hard drives

Why is my computer taking so long to boot up?

Windows 10

Episode 1672

David from Wichita Falls, Texas

David turns his computer on, and occasionally, it takes its time booting up. After a few times booting up longer, it will boot up quicker. Leo says the number one culprit is a failing hard drive. The drive may have bad sectors that Windows is having issues reading. Once in awhile could also indicate an update of some sort. Leo says that David should keep an eye on it and if it gets worse, consider backing up your data and getting a new hard drive. Or you could also reinstall Windows first, and see if that repairs the OS. Another thing to do is turn off Windows Fast Start.

Why can't my computer read the hard drive?

Bluescreen of Death :(

Episode 1662

Ed from San Diego, CA

Ed's son is getting a bluescreen of death, and when he reboots, it's not reading the disk. Leo says it's obviously a disk failure caused by a failed or corrupted sector. It's the most common failure point on a computer. The good news is that you may be able to recover the disk using SpinRite. But for the cost of that program, you can simply buy a new hard drive. So if you have nothing critical on the drive, replace the hard drive. You can get a larger one for cheaper. And while you're at it, get a solid-state drive. It'll make the computer much faster.

How Can I Get Data Off a Corrupted Drive?

SpinRite

Episode 1659

Ivan from Brisbane, AUS

Ivan has a 2 drive NAS that has files he needs, but the RAID 1 hard drive are reading as corrupted. He believes it is the corruption of one, synced to the other. Leo says that the hardware is probably fine, there's just corruption in the files themselves. But it could be a physical issue making it worth using SpinRite to repair it. However, if the corruption has spread, that points to a software error in the files, not the hardware itself.

Can I partition an SSD drive?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1651

Larry from San Francisco, CA

Larry is building a new computer and wants to know if an M.2 SSD drive can be partitioned like a regular hard drive. Leo says when installed, M.2 drives are just like any other drive and can be partitioned as you need. Leo advises, though, that users should keep their data on a regular spinning drive and keep the SSD drive for your OS and applications. The OS really wants apps to be on the same drive, and it's easy to put a second spinning drive in. But if you partition a drive, you're setting an artificial limit on what you can put on it. So you don't really need to partition it.

How Can I Make SSDs Last?

SSD

Episode 1650

Mark from Santa Ana, CA

Mark wants to know how to prevent his SSDs from wearing out. Leo says that SSDs now use a technique called Wear Leveling to even out the wear of the memory to make them last longer. But one drawback from SSDs is that users can't really eliminate all the data when they erase it. They can't even use DBAN for it. So the drives can't be completely wiped. The best solution is to encrypt drives, so they will never be accessed. 

Can I be spied on with a device I buy from China?

ORICO 4 Bay Hard Drive Docking Station

Episode 1633

Allan from Washington

Allan recently bought a hard drive docking station from a manufacturer in China. Is it secure? Leo says the reality is that everything is made in China, or South Korea. China has become the factory to the world, and many are worried since spyware has been found in the past. The government has even warned that companies like Huawei aren't secure and could be owned by the Chinese Government. But even if they aren't, they have to follow the rules in China. So it comes down to whether you're someone spies can benefit from. It's called the "Threat model." Odds are, you aren't a target.

How Can I Transfer Hard Drive Data to a New One?

Toughbook

Episode 1628

Mike from Anaheim, CA

Mike wants to know how he can install a Panasonic version of Windows 10 to his hard drive. Leo says that he won't' be able to get a "Panasonic version," but he can get the drivers from Panasonic's website. So use the Windows Media Creation Tool to install Windows 10, and then add those drivers to it.  A clean install is the best way to do it. Leo also recommends taking Mike's old drive and get an external enclosure for a USB drive, which makes a nice backup too.

Why Did My PC Go Back in Time to 5 Years Ago?

XP

Episode 1622

John from Philadelphia, PA

John was using an old XP machine to recover data on a failed hard drive. But when he rebooted the XP machine, it crashed and then came back up with a profile from 5 years ago. Leo says he suspects the current profile is damaged and that points to a failing hard drive. Eventually, it'll stop booting. So time to get a new hard drive. He could run SpinRite on it. But it's $90. Not cheap. But he can run it if he has it already. It would be worth the time to do it. 

Get the data off that old hard drive ASAP, and then replace it.

Why is My Computer Sluggish?

Windows

Episode 1614

Mark from Los Angeles, CA

Mark has two Windows 10 computers, and they're both starting to lag, especially when opening apps. Leo says that usually indicates a hard drive issue. The drive is starting to fail, and the computer keeps trying until it gives up. It could also be the app itself causing lag. But generally, it's usually a hard drive issue. Leo suspects if he replaces the hard drive, it'll speed up. Especially if he gets an SSD. Look in the task manager and see what's hogging the processor. It could be Windows is indexing, or it could be malware.