A hard disk drive (or HDD) is a non-volatile, random access device for storing digital data.

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6answers
21k views

How to check the partition alignment on an SSD drive?

As I understand it, for SSD it's important to have partitions starting at the proper offset (i.e. correctly aligned). How can I check this offset under Windows Vista?
18
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3answers
5k views

How to partition a hard drive that has no OS installed?

I have a 500 GB hard drive. The laptop came with Windows 7 preinstalled. Now as I am installing Windows 8, I have deleted the C drive. So I have 460 GB free unused space where I can install Windows ...
18
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7answers
2k views

How to measure disk performance?

A friend has asked me to perform maintenance oh his computer. The described symptoms point to a performance issue with the hard drive. I want to objectively confirm this suspicion by measuring the ...
18
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3answers
20k views

Is there a way for Windows 7 to show remaining disk space in the status bar?

This is really driving me nuts. I do a lot of moving media files to and from USB drives, and I am constantly looking to the status bar to see how much remaining space I have on a drive. It's quick, ...
17
votes
8answers
13k views

How much time until an unused hard drive loses its data?

Do you guys know how much time needs to pass until the data stored on a hard drive starts to degrade? To keep the data intact for long periods of time, I heard you need to periodically rewrite it on ...
17
votes
5answers
18k views

What is the lifetime of a typical hard disk? [closed]

What lifetime can be expected of the typical hard disk? Or are there big differences between different types? And does it make a difference if it is used heavily instead of never being connected to ...
17
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8answers
34k views

How to check the health of a hard drive

My SATA drive started clicking and I was unable to access the data. It was not clicking loudly though, like a drive that has already gone bad. After tightening the connections to the hard drive, it ...
17
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5answers
18k views

Why does a SATA hard drive have jumpers?

Back in the days of PATA hard drives, a person used jumpers on the drive to indicate whether the drive was the master or the slave of the channel, or to let the cable select which drive was which. ...
17
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4answers
3k views

Is it faster to have two smaller hard drives or one big one?

Assuming that the drives all have the same RPM and overall same specs except for storage space, would it be faster to install two hard drives together or just one larger one in a computer?
17
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3answers
33k views

What does 'Highest active time' for disk activity in Windows resource monitor mean?

I know what the disk io, disk queue length and other measures are, but what does 'Highest active time' mean? Is it the amount of time it is busy handling requests, or something else? When it is ...
17
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4answers
9k views

Making sense of S.M.A.R.T

First of all, I think everyone knows that hard drives fail a lot more than the manufacturers would like to admit. Google did a study that indicates that certain raw data attributes that the S.M.A.R.T ...
17
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6answers
20k views

Windows 8 hard disk usage 100%

This is a problem I've seen described in many places: Super User (here, here, here and so on) Microsoft support forums (here, here...) The Lenovo forums have some users complaining about this too ...
16
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7answers
60k views

What are the differences between 2.5“ and 3.5” hard disks?

What does the 2.5"/3.5" value indicate? The thickness? I want one of my friends to buy 1TB hard disk for me. I know I want a 1TB capacity and 7200rpm, but don't know how to choose between 2.5" and ...
16
votes
3answers
32k views

Does hard drive buffer size matter?

It will be used mostly for backups and data-storage (pictures, movies) which aren't often read The price difference is 1.5Euros in the case of these two: HDD Western Digital Caviar Green Power ...
16
votes
1answer
31k views

Why Do Some USB Cables Have Two USB Connectors at the End?

I've recently bought an external hard drive enclosure and it had arrived with an USB cable, with one USB connector on one side and two on the other. Why do some USB cables have two connectors while ...
16
votes
3answers
5k views

When should I use SATA 6gb/s?

I purchased a Baraccuda hard-drive (model ST3000DM001) that supports a maximum read transfer rate of 210 MB/s and SATA 1.5/3/6 Gb/s. My motherboard has a limited number of 6 Gb/s ports so I'd like to ...
15
votes
4answers
22k views

6Gb/s SATA hard drive with 3Gb/s SATA port?

I know I can use a 3Gb/s SATA hard drive with a 6Gb/s SATA port, but can I use a 6Gb/s SATA hard drive with a 3Gb/s SATA port? I am unable to find a definite answer.
15
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5answers
886 views

Why do HDDs suffer from performance loss due to capacity decrease?

Today I was looking over my HDD datasheet(a Western Digital 500GB WD5000BPKT) and I noticed that for its entire family, the "Performance" row "Host to/from drive (sustained)" is nominally decreasing ...
15
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3answers
49k views

How to resize the primary Windows XP partition?

I just cloned my failing 250 GB hard drive onto a 500 GB hard drive (so I wouldn't have to re-install everything, etc.), but now the drive only thinks it is 250 GB. How do I tell it about the other ...
15
votes
8answers
14k views

How to move from one drive to another that's a different size?

I've run into this scenario a few time: I need to replace a drive because I need more space, it's having problems, moving to a new box, etc. What's the best way to copy data from one partition size ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Dispose or Recycle Hard Drive

I have 3 old 3.5" internal hard drives sitting gathering dust at the moment. 2 are SATA, and one IDE. I want to either start putting them to use, or dispose of them to clear up some space. What is ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

How to connect multiple HDDs to a computer?

What is the best and most efficient way to connect 10 - 20 SATA HDDs to a home computer? I mean an ordinary motherboard supporting 2 connections for SATA HDDs. The purpose of this assembly is to ...
14
votes
5answers
10k views

Why is my /dev/random so slow when using dd?

I am trying to semi-securely erase a bunch of hard drives. The following is working at 20-50Mb/s dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda But dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sda seems not to work. Also when I ...
14
votes
8answers
18k views

How can I use an old PATA hard disk drive on my newer SATA-only computer?

I've got some old hard drives I'd like to connect to my new computer to quickly transfer gigs and gigs of data from the old drives to my nice large new drives. The old drives are PATA/IDE/ATA and the ...
14
votes
8answers
22k views

What is the easiest method of checking SMART status for your hard drive?

I've seen programs in the past that were able to check the SMART status of a hard disk drive but it wasn't easy for me to find. Also, I think I had to boot into the CD in order to check on it. What is ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it slower to copy two files at the same time than to copy one after the other? [duplicate]

My boss was saying it takes longer to copy two files at the same time than doing one and then the other because the hard drive has to keep switching the head between the two locations on disk. Is this ...
14
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4answers
11k views

HDD vs SSD durability

I heard that SSD are less durable than HDD. Is it true ?
14
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2answers
10k views

What are the differences between MBR vs GPT vs any other partition scheme?

Can anyone tell me what the main differences between i.e. MBR vs GPT or any other partition scheme are? Why would one choose one over the other? I am not an expert but from new release of Mac OS X ...
14
votes
2answers
7k views

Is Windows Hibernation Bad for SSD's? [closed]

I recently got an SSD, and I was wondering if should still continue using Windows Hibernation. My fear is that hibernation would cause significant wear-and-tear on the drive. I have about 8GB of ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

combining SSD and hard disk in software RAID1?

Does it make sense to build a Linux software RAID-1 (mirroring) using an SSD and a normal hard disk? I want to combine the advantages of SSD (fast transfer rates, fast access times) with the ...
14
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3answers
4k views

Why does HDD activity slow the whole System down (on Windows 7)?

If I copy a large amount of data from on drive to another (physical) drive my whole system is running slow. I am using Windows 7 64bit version on an Intel Core 2 Duo 3 GHz. This is the situation: ...
14
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4answers
6k views

What directories in a Windows 7 SSD install would you link/junction to an HDD?

I'm planning on installing an SSD/HDD combination with the SSD as my boot (Windows 7 x64) drive, and a spinning HDD as a storage drive. Are there any log files in particular best suited to a mklink ...
14
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0answers
2k views

How long will an unused hard drive store its memory? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How much time until an unused hard drive loses its data? I have a broken laptop, and it's the motherboards fault that it can't turn its power on. The laptop has been ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Are 3.5 inch SSD drives available? Why so many 2.5inch versions?

I want an SSD SATAIII because to me it represents the best combination of quietest & fastest. But there doesn't seem to be much choice relative to 2.5" variants or non-SSD 3.5". I feel like ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is the effective hard drive size lower than the actual size?

I just got a new Lenovo Laptop which has been installed with Windows 7 and is supposed to have 250 GB hard disk. Windows 7 reports that the hard disk drive has two parts: 221 GB C: and 9.76 GB ...
13
votes
1answer
813 views

Cross platform Hard Disk encryption?

I would like to encrypt my hard drive so that it requires a password to access it. However features like BitLocker in Windows will only work under Windows, and cannot be accessed from another OS such ...
13
votes
4answers
12k views

Can I install a laptop 2.5" SATA drive on a desktop without any adapters?

My girlfriend's computer has had the disk so I'm going to reinstall the operating system. However, before I do this I need to get all the data onto another machine. As the laptop won't stay on long ...
13
votes
6answers
50k views

Fix bad blocks on Mac hard disk

I have a hard disk that I scanned with TechTool and it reports one bad block. As far as I can tell, TechTool only scans and reports a failure. It doesn't fix anything. Back in the day, Norton Disk ...
13
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1answer
2k views

How can I enable AHCI on a SATA drive after installing Windows?

Can I enable AHCI after installing Windows 7 in a SATA drive that was on IDE mode?
13
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8answers
19k views

Why is windows not able to create a system partition?

I'm reinstalling Windows 7 64 bit, and I encountered an issue I've never seen before. I have a legit copy of Win 64 Professional, and I've installed it probably a half dozen times on this machine in ...
13
votes
4answers
34k views

Windows 8 extremely high disk usage and slow IO

Problem After upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 Professional, there seem to be a few disturbing problems. When I have the Task Manager open, I sometimes notice the disk usage climbing to 50, ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What determines the order of hard drives?

I've got three hard drives installed in my PC, though the drive order shown in Windows doesn't reflect the order in which the drives are installed: SATA 1: 120gb drive SATA 2: 320gb drive SATA 3: ...
12
votes
7answers
9k views

How much does a gigabyte worth of data physically weigh on a hard disk? [closed]

What is the physical weight of one gigabyte of memory/storage? Lets say this is on a hard disk. What is the weight associated with the atoms that are actually storing the data on the disk? How has ...
12
votes
5answers
33k views

What is the maximum number of partitions that can be made on a hard drive?

What is the maximum number of partitions we can make on hard disk in Windows? If it is limited to some particular number, why can we assign all the letters C through Z to drives? If it is a special ...
12
votes
4answers
25k views

Running Spinrite from a USB drive?

I need to use SpinRite on my notebook which has no CD-ROM. How can I install and run SpinRite from a USB thumbdrive? Such that I could boot the notebook up with a thumbdrive and start SpinRite. Are ...
12
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5answers
8k views

Dynamic vs Basic Disk - Hard Drives

I have bought a removable hard drive enclosure and a 1TB hard drive to fit in it. Its pretty cool; it has a little handle at the front of the caddy that allows you to take out the hard drive and ...
12
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6answers
7k views

Does storage capacity affect hard drive performance?

I read somewhere that smaller (in terms of disk space) hard drives are faster than equivalent but bigger hard drives. How true is this? In other words, say I have two hard drives. Both are of the ...
12
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4answers
25k views

What are the differences between primary and logical partition?

What are the major differences? Which is more preferable? Are there any OS specific advantages for one over the other?
12
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4answers
567 views

Are External Harddrives more prone to failure than Internal drives? [closed]

In ten years, across several different machines, different companies, and different operating systems I've noticed a trend that External Harddrives die long before their internal counterparts. What's ...
12
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6answers
13k views

How do I determine what file occupies a given sector?

I have a hard drive with 3 bad sectors. I know the sector numbers and the computer can still boot into Windows. I want to run sector repair from an HDD diagnostics tool from the manufacturer, but ...