Storage Hardware

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Storage devices include any device used for storing and retrieving digital information. Hard disk drives (HDDs) use one or more rigid ("hard") rapidly rotating disks (platters) coated with magnetic material. Data is accessed in a random-access manner, meaning that individual blocks of data can be stored or retrieved in any order and not only sequentially. The primary competing technology for secondary storage is flash memory in the form of solid-state drives (SSDs), but HDDs remain the dominant medium for secondary storage due to advantages in price per bit and per-device recording capacity. CD-RW (Compact Disc-ReWritable) is a digital optical disc storage format that allows information to be stored outside the mechanical HDD.

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RamChip
This article shows how to use a free utility called 'Parkdale' to easily test the performance and benchmark any Hard Drive(s) installed in your computer. We also look at RAM Disks and their speed comparisons.
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by:Gerald Connolly
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NIce article although the author doesnt seem to know that there are two measures of a disks performance
1) Throughput - measured in MBytes/sec
2) Bandwidth - Measured in IOPS

These two measures are mutually linked ie 100MB/s can either be 1*IOPS*100MB, or 100*IOPS*1MB

The figures seem to also show a lot of cache effects, or have dubious provenance,  otherwise how does a USB connected drive achieve 2289.5 IOPS (how do you get .5 of an IOPS anyhow)
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by:Andrew Leniart
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Hi Gerald,

I do understand there are several things to take into consideration when measuring the performance of any hard drive, however going into depth in so far as eliminating cache effects would go beyond the scope of what this article is attempting to achieve. You may have also noticed that I didn't mention or talk about the effect FSB speeds can have on a hard drive's performance either?

As I mentioned at the start of the article;
The reason you might want to skip the QD32 tests is that they're not particularly useful for real life scenarios and just take additional time to run. QD stands for "Queue Depth" so the software also measures "separate thread" transfer speeds. Information not of much use for our purposes. I only include the results that I got below for the sake of completeness.
I think the general flow of the article from that point forward clearly shows it is targeting beginners to hard disk performance measuring and not representing any type of advanced hard drive performance analysis.  
The figures seem to also show a lot of cache effects, or have dubious provenance, otherwise how does a USB connected drive achieve 2289.5 IOPS (how do you get .5 of an IOPS anyhow)

Indeed.  How do you get a .5 of an IOPS ?  

Or even a .7 or .8  

How about you tell us?  :-)

Thanks for your feedback.  Always great to hear back from ones readers.

Best regards,
Andrew
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[Webinar] Learn How Hackers Steal Your Credentials
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[Webinar] Learn How Hackers Steal Your Credentials

Do You Know How Hackers Steal Your Credentials? Join us and Skyport Systems to learn how hackers steal your credentials and why Active Directory must be secure to stop them. Thursday, July 13, 2017 10:00 A.M. PDT

We look at whether swapping a controller board on a failed hard drive is likely to solve the problem.
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When we purchase storage, we typically are advertised storage of 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and so on. However, when you actually install it into your computer, your 500GB HDD will actually show up as 465GB. Why?
It has to do with the way people and computers use numbers and do math.
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The article will include the best Data Recovery Tools along with their Features, Capabilities, and their Download Links. Hope you’ll enjoy it and will choose the one as required by you.
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by:christy latham
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If you are an windows user then you can now recover your personal documents,files from any kind of hard disk drive with <a href = "https://blogs.systweak.com/2017/02/7-best-free-data-recovery-software/"> data recovery software </a> and bring lost data back with safe recovery.
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by:christy latham
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If you are an windows user then you can now recover your personal documents,files from any kind of hard disk drive with <a href = "https://blogs.systweak.com/2017/02/7-best-free-data-recovery-software/"> data recovery software </a> and bring lost data back with safe recovery.
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SAN_Iji
This article is an update and follow-up of my previous article:   Storage 101: common concepts in the IT enterprise storage

This time, I expand on more frequently used storage concepts.
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by:Kyle Santos
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Great job!
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
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Thanks for publishing such a great article here Carlos !
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Pen drive recovery
Storage devices are generally used to save the data or sometime transfer the data from one computer system to another system. However, sometimes user accidentally erased their important data from the Storage devices. Users have to know how data recovery tools work.
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by:Aliaster paine
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You could also go for  Removable Data Recovery Tool providing a late binding feature which is a novelty and may not be present in above mentioned softwares.
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Ever notice how you can't use a new drive in Windows without having Windows assigning a Disk Signature?  Ever have a signature collision problem (especially with Virtual Machines?)  This article is intended to help you understand what's going on and fix some common problems.
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by:McKnife
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Sure. But I suppose that for each platform there will be a way and to copy and re-use a disk file using explorer is not the supported way in the first place.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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I can see an argument could be made to provide advice on proper ways of copying VHDs... but my point to the article was handling collisions and correcting them when they occur... With virtual disks being the easiest way to demonstrate the issue (and often to have it).  Feel free to post in links of "proper" ways to copy virtual disks (I've never seen one from MS, but I haven't looked either).
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Windows 10 Recovery Features
In this article we have discussed the manual scenarios to recover data from Windows 10 through some backup and recovery tools which are offered by it.
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In this article you will get to know about pros and cons of storage drives HDD, SSD and SSHD.
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by:jorge diaz
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Good Article Yashwant, simple and to the point. Luckily we're seeing ssd prices dropping as they take more market share.
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by:Yashwant Vishwakarma
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Thank You Jorge :) for upvoting my article.
Yes very true, now these days SSD are becoming popular and prices are also dropping.
Now we can hope for more SSD availability in market at low prices.

Have a gorgeous day ahead.. :)
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this article is a guided solution for most of the common server issues in server hardware tasks we are facing in our routine job works.

the topics in the following article covered are,

1) dell hardware raidlevel (Perc)
2) adding HDD
3) how to increase the storage space and upgrade RAID.
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Migrating Your Company's PCs
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Migrating Your Company's PCs

To keep pace with competitors, businesses must keep employees productive, and that means providing them with the latest technology. This document provides the tips and tricks you need to help you migrate an outdated PC fleet to new desktops, laptops, and tablets.

More or less everybody in the IT market understands the basics of Networking, however when we start talking about Storage Networks, things get a bit dizzier, and this is where I would like to help.
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by:Da_Ch0sen
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Let me know once you don if u remembered :)
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
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Great article indeed !
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The Samsung SSD 840 EVO and 840 EVO mSATA have a well-known problem with a drop in read performance. I first learned about this in an interesting thread here at Experts Exchange:


http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Storage/Hard_Drives/Q_28528522.html


Samsung recently released a fix for this problem in the form of "a new firmware and performance restoration software package for the 840 EVO and 840 EVO mSATA."


Article Update: Thanks to the heads-up from ScottCha in his comment on 15-Jul-2016, I have concluded that the "Performance Restoration Software" is no longer available at the Samsung website. While the first link below is still valid and takes you to the Tools download page, the "Performance Restoration Software" is not there. The Samsung Magician Software and the firmware updates are there, so I'm guessing that Samsung views those as the solution to the problem. If anyone reading this article has more information to offer, please post a comment.


The download for it may be found in the "Samsung SSD 840 EVO Performance Restoration Software" section at this link:


http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/global/html/support/downloads.html


I was experiencing performance problems on a laptop with a 250 GB Samsung SSD 840 EVO running W7 Pro 64-bit. I downloaded the Samsung software from here (it's in a ZIP file):


Article Update: The two links below no longer work and I cannot find the "Performance Restoration Software" anywhere at the Samsung website. My suggestions at this point are to update your SSD's firmware and use the Samsung Magician Software, both of which are available at the link above.


http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/downloads/software/Samsung_Performance_Restoration_V11.zip


I installed it a few days ago following the instructions in the Samsung Performance Restoration v.1.1 Introduction and Installation Guide:


http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/downloads/software/Samsung_Performance_Restoration_v11.pdf


I encourage you to read that manual thoroughly before installation, as there are many caveats in it — see the "Precautions" and "General Limitations" sections.


A caveat of my own: When the firmware update reached the 80% completion point, I received a Windows message saying that new hardware was detected and that I should reboot. I suspect this occurred because the firmware update reached a point where Windows Plug and Play kicked in and detected the "new" drive. Unfortunately, this is not documented in the Samsung manual. I did not know if I should do the reboot at that time or wait until the firmware update completed at 100%. I opted for the latter, as I was quite sure that stopping the firmware update at 80% wasn't a good idea — and it worked out well.


I also felt protected on the decision, as I had done a clone of the SSD to an external (USB) HDD using Casper. So even if I bricked the SSD, I could get a new one and clone to it from the HDD. And that's another caveat — I strongly recommend doing a clone before undertaking any firmware update of your primary drive.


The installation on the W7 Pro 64-bit laptop with the 250 GB SSD 840 EVO worked perfectly. After a few days of use, I can say that performance is significantly improved — back to where it was when I first installed the SSD around 2.5 months ago. However, I can't be certain about cause and effect. This experience is anecdotal, not statistical. I pass it along for other EE members to consider if you are having performance problems with your Samsung SSD 840 EVO or 840 EVO mSATA.


Article Update on 17-December-2014: I ran the software again last night on a Windows 8 system, this time capturing the screens along the way for this article.


After unzipping and running the program, User Account Control (UAC) prompts for elevation:


UAC-elevation.jpg

Make sure it shows Samsung as the verified publisher. It then takes you through the setup wizard with an option to launch when completed:


Setup-welcome.jpg


EULA.jpg


Destination.jpg

Desktop-icon.jpg

Ready-to-install.jpg


Completed-and-launch.jpg

After launching, the program goes through four steps, the first being the firmware update:



Opening-screen.jpg


It provides a warning about the risk of firmware updates:



Warning.jpg

As I already mentioned earlier in the article, I recommend heeding this warning and creating a clone (or image) of the drive before running the program.


After the first step (Firmware Update), it does a timer-based automatic shutdown:


Shutdown.jpg

After the reboot, it performs Step 1:



Step1.jpg

Then Step 2:


Step2.jpg


Then Step 3:



Step3.jpg

It will say "Performance Restoration is complete." when it reaches the 100% mark:


Complete.jpg


The last dialog box simply asks if you want to close the program, which I did:


Close.jpg

One difference between this run and the previous one is that this one did not prompt for a reboot at the 80 per cent completion mark. I can't explain that. It is possibly due to a difference between W7 and W8, but I don't know.


The installation on the W8 Pro 64-bit laptop with the 250 GB SSD 840 EVO worked perfectly. After some use last night and this morning, I can say that performance has improved. However, as I stated with respect to the W7 system, I can't be certain about cause and effect. Like the previous one, this experience is anecdotal, not statistical.


If you find this article to be helpful, please click the thumbs-up icon below. This lets me know what is valuable for EE members and provides direction for future articles. Thanks very much! Regards, Joe

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by:Scott C
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Getting ready to do this on my SSD this weekend and noticed that the last 2 links are no longer valid. You might want to look into them.

Great article.  Hopefully I'll get my speed back.

Thanks.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
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Hi Scott,
Thanks for the alert — I didn't know that the links went bad. It's just about impossible to keep links up-to-date in a large number of published articles and videos, so I really appreciate your heads-up on this one. I'll do some research and update the article accordingly. And thanks for the compliment and the upvote — both very much appreciated! Regards, Joe

Update: After researching the Samsung website, I've come to the conclusion that Samsung no longer offers the "Performance Restoration" software. My guess is that the latest firmware update and the Samsung Magician Software are now the solution, as those links still exist. I will update the article accordingly.
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Bellevue, WA, USA; Late December, 1980

"OK, folks, we nailed the IBM contract. We're going to have many meetings like this to discuss features and functions...and how to move from 86-DOS, the CP/M clone we just purchased, to our baby, MS-DOS. This meeting is to discuss drive letters."

"Well, even the first IBM PC is going to offer an option for two floppy drives, so we'll need A and B."

"Yeah, but at the NCC in May, Shugart showed a 5.25-inch hard drive that's going to work in a PC!"

"Wow! I missed that...a hard drive in a PC?! You gotta be kidding. What's the capacity of that bad boy?"

"I've never seen one, but the announcement said five megabytes! And that's after formatting!"

"Yikes! Who is ever going to need 5 MB on a PC?! How would you ever fill it up?!"

"Who knows, but I think we should plan for it...they're already shipping 'em, although IBM hasn't announced it as an option in the PC...yet. We know there will always be two floppy drives, A and B, so let's plan on the hard drive being C."

"I'm skeptical about needing such huge storage capacity in a PC, but OK...C it is."

"Look, guys, call me crazy, but as long as we're doing A, B and C, let's give them the whole alphabet! That way, we're protected forever into the future. No one could ever possibly need more than 26 drive letters!"

"No way! That's insane! I want to implement this as efficiently as possible, and with three drive letters, we can do that in two bits...and
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Solid State (Hard) Drives aka SSD began to evolve in the computer industry recently. As the name suggests, there are no moving parts in the drives. The drive uses microchip memory store the data, as opposed to the spinning disks of a traditional HDD. So it consumes much less power and needs less heat dissipation.

To discuss defragmentation, we need to understand a little about the architecture difference between HDD and SSD.

As I stated above, SSD is a flash-type memory which is accessed randomly - unlike the sequential access of a traditional HDD. However, the SSDs have their own limits on life span which the manufacturers tend to downplay. Unlike the physical wear and tear of moving parts on a HDD, for an SSD "wear" happens when each time a SSD is accessed every time for writing to memory. So, SSDs are not necessarily safer despite the fact that it has no moving parts. In fact, the more the SSD is used, such as in a server environment, the shorter the life time of the drive.

So, what happens if we defrag an SSD? First off, defragmenting SSD is not necessary, since the data is placed in the memory cells and it is read from or written into by calling the address location of the memory cells. No matter where the memory cells are located, the data is accessed randomly and not sequential. Because the drive does not access memory sequentially like a spinning HDD, defragmentation will not provide an increase in access time. On the other hand, due to the loads of small …
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As hardware bugs go, this is a strange one! I upgraded a laptop in December 2011 with a 512GB Crucial m4 2.5-inch/9.5mm SATA Solid State Drive (SSD), Crucial part number CT512M4SSD2:
http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=CT512M4SSD2

The SSD installed perfectly in a Core i7, W7/64-bit laptop – no problems whatsoever. The laptop had awesome performance, thanks to both the upgrade to the SSD and an upgrade to 16GB of DDR3 memory.

Fast forward to the end of last month and all of a sudden the machine starts freezing/hanging. The first time it happened, I figured it was the odd glitch and simply rebooted, which seemed to fix the problem. But about an hour later, same thing! Another reboot, another seeming fix, but an hour or so later...you guessed it!

So I started looking for the problem. First thought was the 16GB RAM upgrade – could the memory be bad? So I ran Memtest86 overnight, completing almost three full passes. No errors!

Second thought was Classic Shell, which I installed because I don't like the W7 Start Menu. The problem seemed to occur when I hit the Start button, but this proved to be happenstance, as the problem did not go away after uninstalling Classic Shell.

Third thought was that I noticed a large number of Windows Updates that occurred late in the evening on the day before the problem first hit. I was just about to blame Microsoft, go back to a restore …
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by:Alan Hardisty
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Perfect timing!  I just installed one to my laptop yesterday and wouldn't want to have to wait 8 months for the laptop to start freezing up on me (and I am sure the last thing I would suspect is a drive that had been working properly for 8 months).

Updated the firware from 000F to 010G and look forward to a fully responsive laptop for years to come.

Thanks for writing up your experience / findings.  I'm just glad I saw this tweeted today (I don't always check Twitter).

Yes vote from me.

Alan
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
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Alan,
Thanks for the Yes vote – much appreciated! And thanks for the heads-up on the tweet. I do have a Twitter account, but don't use it, so I would not have known about it. Regards, Joe
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Your hard drive is full!
Do you know what is filling it up?
A small free (trial period) utility will solve the problem.  It is SpaceMonger.  It can show you visually the content of your hard drive as blocks with different color and sizes depending on the actual space reserved by that block  (file/folder).

 SpaceMonger Screen cupture
It is portable so you don’t need to install anything.  Just download it.  Unzip it.  Double click on spacemonger.exe.  Press open. All the hard drive will be sorted just choose the hard drive you want to discover it's content press ok and you are there behind the blocks that represent your hard drive folders.  And, you can zoom-in and zoom-out to focus on a folder to see its content.

Here is what the product supplier has said:
Minimum system requirements
A PC-compatible computer with an Intel Pentium-compatible processor. We recommend an Intel Pentium 3 or 4, Intel Celeron, or AMD Athlon, running at at least 500 MHz.
64 megabytes of RAM --- but we strongly recommend much more RAM if possible; if you're scanning large disks, you will need it. 256 megabytes may be sufficient for home computers; 512 megabytes or more is recommended for business computers; and one or more gigabytes is strongly recommended for large servers.
Minimum 640x480 in 256 colors. 800x600 or 1024x768 in truecolor (16 million colors) is strongly recommended.
A supported operating systems are the following systems (these definitely work):
Windows 95 (OSR1 and
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by:ThievingSix
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I think WinDirStat seems to look a lot better than SpaceMonger. It's free and works fine on Win 7, huge files, etc.
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by:DanRollins
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So......
How does this "Save wasted space" on my hard drive?
Perhaps the title should have been "See wasted space on.." or "Visualize folder data on.."
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Many people find themselves in a situation while using PC's that they suspect or find out they have a hard disk problem. The big question then is what to do about it; how to handle the problem, and in which order.  This article is intended to help people with those problems.

Here is my troubleshooting guide for hard disks:

1-How to set up the PC?
a) If you have a PC with an OS that is fully functional, I suggest to take the problem drive and hook it directly to the SATA or IDE connector - so don't use any USB bridges, or external USB boxes.

WHY?  These use a bridge chip that converts the USB interface to the SATA or IDE interface, thus adding an extra layer (read : more possible problems)

An IDE drive is best connected with a separate IDE cable, and jumpered as Master (you don't need the cd drive at this point, so disconnect it.

If that is not possible, you add it as 2nd device, and verify the correct jumpering ! (probably as Slave)
Any SATA drive is Master on its own cable, and can be connected without any jumpering problem.

b) If the problem disk is a laptop drive, you have to use a 2.5" to 3.5" IDE adaptor cable (which does NOT add an extra layer); here an example (not even 5$):
  https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-3-5-Inch-Drive-Adapter-IDE4044/dp/B00006B8C2

c) If for some reason, you cannot directly connect the drive, and have to use an USB adaptor, you can use a powered one that connects 2.5", and 3.5" IDE, and SATA drives:  
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by:Ryan
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Author Comment
by:nobus
2m
Ryan - i stopped using that several years ago
reasons : it locked up on some cases, and seems not to be updated
that's why i use HDDRegenerator now - and it also seems to run faster


Thank you very much!  I will look into it.
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by:nobus
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well -  i can only say i  ran it on about 40 problem drives - maybe more, and never lost data.
and in more than 80% of the cases, the system just started up normally again, so i could save what's needed
i know people on EE are divided about it - but my experience is 95% top class
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This is a little compilation of tips and procedures to help with data recovery from a failed / failing hard drive. The information here can be applied to Desktop/Server/Laptop and external hard drives.

All of us have at one time or another been faced with a bad drive. Most often data gets lost on storage media such as hard disk, floppy disk, RAID arrays, CD/DVD and from other electronic storage devices. Data loss occurs either by physical damage or logical damage. In case of physical damage a CD can have scratches on its surface; a hard disk drive read/write head can crash and a tape can just smash up. In case of logical damage the data is not lost rather somehow its addresses on storage media are inaccessible such as formatting and deletion comes under the category of logical damage of data.

After the initial tearing our hair out in frustration is done over with here are a few guidelines on what can be done to try and get your data back.


Primary Steps - So you cant see the files on the drive / computer wont detect the drive...

> First off, if you can see the drive in Windows Explorer, but are getting errors in trying to read the data try running a Disk Check. Right click on the drive, select Properties, Tools, and select Check drive for errors.

> You can also do that by running a chkdsk /f from the command prompt.

If there are any software / mapping errors, this will fix them. Also when you run a complete test, the drive will be scanned …
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by:Chach DalSanto
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Very nice article; however I would strongly recommend AGAINST Stellar Info and their software.  I just had a miserable experience with them.  

Their software is buggy and dated, wouldn't activate my license without one of their engineers remoting in and manually performing some task (their automatic activation server feature was down for 2 1/2 days before they manually did it), and finally their support was atrocious; slow to respond, weak explanations and poor overall communication.

There are much better actively supported freeware utilities out there, and there are even user groups and donation-based remote assistance available with a simple Google search.  I would recommend Runtime.org for utilities and Stephen at FreeDataRecovery.us for remote help.
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Storage Hardware

17K

Solutions

17K

Contributors

Storage devices include any device used for storing and retrieving digital information. Hard disk drives (HDDs) use one or more rigid ("hard") rapidly rotating disks (platters) coated with magnetic material. Data is accessed in a random-access manner, meaning that individual blocks of data can be stored or retrieved in any order and not only sequentially. The primary competing technology for secondary storage is flash memory in the form of solid-state drives (SSDs), but HDDs remain the dominant medium for secondary storage due to advantages in price per bit and per-device recording capacity. CD-RW (Compact Disc-ReWritable) is a digital optical disc storage format that allows information to be stored outside the mechanical HDD.