Monday, September 3, 2007

3 Simple questions for Hard drive Users

3 Simple questions for Hard Drive Users

Question 1 : Is your hard drive sick ?

Have you ever tried to know your hard drive health ? An obvious answer is No. Hard drive is the most important part in computer system, as it saves your compiled data, such that it can be user in future. It saves you hard work, your precious memories in form of photographs, emails and many more. And the point is we are not giving the importance to our data saver.

And this Data Saver becomes Data Eater, when it gets SICK. And this other side of hard drive is really scary. This can make you lose all your important data, files, your pictures, emails, contacts & not the least it can ruin your business. Normally we start taking care of something when we know the importance of that particular thing in our life or the fear of loss makes us to take care of that. So, in case of hard drive we don't have any option.. either the fear of loss or the love for your data…. We have to start taking care of our data savers i.e. our hard drives.

Question 2 : How should I check my hard drive health?

There are certain parameters from which we can conclude the hard drive health

  •  Read Error Rate: This means the rate at which Read retries is requested.

Lower values indicate that there is a problem with either the disk surface or the read/write heads.

  •  Spin Up Time: It describes the amount of time hard drive takes to spin the disk platters up to their rated rotation speed (usually 5400 or 7200 Revolutions per minute). Values above 80 should be considered good. Values between 70 and 80 are acceptable.

  •  Start/Stop Count: Indicates the total number of drive start/stop cycles (including both power on/off switching and suspend/wakeup switching).

  •  Reallocated Sectors Count: Indicates the amount of the spare sector pool that is available. Spare sectors are used to replace sectors that become bad for some reason. A value of 100 means that no sectors have been replaced so far and a value of 1 means that spare sectors have been exhausted due to many replacements.

  •  Power On Hours Count: Indicates how long the disk was working (powered on).

  •  Spin Retry Count: Indicates the number of times the disk was unable to spin its platters up on the first attempt (lower values mean more retries).

  •  Temperature: Indicates the temperature of disks equipped with thermal sensors.

  •  Ultra ATA CRC Error Count: The UDMA controller performs error checking on the data it receives from the Hard Disk, ensuring that the data was not damaged while being transmitted over the cable. Each time an error is detected, the controller requests a retransmission, thus slowing down the overall transfer speed. Lower values of 'Ultra ATA CRC Error Count' correspond to a higher number of errors, usually indicating a cabling problem

  •  Write Error Count: Indicates the rate at which write retries are requested. Lower values indicate that there is a problem with either the disk surface or the read/write heads.

  •  Recalibration retries: Indicates the number of times recalibration was requested. A low value (multiple recalibrations) usually indicates some head positioning problem.

  For checking all these parameters you can use “
Stellar Phoenix SMART – An Early Warning System


Question 3 : What precaution should I take such that my Hard Drive lives Healthy & long life.

•  Always use an UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) to avoid power fluctuations.

•  Get your hard drive defragmented in a regular interval

•  Handle your hard drive with proper care. Don't make you hard drive experience a shock.

•  Always do disk cleanup, to remove unwanted files.

•  If you ever get any error message, don't take it lightly. Try to reach the root cause of it.

As we know nothing is persistent, and there are many thing which is not in our control. So for the safer side take backup of your hard drive data.

My Hard drive is sick? What should I do then?

Try to take the complete backup or
create an image
. And if your hard drive is really bad condition I would suggest you to go for the new one. If you are not able to access the data then you have to take the help of data recovery professionals who will different
data recovery techniques to recover your data back.