hard drives

How can I clone a hard drive?

Hard drive

Episode 1174

Kenny from Temple,TX

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.

What hard drive should I get for my Mac Mini?

Apple Mac Mini

Episode 1173

Jay from Providence, NC

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.

Why can't my Windows XP machine boot up?

HP Stream

Episode 1156

Louis from Palos Verdes, CA

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.

How can I recover a hard drive password?

Password

Episode 1146

Alan from Orange County, CA

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.

What does "meantime between failures" mean?

Hard Drive

Episode 1144

Richard from Grand Rapids, MI

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.