Top Computer Drives & Storage Articles
How to Wipe a MacBook
If you intend to sell your MacBook or pass it along to a family member or friend, wipe the MacBook's hard drive to protect your security and prevent your personal data from falling into the next user's hands. MacBooks that run OS X Lion or Mountain Lion no longer come with an installation disc to use when erasing the hard drive, relying instead on a built-in OS X Recovery partition.
How to Replace the Optical Drive on an Acer Laptop
If your optical disc drive no longer reads data from, or writes data to, CDs or DVDs, you can easily remove the device from your notebook and install a new ODD in its place. The steps to replace the disc drive on your Acer Aspire are almost universal across all models, but making changes to your computer's hardware could void your warranty. Unless your service plan has already expired, don't swap out the hardware in your Aspire until you've spoken with Acer Support.
Transferring Photos and Music From an SD Card to an iPhone
If you're switching over from an Android or BlackBerry smartphone to an iPhone, you can copy your media to your new device using your computer as a go-between. If you own a BlackBerry, use BlackBerry Link or BlackBerry Desktop Software to sync your files to your hard drive with just a few mouse clicks; if you own an Android, move your data with File Explorer or sync content to your PC with Windows Media Player. Once you've transferred your pictures and music to your computer, sync the media to your iPhone via iTunes.
How to Import Pictures From a Hard Drive to an iPod
If you'd like to carry your pictures around with you, you can import them to any iPod or iPod Touch with a color display. Storing pictures on your iPod lets you have your own personal photo album on the go, or you can use your photos for iPod backgrounds. If you want to sync photos when you connect your iPod, use iTunes to import photos from your hard drive. If you'd rather copy and paste pictures to your iPod, you can mount the device as an external hard drive.
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Because the CPU does all of the heavy lifting when it comes to performing calculations and operations, it is the heart of any computer system. Therefore, it can be difficult, or impossible, to do anything with your PC when the CPU is defective or not working like it should. In some cases, detecting a bad CPU might take only a few seconds. Other times, though, diagnosing a faulty CPU may take considerable time and require the use of external hardware and software resources.
Many computer manufacturers ship their systems with preloaded versions of Windows 8, and therefore do not include physical installation media such as DVDs. In addition, you can download Windows 8 from Microsoft without having to use a disc. To reinstall Windows 8 without an installation DVD, you must use either a USB flash drive or a recovery partition. Errors displayed when reinstalling without a Windows 8 DVD could be the result of incorrect configuration settings, problems with the hard drive or corrupted installation files.
Mac OS, like all modern operating systems, has built-in disk management utilities for erasing, formatting and partitioning hard drives. Partitioning hard drives lets you organize files for easier backup, or set up a dual boot system, running Linux or another version of Mac OS on the same machine, switching operating systems when the computer boots.
Seagate is one of the better-known names in hard drive technology. The brand offers multiple options for internal and external drives, allowing you to confidently back up all of the music, movies and images you've collected over time. Installing and using the drives is straightforward, with some Seagate-specific features to aid in properly managing your backups and content.
Bad sectors on hard drives cause data to become unreadable. Depending on the drive's condition, this can range from a few to a few thousand bad sectors. In some cases, the goal must shift from trying to completely recover the entire drive to just getting anything you can off it. Retrieving data from failing drives requires the right software and patience.
Windows 8 utilizes memory much more efficiently than previous versions and, in many cases, runs faster than XP or Windows 7 with less powerful hardware. Nevertheless, more RAM is king when it comes to speeding up your computer. If you have a computer with only a modest amount of RAM, though, you can improve performance by using Windows ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost enables you to use a USB flash drive to supplement the memory in your computer for use with applications, which in turn can increase performance.
As solid as your Seagate hard drive's read and write speeds may have been when you purchased it, bugs can compromise the drive's promised abilities, and subsequent updates can even supersede some of your hard drive's original capabilities. Firmware updates address both issues, enabling you to upgrade your hard drive with bug fixes and incorporate enhancements directly into the drive's embedded software. Furthermore, update revisions can boost your hard drive's immune system by integrating its existing internal software with upgrades to its diagnostic tools and error-checking capabilities. Keep your hard drive out of the hands of Seagate's technical support by applying the latest firmware revisions.
Ejecting your Android's SD card or freeing it from its USB tether can corrupt data currently transferring to your device's memory card. While a green check in Windows taskbar clears your to unplug your Android without ejecting it, redundancy errors can stall the transfer of data between your Android's storage and your computer. And determining when you're clear to remove your Android's SD card from the device is even more dubious, since many of your Android's apps and services will likely access and store data on the card. Terminate all transfers to your Droid's SD card before ejecting the media from your Droid device.
Earlier versions of Android allowed you to mount the storage card on your phone as a mass storage device, but along with Ice Cream Sandwich, or Android 4.0, file management through the computer changed to the Media Transfer Protocol, allowing you to continue using your phone while it is also mounted on your computer. After MTP became the Android standard, Ubuntu started incorporating support natively into the operating system, but versions before 13.04 may require you to install a tool to support it.
Windows 8 includes a built-in tool, called Disk Management, to configure new hard disk drives. The application initializes new HDDs, creates partitions on the disk and formats the device to prepare it for use. To set up a Seagate drive, first ensure that the computer has the required drivers installed and then run Disk Management to create a new volume on the HDD. Once you've set up the volume, you can install an operating system or store files on the space, as well as use other tools to back up data to the device and encrypt the contents of the drive.
Security camera footage that you can view online provides additional peace of mind when you are on vacation or away for an extended period. Internet protocol or IP-based cameras let you call up a browser to see what the camera sees, with many units letting you record what the camera observes. The camera sends these feeds to a computer via wireless feeds, Ethernet or standard video cabling, chosen based largely on the environment where you install the devices. From the computer, the images are sent to the Internet when you can access them.
When disposing of a Seagate external hard drive or a computer with a Seagate internal hard drive, you should wipe the drive to remove all of your personal data. Overlooking this important step could put your privacy at risk. Seagate developed SeaTools for Windows, a free utility that you can use to wipe your hard drive. The "Full Erase" feature works by writing zeros to all of the sectors on the drive.
Web cameras offer inexpensive ways to monitor your home or business. These surveillance devices can be monitored via a Web browser, allowing you to see what the camera sees in real time. Alternately, you can use the camera's software to send you push notifications, text messages or emails whenever motion triggers the device.
Securing private or sensitive data is just as important as backing it up on a safe, reliable medium. While not used as often with PCs as USB flash drives or external hard drives, SD cards are a reliable medium for saving modest amounts of data when you need something compact or easy-to-hide. Simply hiding an SD card with sensitive data is not enough, though. If you want to ensure that data stored on an SD card remains private, encrypt the device to prevent unauthorized access if the device falls into the wrong hands.
If you are like most iPod users, you probably purchase or download content to your computer and then use iTunes to copy the media to the portable device. Consequently, the default sync settings in iTunes enable you to move media to the iPod with a few mouse clicks relatively easily. However, if you need to move your music or media library from the iPod to a new or secondary computer, iTunes will not allow the transfer unless you first enable Disk Mode on the iPod so you can use it as an external hard drive. Even with Disk Mode enabled, though, iTunes does not allow the transfer of some content to a new computer. Consequently, you'll need to tweak a few OS settings or use a third-party tool before you can transfer your iTunes library to a new machine.
Windows XP is the ubiquitous operating system still used by millions around the world. Although it's since been supplanted by newer versions of Windows, XP remains ideal for older machines lacking the memory or video processing needed for Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 environments. Adding Windows XP to an external hard drive for use as a backup bootable device is a smart move, allowing you to access your machine in the event the OS on your primary drive becomes corrupted.
When building your own desktop PC from computer parts, picking the right power supply for all of the components on the system requires some research. As components have grown more capable, their power needs have increased, and this is especially true of video cards.
How you format your Mac hard drive depends on how you're going to use it. You might add a new hard disk and format the drive as a single block of storage that both Mac and Windows computers can use, or you might use the drive to selectively boot from either OS X or Linux at run time and provide read-only capability to Windows computers. Your boot drive, your processor type and your desired compatibility with Windows will all influence how you format the drive.
The iPhone offers several options for retrieving important notes from its Notes app. You can export notes from the iPhone to your computer or send them to someone else. You can also retrieve notes when needed from any Web browser by syncing them with iCloud. If you can't find a specific note, you can use Spotlight to search through the Notes app. If it turns out that you deleted the note, you can use iCloud or iTunes to retrieve a note from your backups.
Bad sectors leave all of the data on your hard drive vulnerable to corruption. As the inaccessible clusters grow and the data on your hard drive shifts and evolves, files stored over the bad sectors will suffer degradation while stored in a place deemed safe. Cordon off the the ruined areas of your hard drive and avoid storing vital data on unsafe grounds. Scan and isolating bad clusters of storage space on your hard disk drive with Windows' error checking utility.
Modern digital cameras and smartphones not only let you to stay in contact with friends and loved ones, but also they enable you to capture high-quality video memories almost anywhere you go. Nevertheless, no camera or smartphone has unlimited storage, and it becomes necessary to download your important videos to free up space on the device's memory card. If the phone or camera has an SD card -- and most do -- you can download videos from the device to your Mac computer within a matter of minutes.
Modern hard drives are more than large enough for just about any type of normal computing task you will want to perform. If you use your computer primarily for creating documents or surfing the Internet, you may never need to think about upgrading your hard drive to a larger one. If you store a lot of music, photos or videos, though, even a large-capacity drive will fill up fast. Knowing the size of your system's hard drive enables you to estimate how much you can store on your computer and determine if your download and storage habits will require an upgrade.
The Logitech Driving Force GT is the official wheel controller for "Gran Turismo 5," a PlayStation 3 racing game known for its speed and intense action. Even though it has the direct connection to "Grand Turismo 5," the Logitech Driving Force GT wheel can be used with a variety of racing games on PS3 consoles and Windows PCs. Getting the most out of the Driving Force requires knowing some simple instructions.
Before Compaq Computer, Control Data and Western Digital collaborated to introduce the Intelligent (or Integrated) Drive Electronics drive interfaces, connections for hard drives varied considerably among computer manufacturers. IDE remained the defacto standard for laptop hard drives until Seagate released the first Serial ATA notebook drives in 2002. Since that time, most new laptops ship with SATA drives rather those based on the older IDE technology. Nevertheless, many manufacturers still produce IDE laptop drives because of their widespread use and compatibility with legacy equipment. Before deciding which type of drive is best for your needs, you should know the differences in the two types of interfaces as well as their benefits or drawbacks.
Consumer camcorders, like MP3 players before them, have begun the transition from a high-end piece of consumer electronics to a feature of smart phones or tablets. The lone holdout as of late 2012 is the HD video camcorder, which is where most of the manufacturers have moved to in an attempt to preserve margins. The good news is that this pressure on video recorders has meant that devices have standardized and quality is universally high. Gizmodo has said that there isn't a bad camcorder in any they've reviewed.
Subwoofers provide the solid foundation for any type of music, playing low frequencies impossible or very difficult for smaller door and deck speakers. Driving subwoofers is accomplished through use of a mono, stereo or four-channel amplifier, with different wiring schemes available for each. The type of amplifier you choose for subwoofer duty is dependent on the wattage, subwoofer impedance and overall system design.
There are standards that allow additional hard drives to be connected to computers without being inside the case; these drives are called external hard drives and portable hard drives. Although external hard drives were first sold to consumers in the early 1980s -- most computers didn't have internal drives then -- the didn't take off until the early 2000s, several years after the USB standard was released. The primary difference between them is how they connect to a computer, and whether or not they can be unplugged and easily carried.
The cables that connect hard drives to computers -- and the ports on both the hard drives and the motherboards themselves -- are the product of standards. In the early 2000s, one of the fundamental standards for connecting hard drives to computers changed, from IDE hard drives – later called PATA, standing for Parallel AT Attachment – to SATA, standing for Serial AT Attachment. In both acronyms, "AT" stands for the AT form factor of PC motherboards.
Backing up your data is an important habit to get into. If you need a backup method that leaves the backups in your physical possession -- rather than using an online backup service, for example -- your long-term options are suing an external hard drive, or a DVD-R or DVD-RW burner. Both have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your setup and your need for moving data between computers.
Most people do not back up their data as rigorously as they should. Backing up data is annoying, time consuming, boring and easy to forget. Some people use an external hard drive and copy things there haphazardly. Others are more systematic. However, if you only use one external hard drive for your backups (or for transporting data between computers), that hard drive can fail. Few things are quite as terrifying as "Windows Was Unable To Access…" error messages on your only copy of data files.
To anyone who grew up with MP3s and digital downloads, turntables for vinyl records might seem as outmoded as bell bottoms and the three-martini lunch. Despite their long fall from favor, vinyl records are still plentiful, and 2012 figures from the Nielsen organization show that their sales are on the upswing. Turntables to play them on are increasingly available as well, often with the necessary circuitry to convert your collection into a digital format.
When you are setting up mail on a Mac computer or Apple iOS device like an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you are given the choice between using Post Office Protocol or Internet Message Access Protocol. There is a fundamental difference between these two choices. If you use POP, messages are removed from the email server when you access it. If you use IMAP, messages are left on the server; you can access them again using a computer or other device.
Today's computers handle extremely large applications and files, performing everything from high-quality photo retouching to complex 3-D game rendering, and enabling you to surf the Web while you get email, chat with a friend and play music. To handle these ever-expanding apps and files, your computer uses Random Access Memory and a disk drive, working together in harmony to make your work or play as smooth as possible.
Many supplemental media options exist that enable you to add to the storage capacity of your computer including a variety of flash memory cards and drives. Two such flash-memory-based drive devices are solid-state drives and USB flash drives, which use programmable memory chips to store data rather than the magnetic platters used in standard hard drives. Both SSDs and USB flash drives both use flash-memory technology. However, if you are thinking of adding a flash-memory drive to your computer, there are some important differences should be aware of as well.
Although it might be necessary to match a new laptop's operating system with a university's computing architecture, student laptop needs vary by the individual. Certain mainstays such as solid battery life, a good webcam for calling home or attending seminars and relatively low weight are universally appreciated. Untethered Internet access and good hard drive storage allows the student to work wherever and whenever necessary, making for a versatile educational and entertainment device.
There are a few telltale signs that your home office computer needs an upgrade. If your machine still uses floppy disks to store and access data, you may need to look into a new machine. If your Windows operating system is the XP or Vista version or earlier, you should consider upgrading. If your machine is over five years old and takes much longer than a minute to boot up, it is probably time to look into some new equipment. Before you begin shopping, decide if you want a desktop or a laptop or maybe one of each. Look online or at your local brick-and-mortar computer store for multiple examples of each.
Purchasing a new computer involves weighing many factors, including price, performance, upgradeability and portability. The capabilities of the on-board graphics card as well as computer speed and hard drive space all figure into cost and have an impact on performance. The selection of a new computer affects how well users can game, edit video, edit digital photographs as well as perform simpler tasks such as word processing and Web browsing. Given the variety of tasks you will probably demand from your computer and the length of time you may own it, carefully consider features and hardware as well as budget.
The iPod Touch is a popular multimedia player produced by Apple. Like other models of iPod, the iPod Touch can hold thousands of songs from the owner's music collection. As the name implies, the Touch includes a touch screen interface, which can be used for running applications or watching videos. The first iPod touch was released in 2007. As of 2012, five generations of the iPod Touch have been produced, each with different upgrades.
Found in Windows and Mac iterations, laptops and notebooks are both members of the same portable computer family. Although they both appear outwardly similar with flip-out screens attached to a keyboard, there are performance and feature differences. Recognizing the subtle differences between laptops and notebooks helps you make an educated decision when shopping, ensuring you'll have everything you need when it comes time to work on that next project.
Garmin's nuvi series of GPS devices enables users to customize their unit by adding a variety of map data with personalized points of interest, saved locations and favorites. There will be times when it's handy to delete those files, either to save space or because those locations and points of interest are no longer useful to you. This can be done easily from your computer or from the nuvi's own on-screen menus.
Some Garmin GPS navigation units can display photos from a computer or digital camera. You can use two approaches to accomplish this: the first method uses a standard USB cable, and allows you to transfer pictures from a computer to your Garmin device, while the second method allows you to view -- but not transfer -- photos saved on your Garmin's memory card; you can view these photos individually or as a slideshow.
Windows has ruled the desktop operating system market ever since Microsoft teamed with IBM to produce the software for the first line of PCs in the 1980s. Even with other OSs available for PCs, Windows continues to dominate the market by a wide margin. Nevertheless, alternate operating systems may offer applications or features you want to test or try. Alternatively, you may simply want to install two versions of Windows. If your computer has two hard drives, you can install a second operating system on the second drive and set up the machine so you can choose which OS to boot at startup.
Upgrading the memory of early personal computers was a tedious process. Users had to install individual chips into sockets on the motherboard, often resulting in bent connectors and frayed tempers. It's much easier in today's computers, with arrays of high-speed chips pre-mounted on small cards called dual in-line memory modules, or DIMMs, that fit into slots on the motherboard. The difficult part is becoming familiar enough with RAM's terminology of double data rate (DDR) numbers, capacities and bus speeds to choose the right upgrades for your own system.
Back when hard drives were tiny and expensive, every kilobyte counted. Today's drives can be measured in terabytes, with every bad photo, useless app and song that will never be played sharing space. Although the disk optimization features of a MacBook drive mean it doesn't normally need defragmentation, experts recommend cleaning up your drive periodically by purging unnecessary files and running Apple's Disk Utility to ensure peak performance.
A failing hard drive sends a chill up the spine of any laptop user, and rightly so. Not only are you faced with the added expense of a replacement drive, you have to reinstall your entire system. While certainly a nuisance, failure often brings opportunity, and this could be your chance to upgrade to a faster or higher-capacity drive.
The Garmin nuvi series of GPS navigational devices includes a picture viewer for displaying images loaded into the unit's internal memory or residing on a Secure Digital memory card. The SD or microSD card slot allows you to transfer a memory card from your camera or cellular phone to instantly view photos on your nuvi. If you want to load pictures from your computer, or transfer them from the card, you need to connect the Garmin nuvi to your computer via a USB cable.
As your journeys take you around the country, you'll want to save frequently traveled or favorite locations -- also known as waypoints -- into your Garmin GPS device so your unit remembers these locations later. Created and edited on the MapSource software, transferring and loading these lists onto your Garmin is fast and intuitive.
If you find your trusty Mac computer has begun to slow down with age, there's a lot you can do to get it back in shape. Fortunately, most of these things don't require much time or any expense. Clearing the hard drive is perhaps one of the most overlooked maintenance habits. Unlike PCs, Apple computers need at least 10GB of space to keep the virtual memory running efficiently. If you have the budget, more memory and a solid state hard drive will certainly get your Mac moving quickly again.
Although several external hard drives integrate hardware password-protected encryption, these are rare compared to insecure drives. If yours is an open drive, you can use a software encryption program to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your data. If you have Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise edition, you already have one such program, called BitLocker Drive Encryption. Other Windows 7 editions must rely on third-party software, such as the free and open-source TrueCrypt program. Such open-source programs may seem less secure, because the source code and encryption algorithm are available for deconstruction, but in fact their security is strengthened by having thousands of programmers thoroughly test the code and identify potential weaknesses.
If you only write the occasional letter or surf the Web on your PC, your present hard drive probably has more than enough space for your files. Nevertheless, even the largest capacity drives run out of storage space eventually. If you store a lot of music, photos or videos, your hard drive may run out of space quickly. So, if it's time to upgrade your current hard drive, replace a defective drive or just add a second one for more storage, you may have questions about what type you need and the options available to you. Before buying an internal drive, performing a cursory inspection of your system and evaluating your own computing habits can help you make the best buying decision and investment.
Many modern mobile devices such as digital cameras, MP3 players and smartphones include a limited amount of internal memory for storing data. One medium often used to expand storage capacity in mobile devices is a Secure Digital card. Using a USB cable for your mobile device or a card-reader for the SD card, you can transfer data between your computer and the card relatively easily. When working with data on the SD card, though, you may delete files inadvertently and discard a music track, photo or video you want to keep. Depending on how you deleted the file, recovering it might be as easy a few mouse clicks. Other times, you may have to use third-party software to restore files deleted on an SD Card.
Downloading and installing a Trojan or virus from the Internet is always a possibility -- even if you scan your computer frequently. Sometimes, viruses or malware can so corrupt the operating system that Windows becomes unstable or is unable to boot at all. If your Acer laptop is having problems booting into Windows, or if you simply want to erase all of your personal data and information from the system, use the Acer eRecovery utility to restore the laptop and reset its applications and settings to factory defaults.
All Mac computers include a recovery partition that you can use to troubleshoot computer issues, but it proves to be ineffective should a catastrophic disk failure occur. Having a bootable external drive helps bypass this issue, and luckily, OS X provides a utility called Recovery Disk Assistant to help. Recovery Disk Assistant allows you to create a recovery disk on an external drive so that you can reinstall the operating system, repair the faulty drive or attempt a restore from a previous Time Machine backup to a new internal hard drive. All it takes are a few simple clicks to restore your peace of mind. (Note that the Recovery Disk Assistant requires OS X Lion or Mountain Lion.)
Early Samsung mobile phones enabled you to place and receive phone calls and nothing more. However, most modern Samsung phones now allow you to perform most tasks for which you might not normally use a laptop or personal computer. For example, most Samsung phones not only let you make phone calls but also surf the Web, send and receive email or text messages, listen to music, watch videos and even take pictures. With a Samsung mobile phone, you no longer need to carry along a bulky digital camera because most units now include built-in high-resolution cameras. Most Samsung phones even ship with the software application Samsung Kies, formerly known as PC Studio, that enables you transfer pictures from your cellphone to a computer and perform basic editing functions.
Flash drives offer a handy way to carry around personal information. They are much more portable than even a tablet or a laptop computer. However, if you lose them they are prone to being picked up by strangers and exploited to the fullest extent. If you have any sensitive or private information on your flash drive, protect it with password encryption. To do so you can either encrypt the files individually, or you can encrypt the entire drive — or both.
A USB flash drive holds data, similar to a computer's hard disk drive, but containing solid flash memory rather than moving parts, allowing it to be small and portable. These drives come with several different capacities and security features. Some USB drives can hold very large amounts of encrypted data for long-term storage, while others are simpler and are designed for transferring small files. You should consider how you intend to use the device, and select an affordable flash drive that meets your specific storage requirements.
For many years, Apple enthusiasts and high-end graphics-design houses were the primary buyers of Mac computers. During the height of the PC revolution, Apple managed only a two or three percent share of the personal computer market. However, since the early 2000s, Apple's market share continues to climb and now stands at over 10 percent of all computer sales. With more and more users buying Macs, it is possible that someone will present you with a Mac-formatted hard drive formatted that you need to access and read on a Windows PC. Because the Windows and Mac operating systems use different file formats for storing information -- Windows uses NTFS and FAT32, while Mac uses HFS, HFS+ and HFSX -- it is not possible to read a Mac drive in Windows without installing a third-party application.
Restoring your MacBook's factory default settings can be necessary in a number of situations. For example, if your MacBook ever becomes infected with malware or a poorly written application corrupts OS X settings, the operating system may become unstable or not boot at all. Another time you might want to restore default settings is when you plan to sell or give your MacBook to someone else. Restoring the MacBook's original settings and factory software erases any private or sensitive information you may have on the notebook and creates a clean slate for the new user so he can customize the laptop to suit his own needs.
Many modern laptops offer wireless technology that enables you connect many types of peripherals via a Bluetooth signal. While most new laptops support Bluetooth, not all do. Furthermore, many older laptops may not include a Bluetooth adapter. Nevertheless, even if your laptop does not have integrated Bluetooth support, you can still connect compatible wireless devices to the notebook using a small, unobtrusive adapter.
If you use your laptop in an area with no access to a Wi-Fi router, you might expect it to be difficult to transfer to or receive files from another laptop over the airwaves. However, using Windows' integrated ad hoc wireless-network support, you can create a small LAN between two wireless laptops without a router or even a network hub or switch. In fact, connecting two laptops over a wireless connection requires no hardware other than the Wi-Fi network adapters already installed in the computers.
All new disk drives, whether internal or external, require formatting and partitioning before they can be used. Disk partitioning is the process that takes a single hard disk drive and segments it into logical units. You can choose to keep the hard drive as a single volume, or you can create multiple logical volumes. In Windows, the Disk Management tool provides an easy way to create partitions and file system formats on new external hard drives. To access and use the tool, you must have administrative rights.
Although USB flash drives are undoubtedly convenient, that doesn't mean flawless operation with every computer is guaranteed. Missing drive letters, no drive appearing in Windows Explorer or a read/write failure all indicate the need to do a little troubleshooting. Windows offers automated steps and detailed methods you can take to hunt down and resolve the problem and resume using your drive.
Many modern wired and wireless routers include a USB port that allows you to connect printers, webcams and even external hard drives, which you can share on your local area network. Connecting an external USB hard drive to your Wi-Fi router enables both wired and wireless computers to access the drive and use it for storage or for retrieving files you need to share on the network.
After you connect a USB drive in Windows, you can use the device to store files and folders just as you would the primary hard drive in your computer. Similarly, you can delete files from a USB drive just as you would from one installed inside your PC. If you need to restore files you removed from a USB drive, the process may be as simple as restoring them from the Windows Recycle Bin. Windows does not actually remove most deleted files from your hard drive until you need the space for other data. Failing that, you can try using undelete software
When you turn on your computer and log in to Windows, the PC boots from the primary hard disk drive -- the "C:" drive -- in the machine. Usually you won't need to boot from another drive or device. However, if you need to run diagnostics on a faulty Windows installation or need to reinstall the operating system, you may need to boot from a different drive. Virtually all modern computers allow you to boot from drives such as a floppy, CD or DVD drive, and many also enable booting from a USB flash drive. A bootable USB flash drive allows you to run diagnostic software on your PC in the event of an emergency or provides you with a means of reinstalling Windows if you do not have an optical drive in the computer.
Most of the parts of a computer don't wear out because they are static, but the computer tends to slow down as it gets older. This is because you accumulate bits of software, temporary files and obsolete files that clog the smooth working of the operating system. Your computer may also be filling up with software and data, which causes it to slow down. Cleaning it out is a free process and can make a substantial difference in the speed. There are several tools and procedures that you can follow to fix this problem. After you remove the software you don't need, the computer will work almost as quickly as when it was new.
If you use your computer to create, edit or download a lot of music, videos or graphic images, you might find your hard drive filling up much faster than you imagine. When your hard drive is nearly full, performance is diminished and you run the risk of physical drive failure. One way to increase both storage and performance is to install a second hard drive for your system.
Formatting a universal serial bus flash drive is the same as formatting a hard disk drive; the process clears all data from the device and installs a filesystem, used to structure files on the drive. In Ubuntu, the supported filesystem is extended file system; in Windows, it's file allocation table or new technology file system. You can format a flash drive in Disk Utility or GParted -- two of the most popular programs used to manage disks in Ubuntu -- and install any of these filesystems on the device.
USB flash memory drives are useful and convenient for portable data storage. Although smaller than a CD or DVD, USB flash drives typically offer more memory, allowing you to transport more data conveniently in your pocket, in a bag or on a keychain. USB flash drives are even routinely used to rescue a computer with a bad hard drive or units lacking a disc drive.
Since the release of Windows XP, installing operating systems from a CD or DVD (as opposed to a floppy diskette) has been common practice. Some computers, like netbooks, however, don't have a disc drive, which prevents users from upgrading or reinstalling the OS. With the release of Windows 7, Microsoft enabled users to download the Windows 7 DVD as an ISO archive file from the Microsoft Store. If your DVD drive isn't working, or if your computer lacks a disc drive altogether, you can copy the archive file to an external hard drive and install Windows 7 via a USB port.
Back during the days when Windows 3.11 ruled the desktop operating system market, many users considered a hard drive capable of storing a few hundred megabytes huge. These days, however, even drives with several hundred gigabytes of storage space may not suffice for the voluminous data users create and download in the form of music, photo and video files. Even the largest multi-terabyte drives fill up quickly with HD-format videos. Consequently, you might need to add a second hard drive to your computer to keep from using all the space on your primary system drive. In addition to giving you extra storage space, adding a second internal or external hard drive can also help performance by reducing clutter and fragmentation on your main drive.
Flash drives have nearly replaced the floppy disk and optical drive as removable storage on computers. They're physically smaller, have a higher capacity and are vastly more convenient. When you get a flash drive from someone else and want to safely reuse it, or if you're going to give one of your flash drives to someone as a gift, you'll want to format it as a basic precaution.
Transferring your iTunes library to a flash drive will ensure that if your computer crashes you'll still have all of your music and videos in a safe place. Using a flash drive is also a handy way of moving your music to another computer. Depending on the size of your music collection, and how old your flash drive is, you may not be able to hold your entire iTunes library on that single flash drive. At the time of publication you can get a 32GB or 64GB USB flash drive -- perhaps for even less than the cost of a much smaller flash drive purchased several years ago.
If you use your computer for simple tasks such as surfing the Internet and writing an occasional letter, hard drive space is probably not a concern. But if you create or download a lot of high-resolution videos on your computer, no hard drive may seem big enough. If you find your computer is running short of storage space for videos, music and other large files, it may be time to upgrade to a larger hard drive or add a second one. When shopping for a new hard drive, though, there are several factors you should consider, such as the connection interface, storage capacity, model reputation, portability and performance.
Modern Mac computers ship with relatively large capacity hard drives capable of storing thousands of documents, photos, music tracks and videos. Nevertheless, even the largest Mac hard drives fill up eventually and require the occasional spring cleaning. You can free up a considerable amount of space on your Mac computer's internal drive by moving files you don’t use often to an external FireWire or USB hard drive. Connecting and using an external drive with your Mac system is not only a good way of adding storage space to you system, but also helps to prevent loss of important files by serving as a portable backup device.
One of the easiest and quickest methods to transfer files to another computer is using a USB flash drive. These tiny devices offer massive storage capacities and come preformatted with the FAT32 or exFAT file systems, both of which are compatible with modern Windows and Mac operating systems. Flash drives are also plug-and-play compatible, which means you don't need to reboot your system for the drive to be recognized.
Hard drives platters look a lot like DVDs, except you’ll rarely see the discs themselves because they come sealed inside the “drive” part of the hard drive that houses the disk reader and protects the works from dust. External and internal hard drives have only one difference: External hard drives reside outside your computer and can be easily detached for use elsewhere. They make good backup storage devices because of their larger data capacities than other options such as USB flash drives. They are also easy to use and are relatively affordable as a storage solution.
USB flash drives are cost-effective and convenient ways to store data in a portable fashion. Programs and personal data such as pictures, music and presentations are saved to flash drives to carry between locations. Before you begin transferring data to a new flash drive, you need to format it for NTFS.
Kindle books can be purchased at the Kindle Store either through the Kindle itself or with a computer. Books purchased by the latter method can be downloaded to your computer as a backup copy and then loaded from the computer onto a valid USB-attached Kindle device. In addition to books, you can download newspapers, magazines, blogs, games, personal documents and much more to the Kindle when it is attached as an external storage device.
Most computer users use their mice exclusively for selecting and opening items or files, windows and applications. Conversely, many power users use their keyboards much more than they do their mice. Once you learn and master Windows keyboard shortcuts, you might find that using the keyboard for tasks that you usually use a mouse is actually much faster and less stressful on your hands. One such example of a keyboard shortcut that saves the time and effort you use for reaching for and using your mouse is the one that allows you to simulate a right-click with a key combination. Additionally, you can even use the keyboard to control the movement of your mouse to avoid using it almost completely.
External hard drives provide a convenient way to transfer files between computers, add additional storage to a computer and back up computers on your network. Before you select an external hard drive, determine how you plan to use it and prioritize the features you need. Then compare drives based on their portability and security, the amount of storage capacity they have, the type and speed of the connection they provide and the cost per megabyte of storage.
It’s always good practice to back up your critical files. This applies not only to local files on your hard drive but to remote files such as email messages. If you use Outlook for email and something happens to your email account that causes your messages to be lost, you might not be able to recover them unless you have a local backup. Fortunately, making a backup of your email messages is easy.
Before a hard drive is usable in Windows, it must be partitioned. Partitioning sets aside a designated section of the hard drive storage space to be accessible via a drive letter, such as the C: drive. The most common setup for a new drive is assigning the entire drive to a single partition. However, you can create up to four partitions on a single drive, which keeps activity on one partition from affecting data on another partition. For example, you might choose to have three partitions: one for your Windows installation, one for personal data and one for backups. This setup allows you to reinstall Windows at a later date without removing your personal data or backups.
Programs that run under Windows XP go through a continuous process of reading and writing code and data between the hard drive and physical memory to improve system efficiency. Physical random access memory, or RAM, stores the parts of a program that are in active use and relegates open, but inactive, programs and data to virtual memory, which is the portion of the hard drive designated as temporary memory. When there is not enough virtual or RAM available to an active program, your program can slow down drastically or a STOP error can result and lead to a blue screen. Learning to manage virtual memory in Windows XP can help prevent such errors.
Not all Acer laptops -- even newer models -- come with a Bluetooth module; Bluetooth is often an optional feature included only with select products. If your Acer lacks built-in Bluetooth, you can connect a universal serial bus dongle to the laptop to add Bluetooth capabilities. To use the dongle with the computer, however, you must install the Bluetooth drivers -- software that allows the dongle to receive instructions from Windows and send commands to Bluetooth devices -- to the laptop. Once the dongle is installed, you can add Bluetooth devices to your PC.
Amazon's Kindle allows you to bring your entire book collection with you in this digital e-book reader. Although you can also move files wirelessly, one of the easiest ways to transfer files is via USB, which also charges the Kindle's internal battery. Connecting the device works similarly to most other devices in that a direct cable connection is required, and the Kindle is then recognized as an external drive to which files can be dragged and dropped.
When you install two internal parallel ATA hard drives in a computer using one cable to connect both drives to a single IDE or EIDE connector, you need to designate one drive as the master and the other drive as the slave. The computer will only attempt to boot from the master drive. Change the master/slave designation on a hard drive by placing a small plastic jumper over the correct pins to select either Master, Slave or Cable Select. Use the correct ends of the IDE cable to designate master/slave when you use the cable-select option.
Video files are often too large to be included as an email attachment. Even if you can send very large files, your recipients may not be able to receive them. The most efficient way to send video by email is to upload the video to a cloud storage service such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive or Sky Drive, and send an email with a link to the video. Your recipients can choose to play it directly from cloud storage or download their own copy of the file. Check to make sure you own the copyright before you send a video.
Formatting a hard drive wipes out, or erases, all of the data on the drive and establishes a file system -- a method for organizing files on the storage device. Wiping a hard drive can remove stubborn viruses and mark off bad sectors contained on the device, which are areas of the drive that have been permanently damaged. If the hard drive you want to format is the primary storage device in the computer, you must erase the drive from the Windows DVD; otherwise, you can format the device from within the Windows operating system.
Formatting a memory card goes beyond simply deleting its contents, although that's certainly the end result. Formatting also corrects many card errors and allows you to change the file system used. The most common file system is FAT32, which offers near-universal compatibility between operating systems and devices. However, cards greater than 32GB in volume will require the exFAT or NTFS format, but the card will not be readable by some older operating systems.
Formatting a USB flash drive on your Mac will remove all data on the drive and offer the opportunity to change the file system used, which is how data is organized on the drive. The biggest concern when formatting the flash drive is which file system to use and the answer depends on your expected use of the drive. The Mac OS Extended, or HFS+, format is the obvious choice if you only plan to use the drive on Mac computers. For the ultimate, cross-system compatibility, the MS-DOS (FAT) system, which is the Mac's name for FAT32, should be used, but unfortunately, this limits individual file sizes to 4GB. For compatible use among the latest versions of Mac and Windows without the FAT32 file size limit, exFAT is the way to go.
While Lexar brands their portable USB storage devices as JumpDrives, the drives are essentially the same as other USB flash drives. Lexar sells JumpDrives in a variety of sizes, and most modern drives are large enough that you can carry a considerable amount of data on them. Nevertheless, the space on even the largest Lexar flash drive is limited. To maximize storage space for adding files when you need them, you should employ techniques that allow you to manage files and folders on your Lexar JumpDrive efficiently.
A flash drive is a portable storage device that connects to a universal serial bus slot on a computer. You can copy music, videos, documents and other files to a flash drive to back up your data or have access to your personal files while on the go. Transferring files to a USB flash drive is a simple process that doesn't require technical expertise. You can easily copy data to the external drive using Windows' file manager, Windows Explorer.
Having an operating system on a jump drive enables you to boot any computer that has a USB port and functioning BIOS. Also known as a flash drive, thumb drive or a memory stick, these small flash memory devices that plug into a USB port can contain 64GB or more of data, more than enough space to hold an entire operating system along with several other utilities. Creating your own bootable jump drive is a three step process.
Although limited in capacity to the average hard drive, portable flash drives increase in memory size with every generation. These devices are useful for backing up and transporting files from computer to computer, offering a compact and reliable method of data storage. Flash drives are also routinely used as sources for booting operating systems when hard drives crash. Although you won't be able to completely back up all of your computer's contents onto a single drive, flash drives are small enough to toss in your pocket or on a keychain for copying multiple files at a moment's notice.
Secure Digital cards are common recording media for numerous video and digital cameras. Although most cameras can connect directly to your computer via a USB cable, an integrated card reader allows you to copy recorded videos from the SD card without peripheral connections. Once on your computer, the video can be archived or converted onto a blank DVD-R disc. Windows DVD Maker natively converts videos into a DVD-compatible format that is playable on most DVD players. However, for archival purposes or for playback on AVI-, MPG- and MP4-compatible DVD players, burning a data disc with Windows Explorer is a better option.
The iPod Touch enables streaming music and movies over a Wi-Fi connection. You can connect the Touch to a Wi-Fi drive, which creates its own wireless network, and access the drive's contents from the Touch anywhere within range of the network. This enables you to expand upon the 8GB, 32GB or 64GB internal memory capacity of the Touch, placing more media in the palm of your hand than what's possible out of the box.
Moving day has always been a tedious, time-consuming and stressful event, and that historically held true when changing computers as well. But some of the modern features of Windows 7 have changed all that by offering convenient tools to simplify the process. For example, contacts no longer require manually transcription into a new program or computer. Instead, you simply export your Windows 7 contacts to a USB drive using a compatible format. You can then move the USB drive to another computer and import the backup.
Sony's PlayStation Portable isn't limited to just playing games; it also functions as a portable media player for playing music and video files. To play videos, you must first transfer them to the PSP system. Sony gives you several options for doing this, including direct cable connection, storage on a Memory Stick Duo card, and downloading directly from the Internet via a Wi-Fi connection.
Sony's PlayStation 3 game console has the ability to replace a living room stereo system thanks to its built-in media player application. The PlayStation 3 can play MP3 files from a connected USB drive. Alternatively, your PC running Windows 7 has the ability to stream music from Windows Media Player to your PlayStation 3 over a wireless network. Use one of these methods to play MP3 music on your PS3 when you aren't busy gaming.
Gateway laptops have always allowed owners to use them while on the go. However, dial-up and wired Ethernet Internet connections re-chained many users to their desks because of the necessary cables. Therefore, early Internet connection types sometimes defeated the real purpose of laptops -- mobility. Modern wireless adapters in Gateway laptops, though, enable you to surf the Internet or browse a Wi-Fi network without any cables. However, for Gateway laptop wireless adapters to work, they need functioning Windows software drivers. If your Gateway laptop’s wireless adapter becomes corrupted or deleted, its Wi-Fi connection won’t work. You can re-enable wireless access on the laptop, and possibly improve network performance, by downloading the latest driver from the Gateway Support website.
With up to 64GB of internal storage capacity, the iPhone 4 series of smartphones allow you to save thousands of emails, SMS messages, photos, music files and video clips on the device. However, if you don’t use all of that storage capacity, you may want to utilize an iPhone as a portable drive to carry around other important files for use on a laptop or desktop computer. Unlike other smartphones, though, accessing the internal storage media of an iPhone is not as simple as connecting a USB cable and installing a driver. Apple purposely disables this feature to prevent illegal file sharing and transfer. Consequently, to transfer files between your iPhone and a computer, you must use a third-party application.
One of the fastest ways to transfer files between a smartphone and a computer is to turn the smartphone into a USB drive and access its storage directly. While turning your smartphone into a USB drive is a standard feature on Android phones and BlackBerrys, it is not a supported feature on the Apple iPhone or Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. To turn either of these two smartphones into a USB drive, you have to install special software on your computer and change configuration settings.
In the beginning of the PC revolution, when monitors where often 12 to 14 inches in size, using your keyboard directly in front of the screen was not an option; it was necessary because of the small text displayed on the monitor. However, modern computer monitors -- even the ones on some laptops -- are as big as some TVs, with displays you can see from several feet away. Consequently, sitting and typing right in front of a large monitor is not only unnecessary, but could also cause headaches from being too close to the screen. If you want to put some distance between yourself and computer screen, as well as break the wired chain that ties you keyboard to your PC, connect and install a USB wireless keyboard.
Modern portable devices, such as laptops, MP3 players, smartphones and tablets, allow you to listen to music virtually anywhere. Nevertheless, you may want to manage your music collection on your home computer. Using a variety of connection methods you can transfer files from your computer to your mobile devices and vice versa. Whether you want to copy files from a CD audio disc or an Android or iPhone smartphone, Windows includes built-in utilities that allow you to transfer files to the computer using a CD/DVD burner, a wired cable connection or even via a wireless data link.
Your Garmin GPS device allows you to do more than just view directions. Load images of your destination, such as identifying landmarks, to always ensure that you are in the right place. You can transfer picture files, including JPEG images, to the device itself or a microSD card, if supported. Supported file types vary by device, but most support at least JPEG files, Garmin maps and custom Garmin POI files.
The Universal Serial Bus has become one of the most implemented standards for computer peripheral connections and today it can be difficult to purchase a computer without USB ports. However, with USB game controllers, printers, hard drives, network adapters and other devices available, you may find that your computer lacks the number of USB ports needed to connect the number of devices you would like. You can resolve this and connect more USB cables to your PC by connecting a USB hub or adding additional USB ports to your computer.