Professional Computer Tips and Tricks

Professional posts to help you keep your computer running smooth – Brought to you by Four Corners Computer Center

How to select a new computer hard drive – Solid State?

The hard drive is where everything is stored while the computer is off, it is the long-term storage for the operating system, programs, photos, music, videos, and documents When the hard drive begins to fail it can be very frustrating so you want to pay very close attention to the way your computer is running and try to catch this before it goes completely out. A couple different things to pay attention to would be the speed of the computer. In the early stages of the hard drive going out, it will show signs of extremely slow access speeds. It might boot extremely slow and be non-responsive when trying to open applications. At times you might hear a clicking noise coming from the drive, this is a sign of the read/write head failing. And last but not least you may experience the blue screen of death, freezing or random shut downs.

When choosing a new hard drive one of the first things you want to do is determine how much space you need. For most people a 500GB (smallest standard these days) is a great start. Very rarely do we see data transfers of more than a couple hundred Gig. People with more demanding needs like photographers, videographers, music collectors, etc. should be looking at storage in terms of 1, 2 or even 3 terabytes (TB).

Acronis True Image 2016

The next thing to consider is the speed of the hard drive as it can have a big impact on overall system performance. The ultimate bottle neck on any computer is simply the hard drive. Especially if it is the older mechanical technology with a read-write head and moving parts. You can breathe new life into any computer with an updated, upgraded SSD Hard drive. Mechanical vs Solid State Technology.

A conventional hard drive is relatively inexpensive but it can be a bit slow by today’s standards. You’ll see hard drives rated at 5400RPMs, 7200RPMs all the way up to 10000RPMs. They recently came out with what they call a hybrid drive which can kind of give you the best of both worlds. The hybrid hard drives have SSD built into a mechanical hard drive helping boost the access speed exponentially. Still not as good as a standalone SSD however, you then get the larger storage capacities that you won’t find in the SSD’s.

Remember while you’re thinking about your next hard drive purchase that HDDs and SSDs can fail. Please read the following post for best practices for keeping your data safe.  External hard drives are a great option for backing up your data. Please remember that external drives should be for backup and NOT the only source for your data. In the past, we have done more data recovery on external hard drives than internal hard drives. My recommendation is to always keep 2 copies of your data on 2 different hard drives. The chances of both hard drives going out at the same time are slim to none.

Four Corners Computer Center • April 26, 2016

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