Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Hard Drive Basics and Beyond Part2

The list is as follows

As of 2010, virtually all of the world's Hard Disk Drives are manufactured by just five large companies: Seagate, Western Digital, Hitachi, Samsung, and Toshiba.

Now to the Fun Stuff

Whether we are building our own computer, upgrading our existing PC or just adding an extra hard drive to increase storage, we usually rely entirely on Windows for maintenance and care of this new or old hard drive. That's not always as efficient or good as it sounds. If you have ever used the Windows defragment software to defrag your hard drive, you know just how tedious and long this process is. The Defrag program itself is not very intuitive and has very few adjustable parameters.

Defragmenting is good!

It is usually a good idea to download a non Windows defragmenter with more user friendly options such as quick defrag, data map (for seeing what chunks of data are being moved) or selectable defragment options which allow you to choose what to defragment. What you select as your program of choice is entirely up to you. Be advised, however. Microsoft has been
steadily working you away from having any control over how you
defragment your drive.

With each upgrade and revision of Windows, you see less and less of what is actually going on with your hard drive, which places all of your trust on a company most people know very little about.

If you are like me, your hardware is important to you, and you want to know more, not less about what may be going wrong with your equipment. Why defrag doesn't automatically run when your hard drive slows down due to severe fragmentation is a mystery I have never solved.
Your antivirus will stop a program from destroying data, your Desktop has an automatic cleanup wizard, and even your Email asks if you want to compact messages to save space. So why does Windows allow your hard drive to fragment itself to such a state that data loss can occur simply
because Windows can no longer remember where your files are stored?

Well, those problems won't be solved by wishful thinking, we have to take control and do this ourselves. Some good defragment programs will have a scheduler, and you will want to set this up to run at a time when you will not be busy on your PC. Remember to disable screensavers as this will slow down your defrag speed. Some antiviruses can do this as well, especially if they just happen to update you while the defragmenter is running. Essentially Any program that writes data to your hard drive while you are trying to defrag it will slow down your completion time, so turn it off.

Scandisk or Checkdisk

CHKDSK (short for Checkdisk) is a command on computers running DOS, OS/2 and Microsoft Windows operating systems that displays the file system integrity status of hard disks and floppy disk and can fix logical file system errors. It is similar to the fsck command in Unix.
On computers running NT-based versions of Windows, CHKDSK can also check the disk surface for physical errors or bad sectors, (an area of the disk that may have had a momentary head
crash) a task previously done by SCANDISK (for older versions of Windows such as, 95,98,ME).

This version of CHKDSK can also handle some physical errors and recover data that is still readable.

When do you run scandisk?

1. When data loss has occurred, typically when Windows cannot find a file.
2. When your computer can actually find the file, but takes forever getting there.
3. When your PC is using a hibernation file as well as system restore and cant restore properly.
4. When your PC continually starts up in safe mode.
5. When you get an error stating that Windows must shut down to prevent data loss.
6. After a virus is detected and cleaned.

Windows does not perform this check automatically or when an error occurs. In some instances such as several hard starts or crashes, Windows will offer to run the scandisk or start itself, but by then it is usually too late to actually do any good. While it may make you feel better that the Disk check program has started on it's own, and it appears that Windows is trying to protect you from data loss, the actual fact is that this is a last ditch effort for Windows to recover itself, not your data, but it's own startup files. If your data gets saved in the process, so much the better.

Alternately you can run Scandisk-Checkdisk in the Shell mode or dos type box.
CHKDSK can be run from the Windows Shell, the Windows Command Prompt or the Windows Recovery Console. One option for CHKDSK is the use of the Command-line/R parameter, which allows the program to repair damage it finds on the hard drive.
Conducting a CHKDSK can take some time, especially if using the /R parameter, and the results are often not visible, for various reasons. The results of a CHKDSK conducted on restart using Windows 2000 or later operating systems are written to the Application Log, with a "Source"
name of Wininit or Winlogon and can be viewed with the Event Viewer.

This method is usually your last line of defense and will only be offered in extreme situations where a boot failure has occurred.

A word on SFC (System File Checker)

Have you ever had a program fail to execute, then follow with a DLL error of some type? This is a handy way to restore that corrupt, missing or virus altered DLL, and it can be started in Windows.
By default, Windows File Protection is always enabled and allows Windows digitally signed files to replace existing files safely. Currently, signed files are distributed through:

# Windows Service Packs
# Hotfix distributions
# Operating system upgrades
# Windows Update
# Windows Device Manager

If you introduce a file replacement in any other way, Windows File protection will overwrite your file! An important part of Windows File Protection is the command line utility:

System File Checker (sfc.exe)

Use this utility when you suspect there may be a problem with a Windows XP system file. To do this simply go to the Run box on the Start Menu and type in: sfc /scannow.

Posted by on

Computers & Internet Logo

Related Topics:

Related Questions:

1 Answer

My external hdd has is not detecting


Seagate is a company that manufactures external hard drives.

These hard drives can be used to house large files or even to backup an entire hard drive.


When your Seagate external hard drive is not working properly, you might ready to send it into the company for repair.


Before you send it away, you can troubleshoot the problem and potentially save yourself a lot of time and grief.


Look over the power cable going from the wall outlet to the back of the Seagate hard drive. Make sure that there aren't any breaks or tears in the electrical wiring.

If there are breaks, replace the power cord.


Look over the power cable and make sure that it is plugged into the wall outlet in your home as well as plugged into the back of the hard drive.


Plug the power cable directly into the wall outlet or into a surge protector.

Do not plug the power cable into an extension cord.


Seagate Data Cable


Disconnect all of the USB devices that are plugged into your computer's USB ports except for your mouse and your keyboard.

Disconnect the Seagate external hard drive from your computer.


Unplug the power cable from the back of the Seagate external hard drive and restart your computer.


Wait until your computer has fully booted and then plug the power cable back into the hard drive.


Look over the USB data cable to make sure that there are breaks or tears in the cable.

Look over the ends of the cable where they meet the computer and the hard drive.


Make sure the pins are straight.

Replace the cable if needed.


Plug the data cable into the back of the hard drive.

Plug the data cable into your computer.


Hope this helps.


Nov 23, 2012 | Seagate FreeAgent Go 250 GB USB 2.0 Hard...

1 Answer

my Seagate Harddisk model no is ST380011A, S/N :5JVVXM9, P/N : 9W2003-399, HDA P/N : 100348969, Config: CXN-01, Date Code-06266. I want to confirm, Is my hard disk in warranty? plz give me answer?


Jan 6 2006 is the build date according to the published coding readily available. I tried plugging in your serial number and listed part number(s) to the Seagate database, and could not get a validated response (ie., it couldn't make sense of the numbers). In any case, it's nearly five years, and I don't think that would put it in warranty.

Dec 29, 2010 | Computers & Internet

2 Answers

I need 500 GB/1TB external Hard disk. Please inform me the suppliers address at Hosur, Tamilnadu



Games World, Chennai
Wholesale exporters of hard disk drive, laptop optical drives, laptop hard disk drives, desktop hard disk drives, portable hard disk drive, external hard disk drives, digital hard disk drivers and digital hard disk drivers.

Address: No. 39, 100 Feet Road, Jawaharlal Nehru Salai Koyambedu, Chennai, Tamil Nadu - 600 107, India
Mobile / Cell Phone: +(91)-9381218111
Website: http://www.indiamart.com/games-world/


Subhashree Infotech Pvt Ltd
Engaged in manufacturing and supplying of hard disk drive which includes external hard disk drive, laptop hard disk drive and compact hard disk drive. Also offering laptop battery, laptop memory etc.

Address: No. 2/22-A, IInd Street, Mangali Nagar, Arumbakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu - 600 106, India
Phone: +(91)-(44)-45554060/45554062 Fax: +(91)-(44)-45554063
Mobile / Cell Phone: +(91)-9790946899/9790946898
Website: http://www.indiamart.com/big-network/


Rajan Associates
Retailer of all types of hard disk drive.

Address: 1/1730, Gandhiji Street, Pandiyan Nagar, Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu - 626 001, India
Phone: +(91)-(4562)-242372
Mobile / Cell Phone: +(91)-9965525589/9865800181
Website: http://www.indiamart.com/rajanassociates/


Om Computers
Engaged in production of hard disk drives.

Address: No. 40- A, Kamarajar Salai, Madurai, Tamil Nadu - 625 001, India
Phone: +(91)-(452)-4378338 Fax: +(91)-(452)-4378338
Mobile / Cell Phone: +(91)-9344104673
Website: http://www.indiamart.com/company/2275232/



Sathya Agencies Private Limited
Trader of hard disk drives like external hard disk drives.

Address: 370,Palayamkottai Road,, Thoothukkudi, Tamil Nadu - 628002, India
Phone: +(91)-(461)-2324985 Fax: +(91)-(461)-4200985
Website: http://www.indiamart.com/sathya-agencies-pvtltd/


Dec 27, 2010 | Transcend USA 120GB Storejet 2.5" SATA -...

3 Answers

my seagate hardisk is damage & burn pannel


Dear User! You can fix that problem by yourself. Take a bootable CD insert into your CD/ DVD rom and use seagate disk manager 2000. Use advance option and repaired your hard disk yourself.
Thank You

Jul 28, 2009 | Seagate 500GB Barracuda ES.2 SATA 3Gb/s...

1 Answer

I reformatted my C: drive and ever since Windows will not recognize my Seagate External Free Agent hard drive. It shows up under ?My Computer? as Removable Disk (I: )? It used to be listed as Seagate Free Agent (I: ). When I go to explore I get a message telling me to insert a disk. Usually when the device is connected, Windows XP brings up the message box asking what to open the disk with. It no longer does that. The disk shows up in Device Manager and says it is working fine. When go to Manage from My Computer and select Disk Management., Seagate shows up but without it?s letter. When you right click on the device to change the path, it only says Help instead options. Also, in Disk Management, it designates disk 2 as removable disk II) and disk 3 is Seagate Free Agent with no letter designation. I have all of my backup software, programs, mail backup, artwork and data on this drive and sadly did not back it up. I need to access this drive. Please, can you help my to get windows XP to connect to the device? I have tried a gazillion suggestions and nothing has worked.


Try connecting it to another computer. If you can see your data then back it up etc.
After you have recovered your data connect it to your computer, from Disk Manager, remove the partition, recreate it again and then format the drive, hopefully your external drive will be operational again.
There is a possibility that the hard disk has died and you will have lost your data. If you are desparate, hard drive data recovery companies charge an arm and a leg to recover data from dead drives.

Jan 10, 2009 | Seagate Free Agent Go Small 12 GB USB...

Not finding what you are looking for?

190 people viewed this tip

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Computers & Internet Experts

Doctor PC
Doctor PC

Level 3 Expert

7733 Answers

kakima

Level 3 Expert

102366 Answers

David Payne
David Payne

Level 3 Expert

14161 Answers

Are you a Computer and Internet Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Loading...