hard drives

What happened to my hard drive?

Episode 1423

Danny from New Jersey
Disk Warrior

Danny left his laptop on while flying and when he went to open the laptop, the drive disappeared and he doesn't know what happened. Leo says it sounds like the drive had been jostled to the point that the computer couldn't read it. It could still be connected, though. It's likely that the disk catalog was damaged or corrupted. He could run disk utility, but Leo isn't all that confident that it will work for him. Drive Rescue could perhaps fix the problem. Disk Warrior is another.

Can Carbonite backup movies?

Terry from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1416

Terry wants to backup his home movies with Carbonite. He did it manually the first time, but will Carbonite automatically do it after the first time? Leo says that he'll have to pay extra for that feature, and he'll have to be sure his photo and video file folder is selected. They do it this way because video takes a very long time to backup. It will hog his bandwidth for quite awhile, all the time. Terry will also want to be sure he has plenty of bandwidth.

What's wrong with my computer?

Episode 1409

Peter from Escondido, CA
Hard Drive

Peter is having problems connecting his Echo to the internet, but his computer is still having problems and he thinks it has died out. Leo says it's probably coincidental that the computer went down, but it may be related since Peter said the connection interrupted and a power surge may have occurred. If Windows was indexing the hard drive, it could have spewed a word salad of 1s and 0s, making the hard drive unreadable.

Will I be able to access my photo backups after I get a new Mac with Thunderbolt?

Episode 1407

Michelle from Northridge, CA
Thunderbolt Port

Michelle has been using USB to back up the photos on her Mac, but the new Macs have Thunderbolt now. Will she be able to still back up her photos? Leo says those new Thunderbolt ports can take USB using an adapter. So this isn't an issue. Leo says that thumb drives are notoriously unreliable, though. She might want to invest in an external hard drive instead. It's good that Michelle has three copies of her photos, but it's important that she gets one off-site. Leo suggests she take one of the copies to work.

What's the difference between a traditional hard drive and a solid state drive?

Michelle from Northridge, CA

Episode 1407

Leo says that all traditional spinning hard drives are basically the same. They're basically like record players, but instead of vinyl, they use spinning metal plates. Those plates are magnetic, so they can be magnetized. They also have read heads, at least one per platter, which are like the needle on the record player. Except instead of reading the grooves in vinyl, they're reading the magnetic signals coming off the spinning platter. Because it's a computer, everything is recorded as 1's or 0's, and it's very easy with magnetic material to have a charge or no charge.

Should I replace my hard drive with an SSD?

Episode 1406

Jim from Las Vegas, NV
SSD

Jim has an HP Pavilion laptop and he thinks his hard drive is about to fail. Should he put a solid state drive in it? Leo says that SSDs are much faster than spinning hard drives, and are more reliable. The question is, can the Pavilion support it? Ideally, he'll need a SATA 2 drive. SATA 3 would be even better if it supports it. Then there's the question of whether he can install it himself or would he have to pay for a tech to do so. It'll have to be in ideal shape and size than the existing hard drive. If all that works, then he should absolutely get one.