hard drives

Can My SSD Wear Out?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1783

Carman from Akron, OH

Carman is worried that his new SSD will wear out over time as flash memory does. Leo says that modern SSDs use "wear leveling" to keep the SSD even and extend the SSD's life. It's gotten so good that they can last as long or longer than a spinning hard drive. So there's nothing to worry about.

How Do I Move Photos off an Old Windows 98 Computer?

Windows 98

Episode 1781

Jan from Yucaipa, CA

Jan has an old HP desktop running Windows 98 and has a working floppy drive. She can't connect it to the internet because a browser doesn't support it. So she'd like to donate it. Before that though, she wants to get her images off it. How can she do that and put it back on her newer Windows 7 computer? Leo says Jan should be able to plug a USB Thumbdrive so you can. But really, old versions of Windows 98 didn't, so that could be Jan's main problem. You can download a third-party USB driver that will handle it.

Did My Hard Drive Die?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1775

Tom from Carson City, NV

Tom's old Acer computer hard drive died recently. Would it make a good media server if he replaced the hard drive? Leo says that sure, but try booting from a USB key first just to see if everything is working. You'll have to go into the BIOS/Setup and change the boot order. Then burn a copy of Linux to a thumb drive and boot it up. You could also do it with a Windows Media Creation Tool. Once you've verified that the computer is intact and OK, then you can replace the hard drive and turn it into a media server.

How Can I Do Cloud Backup on My Mac With an External Hard Drive?

Fuse

Episode 1775

Glenn from Malibu, CA

Glenn bought a 4TB hard drive so he could back up stuff and then move it to the cloud. But he's been told that he can't upload an entire image using Mac. Leo says that a more efficient way to do it is to have two hard drives and bring one off-site. Maybe to home or to work. Then swap them every other week. Leo also says that Fuse for the Mac will let you see other file formats on the mac, like NTFS, and use that to back it up. 

Why Do Some Hard Drives Fail With Backup and Recovery?

Windows 10

Episode 1767

Jacob from Montreal, Canada

Jacob runs Windows 10 and uses a 2TB USB external drive for backup. He can either do an image that restores file by file or the entire drive. But it doesn't work to restore with all hard drives. What gives? Leo says that there are some drives that combine two drives into one. But they are fewer and farther between now, as 2TB drives are more readily available. Plus, operating systems are now 64 bit, so it's easier to keep track of larger file sizes. In reality, it shouldn't matter. Windows should just read them.

How Can I Get My External Hard Drive to Be Read?

SpinRite 6

Episode 1759

Brett from Lakewood, WA

Brett has an external hard drive that has his Plex Media Library on it. It has over 500 movies on it. But he's been having issues with it now. His PC can read only random movie files. Leo says the hard drive is starting to fail, and Brett needs to back it up asap and replace it. Leo thinks the hard drive is experiencing a soft failure, meaning that the drive has some corruption of the hard drive catalog, and it could be fixed. Leo recommends SpinRite, which can read bad sectors and move the data to a healthier drive sector.

How can I rip DVDs to my hard drive?

Handbrake

Episode 1754

Steve from Riverside, CA

Steve uses PLEX to stream his home media. He's got over 400 movies on his hard drive. But his DVDs have VOB files on them. How does he rip them so he can add them to his PLEX system? Leo says that what you want on your hard drive is the movie itself. Not necessarily the VOB file. But PLEX should be able to read it. A far easier thing to do is to use Handbrake to convert your DVD movies to MP4 files. You may also need VLC Media Client.

Is my hard drive dead?

Spinning Hard Drive

Episode 1742

Mike from Rockport, New York

Mike's desktop has two drives in an IBM PC and when he went to defrag one, it disappeared from Windows 7. So he can't see it. What can he do? Leo says that try rebooting and see if he can see it on boot up. If not, try using a NewerTek Universal drive adapter to see if you can see it that way. If you can't, then the drive is dead. The good news is, drives are cheap. Leo recommends putting an SSD drive for your main drive and use the good hard drive for the backup. You'll get a huge boost in speed that way.

What Can I Do With a Box of Old Hard Drives?

GLAARG VEC

Episode 1739

Peter from San Diego, CA

Peter has a box of old hard drives and they have data on them. How can he get the data off and put it on a central server? Leo says that he can get a universal drive adapter from Newertech, that can plug into and power the drive without installing them. Then he can see what the data is on the drive and move it. He can then get a network-attached storage device (NAS) to put them on. Leo uses one from Synology for backing up his data and act as a media server for his videos and photos. Great for large archival storage because they have multiple drives that can be redundant.