Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Take charge of your Hard drive

It’s hard to feel in control of your digital life if you're not in control of your hard drive. After all, your hard drive is where all of your files are stored. When hard drives fill up or don't allow you to organise your data the way you'd like, frustration results. And when your computer won't start, it's important to know whether your hard drive is at the heart of the problem. Read on for some tips that will help you get a grip on your hard drive -and the data that lives there.

My computer won't start. How can I know if the hard drive has died?
      Failures of conventional hard drives are often, but not always, preceded by some clicking or tapping sounds emanating from your PC. Sometimes a steady click-click-click sound will indicate a hard drive that has malfunctioned. Solid State Drives (SSDs), which have no moving parts, will obviously not exhibit such a clicking sound. They will simply fail, with no audible warning.

 If your hard drive dies, your computer's initial bootup screen will still appear, but you'll receive an error message when the PC tries to load your operating system. You might receive a "drive not found" error message. If your computer is equipped with a technology known as SMART, you may receive advance warning of a failing hard drive. Take any such warning seriously, and replace the drive or have it replaced -as soon as possible.

If you do not see anything upon pressing the power button on your PC, it's unlikely that the hard drive is the culprit. A power supply failure or motherboard failure is more likely.

Something has consumed most of my hard drive space, and I'm not sure what. How can I find out?
   You need a utility that shows you which folders and files are taking up the most space on your hard drive. FolderSizes ( is one of the best commercial programs because its graphical display of the sizes of your folders make it easy to pinpoint exactly which folders and files are taking up most of your hard drive space. It does this by analysing your hard drive and presenting you afterwards with a bar graph. You can double-click lines on the graph to drill down as far into a folder structure as you wish.

GetFolderSizes (, which does essentially the same thing as FolderSizes, is a decent freeware alternative. FolderSizes is a bit more intuitive to use than GetFolderSizes, however, so you may wish to try out both utilities to see which one you prefer. There's really no similar utility in Windows that can give you this kind of information, so tools of this type are essential for what you need to figure out.

I bought an SSD for my desktop computer, but the drive doesn't seem to fit in any of the internal slots. What can I do?
     Solid state disks (SSDs) are made in the 2.5-inch form factor -the size used in notebook computers. Desktop computers typically do not have internal slots small enough for 2.5-inch drives.

The solution is to purchase an adapter that will allow your 2.5 inch SSD to fit into a slot designed for a standard 3.5-inch desktop drive. Such adapters are readily available these days online and, probably, in your local computer store.

A "low tech" option, however, is to purchase some Velcro and use it to attach your drive to a solid surface within your computer. A substantial piece of Velcro is more than sufficient to hold in place the very lightweight SSDs sold today.

I installed a 2TB hard drive in my computer. I would like to partition it in to two drives. How can I do that in Windows 7?
     The Disk management tool in both Windows 7 and Windows Vista will allow you to slice up your large hard drive into as many partitions as you'd like. A partition, as you probably know, is a section of a hard drive that, thanks to the magic of partitioning, is seen by the operating system as another physical disk. So while you might have just one hard drive in your computer, if you've partitioned it, the drive can show up as drives C, D, E, and so on, depending upon how many smaller partitions you create on the single drive.

The advantage of partitioning a drive is that you can then use individual partitions for particular purposes. Your C drive, for instance, might be devoted to your operating system files and applications, while your D drive might hold your data files and your E drive your music library. This type of organisational method makes backups of particular types of files a snap, and it would allow you to reinstall your entire operating system and applications without disturbing your data or music on partitions D and E, to use the previous example of how you might organise the data.

To partition your drive in Windows 7 or Vista, open the Start menu and type "partition” without the quotation marks. Click the resulting entry called "Create and format hard disk partitions!' The Disk Management tool opens, displaying all of your drives in a list format at the top of the window and in a tiled form at below. Right-click the drive you'd like to partition, and select Shrink Volume. In the resulting dialog box, you'll need to specify how much you'd like to shrink the volume. While the numbers you use to specify this may not make any sense to you, look at the "total size" number as a guideline. If the total size of your disk, for example, is 10063 MB, and you want to divide your disk up into two, then enter a number that's half of that total size figure -which would be 5031.

Once Shrink Volume is finished, you'll be left with a block marked "unallocated" in Disk Management. That unallocated chunk of space is going to be your new partition. Right -click that unallocated chunk, and select Extend Volume from the popup menu. The Extend Volume Wizard will open, showing you the unallocated space that have available and giving you the opportunity to click an Add button to add the unallocated space to your computer. Continue following the prompts until the new space is formatted and ready to use.

It will appear as an additional drive letter when you're finished. A free partitioning tool that makes the entire process of resizing partitions a bit easier than either Windows 7 or Vista is Easus Partition Master (’s compatible with all versions of Windows from Windows 2000 through 7.

No comments:

Post a Comment