Apr 18, 2021

Dancers are the athletes of God - Albert Einstein

Hard Disk – Impending Doom

I had a couple of innocent notes in doing whole disk backup copies of my computers hard disk. I use Casper XP (which sometime I must write about because it’s rather good) and it was not able to copy all the info in some outlook archive files… which is a bit worrying. Casper Tech Support asked for some dumps and then said I needed to run chkdsk because it looked like my hard disk has a problem…

1) Open My Computer and select Lauren C drive (C:)
2) On the File menu, click Properties.
3) Click the Tools tab.
4) In the Error-checking box, click Check Now.
5) In Check disk options, check the Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check boxes.
6) Click Start.

It actually runs next time you boot and it takes a long time – 2 hours in my case. And in the doing it reported:
“Windows replaced bad clusters in files…” 5 times.

My immediate question was “Have I lost anything or not”. and of course it turns out the cluster data is in all probability lost so there is junk in the middle of the files now I guess. Doing some net research seems to show that drives are v intelligent these days and many will look to try and cover bad clusters themselves but if you actually get one escape into the big Windows world then it probably means the drive is on the way out and needs to be replaced. Hard drives are not a thing to economise on think. So its 1 AM and I’ve just placed an order for a new drive for 24 hour delivery. £80 damn-it but hopefully some peace of mind. And having ‘cleaned’ the drive with chkdisk I’m now doing a backup which will hopefully no throw up any warnings and act as cover if something horrendous happens before the new disk arrives.

The following forum thread has a great description of how hard drives work in this area – worth a read.

Cheap 320GB 2.5 inch Toshiba USB Mini Hard Drive

I was just looking around for a cheap hard disk for backup. I have some 3.5inch USB drives, some with ESATA but they are such a pain to use because they all have external psu’s – getting them out of storage, set-up and then packing them away after, with all the cables, is all hassle. ESATA should be wonderful and fast but I’ve leaned that hot swapping Esata doesn’t work for me and I can’t be rebooting just to stick in a faster drive for 30 minutes.

On the other hand 2.5 inch drives are small and don’t need external power – worse case just access to 2 x USB ports. I have a small draw with 3 x 2.5in disks in and loads of other odds and ends. Handy, handy, handy and when you are in a rush just what you want. Just before I leave my PC to go out I always think that I should leave it doing a backup – but I’m running late of course and so to actually do it everything needs to be quick and simple. Plug drive in, click icon on desktop, return to find screen saying all is done = nirvanna and peace of mind.

Anyway I thought I’d treat myself to a new 2.5 inch drive to backup my new PC. Now that only has a 150GB drive in (thought it is a supremely fast Western Digital Raptor!) but I thought it would be be prudent and last longer to get something bigger.

I’ve been eying up the new 500GB 2.5 inch drives that have just been announced, but they are not really available yet and the all up cost of one is going to be well over £200 for some while I think. Rather too much of a premium over 3.5 inch drives.

PC Pro recently did a survey of external hard drives (3.5inch and 2.5inch) and concluded the 250GB Toshiba was a bargain at £94 incl VAT.

Well at Ebyer you can get that 250GB drive now for £74.99 incl free P&P.

However I was gobsmacked to find the 320GB drive for £94.99 including free P&P – thogh that was with an additional £5 off for some unstated reason. GB for GB that’s *not* a premium over the 250GB drive and that being the case it’s what I’ve gone with. Details here:

Will write more when it arrives…

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