Hard Drives Underwater in Thailand

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If you haven’t heard, Ms. Ducktoes will have to break the news to you.  Sit down and get out your hankies.  It’s a sad story. In Thailand there’s a flood and, sinking like metallic stones in the floodwaters, are oodles of hard drives.   Thailand, it turns out, produces many of the world’s hard drives.

The bad news is for us, for computer repair shops and their clients that is, that as the muddy waters submerge thousands upon thousands of hard drives and their manufacturers, hard drive prices are soaring to dizzying heights. And, as troublesome as these flimsy rectangular cases of spinning metal platters are to us, and as often as they go bad and lose all our data, documents, music, and precious photos because we have failed to back them up, we are dependent on them. We have hard drive habits.  You many not realize it, but we are all hard drive junkies.  They have our life on them, and we go through withdrawal when we lose them. (The first step is admitting you have a problem, my little duckies.) And hard drives are notoriously bad, awful really, for going bad and needing to be replaced.

And as onerous as it is for Ms. Ducktoes to drive east on 16th Avenue NE in rush hour or a snowstorm, trying not to answer her cellphone all the while, to the parts store, now when she arrives, they will only sell her TWO AT A TIME. Even if she goes back to the car and puts on a wig and trench coat and returns to the counter, they refuse to sell her more.

“Weren’t you just in here?” the guy says. “Aren’t you Ducktoes?”

“No, I’ve never been in here in my life,” I say.  “By the way, I need to pick up a couple of hard drives.”

“I just sold you two.”

“That must have been my identical twin sister.”

“It’s been nice seeing you.  Twice.”  He thinks he’s so funny.

It’s enough to make a grown woman cry.  Crying doesn’t work either on the parts store staff, by the way.

So now when your flimsy hard drive goes bad, my fine feathered friends, you’ll have to pay through the beak, so to speak, or should I say bill?  Aren’t you glad you have your hankies out?  I told you it was a sad story.

And as I say a thousand times a day, mostly to myself  as I careen down 16th Avenue NE, only answering my cellphone at red lights, don’t fail to backup your stuff.

Here is my computer repair Calgary shop.

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Hard Drives are Flimsy

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I can’t say this often enough. Hard drives are vulnerable and flimsy. They are the most common piece of hardware to go bad, so you, a computer owner, are under constant threat of losing your data. So never, ever, go without backing up your data. You can not rely on your hard drive! Just because it is here and working today, doesn’t mean it will be there and working tomorrow. You need to be proactive and make sure you have your valuable data backed up…do not put this off.

I say this because every week I order hard drives, many hard drives, from my wholesalers, to put into people’s laptops and desktops. Their original hard drives have gone bad. A few hard drives stop spinning, are as dead as a doornail, a paperweight, an inert mass of machinery. These we can not any retrieve data from, even with our most expensive data recovery software. They are toast. They have to sent to a clean room to have the data rescued. This costs beaucoup bucks.

What are the most common types of hard drives to go bad? In my experience, judging only from what I buy every week: notebook or laptop hard drives. I buy many every week. They are so skinny and so vulnerable to mishap, to being dropped, overheated, overfilled, and bumped. They fry. They click. They make weird grinding noises. They stop dead. Notebook drives are the flimsiest, but desktop hard drives also go bad on a regular basis.

What can you do? You can back up your data on a regular basis. Then you’ll only lose what you’ve changed or added since the last backup. This will prevent data loss.

To prevent loss of programs, you should keep the cd or dvd disks of the software you buy and their key codes to prove you’ve bought them. If you’ve downloaded them online, you can print out the email you received upon purchase and put it somewhere you can find it. You can make an image of your hard drive which contains all data and programs just as they are on the day you make the image. Or have your tech shop make an image for you and put in on an external drive for you.

If you don’t know how to backup your hard drive, then learn from a techy friend, or hire a tech to do it for you or show you how. Take responsibility for your data, make sure you have it for the future.

If you do not keep your key codes and disks to the programs you own, it is unreasonable to expect your tech or tech repair shop to reinstall them when you need a new hard drive. We do not have copies to all the software you own. There are thousands, maybe millions, of different kinds of software. They may well-known to you in your field or leisure activity, whether it’s real estate or law or photography or the newest gaming software, but we are not in your field or leisure activity and not privy to your software. We usually can figure out any software if you need help running it. But as for installing it, even if we do have the disks, we can not install them without their key codes. The software itself will not allow it usually or there is a trial period after which the software stops working.

Some clients do not understand when we can’t install their software, they think we have more ability than we do to override keycodes, or have hidden software up our sleeves, are magical. We aren’t. We can’t. We can not outsmart Microsoft and even if we could, it would be unwise, if not illegal. They are ways of downloading software without paying for it, but don’t ask us to do it. It takes a lot of time and is illegal. If you pay someone to download illegal software for you, you might as well buy the software legally.

So back up, back up now and on a regular basis.

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Get Perpendicular Animation from Hitachi

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Here’s an entertaining animation about perpendicular recording on hard drives. It’s from Hitachi’s Global Storage Technology about Hitachi’s new hard drive technology.


And click here to see the Lab Rats video on perpendicular hard drives. You have to download it in the different media types such as Quicktime and Real Player below the short sample of the video.

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