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

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142
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18answers
307k views

What utility can move my Windows boot partition over to another hard drive? [closed]

Can anyone recommend a cheap/free utility that can do this without very much effort? My preference is that it would be really easy. Boot into Windows Pick drive to move Pick target drive It copies ...
15
votes
8answers
36k 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 ...
57
votes
11answers
124k views

Free way to clone HDD to SSD?

Is there a free way to clone a full Windows 7 installation from HDD to SSD? (The free part is important, I know I can pay for Acronis True Image.) SSDs are usually much smaller than HDDs which ...
12
votes
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 ...
36
votes
9answers
36k 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 ...
14
votes
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 ...
35
votes
4answers
6k views

When to stop using a hard drive? What rules/software apply?

When having a old hard disk - when should you stop using it ? I recently got a new 1 TB hard disk, and am left with 3 old hard drives (320 GB, 250GB, 160 GB). I am now wondering which of them to ...
889
votes
19answers
478k views

What are the Windows A: and B: drives used for?

In Windows you have a C-drive. Everything labeled beyond that is with the following letter. So your second drive is D, your DVD is E and if you put in a USB stick it becomes F and the following ...
11
votes
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 ...
43
votes
7answers
62k views

Is turning off hard disks harmful?

I set Windows 7 to turn off hard disks after 20 minutes of nonuse, which it does a really good job at - it seems to turn off individual hard disks that have been idle for 20 minutes exactly. When I ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Can I install the free Windows 7/8 -> 10 upgrade on a new empty drive?

With the new Windows 10 coming out soon as a free upgrade, I'd like to know if and how I can install the upgrade on a new HDD. I assume the files needed for Windows 10 are only for upgrading an ...
39
votes
14answers
69k views

Easiest way to move my Windows installation to an SSD?

I've taken the plunge and bought an SSD and want to move my existing Windows installation over. The current hard disk is 500Gb, but I've trimmed the contents down to about ~40Gb. I'm transferring it ...
12
votes
8answers
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?
0
votes
1answer
5k views

How can I move or force a program installation to another location, even when unsupported?

I have an SSD as my main Windows drive, with a 640GB 2.5" HDD, partitioned to store programs and user settings, and also to act as backup (it's the only thing I had lying around at the time of ...
56
votes
10answers
152k 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 ...
79
votes
5answers
271k views

How can I move the page file to another physical disk location?

I would like to know exact instructions for moving the page file from 1 disk location to another disk in Windows 7. I.e. from an SSD to a non-SSD drive. I've spent about two hours searching - ...
6
votes
4answers
924 views

Recover hard disk data?

When I reinstall Windows XP, by mistake I deleted all five partitions. I dit not format them yet though. So how can I recover this? When I attach the hard disk to another PC it just sais that the ...
46
votes
8answers
153k views

Extremely high disk activity without any real usage

In a nutshell, the problem looks like this picture: In short, gigantic latency, very slow read speed (I assume that is caused by the same thing). After a very very painful few minutes, everything ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

Install Windows XP to USB Hard Drive and Run from It

I wanted to know if there was a way (that worked!) to both Install and Run Windows XP Pro from a USB 2.0 connected Hard Drive. My system does allow to boot from external usb hard drive, but when I ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Is defragging relevant to improving disk performance anymore?

Does it stil make much difference, now that we have much faster and larger HDDs? Generally I find if disk performance is getting too slow, it's probably because of too little free space, and the ...
27
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is my Seagate USB 3.0 drive showing corrupted data when plugged as an internal SATA drive?

I have a 3TB Seagate Backup Plus Desktop USB 3.0 drive, which works fine when in its enclosure, but when I get it off its enclosure and directly plug it as an internal SATA drive, it's just not ...
4
votes
4answers
17k views

How to clone a Hard Drive to a slightly smaller Hard Drive?

I have a hard drive which is 153 GB with 116 GB free space. I would like to clone this drive to a hard drive which is a 149 GB big (this is the largest hard drive I have... It would be typical that my ...
8
votes
6answers
11k views

Windows OS on external hard drive

Is it possible to install Windows OS to plug and play storage devices such as external hard drives, HDD enclosures (with SATA hard drives), USB flashdrives and the likes? What OS's? And if it's ...
45
votes
5answers
9k views

**How** harmful is a hard disk spin cycle?

It is conventional wisdom¹ that each time you spin a hard disk down and back up, you shave some time off its life expectancy. The topic has been discussed before: Is turning off hard disks harmful? ...
20
votes
7answers
88k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
17k views

How do I troubleshoot a slow hard drive?

My computer is suffering of slow-downs and I'm not surprised (it's around 6 years old). Here's what I've verified: They are not very frequent (only a couple of times a day). When they happen a ...
5
votes
5answers
11k views

Hard Drive Bad Sector marking utility [closed]

I already have Windows XP, During installing Ubuntu(dual boot) the disk drive just stuck up at one place and doesn't seem to move ahead.. Is there a disk bad sector mark utility that just marks these ...
2
votes
2answers
747 views

Data recovery on working hard drive [closed]

So I have a 5 bay hot swap SATA enclosure that's connected to a Silicon Image-based SATA adapter in a computer. It's running XP Pro. There are two 1.5TB hard drives in slots 1 and 2 respectively, set ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Recovering files from harddrive

My laptop got broken (by what it seems the graphics card burned) and it is so old that it is not worth fixing it. I took the harddrive from it and tried to use it as external hard drive with other ...
57
votes
9answers
212k views

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Disk Usage 100%

Background Information / Computer Specs I have a 14-inch Samsung Series 5 Ultra. Core i5 CPU, 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000. I've had the computer for about 1.5 years with no major ...
31
votes
6answers
27k views

How can I log my hard drive activity by program?

I am using Windows XP and am looking for a utility that can tell me the percentage of hard drive activity a program is using. Basically, I'm looking for something like Task Manager and its ability ...
17
votes
8answers
34k 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 ...
29
votes
16answers
28k views

Harddrive in the freezer ever work for you? [closed]

Once upon a time, my little 10 GB drive in my webserver failed and of course I had no backup, teaching me to immediately set up an automatic backup job afterwards. Anyhow, this drive refused to ...
28
votes
5answers
43k views

What is the lifespan of an SSD drive? [closed]

Are SSDs comparable to HDDs for reliability and is there published research on this? Also are all SSD manufacturers at a similar 'reliability level'?
42
votes
19answers
19k views

Destroy a hard drive without proper equipment

I need to make two hard drives unreadable. Unfortunately, I have some constraints which make this harder than usual (in particular, they rule out the answers to other questions): I don’t have a ...
4
votes
1answer
10k views

Why is my Hybrid Disk not Active?

Now that I found out that I do have a hybrid disk (AXM13S2-24GM-B), I'm starting to believe it is not active. Last night I started up Task Manager and I see 2 disks - Disk 0 (C:) and Disk 1. Disk ...
59
votes
9answers
39k views

Does vertical position affect the lifespan or integrity of a hard drive?

I've noticed on many small PC cases that the hard drives are installed vertically. In midi cases, towers and others of a larger housing, they are in the horizontal position. What impact on a hard ...
21
votes
5answers
25k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
18k views

Making SSD & HDD work together like a hybrid

I have a 90GB SSD but 90GB soon gets filled up. My users folder alone is 26GB. To get round this I use Symlinks (read the How-To Geek article for more). Is there any way to make a separate SSD ...
18
votes
10answers
15k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

Clone hard drive to another, smaller hard drive [duplicate]

Is there a good tool/program that allows me to clone a system drive to another, smaller hard drive? I've bought a new 64GB SSD drive and would like to move my current Windows 7 Professional 64-bit ...
3
votes
3answers
261 views

Is it possible to detect the previous byte position on a hard drive after it has been overwritten?

I keep hearing about these statements that "a hard drive is like a cassette tape because it is a magnetic medium". That got me thinking... Back in the day when I used to play DJ as a young lad, I ...
23
votes
6answers
25k 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 ...
42
votes
4answers
24k views

How does NTFS compression affect performance?

I've heard that NTFS compression can reduce performance due to extra CPU usage, but I've read reports that it may actually increase performance because of reduced disk reads. How exactly does NTFS ...
18
votes
1answer
4k 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?
10
votes
4answers
34k views

BIOS Hard Drive Password Security?

I have a Dell Latitude E6400 and I would like to know how secure setting a BIOS HDD Password is? Does this apply some form of encryption to the contents of the drive or is it just some simple lock on ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

When a disk read or disk write occurs, where does the data go?

I understand that there is such a thing as a disk controller which contains a buffer, but was wondering if the CPU reads directly from this buffer, or whether the data must first go to a specific ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

How to wipe a USB hard drive

I have a USB hard drive that I'm planning on donating. Before I donate it, however, I want to be sure that it has been completely and unrecoverably wiped of personal information. Darik's ...
6
votes
5answers
11k views

How do I recover data from my presumably dead hard disk

I have a Seagate ST3500620AS (Barracuda 7200.11) hard disk: SATA 500GB 7200 spindle speed I've used this disk for about 2 years now. But today it happened that my computer wouldn't wake up from ...
6
votes
4answers
31k views

How do I restore a partition without losing the data?

I lost the D-partition in My Computer I opened My Computer, but couldn't find it and I don't know where it is or how to return it. I went to Disk Management and found it available as free space. So ...