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What Happens When A Hard Drive Crashes?

broken hard drive

Adam in Windsor, Ontario listens on 800 CKLW and asked:

What happens if your hard drive crashes?


There are different things that can happen with a hard drive. You can have a software problem, such as when your computer crashes or reboots just as it is writing data to the hard drive. In that case, the drive itself hasn’t crashed. The hardware is fine. But the data on the hard drive is corrupted and you’d have to reformat and reload your software. It’s still a hard drive crash, but it’s not a hard drive failure.

When the hard drive itself fails, then the drive has to be replaced and you reload your software from backups. Reloading your operating system can be difficult, depending on whether you have a recovery disc or not (Mac users of current generation machines can boot to the recovery partition and reinstall their operating system over the Internet, Windows users will require a physical disc at least for the initial install).

When the hard drive itself fails, then the drive has to be replaced and you reload your software from backups.

Reloading your applications usually isn’t too hard. Even if you don’t have the original discs or media, there are very few programs that don’t offer online installation options, or at least let you download the installation software, as long as you can prove ownership of the software (which is a good reason to register all your purchased software and be sure you keep order numbers, customer account information, and so forth).

Reloading your data depends on your backup. Using a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive with their desktop apps, then storing all your data files in those folders should make this simple. You would just reload the desktop app, reconnect it to your cloud account, and watch as the files are synchronized back to your new hard drive. If you can’t or won’t use a cloud service, then you should make good backups to an external hard drive for safekeeping.

CJ in San Jose, California asked:

Which is faster, Apple or the Android?


Any premium smartphone will be very fast. An iPhone 6s is very fast. A Samsung Galaxy S7 is very fast. An HTC 10 is very fast. So the short answer is “all of them!”

The biggest thing that hampers most smartphone users is lack of storage. And that’s where you need to be certain you don’t buy something too small and handicap yourself going forward. 16GB used to be considered a fair amount of storage but we wouldn’t have less than 64GB of storage and even 128GB doesn’t seem outrageous.

The biggest thing that hampers most smartphone users is lack of storage.

With iPhones you need to buy all the storage you will ever use right up front, as they cannot be expanded. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7, however, allow you to expand your memory using microSD cards.

But, honestly, choosing a smartphone based on hardware isn’t very common. They are all very fast, they all last a while on battery now, they all have good cameras, and they all have nice screens. iPhones have an advantage when it comes to the number and the quality of apps still, we think. When something new is released, it tends to come out for the iPhone first. But Android won’t be that far behind. Samsung probably has the brightest and most legible screens. And HTC has the best internal speakers for the best audio quality.

But as for speed? They are all pretty doggone fast, if they are a current generation model of one of the premium lines.

Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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