What is the Best Way to Clone a Hard Drive?

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One of our Lockergnome users recently asked the community what the best method of cloning a hard drive is. For a Mac, you can use Carbon Copy Cloner, which is free and simple. You already know that performing regular backups can save you from disaster. Using CCC gives you a peace of mind that is priceless. In addition to general backup, CCC can also clone one volume to another, copying every file to create an exact replica of your source volume.

Since I’m not familiar with Windows alternatives, I chose to check out one of the coolest sites I’ve found: AlternativeTo.net. There are seemingly thousands of programs there which will do the same type of thing within Windows that CCC can do within Mac OS X.

As with anything, do your research before choosing a cloning software. Do a simple Google search of the name plus the word reviews. Read what others have to say about the program’s performance and pick something that not only best fits your needs but also has fantastic reviews by people who have actually used it.

World's Slimmest 1TB Portable Hard Drive

How’s this for lightweight and data dense:

World's Slimmest 1TB Portable Hard Drive

This new 1TB GoFlex will use a new 2.5-inch drive with 2 platters — each at 500GB — to maintain a 9.5mm Z-height (the same height and depth as GoFlex ultra-portable drives at 640GB and below. The “slim” ultra-portable device also reaches a new areal density or per-platter capacity – previously, the drive was yielding 375GB per platter, and now it boasts 500GB.

Oh, and it’s now compatible with the GoFlex TV (the 1TB drive now slips right into the unit’s drive slot). These drives also come bundled with a pre-loaded copy of “Star Trek” for no additional fee, plus a selection of 20 other films from which to choose, and have a USB 3.0 cable included. Not so sure I’m as thrilled about that, though.

When Your Hard Drive Dies

You could hold a memorial service and give your dead hard drive a proper burial in your junk drawer, but Lifehacker has rounded up a few more interesting options for using your dead hard drive. There are suggestions for everything from a magnetic knife holder to a laser light show.

I’m partial to my Tix Clocks, but if I ever get tired of them, maybe I’ll make an LED Hard Drive Clock—though I’d definitely need to do something about all that noise! Maybe it would be easier to go with some nice, simple Hard Drive Wind Chimes instead.

Just be sure you check the warranty before you try any of these ideas. Turning your hard drive into a wallet will definitely void the warranty.

You have a project for a dead hard drive? Let me hear about it in the comments.

What is the Size of Your Largest Hard Drive?

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What’s the biggest hard drive you have in your possession right now? Which single hard drive in your home has the largest capacity? I happen to have a 3 TB drive here, sent to me as a review unit by Seagate. It’s their FreeAgent GoFlex external drive. If you remember, I’ve reviewed some of their stuff in the past, and been very happy with it. Does this particular drive stand up to the test?

The drive features USB 2.0 plug-n-play capability. There’s nothing difficult to mess around with… just plug it in and you’re good to go. It gives you automatic continuous backup and protects your privacy with powerful encryption software. That, my friends, is peace of mind that cannot be bought at any price.

So what makes this particular desktop drive unique other than the size? It’s USB compatible and can be changed up to be Firewire compatible or even USB 3.0 compatible. It’s quite simple to change – you just change the adapter. You’re good to go in about two seconds flat. It’s likely the most future-proof desktop drive you’ll find anywhere.

The drive is versatile, sturdy and just plain sexy – and is likely the last external drive I will ever need to own.

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Are Solid State Drives Better Than Traditional Hard Drives?

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Over on our popular questions and answers site, bcgocubs asked how a computer will benefit when using an SSD. Also, they would like to know what everyone’s general opinions are regarding solid state drives vs traditional hard drives. A traditional hard drive has moving parts, but is quite inexpensive compared to an SSD. The solid-state drive is just that: suspended in a solid state with no moving parts. It may be more expensive to buy one of these, but many people are starting to believe that they are much better for your computer.

With a solid state drive, you’re going to have a lot more speed than you do with their counterparts. I personally prefer the speed of the SSD. There are measurable differences when you change over to one of these little babies. However, I had to pay through the nose to get one with some storage room to it.

It boils down to which is more important to you. If you’re looking for maximum capacity, you want a regular hard drive. If you want increased speed and performance, then a solid state drive may be right for you.

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