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This is the place to come if you are thinking of adding functionality with a new peripheral, having hardware problems, driver issues, or general questions on hardware.
 

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maui_freek,

This is a great idea for a forum. I think my biggest problem with computers is hard drives crashing. My wifes recently crashed and we lost almost everything. Do you have any recomendations or ideas on how to prevent this from happending and also what is the best way of dealing with the problem once it has happened? Thanks in advance for any suggestion/advice that you have.
 

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Watchguru58 wrote:
maui_freek,

This is a great idea for a forum. I think my biggest problem with computers is hard drives crashing. My wifes recently crashed and we lost almost everything. Do you have any recomendations or ideas on how to prevent this from happending and also what is the best way of dealing with the problem once it has happened? Thanks in advance for any suggestion/advice that you have.
T The most common cause of hard drive failure is HEAT. Many of the systems on the market don't allow for much airflow. This is exacerbated when the computer is in a confined area like a cabinet. I have external fans as well as the internal fans and keep my system in the open air. I suggest you monitor the heat buildup, with a freebee utility such as "Speedfan" and check the temperatures against the Manufacturers specs. The other cause of heat buildup is dust. You should regularly CAREFULLY vacuum the inside of your system and check for dirt buildup on the air intake.

To anticipate a hard drive failure I make regular "mirror" copies of my hard drive. Programs such as Acronis, HDDHealth, and the "mirror system state" utilities built into many operating systems do this quite well. The costs of external hard drives have dropped considerably, Pick one up that is at least as big as your internal drive and only plug it into the system and turn it on when you are making your copy (or worst case when you need to restore a hard drive) I personally like the Western Digital BOOK shelf series for aesthetics, but any major brand will work fine.

After a catastrophic Hard drive crash there are data recovery businesses which will do their best to recover the "lost" data, they are pricy so it depends on how critical your data is. Also after a crash replace the drive , it may take a re format and work for a while but it will crash again (usually there are bits of the recording magnetic coating loose in the drive and will snowball the effects of a crash)

Hope this helps
 

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maui_freek wrote:
Watchguru58 wrote:
maui_freek,

This is a great idea for a forum. I think my biggest problem with computers is hard drives crashing. My wifes recently crashed and we lost almost everything. Do you have any recomendations or ideas on how to prevent this from happending and also what is the best way of dealing with the problem once it has happened? Thanks in advance for any suggestion/advice that you have.
T The most common cause of hard drive failure is HEAT. Many of the systems on the market don't allow for much airflow. This is exacerbated when the computer is in a confined area like a cabinet. I have external fans as well as the internal fans and keep my system in the open air. I suggest you monitor the heat buildup, with a freebee utility such as "Speedfan" and check the temperatures against the Manufacturers specs. The other cause of heat buildup is dust. You should regularly CAREFULLY vacuum the inside of your system and check for dirt buildup on the air intake.

To anticipate a hard drive failure I make regular "mirror" copies of my hard drive. Programs such as Acronis, HDDHealth, and the "mirror system state" utilities built into many operating systems do this quite well. The costs of external hard drives have dropped considerably, Pick one up that is at least as big as your internal drive and only plug it into the system and turn it on when you are making your copy (or worst case when you need to restore a hard drive) I personally like the Western Digital BOOK shelf series for aesthetics, but any major brand will work fine.

After a catastrophic Hard drive crash there are data recovery businesses which will do their best to recover the "lost" data, they are pricy so it depends on how critical your data is. Also after a crash replace the drive , it may take a re format and work for a while but it will crash again (usually there are bits of the recording magnetic coating loose in the drive and will snowball the effects of a crash)

Hope this helps
Thanks Maui. I think that is exactly what caused her laptop to crash. I've noticed for a while how hot it was when she was using it. When we get it back I will pick up an external fan and wedge near the bottom of the computer. I also purchased an external hard drive already to be used down the road. Thanks again. Great advice.:b
 

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What kind of external fans do you have and where are the positioned maui? I'm sure that only positive and negative airflow is necessary and nothing more. Is there already positive and negative air flow in the computer and the fan is extra? If so, that might cause extra moisture in the computer. Or am I just thinking about server rooms or are we talking about laptops?
 

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TheIntimidator.mil wrote:
What kind of external fans do you have and where are the positioned maui? I'm sure that only positive and negative airflow is necessary and nothing more. Is there already positive and negative air flow in the computer and the fan is extra? If so, that might cause extra moisture in the computer. Or am I just thinking about server rooms or are we talking about laptops?
I use a "vortex" external fan which is aimed sideways to the exhaust fans (4x 20 mm) to quickly dissipate the heat coming from the system. This lowers the cpu (water cooled) by 5 degrees Celcius , my GPU by 10degrees and the overall system temp by 7 degrees. The Full tower cases have too many "leaks" , around the OD's,Unused 5" bays and the rear connection points, to achieve true negative airflow even though I have a total of 7 fans in the case. The prebuilts such as the Dell optiplex is so jammed packed and "messy" that the airflow is disrupted to the point of non existance. I have used temperature probes (not just relying in the SMART values) at work on 50-60 workstations and found that 68% of them were running with overheated Hard Drives and marginal CPU temps. And 100% of units that were upgraded (GPUs, 7200 rpm Drives) were running at or above the top end tolerance. Take into account that I am in Hawaii and our air conditioning is kept at 75. My server racks are in a confined server room with ambient temperature at 68 which was designed for the BTU's created by 6 dell 1950 servers, 2 tape libraries, Large Disk arrays. and a plethora of Data com devices. These devices maintain tolerant temps based on the ambient temp and the better design, and more powerful fans, of rack mount servers. But shut the dedicated AC down for an hour and all sorts of bells go off.
 

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Oh Yeh a quick follow up. I have repaired many laptops because our workers, when on the road. break the cardinal rule for laptop use and put them on a soft (bed) surface blocking the airflow completely
 
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