What are the differences between SSD and HDD?

The main difference between a solid state drive and a hard disk drive is that data is stored on either a small, flash memory chip or a large, spinning memory disk, but this difference plays out across a number of variables.

SSD vs HDD storage capacity

Solid state drives are advantageous because the memory microchips are much smaller and more compact than large hard drive disks.
As technology advances, data becomes more compressed and SSDs continue to shrink in size, allowing laptops to become thinner, lighter, and easier to transport.
However, while an SSD might be smaller than an HDD, that also means they could be limited in their storage capacity. HDDs offer massive amounts of storage space, making them a leading choice for large-scale servers.
How much storage do you need? Most average users would be fine with 250 to 300 gigabytes (GB). To put it in perspective, you could store about 30,000 average-sized photos or songs with 250GB.
If you plan to download movies or triple-A (AAA) games, you might want to upgrade to a hard drive with 500GB or even 1TB.
That being said, as cloud-based storage alternatives continue to expand and more software converts to online web applications, less importance is placed on internal memory space.

SSD vs. HDD processing speed

HDD/SATA drives come in a number of different speeds, which affects how quickly your data is relayed. This gives you the flexibility to choose as much or as little processing power you need.
SSD controllers also vary in speed, but they’re almost always faster than HDDs since they use flash memory and do not depend on a mechanical arm to physically read and write data.
Boot up times are significantly quicker for SSDs as well, requiring only about 10 seconds, whereas SATA drives could take up to 30 seconds or more.
Even on lower-end SDD models, the time it takes to open files is much less than an HDD due to the high-speed, interconnected flash memory chips.

SSD vs. HDD application performance

Because SSD PCs read files much faster, they’ll run your applications more smoothly and reliably. This is especially true for multi-media users who frequently rely on video editing or digital design software that requires rapid rendering.
According to PC Mag, SSDs boot faster, launch and run apps faster, and transfer files faster [2]. Whether you’re using your computer for fun, school, or business, the extra speed may be the difference between finishing on time and failing.
If you’re running an intense workload and need your computer to execute tasks without a hitch, you probably don’t want to be hobbled by a mechanical hard drive disk and should opt for an SDD.
Those with a short queue depth and greater need for storage will likely be fine operating on an HDD.

SSD vs. HDD gaming experience

SSDs cut down on boot times and load large files faster, but you won’t notice much of an in-game difference between that and an HDD.
Your gaming experience is more dependent on your graphics card and random access memory (RAM), which differs from your hard drive memory in that it’s stored only temporarily, not permanently.
It’s worth mentioning that HDDs are susceptible to fragmentation, and frequent gaming can increase your risk of a fragmented disk.
Fragmentation refers to little bits of data spread out across the memory disk. It’s almost like tearing up tiny pieces of paper and tossing them into the wind, attempting to sort them and then decipher the distorted message.
It forces your computer to work harder to read a single file than it would if the data had loaded in a long, continuous line which will definitely cause it to be slower. A fragmented hard drive can also lead to random crashes or freezes, among a slew of other problems, affecting not only your gaming but your overall PC performance.

SSD vs. HDD energy consumption

SSDs use up to one-half to one-third less power than HDDs do (usually 2 to 3 watts versus 6 to 7 watts). If you’re running multiple HDD workstations in an office space, this is a difference you’d definitely notice on an electricity bill.
Comparing different laptop hard drives, an SSD battery will last two to three times longer than a laptop using a SATA interface would.
When energy-efficiency is at the top of your priority list, a solid state drive is usually the better choice.

SSD vs. HDD durability

HDDs use spinning disks to read and write data, so they perform better in stationary locations where the moving parts are less vulnerable to jostling.
The nature of a solid state drive is less fragile and more likely to protect your data from shock damage in the event of an accidental drop.
Those who are prone to unexpected tumbles should opt for a more durable SSD It lacks the delicately moving parts that could potentially be bumped askew.

Pros and cons of an SSD over an HDD

To sum it up, an HDD/SATA drive shines in terms of storage capacity. It’s also more approachable in price, costing on average 80% less per GB than the cost of an SSD drive [3].
That said, solid state drives may be worth the price jump depending on your budget and computing needs. They’re usually much more reliable in terms of speed, performance, energy efficiency, and durability.
As an added note, a laptop or desktop PC with a hard SATA drive is much noisier due to the constantly whirring, spinning disk, which also emits more heat than an SSD, meaning fans will be running more often as well.
HDDs offer massive amounts of memory space, but the extra storage capacity typically comes with added weight. Comfort, convenience, and price are all factors worth considering when selecting an SSD vs. HDD.

Bottom line: SSD or HDD?

The HDD has been around for some 60 to 80 years. Almost a decade ago in 2008, SATA hard disks reached near market saturation and were utilized as the standard in as much as 99 percent of drives [4].
Today, SSDs have taken a great deal of the market share due to their superior performance, even despite the uptick in price.
SATA drives still have their purpose, though. They allow you to store massive amounts of information relatively inexpensively. It’s not uncommon to use a SATA interface to expand memory and store data such as pictures, documents, and music libraries while the actual OS is stored on an SSD.
It all comes down to understanding your storage needs, speed requirements, and how you intend to use your computer. Balancing out these different factors will help you find the right hard drive solution.
Whether you choose a traditional SATA hard disk drive or opt for a newer solid state drive, keep in mind that they’re both capable of failure. It’s critical to take the time to back up your hard drive using an external device, cloud-based service, or alternative means.
Now that you know the key differences between the different types of hard drives, you should feel less stressed and more confident in your next computer purchase. With the right backup and security measures in place, you’ll be able to enjoy your investment for years on end.

What are the differences between SSD and HDD? The main difference between a solid state drive and a hard disk drive is that data is stored on either a smal

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How to know if laptop motherboard is bad

Many people usually blames bad motherboard if they experience problems with their laptop. But how do you make certain it’s a laptop motherboard issue and not any other component? The thing is, there are other issues caused by a specific component that may be misconstrued as a motherboard failure. To avoid misdiagnosing a problem, make sure that you read through this brief material.

Laptop Motherboard failure is one of the most challenging issues any user or technician can face simply because there are a number of variables to consider. To get down to the bottom of the issue, a technician will usually have to eliminate several software and hardware causes. Usually, there are not many signs to come by to help you diagnose a motherboard failure. A motherboard either works or not, nothing in between. Other peripherals like fans and hard drives may still work even if the motherboard is dead but your computer may still not work at all.  If you think motherboard is to blame, make sure that you consider the items below.

Physically damaged parts. The first thing that you want to do, especially if you haven’t opened a computer yet, is to physically check the motherboard. This will allow you to examine if there is any bloated or damaged capacitor causing the issue like the ones identified in the figure below.

Leaking or bloated capacitors are usually products of overheating, material defect, or plain old aging. If you can see a capacitor that’s about to blow, you can assume that the reason for your motherboard problem.

Look out for unusual burning odor. Another telltale sign of a motherboard problem is burning smell. Most of the time, a really strong burning smell is an indication that an overheated component. Sometimes, plugging in an incompatible component can lead to overheating or failure so if you’ve installed any component prior to noticing the problem, make sure to remove it right away. You cannot just install a component to any motherboard so make sure that you consider checking compatibility first. Plugging in an incompatible RAM or video card for example may lead to severe problems so as to damage the motherboard permanently.

Random lock ups or freezing issues. If you’ve noticed that your computer has been freezing up lately, the first thing that you should do to troubleshoot it is to see if software is to blame. However, if you’ve already ruled out all software factors, the next good thing to do is to consider other hardware variables, including the possibility that the motherboard may be failing.

Blue screen of death. Getting a blue screen of death on your computer does not automatically means a motherboard issue. At lot of times, the main reason may be a bad driver or hardware failure. If you can, take note of the error message, especially the error code which looks like this one (0x000000(0x000000,0x000000,0x000000,0x000000). Once you have the code, use Google to research it to see if it says something about motherboard failure.

Other symptoms can also appear such as the ones below although there’s a chance that a totally different malfunction may be causing them. Below are the additional warning signs that you should watch out for:

  • Some peripherals appear to stop working for a few seconds.
  • Computer taking a long time to boot up.
  • Motherboard does not do POST or Power On Self Test.

Reasons why a motherboard fails

Now that you’ve confirmed that your computer’s motherboard has failed, you may be wondering what causes such trouble. Well, below are some of the common reasons why a motherboard can stop working:

  • Overheating.
  • Fan failure. Dust can accumulate very fast in fans causing them to fail. Make sure that you clean the fans inside the tower at least once every year.
  • Too much dust in the system. Dust, like heat, can shorten component lifespan and the motherboard in general. Try your best to clean the inside of your computer regularly.
  • Smoke.
  • Accidental drop that subjects components to unnecessary shock.
  • Aging.
  • Power surges or unstable voltage.

NVMe vs M.2 vs SATA

One of the bigger breakthroughs for PC hardware in modern memory has been the solid state drive. And with data transfer speeds many multiples of traditional 7200 RPM and even 10,000 RPM drives, it’s easy to see why. Not only are boot and shut down speeds much faster with SSDs, but all aspects of the system are sped up as well. We highly recommend them. But what about NVMe SSDs, how do they differ from standard SATA drives? And do all M.2 drives classify as NVMe? Read on while we break down the differences between NVMe vs. M.2 vs. SATA.

What is NVMe?

NVMe vs. M.2 vs. SATA
The Samsung 960 Pro is was fastest NVMe drive on the market…until the 970 Pro replaced it.

First, a quick note about SSDs – they’re fast. So fast in fact, their limiting factor is not their own hardware, but rather the SATA III connection that hard drives have traditionally used. Enter NVMe. Standing for “Non-Volatile Memory Express,” NVMe is an open standard developed to allow modern SSDs to operate at the read/write speeds their flash memory is capable of. Essentially, it allows flash memory to operate as an SSD directly through the PCIe interface rather than going through SATA and being limited by the slower SATA speeds.  Put another way, it’s a description of the bus the component uses to communicate with the PC, not a new type of flash memory. It is also unrelated to the form factor, which is why NVMe drives can come in both M.2 or PCIe card form factors. With both form factors, the component is connecting electrically to the PC via PCIe rather than SATA.

Are all M.2 drives NVMe?

No. Remember, M.2 is just the form factor. M.2 drives can come in SATA versions (like the Crucial MX500 M.2 for example) and NVMe versions (like the Samsung 970 Pro), which describes the bus they use to electrically communicate with the other PC components. SATA M.2 SSD drives and 2.5” SATA SSDs actually operate at virtually identical spec. NVMe M.2’s on the other hand, definitely do not, as we’re about to discuss.

How does NVMe speed compare to SATA?

Modern motherboards use SATA III which maxes out at a throughput of 600MB/s (or 300MB/s for SATA II, in which case, it’s time to upgrade). Via that connection, most SSDs will provide Read/Write speeds in the neighborhood of 530/500 MB/s. For comparison, a 7200 RPM SATA drive manages around 100MB/s depending on age, condition, and level of fragmentation. NVMe drives, on the other hand, provide write speeds as high as 3500MB/s. That’s 7x over SATA SSDs!

How to Delete EFI System Partition in Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista

This page talks about what is an EFI system partition, why you cannot delete EFI partition in Disk Management and how to delete or remove EFI system partition in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista with Diskpart command line.

Usually, you can easily delete a partition in Disk Management. But sometimes, you can’t remove EFI system partition in Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista because “Delete Volume” feature is grayed out. And you may encounter the similar situation when you trying to delete OEM partition, recovery partitions, system reserved partition. This page will talk about what is an EFI system partition and how to remove, deleted or format EFI system partition in Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista.

What is an EFI system partition and why you cannot delete it?

Usually, when you successfully install Windows OS on a GPT disk of your computer, an EFI system partition (ESP for short) will be created. But what is an EFI system partition?

what is an EFI partition

Deleting EFI system partition will cause installed systems unbootable. So, EFI system partition is usually protected and locked by the Windows operating systems to prevent and avoid accidental deletion of these partitions. That’s why you can’t delete EFI partition using Disk Management tool. But in some special situation, for example, when you uninstalling Windows system, you might want to remove EFI system partition to free up some disk space. At this moment, how can you delete EFI system partition? Actually, there are two ways to do this job.  And in case something goes wrong after the operation, we recommend you to clone EFI partition to make a backup.

Method 1. How to delete EFI partition with Diskpart

Step 1. Hit “Windows Key + R to open the run dialogue box, enter “diskpart” and click “OK” to open a black command prompt window. (run with administrator)

Step 2. Type “list disk” to display all the disks of your computer. Type “select disk n” to identify which disk you need to work with. Here n stands for the disk letter.

Step 3. Type “list partition” to display all the volumes on the hard drive. Type “select partition n” to identify which partition you want to remove. Here n stands for the volume letter.

Step 4. type clean and it will erase everything. then you should re-initialized the disk

Average Temperature of The Processor

The appropriate operating temperature of your processor depends on its manufacturer, top clock speed, where the sensor is located, and what programs it is currently running. However, this document should give you a general idea of what temperatures are acceptable under certain conditions.
The majority of today’s desktop processors should not exceed temperatures of 35°C and most run between 21°-32°C. Below is a chart listing many types of processors and their average temperatures. Keep in mind, this is only to give our users a general idea of what their processor should be running at. If you believe your computer is running too hot, you can skip to the bottom of this document for information about the safe temperature range for your processor.

Processors Average temperature
AMD A6 45°C – 57°C
AMD A10 50°C – 60°C
AMD Athlon 85°C – 95°C
AMD Athlon 64 45°C – 60°C
AMD Athlon 64 X2 45°C – 55°C
AMD Athlon 64 Mobile 80°C – 90°C
AMD Athlon FX 45°C – 60°C
AMD Athlon II X4 50°C – 60°C
AMD Athlon MP 85°C – 95°C
AMD Athlon XP 80°C – 90°C
AMD Duron 85°C – 95°C
AMD K5 60°C – 70°C
AMD K6 60°C – 70°C
AMD K6 Mobile 75°C – 85°C
AMD K7 Thunderbird 70°C – 95°C
AMD Opteron 65°C – 71°C
AMD Phenom II X6 45°C – 55°C
AMD Phenom X3 50°C – 60°C
AMD Phenom X4 50°C – 60°C
AMD Sempron 85°C – 95°C
Intel Celeron 67°C – 85°C
Intel Core 2 Duo 45°C – 55°C
Intel Core i3 50°C – 60°C
Intel Core i5 50°C – 62°C
Intel Core i7 50°C – 65°C
Intel Pentium II 65°C – 75°C
Intel Pentium III 60°C – 85°C
Intel Pentium 4 45°C – 65°C
Intel Pentium Mobile 70°C – 85°C
Intel Pentium Pro 75°C – 85°C

Backup Solution for Business

QNAP Turbo NAS performs as an ideal backup center, with large storage capacity and excellent file transfer speed to greatly assist businesses on efficient backup tasks. In addition to being a backup center, the Turbo NAS can also have its data backed up to external storage devices, remote servers, and third-party cloud backup services easily and conveniently.

e2_Apple-Time-MachineFree PC backup utility for Windows users

The QNAP NetBak Replicator, a license-free backup utility provided with any Turbo NAS unit to execute data backup on Windows OS, helps users back up files from Windows PC – entire disk drives, documents, pictures, music, videos, fonts, emails, and more – to one or multiple Turbo NAS units on the network. Besides, NetBak Replicator also supports backing up to a remote server via FTP and WebDAV. The operation is very simple, and the data backup can be done in just a few clicks by the settings of real-time synchronization, scheduled backup and auto-backup.

The enhanced QNAP NetBak Replicator utility comes with many advanced features to help you easily back up data on Windows PC to the Turbo NAS.

  • Runs as a background service without login session required
  • Allows silent installation for administrators to deploy NetBak Replicator by Group Policy (GPO) on computers quickly without interruption
  • Creates VSS snapshot of VM or database on the Windows, and backs up the content of the snapshot to the Turbo NAS
  • Supports VHD/VHDX (Virtual Hard Disks) backup

Apple Time Machine supportThe Turbo NAS supports Apple Time Machine and provides Mac OS X users with an effortless solution to back up data to the Turbo NAS. This greatly saves cost of purchasing an external hard drive for every Mac user in order to back up their data. Besides, configurable storage quota for backup jobs is allowed so that IT administrators can arrange a certain amount of capacity dedicated for Mac data backup.

e2_Double_protectionBack up to external drives

By connecting external drives to the Turbo NAS via the eSATA or USB ports, IT administrators can easily configure and copy the shared folders on the Turbo NAS to the external devices. The external hard drive backup supports multiple backup tasks, email notifications, and scheduling, giving IT administrators more flexibility to arrange data backup.

With the supports of external drives in EXT3, EXT4, FAT32, HFS+, and NTFS format and high-speed read/write performance, the Turbo NAS can back up data to these devices and restore the data in Mac and Windows environment.

Advanced external drive backup options allow IT administrators to replicate data to designated local disk volume. When setting up multiple external drives as backup destination, each backup task will be correctly mapped to the corresponding external drive even after the external drives are repeatedly removed and plugged back. IT administrators are rest assured data backup is always functioned correctly.

In addition, the Turbo NAS is compatible with various renowned backup software on the market, such as Acronis® True Image, CA® ARCserve Backup, Retrospect®, Symantec® Backup Exec, LaCie® SilverKeeper and so on. Companies that have already adopted such backup software can immediately back up Turbo NAS data to the external drives by means of the third party backup software.

Backup center

The Turbo NAS is an inclusive backup center to safeguard important business data.

QNAP NetBak ReplicatorThe QNAP NetBak Replicator helps back up files from Windows PCs to one or multiple Turbo NAS units on the network. The operation is very simple, and the data backup can be done in just a few clicks of the settings in real-time synchronization, scheduled backup and auto-backup.

Apple Time Machine

The Turbo NAS supports Apple Time Machine and provides Mac OS X users with an effortless solution to back up data to the Turbo NAS. Besides, configurable storage quota for backup jobs is allowed so that IT administrators can arrange a certain amount of capacity dedicated for Mac data backup.

Third-party backup software

The Turbo NAS is compatible with various renowned backup software on the market, such as Acronis® True Image, CA® ARCserve Backup, Retrospect®, Symantec® Backup Exec and so on.

2-way sync

QNAP’s RTRR (Real-Time Remote Replication) service allows scheduled data backup to synchronize shared folders between two Turbo NAS units, ensuring the synced Turbo NAS will always have identical data. The 2-way synchronization provides better backup efficiency and improves office and branch collaboration.


Remote VS Onsite Computer Repair Service

When you’re having trouble with your computer/pc, you have two basic option.

One choice is to fix the problem yourself. The other choice is to get someone else to fix it for you. You actually have several computer service options, including tech support if your warranty is still valid, or paying someone else to fix the problem for you.

Your pay-to-fix options usually boil down to just two options: onsite computer repair and online/remote computer repair.

So how do you decide? Do you take your computer to one of the many local computer repair shops to get it worked on or do you hire an online service to remotely connect to your computer and/or walk you through the solution to the problem?

It’s not always an easy decision but there are several questions you can ask yourself that will help make the best choice more obvious.

Do You Suspect a Serious Hardware or Software Problem?

If you suspect a serious hardware or software problem, an online computer repair service won’t do you much good. Any kind of problem that prevents you from successfully connecting to the Internet will likely prevent a remote support agent from connecting to your PC over that same Internet.

Some serious hardware/software problems include:

1. Problems powering on the computer (screen is completely blank, no power to the computer at all, etc.)
2. Issues that prevent Windows from loading (Blue Screen of Death, problems logging in to Windows, etc.)
3. Any issue accessing the Internet

If you’re experiencing the sorts of problems like the ones I mentioned above, I highly recommend seeking service from a qualified local computer repair service instead.

You could still contact an online repair service but you’ll probably be sent to a local repair shop and likely incur a charge for that referral. There’s no reason to waste your money getting a referral from a biased source like this.

Some online computer repair services will attempt to walk you through a step-by-step resolution to a serious problem that they can’t remotely fix themselves. While that’s certainly a better use of your money than a simple referral, you should know that whatever troubleshooting information they provide over the phone is probably available online, completely free of charge, from a computer repair website – like the one you’re on now!

Online computer repair services might not be able to fix every problem under the sun, but if they can fix yours, they’re often the better, and for sure the fastest, bet.

However, if it’s just about getting the job done right and getting it done fast, you’ll probably be better off choosing online computer repair service.

Getting Your PC Repair

Computer Beeping

When there is a failure of any of the hardware parts that are connected to your computer (RAM, CPU, PCI,…), the computer makes a series of beeps. The pattern of beeps represents the diagnostic. The motherboard is telling you what part is failing.

Checking your motherboard's connections

Make sure all your cards and cables are plugged in correctly. Specially you video card.

Take out any non-essential component (CD ROM, PCI cards[except video],…) and try to boot. Also try swapping power cables and connector ribbons.

At this point you need to replace your motherboard and RAM.

CPUs burn very rarely, and if your PCI cards do not overheat they should be OK. Be very carefull to change the RAM and Motherboard as if you try to recycle one, you might burn the new one. It is a risk!

If your motherboard has failed, it is better to buy another motherboard with a new CPU because old motherboards tend to become hard to find & expensive whereas deals on combo CPU/motherboard are cheap.

Check our Data Recovery if you need your files!

Failing Hard Drives

If your Hard Drive was working and then all the sudden it is not recognized (seen), by your system then it is bad news. Try changing the Hard Drive connection with the CD ROM connection just to make sure it is not the connection that is failing. If no success, go to the Data Recovery page to see if there is anything you can do to retrieve your data.

Power Supply

At this point it is either your power supply that is failing or your motherboard. The reason why we can disregard the other components at this point is that if any part fails, your motherboard will give you an error message one way or another by either beeping or giving an error code on the screen.
Most likely your Power Supply is damaged. Don’t worry, it is one of the most failure-prone items in PC systems. It is also very easy to replace and does not cost much!

On the bright side, your Motherboard, CPU and RAM should be OK. (It is very rare that the Motherboard gets damaged, specially if you have a good quality motherboard as they have some level of protection).

You need to get a working power supply and try it on your PC. Power Supplies are not servicable.

But if changing the power supply does not repair the problem then you need a new Motherboard.

Sign and Symptoms of a Corrupt Hard Disk

Whenever a hard drive fails , everything happens all of a sudden . Within seconds your hard drive crashes and with it goes your important data . You can get a new hard disk but not your data . If you are lucky enough you can pay for a professional data recovery service and get your data back . If you don’t want to, then you can try out everything yourself . until you end up with recovering bits and pieces of your valuable data . which won’t be of any use to you.

1. Windows slowdown and BSOD


If your hard is about to fail , then you will find your computer to slow down ridiculously . Once this happens you will see that your computer will take ages to start up . Even if your your computer starts up you will notice that your computer will be very slow , even slower than a slug ! . Further when you try to open up any drive or folder on your computer , it will be very slow and may freezer your system or lead to a blue screen . While most of the experts will point towards low ram or junk data as the culprits . In my experience its always the hard drive .

2. Corrupt Data

One your hard drive starts to fail , you will see a lot of corrupted data on your windows computer . You will be able to save any file , but when you try to open it windows will always show it as a corrupted file  . Even in many cases files start to disappear from a computer and a lot of programs stop responding and start freezing up your computer . If you ever get any similar errors then its a vital sign that your computer’s hard drive is failing  .


3. Automatic execution of chkdsk command on start up

This is another most common sign of failing hard drives . Every time you boot up your windows computer , the Chkdsk command will be run automatically while your PC boots up in windows . While this might be due to an improper shut down , but if this happens frequently then surely it indicates a failing hard drive on your computer .


4. Clicking, Grinding and rattling noises from hard disk

This is the most common sign of failing hard drives that i have experienced with all of my computers hard drives . Often a hard drive starts to make a repetitive clicking noise in regular intervals . The clicking noise indicates that the write head of a hard drive is trying to write data onto the hard drive but its unable to do so . This is a very common sign of failing hard drive which is known as the click of death . No pun intended , but its a hard drive only threat .

Alternatively if you hear Grinding and rattling noise it is the motor that spins inside the hard drive , which is failing . Though theres another thing you should be aware of , sometimes a hard drive might be loosely installed inside a cabinet . Since a hard drives with an rpm of 7500 or more , it is normal for it to vibrate and make noises when it is loosely installed . If you hear a grinding or rattling noise again , first of all do check if your hard drive is installed properly in its tray or not .

5. Bad sectors

Bad sectors are little clusters of data on your hard drive that cannot be read . Bad sectors can of two types , which are hard bad sectors or soft bad sectors . While hard bad sectors cannot be repaired but the soft bad sectors can be repaired by a software . Windows Chkdsk can be used to repair soft bad sectors , While hard bad sectors cannot be repaired and indicates your hard drives is about to fail . But whatever the kind of bad sectors it may be , its always advisable to take a backup of your important data wherever your hard drives develop a bad sector . Sooner or later you hard drive is going to fail .


Hybrid hard drives

An SSD can read and write data many times faster than the best mechanical hard drive. On the downside, flash memory is many times more expensive than the innards of a typical hard drive, so manufacturers have limited their SSD capacities to hit reasonable price points: A 128GB SSD costs about $130, and for that same price tag, you can buy a 3.5-inch desktop hard drive that delivers 2TB of storage, or a 2.5-inch laptop drive that provides 1TB of storage.

Two years ago, Seagate (quickly followed by Samsung) introduced a drive that married a small SSD with a mechanical drive. The objective was to deliver the superior speed of an expensive SSD, while retaining the higher capacity and lower cost of a conventional hard drive. Now that Toshiba and Western Digital are joining the party, it’s a great time to explain in more detail what hybrid drives are and how they operate.

Hybrid drives work much in the same way as the current dual-technology configurations in many gaming and power-user PCs, as well as some ultraportable laptops. Such systems have a small, discrete SSD to hold the operating system and frequently used data, augmented by a more capacious conventional hard drive for less frequently accessed data and large collections of documents and digital media.

Current hybrid drive designs, in contrast, deliver both technologies within a single physical unit, and they employ software caching algorithms (rather than relying on the user’s brain) to decide which data belongs on the SSD portion and what goes on the drive’s platters.

These caching algorithms reside in the hybrid drive’s firmware, not the device driver. To the computer’s operating system, a hybrid drive appears as a single unit with the SSD portion acting strictly as a large cache. The cache is nonvolatile, so the data doesn’t disappear when power is absent.

You can find several hybrid designs on the market, but the most common is a 2.5-inch version meant for laptops, Seagate’s Momentus XT SSHD. Seagate refers to the caching logic it uses on the Momentus XT drives as Adaptive Memory technology. The thinner 7mm, 2.5-inch drives that Toshiba and Western Digital recently announced are destined for Ultrabooks. They will likely use similar technologies with similarly suitable names, although either company might opt to skip caching and produce a dual SSD/hard drive in a single physical package.

In any case, a caching algorithm will track the files you load the most often (operating system files, applications, and the like), and store them on the SSD portion of the drive. From that point on, these files will load into memory much faster than they did from the mechanical drive, although some overhead will be involved as the computer determines whether the file in question resides on the SSD. No caching will have occurred the first time you use a hybrid drive, so its initial performance will be the same as that of a mechanical hard drive, but the speed will increase over time.

To test a current implementation and to determine how much improvement you can expect over the long term, we ran a special version of WorldBench 7 six times using a 750GB Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive with its 8GB internal SSD.


Over the course of the six runs, system boot times dropped from 35 seconds to 31 seconds, and the WorldBench 7 score rose from 112 to 116. That’s about a 12 percent improvement in boot times, and a 4 percent jump in WorldBench. However, the WorldBench 7 score of a nonhybrid, 5400-rpm drive also climbed by 4 percent—most likely due to Windows 7’s own caching technologies. The standard drive showed no decrease in boot times, so the current Seagate hybrid drives do offer some benefit.

WorldBench 7 measures application performance, not the load times of the applications themselves, though subjectively the load times seemed only slightly faster after the first pass in my hands-on tests when I eliminated the Windows prefetch and swap file. Let’s call that further, marginal evidence that a hybrid can make a positive difference in your everyday computing. Just for comparison’s sake, a good SSD scored more than 40 points higher on WorldBench 7 on the same system.

The specs for the upcoming Toshiba and Western Digital hybrid drives weren’t available at the time of this writing; however, you might see models with 16GB or even 32GB SSD portions that provide a greater increase in performance. The larger the SSD in the hybrid drive, the more data you can cache and the less often you’ll need to load data from the hybrid’s slower mechanical drive. Integration and interaction with operating systems could also boost hybrid performance, assuming of course that a significant drop in SSD prices doesn’t render the technology moot.

As of October 10, 2012, a standard 750GB, 2.5-inch hard drive was about $80, a 750GB Momentus XT SSHD was about $130, and a brand-name 128GB SSD also cost about $130. Given those prices, current hybrid drives really make sense only in laptops, and only when you want high performance and more storage capacity than an SSD can provide.

In a desktop PC with unoccupied drive bays, you’ll get much better bang for your buck with a stand-alone SSD combined with one or more mechanical hard drives. Even for a laptop, a smaller, more affordable SSD supplemented by an external conventional hard drive might better deliver the performance and the capacity you’re looking for.


M.2 NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor) solid state drives are space saving high-speed non-volatile storage solutions to be used in upcoming high performance laptops.

Smaller, lighter, and consuming less power – M.2 drives maximize performance and usage in mobile devices when used as a cache drive (in tandem with a HDD) and offer enough storage space to load an operating system as a bootable drive for embedded applications, ultrabooks, and next generation notebooks.

Note: Solid State Drives DO NOT require defragmentation. It may decrease the lifespan of the drive.



M.2 – mSATA Comparison

Where mSATA took advantage of an existing form-factor and connector, M.2 has been designed to maximize the usage of the card space, while minimizing the footprint.

Width (mm) 30 22
Length (mm) 50.95 30, 42, 60, 80, 110
PCB  Space – L x W (mm) 1528.5 660, 924, 1320, 1760, 2420

mSATAvsM 2_hand_v1


Most people now buy laptops for their computing needs and have to make the decision between getting either a Solid State Drive (SSD) or Hard Disk Drive (HDD) as the storage component.  So which of the two is the better choice, an SSD or HDD? There’s no straight-forward answer to this question; each buyer has different needs and you have to evaluate the decision based on those needs, your preferences, and of course budget. Even though the price of SSDs has been falling, the price per gigabyte advantage is still strongly with HDDs. Yet, if performance and fast bootup is your primary consideration and money is secondary, then SSD is the way to go. For the remainder of this article, we will make a comparison of SSD and HDD storage and go over the good, the bad, and the ugly of both.

What is an SSD?

We’ll make no assumptions here and keep this article on a level that anyone can understand. You might be shopping for a computer and simply wondering what the heck SSD actually means? To begin, SSD stands for Solid State Drive. You’re probably familiar with USB memory sticks – SSD can be thought of as an oversized and more sophisticated version of the humble USB memory stick. Like a memory stick, there are no moving parts to an SSD. Rather, information is stored in microchips.  Conversely, a hard disk drive uses a mechanical arm with a read/write head to move around and read information from the right location on a storage platter. This difference is what makes SSD so much faster. As an analogy, what’s quicker? Having to walk across the room to retrieve a book to get information or simply magically having that book open in front of you when you need it? That’s how an HDD compares to an SSD; it simply requires more physical labor (mechanical movement) to get information.

A typical SSD uses what is called NAND-based flash memory. This is a non-volatile type of memory. What does non-volatile mean you ask? The simple answer is that you can turn off the disk and it won’t “forget” what was stored on it. This is of course an essential characteristic of any type of permanent memory. During the early days of SSD, rumors floated around saying stored data would wear off and be lost after only a few years.  Regardless, that rumor is certainly not true with today’s technology, as you can read and write to an SSD all day long and the data storage integrity will be maintained for well over 200 years. In other words, the data storage life of an SSD can outlive you!

An SSD does not have a mechanical arm to read and write data, it instead relies on an embedded processor (or “brain”) called a controller to perform a bunch of operations related to reading and writing data. The controller is a very important factor in determining the speed of the SSD. Decisions it makes related to how to store, retrieve, cache and clean up data can determine the overall speed of the drive. We won’t get into the nitty-gritty details for the various tasks it performs such as error correction, read and write caching, encryption, and garbage collection to name a few. Yet, suffice to say, good controller technology is often what separates an excellent SSD from a good one. An example of a fast controller today is the SandForce SATA 3.0 (6GB/s) SSD controller that supports burst speeds up to 550MB/s read and write speeds. The next gen SandForce 3700 family of controllers was announced in late 2013, and is quoted to reach a blistering 1,800MB/s read/write sequential speeds as well as 150K/80K random IOPS.

Finally, you may be wondering what an SSD looks like and how easy it is to replace a hard drive with an after-market device. If you look at the images below, you’ll see the top and undersides of a typically-sized 2.5” SSD. The technology is encased inside either a plastic or metal case and looks like nothing more than what a battery might:

What is an HDD?

Hard Disk Drives, or HDD in techno-parlance, have been around for donkey’s years relative to the technology world. HDDs were first introduced by IBM in 1956 – yes folks this is nearly 60-year old technology, thank goodness vacuum tubes for TVs didn’t last so long! An HDD uses magnetism to store data on a rotating platter. A read/write head floats above the spinning platter reading and writing data. The faster the platter spins, the faster an HDD can perform. Typical laptop drives today spin at either 5400 RPM (Revolutions per Minute) or 7200RPM, though some server-based platters spin at up to 15,000 RPM!

The major advantage of an HDD is that it is capable of storing lots of data cheaply. These days, 1 TeraByte (1,024 gigabytes) of storage is not unusual for a laptop hard drive, and the density continues to grow. However, the cost per gigabyte is hard to calculate now-a-days since there are so many classes to consider, though it is safe to say that all HDDs are substantially cheaper than SSDs. As a comparison, the popular WD Black (1TB) goes for roughly $156 on most websites while the Crucial M500 (960GB) and Samsung 840 EVO (1TB) SSDs go for $460 and $510 respectively, three times the price of the WD Black. So if you want cheap storage and lots of it, using a standard hard drive is definitely the more appealing way to go.

When it comes to appearance, HDDs essentially look the same from the outside as SSDs. HDDs predominantly use SATA interface. The most common size for laptop hard drives is the 2.5” form factor while a larger 3.5” form factor is used in desktop computers. The larger size allows for more platters inside and thus more storage capacity. Some desktop hard drives can store up to 4TB of data! Below is an example of what an HDD looks like using the Seagate Barracuda 3TB hard drive

SSD Vs HDD Comparison

Now it’s time to do some comparisons and determine which might be best for your individual needs – SSD or HDD?  The best way to compare items is a table with a side by side comparison of items in which a green box indicates an advantage:

Attribute SSD (Solid State Drive) HDD (Hard Disk Drive)
Power Draw / Battery Life Less power draw, averages 2 – 3 watts, resulting in 30+ minute battery boost More power draw, averages 6 – 7 watts and therefore uses more battery
Cost Expensive, roughly $0.50 per gigabyte (based on buying a 1TB drive) Only around $0.15 per gigabyte, very cheap (buying a 4TB model)
Capacity Typically not larger than 512GB for notebook size drives; 1TB max for desktops Typically around 500GB and 2TB maximum for notebook size drives; 4TB max for desktops
Operating System Boot Time Around 22 seconds average bootup time Around 40 seconds average bootup time
Noise There are no moving parts and as such no sound Audible clicks and spinning can be heard
Vibration No vibration as there are no moving parts The spinning of the platters can sometimes result in vibration
Heat Produced Lower power draw and no moving parts so little heat is produced HDD doesn’t produce much heat, but it will have a measurable amount more heat than an SSD due to moving parts and higher power draw
Failure Rate Mean time between failure rate of 2.0 million hours Mean time between failure rate of 1.5 million hours
File Copy / Write Speed Generally above 200 MB/s and up to 550 MB/s for cutting edge drives The range can be anywhere from 50 – 120MB / s
Encryption Full Disk Encryption (FDE)Supported on some models Full Disk Encryption (FDE) Supported on some models
File Opening Speed Up to 30% faster than HDD Slower than SSD
Magnetism Affected? An SSD is safe from any effects of magnetism Magnets can erase data

If we tally up the checkmarks, the SSD gets 9 and HDD gets 3. Does that mean the that an SSD is three times better than an HDD? Not at all. As we mentioned earlier, it all depends on individual needs. The comparison here is just to lay out the pros and cons for both options. To aid you even more, here are some rules to follow when you decide which drive is best for you: