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All posts tagged "hard drive"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Installing an SSD Without Re-Installing Windows

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 06:30 AM

"Installing a solid-state drive is one of the best upgrades you can make to your computer, but migrating your Windows installation to a small drive can be tricky, because your data won't necessarily all fit on the drive. Here's how to install an SSD without reinstalling Windows from scratch."

I for one am very happy installing a new hard drive (or SSD) doesn't require a re-installation of Windows. There are a lot of ways to do a drive swap, but this Lifehacker article is by far the most detailed I've seen. If you're pondering moving to an SSD, it's worth a read!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Seagate Unveils the World's First 4 TB External Desktop Drive

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:32 AM

"Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) today announced it is shipping a new 4TBGoFlex® Desk external hard drive - the highest capacity hard drive in the industry. This latest addition to the GoFlex Family of external hard drives showcases Seagate's new desktop design. The streamlined industrial design delivers a smaller footprint and better reflects the aesthetic of today's modern offices while still providing all of the benefits of previous generations of the GoFlex drives. The new 4TB GoFlex Desk is now available from and will be available from select online retailers next month for a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $249.99 USD. The entire line of GoFlex Desk products will also adopt the new industrial design in the coming weeks. The GoFlex Desk for Mac featuring both Firewire 800 and USB 2.0 will be available in Apple stores by the end of the month."

And the march toward larger and larger storage goes on. It's impressive to see a 4 TB hard drive, though the number of end users that need that kind of storage can't be very big. I'm personally looking forward to 4 TB hard drives because I've been ripping my DVDs and Blu-ray discs to ISO format and space vanishes quickly when you've got 8 GB (DVD) and 50 GB (Blu-ray) ISO files. 99.999% of people aren't going to do that though, so how many of you need/want a 4 TB storage drive?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Is Upgrading Your Old Computer With an SSD Worth It?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 10:00 AM

"It's a foregone conclusion that SSDs are must-haves in performance-oriented PCs, but our testing reveals that solid-state drives are reasonable upgrades in older mainstream machines, too. We build three old boxes to gauge the impact of an SSD on each."

There are only a few Web sites out there that I trust to tackle thorny questions with the scientific rigour that would make a molecular biologist proud, and Tom's Hardware is one of those sites. They post a fascinating question: is it worth it to put an SSD in an old computer? They reach all the way back to a typical system from 2005, equipped with a 300 GB Samsung hard drive that benchmarked at 54 Mbps, and move forward from there to several newer generations. Their conclusions? SSDs rock performance, even on an older system. The catch though is the price tag; if you need a lot of storage, it starts to make less sense to put an expensive SSD in an older system. One option is to use a smaller, less expensive SSD for the boot drive, then use a large hard drive for mass storage.

Personally, after years of multi-drive, multi-partition setups, I've enjoyed the simplified approach of a single partition, single drive setup on most of my PCs and have resisted going to an SSD until the price on 200+ GB drives comes down. I might re-evaluate that on my next build...we'll see.

Have you installed an SSD in an older computer? Was the performance increase noticeable?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seagate Delivers Unmatched Price-Performance Storage For World's First Tablet's Featuring Hard Drives

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 09:45 AM

"Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) is delivering hard disk drive storage for the world's first handheld tablet computers with hard drives. The ARCHOS G9 8- and 10-inch tablets, announced today in Paris, feature the Seagate Momentus® Thin hard drive, a speedy notebook drive with a super-slim 7mm profile. The performance and capacity of the Momentus Thin drive are the perfect complement for the cutting-edge speed of the ARCHOS G9 family of tablets that features the industry's fastest dual-core 1.5 GHz processor and, on the strength of the Momentus Thin drive, gives users 250GB of capacity, eight times more than a standard 32GB tablet but at the same cost, making the ARCHOS G9 one of the tablet industry's best cost-performance values."

A hard drive that's only 7mm thin? Now that's impressive. 250 GB of storage on a tablet really changes the game when it comes to storage; if you're a movie, photo or music enthusiast, being able to carry all your media content on your tablet would be fantastic. Myself, I'd need 60 GB for all my photos (with some videos thrown in the mix), and another 99 GB to carry all my music. It will be 2016 until I'm able to get anywhere near that with Flash storage. On the flip side, even with as good as hard drives have become with shock tolerance, I'd feel like I'd have to treat the tablet in a more gentle fashion knowing that it had a spinning hard drive in it. It's a trade off to be sure. These two Archos tablets sound pretty interesting though - an 8 inch tablet with a dual-core 1.5 Ghz CPU for $279? Hmm. The remainder of the press release is after the break. Read more...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Seagate Releases The GoFlex Slim Portable Hard Drive

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:05 PM

If you're looking for the most portable hard drive on the planet, look no further: Seagate has released the GoFlex Slim. It's a 320 GB, 7200 RPM hard drive that even inside the enclosure is only 9 mm thick. I'll be writing a brief review about this product in the coming weeks, but let me say this: it's crazy thin, and crazy fast - the USB 3.0 connection slurps down big files at over 150 MB/s based on a test I just did. Pricing is reasonable at $99 USD, and the drive has a really nice anodized finish. Mac compatibility right out of the box as well of course!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Toshiba Release 1.8 Inch Hard Drives With Low Insertion Force (LIF) Connector

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 PM

"The MKxx39GSL family is designed for applications requiring not only the smaller, lighter footprint of 1.8" drives, but also the highest possible storage capacities. Both feature a 16MB buffer for improved performance. The drives are capable of withstanding the demands of mobility usage, tolerating up to 1,500Gs of non-operational shock and 600Gs of operational shock, compared to 900G of non-operational shock and 400G of operational shock for the most robust 2.5-inch HDDs currently available. The drives are also exceptionally quiet, operating at 14dB at idle and 15dB at seek, and require only 0.35 Watts of power at low power idle, the smallest power consumption levels for any SATA drive. All of this performance is delivered in a form factor of just 48g/5x54x71mm."

There's still some life left in tiny hard drives, though their time on this earth is coming to a close: available in 160 GB, 200 GB, and 220 GB capacities, these new drives from Toshiba are aimed at portable media player market. Although the industry is clearly zoned in on flash-based memory, there's something to be said for a small device that has 220 GB of storage. The impressive 600G of shock that it can absorb without damage is impressive, though I still feel like anything with a hard drive would have to be treated more gently than something based on flash memory. I wonder what sorts of device we'll see these in?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CES 2011: Seagate's "Data "Lunchbox" Prototype Hard Drive

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 02:48 PM

While at CES 2011, one of the more interesting things I saw was a Seagate product that's in the prototype phase - it's affectionately called the "Data Lunchbox" product. In short, it's two 7mm Seagate Momentus hard drives (320 GB or 500 GB capacity) in a single external USB 3.0 drive chassis, along with a RAID controller chip. When configured in RAID 0 for speed, the product - remember it's still in the prototype stage - can hit 235 MB/s read and 228 MB/s write speeds. That out-guns the Intel SSD they were benchmarking it against, which hit 203 MB/s read and 154 MB/s write speeds. If you've ever needed to move big files in a hurry, you'd appreciate that level of speed. Alternatively, the product can be configured for RAID 1, which would mean as you put data onto it, you'll have a duplicate of every file.

What's particularly exciting to me about this product is that it's exactly what I've wanted for quite a while - when I travel and I shoot photos and HD video, hard drive space runs out quick...especially when I only have a 128 GB SSD in my laptop. The ability to put that media content on an external drive, and have it backed up to a second disk, would be fantastic. Add in Seagate's GoFlex technology - which allows you to swap out different cables for connectivity - and you have a solution that I think a lot of photographers and videographers would be excited to purchase.

Want to see this product come to market? Send a message to @seagate on Twitter and tell them that you want to see the Data Lunchbox product get released. Let's make this happen!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

1.5 Terabytes That You Can Slip Into Your Pocket? Seagate Says "Yes, Here You Go!"

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:00 AM

"SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - September 21, 2010 - Designed to address the explosive worldwide demand for digital storage, Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) today launched the world's first 1.5 terabyte (TB) 2.5-inch portable external drive. Available immediately, the new 1.5TB FreeAgent® GoFlexTM ultra-portable drive delivers an all-in-one, technically advanced solution to help jump-start, build, store and enjoy libraries of digital content in one's preferred medium-whether on a Mac or PC, or a television, at home or on the go. With 1.5TB of capacity people can now store and carry up to 60 HD movies, 750 video games, thousands of photos or tens of thousands hours of digital music."

There's not a lot you can do to make hard drives exciting beyond offering them with more storage, or faster speeds - but Seagate is giving it their best shot with the FreeAgent GoFlex drive, which offers both. First we have the 1.5 terabytes of storage - that's an amazing amount of storage for a drive that you can fit in your pocket! They've added speed as well with the USB 3.0 connection; I don't have a single computer with USB 3.0 yet - and realistically, USB 3.0 won't be common until Intel and AMD support it at the core chipset level - but it's important for accessory makers like Seagate to bring products like this to the market to drive adoption. The nice thing about USB 3.0 is that it's backwards compatible with USB 2.0, so you're not losing anything by purchasing products with it - and when you to get a computer with USB 3.0, products like this one will become even faster. Nice!

Like all Seagate GoFlex drives, it comes with an OS X NTFS driver, so it will work on both your Mac and PC without re-formatting. And you can swap the cable for Firewire 800 (it's an additional accessory) if you're so inclined to get a boost in speed over USB 2.0 on your Mac.

A little bit of extra icing on the cake: you'll get a free digital copy of the most recent Star Trek movie, and the option to purchase unlock codes for 20 other Paramount movies. I wonder if it's an HD copy of the movie? I suspect not. Still, not a bad little bonus!

Full press release after the break.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Juice Up Your Laptop With the Imation M-Class SSD

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Solid State Hard Drive (SSD)
Manufacturer: Imation
Where to Buy: NewEgg
Price: $339.99 USD
System Requirements: 2.5" drive bay, SATA connector
Specifications: Sequential Read (230 MB/s), Sequential Write (170 MB/s), Sequential Write IOPS (6500), Sequential Read IOPS (22,000), Interface (SATA II 3.0 Gbps), Transmission Mode (PIO Mode 0-4, DMA Mode 0-2, Ultra DMA Mode 0-6).


  • Complete kit allows you to easily re-use your old hard drive;
  • A great solution for thin and light laptops where hard drive vibration and heat is an issue;
  • Five year warranty.


  • It's about $80 more expensive compared to other drives on the market of this size and speed;
  • No TRIM support yet;
  • Acronis drive cloning software can be hit or miss.

Summary: In the past couple of years, it seems like everyone is getting into the SSD game; it's like a classic gold rush, where the playing fields are levelled and new players, previously uninvolved in the storage field, can carve out territory for themselves by licensing or building the right technology. Imation is one such company; they're a brand I'd typically associate with blank discs and USB Flash drives, but after meeting with one of their representatives at CES 2010, I was intrigued by their SSD offering and wanted to see what . Read more...

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