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Articles in Hard Drive Lifehacker

Lifehacker dead hard drive
[August 26, 2015 – 02:02 pm]
Lifehacker dead hard drive

Dear Lifehacker, I have a dead hard drive that is out of warranty. Is there anything I can do besides recycle it? Signed, . Dear Down n Dead, You re in luck. While your hard drive may be dead to its original function you can harvest parts from it for all sorts of fun and interesting DIY projects. Before we delve into gutting your hard drive and repurposing its guts, let s talk data security. While you didn t specify what dead hard drive means, we ll assume this means the disk is inoperable and any means of recovering the disk for use using software have failed. If the disk…

Lifehacker how to clone hard drive?
[November 12, 2015 – 02:38 pm]
Lifehacker how to clone hard drive?

Hard drives fail, and they do it much more often than we d like to think. Even if you ve set up automated hard drive backups, you re not necessarily getting the best backup bang for your buck—especially if your operating system s main hard drive fails. Even if you ve been backing up your important files, you ll still need to reinstall your OS and go through the pain of copying your files back to your new hard drive, installing new applications, and setting up your system to how you had it. There s a better way, my friends. With a RAID 1 array, you ll always have a perfect backup…

Lifehacker best hard drive space Analyzer
[August 20, 2015 – 01:50 pm]
Lifehacker best hard drive space Analyzer

Dear Lifehacker, I ve heard you (and others) recommend CCleaner as a maintenance tool for Windows, but I m not really sure what to do with it. Should I just clean everything? Will that really make my computer faster? I m a little overwhelmed here, help! Sincerely, Confused Cleaner Dear Confused, CCleaner can seem a bit confusing to first-time users, so this is a great question. In fact, we don t necessarily recommend using every option in the program. Here s what s worth using. What CCleaner Does Most people think of CCleaner as a maintenance tool that will improve your computer…

Lifehacker Xbox 360 hard drive
[May 31, 2015 – 12:07 pm]
Lifehacker Xbox 360 hard drive

I ve been streaming Netflix Watch Instantly videos to my Xbox 360 for months now using Windows Media Center and a free program called vmcNetflix, but now that the New Xbox Experience released this morning also supports Netflix streaming, users have two different options for streaming movies to their Xbox. The question is, which option is better? The obvious answer is that the official offering is the hands-down winner, but having used the alternative for the past few months, Netflix on the New Xbox Experience left me cold. Here s why. What s Great About Netflix Streaming on…

Lifehacker best external hard drive
[November 30, 2015 – 03:12 pm]
Lifehacker best external hard drive

You never think losing your files will happen to you until it actually does, and you re caught without a backup. Backups are extremely easy to keep, so there s no reason not to have one. Here s how to set one up. Whether you accidentally delete a file or lose a bunch of your data to a hard drive crash, regularly backing up your machine is always a good idea. Both Windows and Mac OS X have great built-in backup utilities, so it only takes a few steps to get started. Here s what you need to do. On Windows Get a backup drive. This can be just about any USB external hard drive…

Lifehacker hard drive freezer
[August 8, 2015 – 03:30 pm]
Lifehacker hard drive freezer

Years ago we suggested sticking a borked hard drive in your freezer for a chance at recovering your data before the drive goes completely kaput. Developer site Server Zone highlights the same tip, with more detailed instructions for saving your freezer drive. Remove the hard drive from the computer. Place the hard drive inside of a zip top freezer bag. (don t buy a cheap bag.) Place the wrapped hard drive inside of ANOTHER zip top freezer bag. (yes, you need to do this) Place the double wrapped hard drive in the coldest part of your freezer. Leave the hard drive in the freezer…

Lifehacker hard drive benchmark
[June 6, 2015 – 11:19 am]
Lifehacker hard drive benchmark

Feel the need for more computer speed? Even if you re already rocking a fast SSD (one of the best upgrades you can make), you can still improve your computer s performance by adding more memory and turning it into a RAM disk, which can be as much as 70 times faster than a regular hard drive or 20 times faster than an SSD. Laptop Magazine offers the instructions for turning extra memory into a RAM disk. You ll need at least 6 GB of RAM, a 64-bit system, and RAM disk software (e.g., the free RAMDisk from DataRAM). Performance tests by Laptop Magazine using the CrystalDiskMark…

Lifehacker hard drives
[May 19, 2015 – 07:13 am]
Lifehacker hard drives

In a followup study to the insightful reports on the most reliable hard drive brands and consumer versus enterprise hard drives, Backblaze found some interesting data that could help you choose your next drive. One piece of advice: stay away from 3 TB drives. The backup company evaluated their 41, 213 disk drives (most of them consumer ones) for annual failure rates, and recommend 4 TB drives for their value and reliability: We like every one of the 4 TB drives we bought this year. For the price, you get a lot of storage, and the drive failure rates have been really low. The…

Lifehacker hard drive space
[July 27, 2015 – 10:41 am]
Lifehacker hard drive space

Dear Lifehacker, I m putting together a computer and really want to get an SSD like you guys keep telling me to, but they re just so expensive. I can probably afford a 60GB SSD or smaller, but that seems too small to fit anything on—even without my user folder, my current C: drive takes up nearly 70GB. Is it even possible to make use of an SSD this small? Sincerely, Starved for Space You re right, SSDs are still pretty darn expensive, and can seriously raise the cost of your computer—especially if you re trying to build or buy a cheaper machine, an SSD can seem like it raises…

Lifehacker hard drive speed test
[November 18, 2015 – 02:04 pm]
Lifehacker hard drive speed test

Windows: If you d like the speed of your mechanical hard drive to be closer to SSD speeds, short-stroking your hard drive is your best bet. These steps can get your hard drive up to speed at the cost of some memory. Short-stroking lets your mechanical hard drive access files faster by keeping your most important files—like your OS and apps—stored in its best performing sectors. You can use the other partition for storing other, less speed-reliant files as well. Your hard drive will get a significant speed boost as long as it s reading from the fast partition, but it comes at…

Lifehacker copy DVD to hard drive
[September 13, 2015 – 07:56 am]
Lifehacker copy DVD to hard drive

Commercial DVDs are far too expensive to let scratches turn your video into a glorified coaster, but most people still don t back up their DVD collection. Once upon a time, the four to eight gigabyte footprint of a DVD on your hard drive was prohibitively large. But since the price of a gigabyte has plummeted, ripping your entire DVD collection to your computer is not just possible, it s prudent—and it s easy. Let s take a look at the best ways to back up and play any DVD rip on your home computer, along with how to burn a DVD rip back to a playable DVD. What You ll Need All…

Lifehacker hard drive backup
[November 18, 2015 – 05:15 pm]
Lifehacker hard drive backup

At least once a month, some friend or family member asks me how to recover data from a failed hard drive. I help them as best I can, but in my head, my answer is always the same: “go back in time and back up your computer like you know you should’ve.” When your computer’s hard drive fails, it can be gut-wrenching. At best, maybe you lost a really important presentation you were working on. At worst, maybe you’ve lost every photo of your kid’s childhood. Sometimes, you can recover that data yourself—but often, it’s gone forever (unless you want to pay a lot of money to get it…

Lifehacker new hard drive
[October 28, 2015 – 12:33 pm]
Lifehacker new hard drive

You ve just gotten a new computer. Nice! You re probably excited to tear open the box and set it up, but there are a few boring-but-important tasks that will save you disappointment and even heartbreak (not to mention money) later. Here are a few things you should do whenever you buy a new PC. Save Your Serial Number Your computer probably has a serial number on the bottom or the back, and you ll probably need this one day. They can often wear off over time, especially on a laptop—plus sometimes they re just not easy to access when you re using the PC. While you re unboxing…

Lifehacker best external hard drive Enclosures
[November 3, 2015 – 04:49 pm]
Lifehacker best external hard drive Enclosures

So you finally replaced that overstuffed 80GB hard drive with a half-terabyte data warehouse. The question is, what do you do with the old drive? Stick it on a shelf? Toss it in the trash? Leave it in the machine? Nah. The best possible fate for an old internal drive is to become a super-handy external drive, which it can do with a small investment of time and money. An external hard drive can serve countless uses: moving large files from one PC to another, backing up data, rescuing files from an unbootable drive, and, of course, expanding your available storage space. It can…

Lifehacker copy hard drive
[July 15, 2015 – 02:03 pm]
Lifehacker copy hard drive

You don t need a complicated boot CD or expensive software to create a restorable system disk image for your PC: free utility DriveImage XML can save a full, working snapshot of your Windows hard drive while you work on it. (That s hot.) When your PC crashes and burns or just slows down over time, the best insurance you can have is a mirror image of your operating system, complete with drivers, user settings, software applications, and documents in one place. A while back we covered how to partition and image your Windows hard drive using the Linux-based System Recovery Boot…