Chris hard drive is dead and he needs to get the data off it. Leo says that you can go to Drive Savers, they take apart the drive in a clean room and can then rebuild it so you can get the data off, but it's VERY expensive. Leo says that's why you need to backup all the time. Because hard drives can, and will crash. But a good computer geek may be able to coax that hard drive back to life long enough to get the data off if there's a soft failure. But it's a hardware issue, like a bad circuit board, DriveSavers is your only hope.
Richard wants to know what the "meantime between failures" means. Leo says that it's the time that a hard drive will live, or the average life span of a hard drive. But Leo says it's pretty much a made up number. They take 1,000 hard drives and run them until a handful die. Then they extrapolate how long the hard drives could last. It's mostly meaningless. Google and Rackspace have both released studies and 98% will last about 2 years, 2% die in the first year, and then they die at about 4% per year. That's just based on their experience.
William and his Dad built their own computer together. Leo says that's a great project to do together! But his hard drive crashed. He rebooted it and now he can't do anything with the OS. Leo says that it's best to wait. Don't reset because that'll cause the hard drive to spew data across the disk. That could cause the hard drive to become corrupt. Fortunately, William has a backup. So Leo recommends doing a deep, low level format and reinstall Windows. He could try running SpinRite, but that won't solve the corruption of the file system.
Leo says that just happens when Internet Explorer is crashing. The web is an unpredictable place and bad code can be causing it to crash. Leo advises using the most recent version for her operating system, which would be Internet Explorer 8. She should make sure to run Windows Update regularly. In fact, set it to automatic so she doesn't have to worry about it. Also, once a month Leslie should be running Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool. Click Start - Run - type MRT and hit enter.