hard drives

Are SSDs as reliable as spinning hard drives?

SSD

Episode 1451

Gary from Buffalo, NY

Are SSDs as reliable as spinning drives? Leo says yes. They are very robust and much faster. Will they wear out? Leo says SSDs use a technique called "wear leveling" to keep the drive consistently wearing and to extend the life of the drive. That's why Leo recommends using an SSD as the main drive, and storing data on a spinning data drive. Let the hard drive handle the constant read-write cycles, while the SSD handles all the performance.

Why is Microsoft Word running so slow?

Hard Drive

Episode 1448

George from Palmdale, CA

George gets an error message in Microsoft Word that it's not responding as he's typing. After a while it wakes up and catches up. Leo says that the keyboard has a buffer and it will catch up as the buffer dumps out. But it won't catch everything. And George has Windows 10 with Office, so there's something going on in the background that's slowing George down. Windows could be background indexing. He should check the task manager. There may also be plugins from the browser that's slowing things down.

Is it possible to build a hard drive to contain all the information in the world?

Hard drives

Episode 1445

Paul from Ohio

Paul wonders if it would be possible to build a hard drive that could hold all the information available in the world. Leo says that currently, we have hard drives large enough to hold all the information in the Library of Congress. But we really don't know how much information we really have in the world. We do know that by 2025, there will be 163 ZetaBytes (a trillion gigabytes). We're creating data at a rate of 16 trillion GB a year. The largest hard drive out there is 8,000 GB. So probably not. But that's what we have the cloud and the internet for.

Can I clone my hard drive to an SSD?

SSD

Episode 1437

Larry from Petaluma, CA

Larry's desktop runs Windows 10 and he's planning on putting an SSD in. How does he clone his spinning drive? Leo says that most hard drives have cloning software included that he can download and run. He'll want to make sure it's a sector-by-sector copy. Then Leo recommends keeping the spinning drive as his data drive. Disc 0 will be his "C" drive. Disc 1 is the second partition. He can clone both partitions at once. Then he'll have the partitions kept in place as well.

How can I image a hard drive to a large thumb drive?

DriveImage XML

Episode 1435

Mike from Norwich, CT

Mike has a 1 TB thumb drive that shows up as a 2 TB drive. Leo says it could have been mislabeled. He should look in his disk management console. He can get there by right clicking on the Start menu, and selecting disk management. It will give him a more accurate indication of the size. If it's 2TB, then it was mislabeled. Also, since Mike bought it off eBay, it's something to be careful with. Can he use it to copy another hard drive? Leo says sure. He should try DriveImage XML to do it.

How can I recover the data off my hard drive?

DiskWarrior

Episode 1432

Denise from Camarillo, CA

Denise's external hard drive can't be read by her Mac. How can she recover it? Leo says that there are disc recovery tools that could help Denise. One is called SpinRite, but it's a bit expensive and is difficult to use on a Mac. AlSoft's Disc Warrior is another good option, but it may not be the best option because it can only fix soft failures.

Why can't I update Windows 10?

Windows 10 Creator's Update

Episode 1427

Kyle from San Pedro, CA

Kyle is having trouble updating Windows 10 to the Spring Creator's Edition on his HP PC. HP has had problems with the Spring Creator's Update and Leo has a hunch the fall update will have similar issues. Leo says not to force the update. Microsoft will only offer the update when the machine is ready to receive it. It locks up after about 35%. Leo says to get it as a stand alone update and update it that way. He should download it directly as a file and install from a thumb drive. If that doesn't work, he can try the latest update from Microsoft with the media creation tool.