Archive for Computer

Signs That Your Hard Drive May Crash

Signs That Your Hard Drive May Crash
By Bryan Halverson

Computers have become an integral part of every home and office
in today’s fast paced world. In fact, to carry a computer with
you are no more a fashion fad but a business necessity not only
to keep you up-to-date but help you process many other things
while still on the move. It is no surprise therefore, that we
should understand some basics of our computers if we are to
ensure its smooth running at all times.

As we work on our computers daily, there are many error
messages that keep popping up and most of them are ignored. What
we fail to understand is that these messages are indicators of a
malfunctioning hard drive which could be on the verge of a crash
soon. A hard drive crash will not only affect our daily duties
but also cause lot of hardships through loss of important data.
Some of the most common errors are, hard drive not Formatted,
Operating system not found, hard drive not found, Disk failure
or Disk drive corrupted, Unknown booting device etc.

Each error indicates a different problem the hard drive may be
facing and most of them need immediate attention. A ‘hard drive
not formatted’ error indicates damaged, deleted or corrupted
hard drive partition. Anything from power cuts or voltage surges
to viruses can cause this. Some disk partitioning utilities and
software downloads or updates could also be the reason. Such a
message blinking could mean some alterations in BIOS boot
priorities have occurred or the hard disk has turned bad or a
virus has infected certain parts of the hard drive. These
symptoms should be attended to immediately, to avoid further
damage to your hard drive.

Apart from such pop up images, also look out for any tell tale
signs like clicking sounds that are emitted from your computer’s
hard drive. These sounds indicate corrupted firmware or damaged
magnetic platters, affected PCB controller, misalignment of the
hard drive components due to a fall and power surges. An
overheated hard drive could also cause expansion of the internal
components, which come in contact of each other causing the
click sounds. Another reason could be a broken actuator arm that
sways freely inside your CPU.

If the problems are left unattended, it would eventually cause
the system to freeze or hang. A computer hangs or freezes when
the user is unable to work, give any further instructions and
when other accessories like mouse or the keyboard fail to
navigate. A freezing or hanging computer means existence of bad
sectors on your computer’s hard drive making it difficult to
read or surpass them. This hinders the hard drive’s ability to
make necessary transactions like reading files or loading
programs and is not able to access other sectors without
completing the given command. Though rebooting or restarting the
computer may help a few times, this condition should not be left
unattended to as the bad sectors may increase with increased
usage causing the complete hard disk to crash.

Heed to the symptoms of your ailing hard disk and you can be
guaranteed a life time trouble free computer.

About the Author: If you live in the Bangkok area and would
like more information, visit
today. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have
regarding data recovery in Bangkok or the surrounding area.


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10 Ways To Protect Your Laptop Against Theft & Loss

marking10 Ways To Protect Your Laptop Against Theft & Loss

Laptop theft is rampant. You have a 1 in 10 chance your shiny new laptop will be stolen. And the real shocker: according to the FBI 97% are never recovered.

And they should know, the U.S. Department of Justice stated in a recent report that the FBI lost 160 laptops in a 44 month period ending in September of 2005. If FBI agents have trouble keeping track of their laptops, imagine what the ordinary person is facing.

The statistics are pretty grim. A laptop is stolen every 53 seconds. Ouch!
With stats like those you have to do everything in your power to avoid becoming a victim of laptop theft. If you keep valuable personal or business information on your laptop the consequences can be even more gruesome and devastating. For laptop hardware can be easily replaced, but your valuable information may be lost forever.

So here are…
10 Practical Ways to Protect Your Laptop Against Theft, Loss or Misplacement.

1. Keep Your Eyes On Your Laptop
Be aware of your laptop at all times especially when traveling. You wouldn’t leave a Thousand Dollar Bill lying around unattended would you? So watch your laptop closely.

2. Don’t Use An Obvious Laptop Bag
Carry your laptop in regular luggage that doesn’t look like it has a laptop. Don’t advertise your laptop to any would-be thieves.

3. Use Visual Locks And Restraints
Use visual locks and restraints to secure your laptop and to act as a deterrent. It won’t fool hardened thieves but most will opt for a less secure laptop. For example, you can use a product like STOP, this system works by attaching a specially-made security plate to your laptop. This plate is barcoded and registered. It also carries a warning label letting would-be cyber thieves know that the ownership of your laptop is permanently monitored.

4. Use Passwords And Encryption
Use passwords and encryption to protect any sensitive information on your laptop. Again, unless you use very sophisticated encryption it won’t fool the experienced hacker or hard-core digital thief but it will slow down and hinder the common criminal.
Set a BIOS Password for your laptop. You have to take advantage of any security option that’s on your laptop’s OS or operating system. For those using Mac OS X you can encrypt your entire hard drive and set-up a master password in order to view it.
Windows XP & Vista lets you encrypt files and folders. Just right click your data, select properties, open general tab and then advanced to check “Encrypt contents to secure data box”.

5. Use Encryption Programs Like Steganos Safe 2007
You can also try something like Steganos Safe 2007. Vital files can be encrypted and it can even turn your USB thumb drive or iPod into a key for unlocking your hard drive.

6. Use Anti-Theft Software Like LoJack
Use anti-theft software that can track and locate your laptop or computer through the IP address once the stolen laptop is used to access the Internet. Use systems like “LoJack For Laptops”. It costs Costs around 50 bucks a year but it may be worth that price for your peace of mind alone.

According to the info on their site they recover 3 out of 4 stolen laptops equipped with the LoJack system. It basically places hidden and silent software that reports back the IP address and location of the laptop once it is stolen and the thief connects to the Internet.

7. Use Invisible Ultraviolet Markings
Use invisible ultraviolet markings so that any recovered stolen laptops will be clearly marked as yours to the police. Keeping track of your laptop’s serial number is also a good idea and have this number stored in a different place other than on your laptop.

8. Try Remote Data Deletion
If you place important information on your laptop have a remotely controlled self-destruct solution in place. Then your highly sensitive information can be deleted remotely after your laptop is stolen.

9. Be Prepared
Create company policies for management of your company’s laptops. Have set procedures in place for tracking and reporting of any laptops stolen or misplaced. Be prepared for the inevitable.

10. Backup Backup Backup
Regularly backup any vital information you have on your laptop. Most information will be useless to potential thieves but may be extremely important to you personally or for the running of your business.

No matter if it is through theft or simple misplacement, losing a laptop is a painful experience, one you should avoid at all costs. However, if it does happen to you, be assured you can minimize the pain by having a complete backup of your laptop’s contents. In most cases, this information will be much more valuable than the laptop itself.

For hardware can be easily replaced, your personal data and months/years of work may take forever to recover or redo. Sometimes it is lost forever, so BACKUP your information regularly. Keep your laptop and its contents safe and out of harm’s way. Simply protect yourself and your laptop by using the tips you have just read.
Copyright (c) 2007 Titus Hoskins

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