thing was about 2 ½ years old and it was a replacement for the original drive that was making noises, but still works. This was my first total failure before I could get a complete backup. I have backups, but they were a week or two old. What would cause this if you had to guess? Like a sector zero problem? Shouldn’t I have a gotten a read failure (the drive shows up in the BIOS)? Or a grinding noise? I’m not sure, but I did not hear the thing spin anymore. I don’t know what the symptoms of a sector zero failure are. I’ve never experienced it. Of course, that would leave circuit board failure (with unknown symptoms.) The old drive was a PATA. The replacement is SATA.  I’ve tried several PATA cables and got the same results.

Ultimately, a drive can fail in so many ways that it’s not at all surprising that you didn’t get any warning – other than the failure itself.

It sounds like you’re expecting symptoms associated with a failure. While some do have signs (and I’ll go through a few that indicate that your hard drive is failing), you don’t ever want to rely on these absolutely.

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Why Do Search Results Not Have Dates?

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Why don’t search results display the date created, date posted, or date updated?  Not the date that I include in my search, but rather one that I can see in a regular search? Automatically listed, perhaps, newest to oldest? I don’t think that the results from 2004 or before are relevant.

I’m not sure that everybody would agree that simply picking an arbitrary date in the past makes something not relevant.

Miscommunication, misunderstanding, and a lack of information abound when it comes to the dates that appear on internet content. I’ll clarify.

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Do I really need to uninstall these programs to update my anti-virus?

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I have Avira AntiVir Personal, free edition on Vista. I was recently offered a new improved Avira program and accepted because I like all of my security software to be as up-to-date as possible. When I tried to install the new version, I was told to uninstall two programs that I’ve had for some years: Spybot Search and Destroy and Trusteer Rapport. I assume that this means uninstalling those programs permanently rather than just while the new Avira is installed. So I declined to continue with the installation of the new Avira. Was this sensible? Spybot and Rapport both seem like excellent products and it’s counterintuitive to uninstall them both for the sake of the better version of Avira. What do you think the problem is? Should I look for an alternative free spyware program that is compatible?

Whenever you have a concern about installation, it’s always sensible to cancel and do a little research.

Avira is actually an anti-virus product. These days, they seem to be adding things to the utility to make it more like an anti-spyware product. I suspect that that’s why the installation asked you to uninstall the other programs.

Still, your scenario is interesting and there is a lot going on behind the scenes. Let’s talk about why Avira wants you to uninstall the other programs and what your options are.

Read moreDo I really need to uninstall these programs to update my anti-virus?