Tag Archives: hdd

Which Type of Camcorder is Best?

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When you’re in the market for a new camcorder, how do you know which camcorder is best? Choosing between HDD camcorders, SD card camcorders, and MiniDV or HDV tape-based cameras can be confusing. The best camcorder for you really boils down to how you intend to use the camcorder.

If you live stream like I do, you need a MiniDV or HDV camcorder with FireWire so you can easily connect your camera to a computer and stream the video. If you want portability – and plan to record video files and upload them – either an HDD hard drive camcorder or SD card camcorder may fit your needs better. This way, you won’t need to capture the video from a tape.

With either HDD or SD camcorders, you simply copy a file just like you would from any other drive storage media.

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.

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 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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Top 5 Tips for Buying a Hard Drive

“loverstink85” from our chat room recently purchased a 1TB hard drive and wanted to share his experience with the rest of the community. He lives in the Philippines and is just 13 years old. He’s been subscribed to our YouTube channel since 2007, too. When I was that old, I don’t think hard drives were even available on the mass market. No matter, here’s his “guest blog post” wisdom on buying hard drives:

Compatibility. If you’re buying a hard drive, make sure your computer supports that kind of hard drive. If your computer is about 8 years old, it probably still uses the EIDE/PATA interface. But if your computer is almost 5 years old (like mine), it might include the first generation SATA interface (SATA150). If you just recently purchased your computer, it should have the second generation SATA interface (SATA300). SATA300 is backwards-compatible with SATA150. Some motherboard chipsets that have the SATA150 interface (namely the VIA and SIS chipsets: VT8237, VT8237R, VT6420, VT6421L, SIS760, SIS964 found on some ECS motherboards) don’t support SATA300 drives. So, the hard drive companies addressed these problems by putting a jumper on their drives which will force them to use the SATA150 speed. The same applies for laptops. Laptops also have SATA and/or IDE interfaces in them.

Capacity and Speed. A lot of people think that when you’re gonna buy a hard drive, you should always get the highest capacity available in the market. That is wrong. If you’re gonna buy a hard drive, make sure its capacity is not too big OR too small. Its speed is a bigger factor. Make sure you are going to buy a hard drive with at least 7200RPM spindle speed (for desktops). If you are just gonna use the hard drive for media centers or just basic file storage, 5400RPM is enough. And some hard drives at 5400RPM beat some 7200RPM hard drives according to benchmarks. For laptops, you have to be aware that heat is a factor, so a slower spinning hard drive may be advised.

Brand / Reliability. I have an 80 GB IDE Western Digital drive which came bundled with the PC I purchased in 2005. It is still running well, but I need more space. Make sure your hard drive has the most features in it that you believe will (or has been proven to) improve reliability. And the brand doesn’t matter in my opinion. All companies make mistakes and great products so don’t go buying a Seagate just because you have been a Seagate fan for years.

Power consumption. Western Digital has just released a hard drive family called the GreenPower hard drives, which they say are eco-friendly, cool and quiet. By just reading the family name, we’re lead to believe that they will have low power consumption. According to Western Digital, by putting a GreenPower hard drive in your machine, it’s just like taking your car off the road for 14 days in one year. Make sure your power supply will support the power requirements of ANY hard drive, though.

User opinions. You should also read user opinions. I have been thankful for my peers – because without them, i could have purchased the Seagate hard drives which have a firmware bug in them which causes the hard drive head to bump and click when going into power saving mode. Apparently, these drives have buggy firmware and Seagate still doesn’t have a official fix for this. You can look for user reviews by looking at unboxing videos on YouTube or product comments on e-commerce sites, etc. (or by looking at some technical forums and blogs).

Do You Have a Second Hard Drive?

Michael G. from Texas responds to my video about second hard drives:

I’m a long-time fan, and I guess a student, of yours. I have learned so much from you since the TechTV days. I am glad that things seem to be going good for you. You are an amazing young man. Thanks for sharing with all of us. 🙂

I started out with a XP system that had a 20GB drive. When it was 2/3 full, I installed an 80GB second drive. I had just switched to a DSL connection, and that enabled me to download more music and videos. I had a firewall, an anti-virus program, and two spyware-protection programs running. Still, a few months ago, I noticed that things weren’t working as they use to do. Everything was slower, and I had several Explorer freezes. I felt like I was living on borrowed time, as I had trouble shutting down the system, or booting up.

My computer was used a lot during the past 5 years, so I felt that it was worn out. I began to move everything personal over to the second drive. I sure am glad that I did, cause my system crashed about a month ago. I was told by a tech guy that it probably wasn’t worth fixing. I decided to try, just for the learning experience. Other than learning from you, most of my skills were achieved by “trial and error”. I re-installed Windows, and most of my programs, but it still didn’t seem like a healthy computer. But, all of my stuff was safe on another drive! 🙂

Anyway, I recently bought a new computer with Windows Vista, and I will soon install the second drive from my old computer. I am enjoying the new colors and features of Vista, as well as an increase of download speed. I’m not exactly thrilled with some of the differences between Vista and XP, though. I’ve still got a lot to learn about my new computer, but it’s interesting. “Learning” helps keep the mind young. 🙂

Now, if only we could convince some forward-thinking hard drive manufacturer to come in and sponsor our show… maybe we could encourage more users to get second (or third?) hard drives. Here’s the video Michael references: