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

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What do the different colours of the SATA ports on my motherboard mean?

I've bought a new hard drive for my system, and my motherboard (an ASUS M2A VM HDMI) appears to have two black and two red SATA ports, with the existing hard drive and DVD drive plugged into the red ...
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3answers
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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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6answers
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Can a 'system image' be restored to a drive with a different storage capacity?

I have a family member who complains that her laptop is slow. I checked the laptop over and indeed, it was slow, so I looked into what was using the most hardware, and found that the hard drive was at ...
14
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6answers
15k views

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 ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Would it improve the write performance to fill a reformatted drive with zeros?

I have a 2 TB drive which was filled to >99%. I’ve delete the partitions with fidsk and formatted them with mkfs.ext4. So as far as I know, the actual data which was on the drive does still ...
14
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6answers
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How to access S.M.A.R.T. values when using RAID and Intel Matrix Storage?

We have a RAID 5 array using Intel Matrix Storage (i.e. a motherboard based RAID). One of the hard drives has started to make a grinding noise, and the array is currently rebuilding. We'd like to ...
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10answers
8k views

Looking for an actual experience of RAID 5 2 drive failure? [closed]

I'm wondering if anyone has any personal experience of RAID 5 2 drive failure with large drives? As I understand it, the theory is that with large 1-2TB drives, if one drive fails in the raid set, it ...
14
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4answers
18k 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 ...
14
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5answers
3k 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 ...
14
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1answer
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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 ...
14
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4answers
3k views

How to prolong the life of an external hard drive?

In ten years, across several different machines, different companies, and different operating systems I've noticed a trend that external hard drives die long before their internal counterparts. ...
14
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4answers
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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 ...
14
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2answers
6k views

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 ...
14
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3answers
3k views

Do SSD hybrid drives perform better than HDD + ReadyBoost flash?

Seagate has released a product called the Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid Drive. This looks exactly like what Windows ReadyBoost attempts to do with software at the OS level: Pairing the benefits of a ...
14
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3answers
22k views

How to increase a virtualbox' disk size?

The title says it all. I created the disk and now I would like to increase its size. I know I could add a new one, but I don't want to. The guest os in question is Ubuntu 11.04
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3answers
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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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1answer
1k views

Can prematurely powering down a computer cause bad sectors in a hard drive?

Q1: Can forcibly powering off a PC without using the built-in shutdown/reboot functions, cause a HDD to accumulate bad sectors? Whether it be the result of BSODs, lockups, crashes, etc. Q2: If so, ...
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3answers
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Can I connect a SATA hard drive to to my PC, while it is running?

I am trying to do a hard drive recovery, and want to know if I unplug and plug the hard drive back in, while the PC is on (running Windows 7). This is a secondary hard drive, not the primary one. I ...
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
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7answers
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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8answers
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Why does my hard drive LED light blink every second?

The light blinks faintly about once a second. It is slowly driving me insane. How do I find out which program is causing this, so I can disable it? Acer 5274 laptop/core i3 Windows 7 Home Premium ...
13
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3answers
8k 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 ...
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6answers
21k 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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5answers
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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 ...
13
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8answers
36k views

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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2answers
3k views

Hybrid Hard Drives, how do they work?

I was reading yesterday's Jeff Atwood blog post on Revisiting SSD and I first heard about hybrid hard drives: a HD that has a small SSD portion (let's say 4GB) and the rest is a regular spinning hard ...
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4answers
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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 ...
13
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5answers
38k views

Clone a Windows Installation to a 3TB Hard Drive; MBR to GPT

I have Windows 7 Professional 64-bit installed on my desktop. Unfortunately for me and my wallet my hard drive is failing. I have purchased a 3TB hard drive as a replacement for my current 2TB ...
13
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2answers
4k views

How to make smartd shut up about one particular offline uncorrectable sector?

I have a disk in a two-disk software RAID-1 for which recently an "offline uncorrectable sector" appeared in the SMART status. 198 Offline_Uncorrectable 0x0030 200 200 000 Old_age ...
13
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5answers
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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
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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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4answers
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How do hard drive diagnostic tools know if a sector is bad?

When I run into a a hard drive that may be failing, I scan it using ViVARD, which reliably lets me know if the drive needs replacing. How do these sorts of tools work? How can they tell a bad sector ...
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4answers
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Is it beneficial to enable Rapid Mode on a Samsung solid state drive?

I recently bought a Samsung 840 EVO 500 gb solid state drive for my laptop. There's a feature (disabled by default) called RAPID (Real Time Acceleration Processing of I/O Data) Mode. From what I can ...
13
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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: ...
13
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3answers
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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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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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3answers
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Using `badblocks` on modern disks.

I want to use badblocks to check my HDDs and would appreciate clarification of its operation. Can someone please explain the best options to use with -b and -c? I have included their definitions ...
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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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6answers
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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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3answers
5k views

Why use multiple partitions on Linux installations?

Does it really perform better than a single partitioned installation? Why?
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5answers
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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 ...
12
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3answers
12k views

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 ...
12
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5answers
3k views

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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6answers
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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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1answer
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How to check if my eSATAp port provides 12V power?

I have a Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13" model 0217-2QG with eSATAp port. How do i check if my port provides 12V power (enough to power a 3.5" HDD)?
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Can a mirrored (RAID-1) disk be plugged into another system to be read?

If I have disks in a RAID-1 array, can I take one of them out and plug it into a different system to be read? This means, on the target system, treating the disk from the RAID array just like an ...
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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
652 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. ...
12
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2answers
297 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, ...