Tag Archives: hard-drive

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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How to Flex Your External Hard Drive Options

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This ultra-portable hard drive doesn’t have a USB port nor a Firewire port, an eSata port or any other sort of port. The issue with external hard drives is that they have one type of port or another. When a new type of connection comes out, you’ll need a new drive. This Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex that was sent to me for review is completely different. There are zero ports on the back. How the heck can you connect it, then?

Elementary, my dear Watson. The cable that comes along with the device will turn the device into whatever type of hard drive you need. One cable will turn it into a USB 3-compatible drive. Another cable will turn it into a Firewire-compatible drive. There’s also an eSata-compatible cable. Do you see where I’m going with this? If, in the future, a new type of port is created then Seagate only has to manufacture another type of cable instead of an entire new device. You won’t have to keep upgrading your external hard drive. You’ll simply need the new cable.

The GoFlex Desk external drive delivers high-capacity storage, backup and encryption for all your files. It works well on either Mac OS X or Windows. The sleek little box is designed to sit in either vertical or horizontal orientation, depending on how your desk is set up.

The drive is versatile, sturdy, sexy and well… it works. I’m quite happy knowing that I have the last hard drive I’ll ever need.

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My First Hard Drive Was…

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Headwards is a user on our Lockergnome.net site who asked what capacity our first hard drive was. My first computer didn’t even have a hard drive in it! The first one I purchased with my own money cost me around $200.00 and it had a couple of 5 1/4″ floppy drives. When I bought it back in 1993, it seemed relatively outdated even then.

I then worked to save around $2200.00 and bought my first real computer. I got a machine with 8MB of RAM and 4MB of video RAM. I think it had 420MB worth of storage! It even had a CD drive that could read at double-speed. Back in the day, that was a pretty good system. It was the best that was out there.

I still have binaries (executables) and media that I downloaded from the newsgroups back then that I had to decode and ultimately put on my system. I remember when I’d see a 100k file and think how big it was. I’d wonder if it would even work on my system. Yes… 100 K. Anything 1MB or more was considered “killer” back then.

What was your first computer, and how big of a hard drive did it have? Who can beat me?

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We Haven't Forgotten Windows 7

There should be an image here!Last week, we posted an offer to our readers about a security encryption program, SafeBit. There was a forty percent reduction to their usual price for the people who frequent these pages. Our write-up can be found here.

Because of very bad timing and the issue with coordinating over many different time zones, we learned too late that the program does work with Windows 7. The memo states: “it is compatible with the 32 bit version of Windows 7.”

The good news is that the SafeBit people are extending their generous offer until April 25th, 2010. Now there is no reason for our Windows 7 people to miss out on this offer. Thanks to the people at SafeBit for all their effort and for looking out for the Windows 7 users.

How to Protect Your Hard Drive

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There are thousands upon thousands of hard drive enclosures. However, only one of them is both fireproof and waterproof. I have precious video files from the Gnomedex conference on my ioSafe Solo. For the purpose of this video, I completely submerged the hard drive in water, to show you that it truly is waterproof as they claim! Yes – the videos were all still completely intact! I wouldn’t try this at home with any enclosure other than the ioSafe Solo!

I know you’re not likely to submerge your hard drive in a bathtub full of water. However, imagine your business or home office were to become flooded for some reason. Or, heaven forbid, you were to have a fire. Using the ioSafe Solo will guarantee that your data is still safe.

It’s waterproof for up to ten feet of salt water OR fresh water, for up to three days. It can withstand up to 1550 degrees of heat for up to half an hour! It’s only good for one disaster, of course. I have to thank ioSafe for passing this along for me to review. It’s an excellent piece of hardware!

We have a special for you, in case you want to pick up your own ioSafe Solo. You can save 10% when purchasing the ioSafe Solo for yourself!

After I extracted my hard drive from the enclosure, I hooked it back up to my computer. As you can see in the video… my files are all still in perfect shape! Gnomedex is saved! The ioSafe Solo definitely works as advertised!

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How to Re-Partition a Hard Drive

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Warren has done a couple of screencasts for our channels over the past weeks, and has done a very good job with them. In this one, he’s going to show you how to re-petition your hard drive. Keep in mind that this is something anyone can do, with the right instructions. Warren’s are clear and easy to follow. Remember that it’s not too late for you to submit a screencast for possible use on our channels.

If you want to allocate space on your hard drive in a different way, you can use the cool built-in feature found in Vista and Windows 7 both. You’ll need to first go to your Start menu, and right-click on “my Computer”. Now, choose “Manage”. Over on the left, go to “Storage”, and then “Disk Management”.

Disk Management will show you all of the hard drives available on your system at the present time. Choose which drive you want to create a partition on. Select it, right click it, and click on “Shrink Volume”. Once it’s done that, it will scan your drive to see how many MB are available to use.

Choose your partition size, keeping in mind that one GB is equal to 1024 MB, not 1000 as many people assume. After you type your partition size in, just click on the “Shrink” button. Once it is finished, you’ll need to right-click on the new partition, and choose “New Simple Volume”.

The wizard will pop up. Click through the first window. If you want to use all of the newly-allocated space, simply click through that window, as well. On the third frame, it will ask you to assign a drive letter. Choose any letter you wish that isn’t already being used on your machine. The next frame allows you to decide if you want to format the new volume, and how you wish to format it. The last frame will be a summary of what settings you just chose.

Once the wizard closes out, go back into your Computer icon. You’ll see your new partitioned drive. You can open it up, and it is ready to use. Drag whatever data you wish into it and begin using it!

Thanks again Warren for another excellent screencast!

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