What is a Solid State Hard Drive (SSD)?

July 2, 2008

according to Wikipedia

A solid-state drive (SSD) is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data. Unlike flash-based memory cards, an SSD emulates a hard disk drive, thus easily replacing it in most applications. An SSD using SRAM or DRAM (instead of flash memory) is often called a RAM-drive.

The original usage of the term solid-state (from solid-state physics) refers to the use of semiconductor devices rather than electron tubes, but has in this context been adopted to distinguish solid-state electronics from electromechanical devices as well. With no moving parts, solid-state drives are inherently less fragile than harddisks and therefore also silent (unless a cooling fan is used); as there are no mechanical delays, they usually enjoy low access time and latency.

SSDs have begun to appear in laptops,[1][2] although they are at present substantially more expensive per unit of capacity than hard drives.

Formatting a drive

June 1, 2008

Preparing a drive for use is a two part job. Firstly you partition it and then format it. You can right click on ‘My Computer’, and click ‘Manage’, click on ‘Storage’, and then you can manage the partitions in that menu.


As a warning, you cannot delete the main partition windows is installed on while in Windows. Not sure why’d you want to anyway, but you can’t. If you want to repartition the drive and reinstall Windows, you’ll need to restart the computer with your Windows CD in the drive, and boot off of it.


As for the other hard drives that may show up, once you delete and repartition, any data on the drive is gone, so be careful. 

Completely Erasing A Hard Drive

August 24, 2007

1. Download and boot DBAN (Derik’s Boot and Nuke)
2. This program will completely erase the hard drive from beginning to end by constantly rewriting zeros over all the data
3. You will now have a fresh hard drive, and no way to recover the data.

Why Is My Hard Drive Showing Up Smaller Then Advertised?

April 10, 2007

A 320GB hard drive will only appear as a 300GB. That’s due to the decimal vs binary difference. Computers work in binary but hard drive manufacturers prefer to measure their hard drives in decimal because they sound bigger. So, for example a gigabyte in binary is 2^30 or 1,073,741,824 bytes. In decimal it’s only 1,000,000,000. 320GB in decimal is really only 298GB in binary. HP also reserves several gigs as a hidden partition, which many manufacturers do now, as they claim it’s pricey to ship Restore Discs with each new computer, though the user can create them as well.

PC Guide explains this more thoroughly.

source: techguylabs.com

Dynamic Disks

December 30, 2006

Most of the time you work with basic disks, those are the ones we know and love with primary partitions, extended partitions, logical partitions and so on. Dynamic disks are new to Windows 2000 and XP and are formatted differently. Microsoft describes the difference here. Converting a dynamic disc to basic will delete all the data from it! But there is a troubleshooting guide you can follow to try to save the data. Backup first, of course, using a disk imaging program that’s independent of the OS like Norton Ghost, then import the contents of the disc.