What about…#53

A hard drive is a data storage device (usually a HDD) that uses magnetic storage to store and retrieve digital information using one or more rigid rapidly rotating disks coated with magnetic material. Every PC, laptop, netbook, notebook… has a certain amount of memory to hold information. Hard disk drives (HDD) can be internal or external.

The two most common form factors for modern HDDs are 3.5-inch, for desktop computers, and 2.5-inch, primarily for laptHDD. More than 200 companies have produced HDDs historically, the most common ones are manufactured by Seagate, Toshiba, and Western Digital.

We can find other types of drive storage in the market such as Flash memories or in form of solid-state drives (SSDs). SSDs are faster, have better reliability, and can have more capacity. The inconvenience is that SSDs have higher cost due to the fact that they are the new generation of Data storage, they are replacing HDDs where speed, power consumption, small size, and durability are important.

Internally HDDs are connected to the device (PC/Laptop) by standard interface cables such as PATA (Parallel ATA), SATA (Serial ATA) or SAS (Serial attached SCSI) cables.

Now we’re getting to the point, the external drives have different capacities and sizes and are sealed in special boxes where an external USB port can be used. They come in various forms, the 3.5-inch which are usually cheaper, the 2.5-inch and the memory sticks.

Now do you need an external drive? Yes. We do need an external drive to keep our most precious personal data from being lost from our computer or online storage.

Let me explain: Let’s say that you have a computer that has a HDD of 2TB, it’s nice. But what if by mistake your data is erased? What if your computer is hacked and you can’t access your drive anymore? What if you want to duplicate your data in another laptop? What if your internal drive isn’t enough? What if… We could go on and on, it is always advisable to have a backup of your personal data (pictures, videos, bank activities, invoices, movies…) in an external Hard drive.

The size of this drive depends on the quantity of data you’ll be backing up. You might need just 500GB or 750GB or even 1TB, that depends on you. Putting the price aside, the biggest capacity of a HDD is of 10GB while a SSD can reach up to 16TB and the biggest flash drive is of 2TB. But that’s not all if you want to choose a good reliable hard drive.

The writing & reading speed between your PC and your hard drive matters as well. As I’ve mentioned above, the external drives work with a USB port with which you’ll connect to your main device. All of the HDD/SDD in the market work with the USB 2.0, but some have the possibility of using a USB 3.0 as well.

Let me put it simple. We use in our daily tasks many times a day a USB cable, either to charge or transfer data from our phone, tablet, camera or even MP3, they may have different port shapes but it is still USB 2.0 . The USB 2.0 (which is the standard) can theoretically transfer data at a very high 60-480 MB/ per second. That’s impressive, but not as much as the newer USB 3.0, which can handle 640MB/s – 5GB/s —over ten times as fast as the 2.0.

1/ If time matters to you, you should be looking for Hard drives which support the USB 3.0, but you should know that the price is usually a little higher than those working with the USB 2.0.

2/ Some drives give you the opportunity to have a software that protects your data from intruders i.e when you plug the hard drive in a PC, a window shows up asking for a password or a security key (that you have chosen of course) so that if you lose the drive, you’ll be losing just the price of it, not your personal information, as the person finding it will never be able to see your data. This software increase the price of the drive as well.

3/ The guarantee too can mater. Some give you a guarantee of 10 years while others just 1 year. It depends on the material with which it was built. That increases the price as usual.

So my advice to you if you’re planning on buying one (which is recommended actually), make some homework about it.

Remember, all depends on the quality, the capacity, the speed, the size and the built in security that you need:

1/ What are you planning to back up?

2/ Do you need a higher capacity or smaller one?

3/ Do you need speed or size?

4/ Do you need a protection or you’ll be the only one accessing it?

5/ Does the material matter?

6/ Browse in different stores, they may have the same device but with different prices.

7/ Is it cheaper online?

I hope that you have enjoyed this post, and I do advise you to backup all your data into an external drive so that one day you’ll find it ready if needed, and don’t forget to update it once in a while.

What about … #51

Section 1

Who haven’t seen a blue screen of death or a freezing computer or a corrupt update which blocks the normal startup? If you’re reading this, it means that you know what I’m talking about and you know it sucks. Well there are a few measures that you might take, that will help you to stop freaking out when that happens and it’s easy as 1 2 3.

I had a laptop which needed attention almost once a week, so I frequently used one of these methods to cross over the problem.

1/ Comodo Time Machine

According to me, this is the best solution due to the fact that it’s easy, quick and free. You’ve probably used windows system restore in your life, so you know how it works, but this one is much much better because you can access it when there is trouble and you can’t see your desktop. After you push “Power” to start your computer, the Comodo logo appears for a few seconds to give you the opportunity to access it if you need it, and restore your computer to a previous restore point created by Comodo. About 7 minutes.

2/Macrium Reflect / Aomei OneKey Recovery

Both work the same way but have different options. The idea is to make an image of your current drive (usually C:/) so that you can restore it when needed. It’s different from the system restore point. This method is to duplicate your drive entirely with everything in it (Read section 2 for details) and restore it exactly the same way, while the system restore point use only the windows system files. So when you install one of these two applications you’ll need to create an image so that you may restore it later. There will be a few easy options to tick and that’s it. To restore the image you need to have the software either in a CD or in a USB key called “Rescue CD”, it’s not complicated, there will be everything explained in their website or in the program (such as: https://reflect.macrium.com/webhelp/starting_with_the_rescue_cd.asp) It’s very easy to use, when you push “Power” to start your computer, you have to press a key usually F2 or an external button (it depends of your laptop) to start by the BIOS, to change the boot drive from C:/ to the external drive you will be using (CD or USB). And with that your computer will restart by the new drive you have selected let’s say a USB key (where you have stored Aomei or Macrium), then you’ll follow the steps to restore the image in C:/ and that’s it, just don’t forget when it’s done to change in the BIOS the loading drive (from the external drive to C:/). It’s easier done than said actually and it’s not complicated at all. You don’t have to wait for your son or your husband or your friend to help you solve the problem, you can do it yourself!

You don’t have to pay if you don’t want to, for example Macrium Reflect has a free version, it does the same job but with less options that’s all. It takes between 15 minutes to 8 hours (read section 2 to know why)

Now speaking about time: If you don’t use one of these methods, you’ll probably need to install Windows again to solve the problem and that might take time if you’re not accustomed with that sort of process. It might take between 30 minutes to 8 hours (if you have to call someone to help you for example).

These three applications are the quickest to solve any computer issue.

Section 2

I’ve spoken a lot about this section because it’s really important before you create any Image. Creating an Image is duplicating everything you have in a drive (C:/, D:/, E:/, etc…)

Some people have only one drive in their computer, which is a BIG mistake, because if anything happens to their computer they will lose EVERYTHING they have. You MUST have at least 2 drives in your computer. I didn’t say 2 hard drives. I mean, you have to divide your hard drive into 2 partitions (there are plenty of utilities which do that for free, even Windows does it) so that if something happens, your data will always be safe in the second partition. I you’re using an Image application you need to have 2 or more partitions so that it won’t take long to create or to restore an Image. It will take 10-20 minutes to restore and you may continue your job or your hobby as nothing happened.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.