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

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112
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18answers
223k 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 ...
43
votes
9answers
93k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
33
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
33
votes
7answers
38k 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 ...
789
votes
19answers
454k 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
61k 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
21
votes
9answers
52k 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 ...
48
votes
5answers
165k 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 - ...
7
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
781 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 ...
26
votes
6answers
21k 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
1k 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 price; from 320GB down to 290GB, from 500GB down to 450GB, etc. Is there a technical reason for this?
5
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
349 views

Forcing programs to be installed to another drive

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 ...
33
votes
13answers
60k 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 ...
27
votes
16answers
20k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
40k 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'?
52
votes
9answers
28k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
42k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
15k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
3k 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?
19
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 ...
6
votes
6answers
1k 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
7answers
2k views

How to delete my hard drive safely? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Erasing data before selling a computer How do I wipe my hard drive? On my iMac that I had, it had a process where it met some government standard in terms of safety by ...
8
votes
1answer
8k views

Can I connect a SATA-II hard drive to a SATA-I connection?

I have an older computer with a SATA-I connection. My hard drive crashed and I need to buy a new hard drive. Will I run into problems if I connect a SATA-II drive to my computer?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

hard drive sectors vs. tracks

In one rotation, how many sectors are passed over and how many tracks are passed over? If you know the average value of sectors per track for a hard drive, how do you use this to estimate the number ...
37
votes
5answers
6k 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? ...
5
votes
4answers
23k 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
4answers
16k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
4k 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? ...
3
votes
3answers
808 views

Cloning Fresh Windows 7 -fsed HDD to Linux Server because having no external HDD or disks for the Backup

New lenovo x220 laptop with Windows 7 Pro with the below specs. I want to backup the disk to my server but I need to know the W7 fs, what is it? $ sudo mount -t ntfs /dev/sdb Windows/ NTFS signature ...
14
votes
7answers
9k 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
1answer
4k views

rotational latency

If you know the RPM, then how do you calculate the rotational latency?
5
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

Securely format a hard drive [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Erasing data before selling a computer I have just taken 8 old 250gb drives out of one of our servers. I need to securely wipe all the data on these drives, before they ...
5
votes
1answer
967 views

How do I calculate the bytes per track based on the transfer rate?

If you know the transfer rate, how do you calculate the bytes per track?
3
votes
1answer
272 views

transfer time of a cylinder

How do you figure out the transfer time of a cylinder?
3
votes
2answers
334 views

sectors and clusters

Are the sectors in a cluster all next to each other?
3
votes
1answer
231 views

transfer time for a file

If you know the seek, rotational delay and transfer rate, how do you calculate the transfer time for a file with a given total size and cluster size?
3
votes
1answer
402 views

number of tracks

If you know the disk capacity, bytes per track, and number of surfaces, then how do you calculate the number of tracks?
13
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
20k 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 ...
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
4answers
12k views

HDD vs SSD durability [closed]

I heard that SSD are less durable than HDD. Is it true ?