Kenny wants to know how to clone a hard drive. Leo says that usually when buying a new hard drive, it comes with a utility that will clone all the data and put it onto the new drive. That's much better than any third party utility. What's a good drive to buy? Leo recommends Western Digital, but they're pretty much the same now. There's not much to differentiate them anymore.
Jay would like to replace his hard drive in his Mac Mini. What hard drive should he get, and where should he buy it? Leo says that these days, all hard drives are pretty much the same. Leo advises getting an SSD though. They're becoming quite resilient, are lasting longer, and the price is dropping.
If he's looking to get a spinning drive, Leo advises going to Other World Computing. They specialize in Apple replacement parts and even offer videos on how to do it.
Eric wants to know how to image his hard drive onto a replacement drive.
Imaging options include:
Johnny is getting an error of "no operating system found" on his Windows 8 machine. Leo says that could mean that the master boot record is damaged, but more likely, the hard drive has died. It could also be just recovering and reinstalling Windows. It depends on how dead the drive is.
Louis downloaded something and now he can't do anything when he boots up. Leo believes that the computer's hard drive is failing and that's what is causing the computer to stall on boot up. Especially considering it's an old XP machine. Given the issues Louis is having, it's unlikely from something that Louis installed. Leo says it's not really worth fixing.
Stana is having issues with her old Compaq Presario freezing frequently. She tried cooling it, and it helped for awhile, but it's freezing again. She updated her drivers, and when that didn't work, she uninstalled them. Now she can't even boot into Windows because it says it failed to install an update, and it's trying to revert back.
Alan inherited an IT job and the previous person didn't leave documentation on how to access the hard drives. He tried a password recovery tool, but it didn't help. Is there a way?
Leo says that passwords are crackable if he has physical access to the machine. LophtCrack is one such utility. PogoStick is a popular one with the chatroom. There's also KON-Boot, which is a Windows bypass tool.
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.
Frank has a Dell E520 with SATA hard drives running Windows 7. But his son has PC games that only run on XP. Leo says he'll need Windows 7 Ultimate or Pro to run them in XP mode. But he may be able to run in compatibility mode.