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

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How can I determine the sector size on an external hard drive?

Hard drives are transitioning from 512 byte to 4096 byte sector sizes, and it looks like Windows XP won't support these newer drives without additional software (such as WDalign from Western Digital) ...
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2answers
3k 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: ...
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2answers
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Can I set up a RAID 5 with a bunch of drives of different sizes?

I currently have 3 1TB drives, a couple 500GB ones and some 750GB ones. Can I put them all in a RAID 5 configuration or do they need to be of same size?
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4answers
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Why does OS X insist on spinning up all external drives when loading a file from the local drive?

Why does OS X insist on spinning up all the attached external drives (firewire, usb) when loading a file from the local (internal) drive? It's driving me insane that I have to wait for 3 attached ...
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4answers
48k views

Can hard drives fully utilize SATA III?

My motherboard currently supports both SATA II and III (3 Gb/s and 6Gb/s respectively), but after reading some online, it seems as though connecting a HDD to the 6 Gb/s is pretty much pointless. If ...
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6answers
2k views

Is my hard disk failing?

I have a problem with my computer: I'm using Windows 7 x64, and when I try to acces the Downloads folder, it takes a long time. After waiting for half a minute or more, I can open it, see the ...
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5answers
18k views

How do I mount a HFS+ dd image in OSX?

I had an HFS+ formatted drive that was going bad and wouldn't mount at all on OSX. I created an image using ddrescue on linux, and was able to save most of it. I can mount the drive and see the data ...
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6answers
17k views

Full physical hd check

I would like to run a full, sector-by-sector, physical check on some external hard drives. As far as I know,chkdsk does not supply this option. Is there a workaround under chkdsk, or a good ...
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3answers
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Why use multiple partitions on Linux installations?

Does it really perform better than a single partitioned installation? Why?
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8answers
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Is it possible to copy all Windows 7 files from one HD to another and boot from the new HD?

Well, the hard-drive on my laptop died (it was displaying "SMART failure prediction -- Hard-disk Drive dailure might be imminant). So I took it out and hooked it up to an external enclosure and ...
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5answers
11k views

Does low disk space affect SSD performance?

I was wondering if having less than 5-10GB of free space on an SSD would affect performance. Is it specific to SSD or is it more of an operating system aspect? For example, on an Intel X-25 G2 that ...
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4answers
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4K sectors transition: Why are hard drives moving to 4096 byte sectors, vs. 512 byte sectors?

I've noticed that some Western Digital hard drives are now sporting 4K sectors, that is, the sectors are larger: 4096 bytes vs. the long-standing standard of 512 bytes. So: What's the big deal with ...
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2answers
1k views

Why are most of 2TB hard disks released 5400 RPM?

Most of 1TB Hard disks run as 7200 RPM recently. But why 2TB is not? Few disks have a 7200 rpm specification. Is there a technical reason?
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5answers
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How can I resolve the error “MediaKit reports partition (map) too small”?

I am unable to expand my Mac's hard disk. diskutility reports this error: MediaKit reports partition (map) too small How can I resolve this?
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5answers
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How can I render an SSD permanently inoperable with no chance of data recovery?

On platter drives, when it is time to dispose of them, a degaussing takes care of the data and in most cases erases the factory pre-recorded servo tracks rendering the drive useless. What does one do ...
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4answers
1k views

Is it worth buying SSDs for a RAID?

Im seeing people using SSDs for RAID-0 and getting excellent improvements in read/write rates. But now there is a good opportunity to acquire another SSD Force Corsair F60 identical to mine. I'm ...
12
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1answer
619 views

Power Options: Turn off harddrive. Effective or dangerous?

I keep a PC running 24x7 as it handles several light (processor-wise and disk-wise) tasks and acts as a jumping point into my network from outside. I'd like to keep it as energy efficient as possible. ...
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4answers
50k views

How to increase the disk cache of Windows 7

Under Windows 7 (64 bit), I'm reading through 9000 moderately sized files. In total, there is more than 200 MB of data. Using Java (JDK 1.6.21) I'm iterating over the files. The first 1400 or so go ...
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3answers
7k views

Immediately spin down a HDD on Windows

I have 2 non-system SATA HDDs which are not mapped to a dir and normally kept 'offline' on my Windows 7 OS. Even this way they spin up from time to time, including but not limited to windows update ...
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9answers
2k views

Why are hard drives never as large as advertised?

From all the hard drives I have bought, they never seem to be as large as the advertised size; from 320 GB down to 290 GB, from 500 GB down to 450 GB, etc. Is there a technical reason for this?
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6answers
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How to fill a hard drive in Linux

I'm doing some testing of a piece of code and I want to fill a hard drive with data. I found that dd can make huge files in an instant, but df disagrees. Here's what I tried: dd if=/dev/zero ...
11
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5answers
668 views

is it possible to estimate the death time of a hdd?

is it possible to test a hard disk and predict when it will die on you (roughly)?
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What is the safe temperature limit for a consumer SATA hard drive?

Background My personal desktop system at home has 5 SATA drives racked up inside. Recently my system started failing in odd ways like random kernel panics and I eventually traced it to random ...
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4answers
866 views

How does a hard drive retain information after being formatted?

Companies try to zero-fill their hard drives several times when they decommission them, why? Surely one pass of zero-fill would do the job exactly as they need. I understand the reasoning for the ...
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6answers
10k views

Imaging new hard drive in Windows 7 laptop?

I'm upgrading my Windows 7 laptop to a new hard drive. How can I clone or image the old hard drive over to the new hard drive, so that it looks like nothing has changed (other than the new hard ...
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8answers
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Disk operations freeze Debian

I have just installed Debian testing on my new desktop and I am not very happy with performance - when I perform a disk intensive operation, e.g. upgrade packages in the system, everything seems to ...
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2answers
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Are partitions to the inner/outer edge significantly faster

Some linux dual/multi-boot tutorials / general partitioning tutorials say that the inner side of a hard disk is faster than the outer side so partitions towards the outside tend to be slower while ...
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7answers
678 views

Do hard drives lie?

In the days of old, I remember getting drive errors, but it seems that modern drives never report errors, but instead make a best effort to return you something. I recently had a hard drive fail, ...
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1answer
5k views

What's the difference between SATA and SATA-II (3.0 GB)?

What's the difference between SATA and SATA-II (3.0 GB)? Specifically, if I'm shopping for a new (budget, so not new-new) motherboard, do I need to take into consideration if it supports SATA-II? ...
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3answers
15k views

Force spin-down of external hard-drive on linux (raspberry pi)

I'm currently setting up a home-server using a Raspberry Pi with an external hard-disk connected via usb. However, my hard-drive will never spin down when being idle. I tried already the hints ...
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2answers
883 views

Do S.M.A.R.T. requests wear off the harddrive?

In a german ubuntu guide for the hddtemp program is claimed that every S.M.A.R.T. request wakes up the drive although no data is read. Because some harddrives that can park their head into a parking ...
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2answers
278 views

The mystery of the Undead HDD. How can this happen?

The short version I had a disk die on me a year ago. It had been a full-on click of death; the system couldn't see anything let alone mount it. A year later, I stumbled across the same disk, ...
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How do I prevent disk renumbering on reboot in OS X?

I have 3 physical drives in my Mac Pro with Mac OS X 10.6.4. Occasionally after rebooting the machine, the disk numbering changes such that the /dev/disk# does not reference the same drive as it did ...
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1answer
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Do hard disk drives turn on 512e (512byte emulation of 4k sectors) as-needed depending on host controller?

I have a 4 TB hard disk that has 4k physical sector size (Advanced Format) and I attached it to two SATA host controllers (one internal and one in a USB enclosure). On the (older, about 2010) it comes ...
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7answers
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How to force a remap of sectors reported in S.M.A.R.T C5 (Current Pending Sector Count)?

The S.M.A.R.T C5 value of my Samsung HM640JJ Hard Drive (in an HP Pavilion dv6 laptop) is "yellow status = caution" C5 was 10 yesterday, and it's 21 today. C4 (Reallocation Event Count) = 0 and 05 ...
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4answers
869 views

Can I increase the reliability of my hard drive by using less of its' capacity?

I have a used 3TB SATA hard drive kicking around that I am planning to use as a replacement in a Win 7 box. I don't need all this capacity so was I thinking if I format it to 1TB I would increase ...
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4answers
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What's the jumper “enable 1.5GB PHY” on a Western Digital hard disk?

I've got a new hard disk. On the label there is a description of the jumper settings: One of them is: Jumpered pins 5 and 6 enables 1.5GB PHY What does PHY stand for?
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10answers
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Disable or sleep secondary hard drive in Macbook

I've done some quick Googling but didn't find an answer. I've put an SSD in my Macbook, and at the same time moved the original hard drive to the optical drive bay. I'm running the OS and most of my ...
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7answers
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How often should I run CHKDSK? [closed]

For as long as I remember, I've been running CHKDSK once a month. However, with the advent of the "modern" operating system (i.e., Windows 7), I wonder if that's still necessary. Could I do it once a ...
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7answers
1k views

USB vs. FireWire for external hard drives

For external hard drives in this question, I'm referring to traditional HDDs; the kind with spinning metal inside of them (no RAM or flash-based super-high-performance hardware): Is there a ...
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3answers
9k views

Is my hard drive failing?

I'm beginning to worry about my ~3yr old WD Green drive. In the last few days i've noticed that my media player is acting weird, it won't move to the next track after a song has finished and also ...
10
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1answer
39k views

How do I retrieve a product key from another hard drive?

My friend's laptop motherboard died and he needs his Windows 7 product key from the hard drive (which is still working). I connected the old drive as a secondary drive to my own computer and tried ...
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2answers
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What is TRIM exactly?

From the Wikipedia page of TRIM I get the impression that TRIM was introduced to lower the writes to a SSD, but letter the file system taking case of which blocks are unused. If that is correct, does ...
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4answers
33k views

Why is CBS.log file size 20 GB

Two days ago I had full C: drive after which I deleted 8 GB of data. The next day the hard drive was full again, so I continued with deleting another 5 GB, and once again the next day the disk was ...
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2answers
8k views

How to correct 512-byte sector MBR on a 4096-byte sector disk?

Final update: I already knew what I needed to do to fix this problem; I just didn't know how to do it. I was hoping there would be some ready-made tool to do that automatically - but couldn't find ...
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4answers
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Recover harddrive data

I have a dell laptop that recently "died" (It would get the blue screen of death upon starting) and the hard drive would make a weird cyclic clicking noises. I wanted to see if I could use some tools ...
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3answers
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2 identical PCs - can I swap a single hard drive between and expect Windows 7/XP to work?

I currently work in 2 different locations, traveling between the 2 every few weeks or so. I currently have screens, kb, mouse etc... in both locations, so I just pick up my tower case when I want to ...
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1answer
519 views

Where is the software RAID information actually written?

Like title says, where is the actual information which specifies which disks are being used, what order, etc...? I noticed while installing a linux distro that it was detecting a RAID array without a ...
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5answers
1k views

Can storing my HDDs airtight damage them in anyway?

I have lost many electronics that I keep unused for a long time before due to the near sea (high humidity area) area that I live in. I learned this the hard way, so in order to protect hard drives ...
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4answers
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Why some recovery tools are still able to find deleted files after I purge Recycle Bin, defrag the disk and zero-fill free space?

As far as I understand, when I delete (without using Recycle Bin) a file, its record is removed from the file system table of contents (FAT/MFT/etc...) but the values of the disk sectors which were ...