Posts Tagged ‘hard drive’

Is my hard drive crashing??

Eek!  My computer doesn’t start up all the way into Windows.

Okay, first take a deep breath.  Remember that you subscribed to an online backup provider months ago and your documents are safe out there.  And it was only about 60 bucks a year, what a deal.  Now let’s look at symptoms you see now and what might have been happening in the past couple weeks.

Blue screen?

Anything that says S.M.A.R.T. when your machine starts up?

PC freezing or restarting itself?

Having to restart numerous times just to get into Windows?!?!?!?

Machine slowing to a crawl?

These are signs of imminent hard drive failure.  Sometimes it just happens and we chalk that up to Hephaestus being a little ticked off.  But usually there are the signs we just mentioned.  There is probably only one troubleshooting step you can take on your own and that is to physically unplug your machine and walk away for a cup of coffee.

Come back, plug in, and if it doesn’t start all the way up, call us.

In fact, if you experience any of the symptoms, call us sooner.

A lot of data can be recovered no matter what but it’s all about the cost.  If you catch it early you might skate by for a couple few hundred dollars.  If you delay until the problem gets really serious you’re looking at a couple few thousand.

And it’s maybe not unusual that hard drive crashes come at times when the weather changes.  That might just be superstition but our experience is that these problems come in waves.

The hard drive is probably the hardest working part of your PC.  It spins at 7200 revolutions per minutes.  And like a car wheel the parts wear out.  We’ve seen them last over 12 years and we’ve seen them die within a month.  So you do have an online backup right?

Happy computing!

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Clean your computer!

What do dust, animal hair, mice, roaches and snakes all have in common?  Yep, you guessed it!  These are all things that can, and have been, found in CPUs! (Central Processing Unit  – or- your computer box… okay, hopefully no snakes in *your* CPU!)

ANY of these items can affect the cooling fan(s) in your system and slow it down (not to mention leave nasty messes to clean up!)  Hence, it is a good idea on occasion to clean that CPU, so friendly critters don’t decide to move in.  And it is a fairly easy project, if you are up to it.

I like to joke that I recently read about another computer company who wanted their clients to come in and get their computer cleaned out – and that the computer company had ’specialized tools’ to do it!  Well, unless your computer is REAlly nasty, that specialized tool is really a can of air – and pretty easy to pick up at your local office supply store.

Your first step is to bring the computer outside (preferably NOT on a rainy day!) – cuz,  unless you are my father-in-law, whose computer is the only one we have seen in our 12+ years in business that did NOT have a spec of dust in it, you will have a dusty CPU interior.

Now, take the side off of your computer – there may be screws holding it in place or clips, etc., you just need to figure that out on your own as each make of computer is different. Trying not to touch anything on the inside of your computer, locate the fan(s) in your system, grab that can of air and blow!  In fact, any dust you see in there at all – keep on blowing!

Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a cleaner, speedier computer!  And the hard drive thanks you!

If you need help – give us a call or drop off your system.  We can clean out your system, too… with our ’specialized tools’.

Happy computing!

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Back up your data!

It’s ridiculously inexpensive to have totally secure, redundant, online backup.  $60 per year.  You can even support your local economy by choosing CrashPlan as your backup.  www.crashplan.com. They’re based in Minneapolis.

Cost of a hard drive crash?  $240 to, wait for it, $2,000 or more just to get your data back.  Even then there’s never a guarantee it can be recovered.  Add to that the cost of downtime while the drive is being processed.

If you’re not 100% sure your backups are good, give us a call.  Within a short window we can confirm your peace of mind.

Happy computing – and Happy Holidays!

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