hard drives

Has my hard drive crashed?

Gateway Laptop

Episode 1599

Greg from Apple Valley, CA

Greg has an old Gateway laptop running Windows 7 where it automatically upgraded to Windows 10. Leo says that's a great thing as Windows 7 will go end of life in January, so you're in good shape. But Greg says his screen went blank and is spinning "diagnosing your PC." Leo says it's clearly crashed. The hard drive probably failed, so the choice is to buy a new computer or spend the money to put in a new hard drive. But that computer is pretty old. A new computer will let you do more than that 10-year-old laptop.

Why is My Hard Drive Waking Up When the PC is Asleep?

Sysinternals

Episode 1598

Ralph from Altoona, PA

Ralph has a Dell computer that spins up the hard drive when it's asleep. What gives? Leo says it's probably running a program like mail in the background and it will still retrieve the email from time to time. Windows 10 also phones home from time to time to check for updates, indexing files, etc. He can always run the Microsoft Process Explorer, as part of Sysinternals, to see what's doing on. 

How can I get data off a broken hard drive?

Western Digital Blue 1TB Hard Drive

Episode 1591

Kathy from Upland, CA

Kathy dropped her external hard drive on the floor and now it's not working. It wasn't even that far. Leo says that's just bad luck: it's likely a broken arm or scratched sector. DriveSavers could fix it, but it's very expensive. And if they can't, then nobody can. This is why you back up. Leo recommends a 3-2-1 backup strategy: three backups, on two different formats, one off-site.

Why's My New Hard Drive Smaller than It Should Be?

Solid State Hard Drive

Episode 1591

Scott from Sherman Oaks, CA

Scott imaged his hard drive using EaseUS. Now he's trying to restore it to a larger hard drive, and it's reading as a smaller size. Leo says that he can repartition the hard drive using EaseUS. There are switches he can enable to do it differently. Or, use Windows Key + X: he will get the Windows 10 partition manager. From there, he can repartition it in the action menu. 

How Large of a Hard Drive can I Get for my Computer?

SATA

Episode 1590

Ron from North Carolina

Ron wants to know how large a hard drive he can put in his SATA drive system. Leo says he won't really want a hard drive that's 15TB. As drive sizes go up, the error rate goes up. So in the long run, multiple smaller drives are better. What Leo recommends getting is an SSD drive for the boot drive, and then use a spinning drive for data storage. 

How can I Clone a "Blessed" Arcade Hard Drive?

 video dart board

Episode 1588

Dana from Granada Hills, CA

Dana has a video dart board which registers a hit on a video screen after people hit the mark. It runs on Linux and he's concerned that the hard drive may die. Can he clone it?  He's read that people are having issues cloning the drive. Leo says that it may look for a serial number in the start up, and if it doesn't see it, it won't boot up. However, it may be found in the master boot record. To clone a hard drive with everything, Leo recommends CloneZilla. It supports just about every format or system. But don't do it over USB.

How Can I Replace the Hard Drive in my MacBook Air?

MacBook Air

Episode 1578

Robin from Rockford, IL

Robin's 2012-13 MacBook Air has finally died. He gets the "blinking question mark." Leo says that the computer can't read the hard drive, and that's a fairly easy fix. But where and how? Leo says to go to OWC. Not only can he get the right drive by looking up the model number, but they also have video tutorials, and will send the right tools to do it. 

Should I Buy an SSD Drive for my Laptop?

EVO

Episode 1575

Marie from San Tan Valley, Arizona

Marie is planning to swap out her 1TB spinning drive for a 1TB SSD drive. Will that hurt her motherboard? Leo says it won't, but there's no need to get one that large. She can get a smaller SSD drive for just her programs, and then connect the spinning drive via an external enclosure for her data. Leo recommends Samsung's EVO brand. The 860 EVO is a great drive, and at $150 it's a great buy. 

How can I move data from my old hard drive to a new computer?

Windows

Episode 1568

Sam from San Francisco, CA

Sam is still using an old Windows XP machine. Leo says that as long as you're not working online, and it's still reliable, it's still OK to use. But can he buy a new computer and still move his old data? Leo says he'd need an interface adapter to connect the IDE drive into a USB drive. Leo recommends the Universal Drive adapter.

Buy the adapter here