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Articles in Hard Drive Lifehacker

Lifehacker iTunes external hard drive
[March 31, 2016 – 08:20 am]
Lifehacker iTunes external hard drive

If your iTunes library has gotten a bit too big for your regular hard drive, it may be time to move it. If you don t want to lose your playlists, play counts, ratings, and other stuff that iTunes keeps in its databases, here s the easiest way to move it to a new home. We ve shared other ways to do this in the past, but these days it s much simpler. All it takes is a few simple steps, whether you re looking to move your library to a new folder, a new drive, or even a NAS. Ars Technica runs down the process with a lot of detail, but here s the gist of it: Open up iTunes Preferences…

Lifehacker upgrade hard drive
[March 27, 2016 – 09:09 pm]
Lifehacker upgrade hard drive

It s a sad fact of life that over time, all of our computers get a little bit slower. Before you start shelling out for a new machine, take some time this weekend to perform some maintenance tasks, upgrade a single piece of hardware, or even overclock your machine for a little speed boost. Do Some Maintenance Before you start mucking with your hardware, it s a good idea to perform a bit of maintenance and make sure it isn t just bad software and cruft that s slowing your machine down. If you re using a Windows machine, you ll have quite a few things to do: keep it updated, run…

Lifehacker Wii USB hard drive
[March 22, 2016 – 12:33 am]
Lifehacker Wii USB hard drive

Last week we shared a great hack to let you back up and play your Wii games from an external hard drive. That hack has been made easier by eliminating the need for a Wii downgrade. Why would you want to play your games off a hard disk? Wii games cost anywhere from $20-50, while an external hard drive that can hold all your Wii games—assuming you don t already have one on hand—costs $100 or less. Backing up your games to an external hard drive attached to your Wii costs less than the replacing two premium games, and has the added benefit of loading your games radically faster…

Lifehacker Wii hack hard drive
[March 15, 2016 – 04:42 am]
Lifehacker Wii hack hard drive

Last year we showed you how to use the Twilight Princess hack to install the Homebrew Channel and various goodies like DVD playback. The bannerbomb exploit is the newest way to install the Homebrew Channel and works on the newest systems, unlike Twilight Princess—which has been a defunct hack since menu 4.0 was introduced. How does it work? The hack exploits the Wii menu itself, loading a fake banner which causes a system crash and allows the exploit to load unsigned code. During our field testing it took—not counting time to carefully read the instructions and take photographs—less…

Lifehacker hard drive enclosure
[March 11, 2016 – 12:48 pm]
Lifehacker hard drive enclosure

10. Turn an Old Hard Drive into an External Drive If you don t have a ton of external drives lying around, you might still have a bunch of old internal drives, and the best thing you can do is put them in a USB enclosure so they see some use. Furthermore, this trick also works for upgrading existing external drives: if it dies or becomes too small to be useful, you can always swap the current drive out of the enclosure for a better one you have collecting dust. 9. Back Up Your Computer If you haven t set it up already, one of the most popular (and most important) uses for an…

Lifehacker hard drive test
[March 8, 2016 – 06:20 am]
Lifehacker hard drive test

We ve covered proper solid state drive maintenance before, but one of the most overlooked factors in proper SSD care is partition alignment. Here s how to make sure your partitions are aligned correctly and that you re getting the most out of your SSD. We talked about partition alignment in our SSD migrating tutorial, but if you ve already migrated to an SSD, you might not have realized that you re sacrificing performance with misaligned partitions. A regular hard drive usually starts its first partition after 63 empty blocks, while SSDs require 64 blocks of data for optimal…

Lifehacker old hard drive
[March 5, 2016 – 02:06 pm]
Lifehacker old hard drive

Despite everyone s assumptions, we geeks are not always privy to the latest and greatest technology. If you re stuck with an old, slow, crappy computer, there are a few things you can do to make the best of a bad situation. Here are our top 10 favorites. 10. Upgrade Your Hardware (If You Can) Obviously, the best way to speed up an old, slow computer is to upgrade the hardware. This isn t always possible in laptops or certain desktops, but you should always be able to upgrade the RAM and hard drive. RAM can give you a helpful boost in certain areas, but upgrading your hard drive…

Lifehacker destroy hard drive
[March 2, 2016 – 06:44 am]
Lifehacker destroy hard drive

There are many reasons you might want to physically destroy a hard drive rather than use disk wiping software: higher confidence that the data is destroyed, a recourse if your drive has failed and no longer accessible, and sheer fun. If the pyrotechic/thermite method and other extreme physical disposal methods aren t for you, dismantling the drive to get to the platters is an alternative method. (You can also save some interesting parts from the drive—motors and magnets—for some geeky future projects yet to be invented.) DominoPower Magazine has a step-by-step guide with photos…

Lifehacker best hard drives
[February 27, 2016 – 11:21 am]
Lifehacker best hard drives

If you don t remember the exact criteria we were aiming for, here s a refresher: 6TB of usable storage (i.e. 4x2TB hard drives in a RAID 5 array) Connectivity must be faster than USB 2.0 Bonus points for network connectivity As cheap as possible Now, for the solutions. Repurpose an Old Tower While the general consensus was that it would cost about a grand for a storage device of this capacity, reader . Just Plug in Some Drives and Back Up Online Reader suggests just using a bunch of drives: Personally, I ve got an old desktop sitting around somewhere, and at least 2 TB of storage…

Lifehacker clone hard drive to SSD
[February 26, 2016 – 10:19 pm]
Lifehacker clone hard drive to SSD

Like most things, hard drives run better when you don t stuff them full of crap. Just because you have the disk space doesn t mean you have to use it all up. This weekend, get your drives in order and clear out the unnecessary crap. Tidy Up Your Files Obviously you ll free up the most disk space by getting rid of files you don t really need. Sometimes, it can be hard to part with your much-loved files, even if that means migrating them to an archival disk somewhere else. Naturally, you want to have everything you might need at your disposal but to tidy up, you need to make some…

Lifehacker upgrade Tiny hard drive
[February 24, 2016 – 08:29 am]
Lifehacker upgrade Tiny hard drive

Dear Lifehacker, Solid-state drives (SSDs) are expensive and hard disk drives (HDDs) are slow. Now that you can buy a hybrid of the two, there are a lot of choices with varying costs. Which type of drive is my best bet for the money? Sincerely, Diskcombobulated Dear Diskcombobulated, The best drive for your money is going to depend on your needs. You essentially have four options, and which one suits you best will depend on how much you re willing to spend, how much storage space you need, and how much you value speed. Let s go over these options and see which drives suit you…

Lifehacker Portable hard drive
[February 20, 2016 – 06:43 pm]
Lifehacker Portable hard drive

Online backups and cloud storage are all great, but sometimes you need to keep your files close and at least somewhat portable. That s where a good external hard drive comes in. This week, we want to know which ones you think are the best. Whether it s because they re slim and portable, offer great transfer speeds, come from reputable companies with great warranties, or just pack in the space for little to no cash, we want to hear which external hard drive models you trust with your data. Let s hear your vote in the discussions below! To cast your vote, follow these guidelines:…

Lifehacker hard drive speed
[February 19, 2016 – 03:54 pm]
Lifehacker hard drive speed

Dear Lifehacker, I hear people talk about defragging their computers all the time as a way to make it faster, but I m not really sure what that means. What does defragging do and is it something I need to do to my computer? How often? Sincerely, Defragging Dude Dear Defragging, Defrag is short for defragment,which is a maintenance task required by your hard drives. Most hard drives have spinning platters, with data stored in different places around that platter. When your computer writes data to your drive, it does so in blocks that are ordered sequentially from one side…

Lifehacker best hard drive Diagnostic
[February 19, 2016 – 01:47 am]
Lifehacker best hard drive Diagnostic

While it may not always be the best choice in Windows, there are certain things you can only do from the command line. We ve talked about a few command line essentials before, like using tracert to troubleshoot a flaky Internet connection and using recimg to create a custom Windows recovery image. Here are a few more you should probably know about (if you don t already). We re using Windows 8.1 for screenshots and details in this article, but most of these tools have been around a long time and are available in previous versions of Windows. If you have any doubt about whether…

Lifehacker hard drive health
[February 18, 2016 – 02:32 am]
Lifehacker hard drive health

Ever since my laptop s hard drive gasped its last breath a few weeks ago, I ve been more diligent than ever about keeping my disks healthy. Thanks to an automatic backup system, the disk failure was more an inconvenience than a catastrophe, but not one I want to deal with more often than absolutely necessary. A few weeks back Adam showed us how to schedule disk defragmentation using Windows Scheduled Tasks. Today I ve got a batch script that takes disk maintenance to the next level by checking all your hard drives for errors, repairing any it finds, and then defragmenting. If…