What is “ATA Password Lock” to prevent theft or loss of HDD / SSD or PC?
It is common for personal information and confidential company information to be stored on an HDD or SSD built into a personal computer. Therefore, if your computer is stolen or lost, important information may be extracted from the HDD or SDD. In case of theft or loss, it is important to take measures in advance so that the contents of the HDD or SSD cannot be seen by others. One method is “ATA password lock” introduced this content. However, since this ATA password lock is a very strong security feature, if you use it incorrectly, you may not be able to access your data yourself. Let’s learn how to use it correctly in this content.
1. ATA password lock that restricts reading and writing of an HDD / SSD itself
2. How to set and unlock ATA password lock
3. What if you forget or don’t know your password?
If you lock the ATA password, you no need to worry about your data being seen by others even if your computer or HDD or SSD is stolen or lost. However, since the data is recorded unencrypted, it is easy to see if the password is known. Also, if you forget the password, not only you lose the data, but you are not be able to use the HDD or SSD itself. Be careful.
How can I retrieve data when an HDD or SSD is no longer recognized?
In some cases, when using a PC, it suddenly stops starting one day, or the startup stops halfway and you cannot proceed further. Such cases occur when an OS such as Windows is damaged, or when a part of an HDD or SSD is damaged and normal reading cannot be performed. The other cases, an external HDD or SSD cannot be read. In both cases, the data may be safe at the initial stage. If these happens, follow the steps below to retrieve your important data before it is lost.
1. An internal HDD / SSD
2. An external HDD / SSD
As you can see, how easily data can be retrieved from an HDD or SSD depends on whether it is physically damaged. If you are not confident that you can take it out yourself, consult with a store where you purchased it or a nearby PC shop. And since it takes time and effort to remove an HDD or SSD from the main unit or purchase parts to retrieve the data, it is still the best preventive method to keep a backup.
Not only HDDs and SSDs, but also DVDs and USB memories can be used. So it is important to copy your data to another medium anyway. One option is to use a cloud service that automatically makes backup online. HDDs and SSDs are consumables and no one can predict when they break. Always keep a backup in case of an accident.
What is the proper disposal method when a used PC or external HDD / SSD is no longer needed?
It is said that the life cycle of a PC today is three years. As the price of PCs drops rapidly, it may be common for manufacturers to design with a durability of about 3 years. For individual use, it may be used for a little longer though, for companies, it often takes about three years to replace it with a new model. If you buy a new PC, you may dispose of the old PC, however the PC has an internal HDD or SSD that contains your important data. If they are thrown away without data erase, they may be extracted by someone and may be misused. This content introduces how to properly dispose of used PCs, external HDDs, and SSDs.
1. How to properly dispose of a PC
2. What if you want to dispose of an external hard drive or an SSD
3. About HDD data erasure
4. Is it possible to reuse HDDs and SSDs?
Since various data is stored in either an HDD or SSD built into a used PC or an external HDD or SSD, it is not recommended to throw it away unnecessarily. Even if you erase the data on the surface, it may be restored by using special software or technology. Be sure to completely erase the data at your own risk. Or, if you cannot do it by yourself, ask a reliable specialist. Occasionally, you may try to puncture or destroy an HDD or SSD yourself with a hammer or drill, however since this is dangerous and may not lead to complete data erasure, it is not recommended.
For companies that process a large number of HDDs and SSDs in a year, using a device such as an HDD destroyer help you safely destroy them.
What to do if an HDD or an SSD does not boot?
One day, when you turn on your PC to work, you wonder why it does not start. In this case, there are several causes though, most of the time it is a temporary malfunction and may starts when you turn it on once again. Also, in reality, there are quite a lot of cases where an SD card, external HDD, and USB memory are left inserted and read before an HDD of the main unit. Depending on a settings of a PC, if they are inserted, they will be read preferentially, but of course they do not start because there is no OS such as Windows, and they stop with a black screen. (A few years ago, floppy disks were often left inserted in similar cases.) If these are the causes, you don’t have to rush because an HDD of the main body will start normally if you unplug everything inserted in the main body of the PC and turn on the power again. However, if these are not causes, but an HDD or SSD built into a PC does not boot, there is a little troublesome problem. This content explains such a case.
1. An internal HDD does not start! An internal SSD does not boot!
1-1. Case 1: When an OS such as Windows is damaged
1-2. Case 2: When an HDD or SSD is physically damaged
2. An external HDD does not boot
There are several reasons why an HDD and SSD do not boot, but as explained here, it is very difficult to rescue data due to corruption. An HDD and SSD have a limited lifespan, and it is not possible to know when they breaks, so it is important to keep a backup at all times. If you save the data in two or more places, such as the main unit and the external device, you can rest assured that the data will remain even if one of them breaks. Let’s make a backup of your data and photos so you don’t lose them.
Erased important data accidentally! HDD and SSD data recovery method
Many people have experience of losing data due to unexpected troubles or accidentally erasing important photos and files while using a personal computer. It is most important to always keep a backup in case of an HDD and SSD failure or trouble, however some of you might not have a backup in case of sudden trouble. If you want to recover some data that you have deleted, you may recover the internal data. This content explains how to recover an HDD and SSD data.
1. Recover data using software
1-1. HDD data recovery
1-2. SSD data recovery
2. Ask a professional contractor
3. To increase the probability of data recovery
Data recovery using software is not so difficult, so you may feel free to try it. However, this method works on only deleted files. When an HDD or SSD cannot be read in earnest, it becomes difficult to determine whether the cause is a logical failure or a physical failure. As mentioned above, if you can’t decide for yourself, it is better to ask a professional contractor as soon as possible.
* This content does not guarantee 100% recovery.
Procedure for sharing and saving data saved on HDDs or SSDs
Have you ever wanted to share data with other PCs while using your PC? Also, how do people who use personal computers at work, share files within the work place? There are many ways to share files. By sharing files, you can easily manage data on other PCs and eliminate the hassle of your work. One of them is to use an external HDD with NAS or a router. This content introduces a specific method for file sharing.
1. Use NAS
2. Use an external HDD or SSD as a file server
There are many ways to share data online, such as online storage services and cloud storage services. In addition, there are various types such as those that store data only on an online server and those that store the same data on both a backup device like as an HDD or SSD and an online server.
These have an advantage of being able to realize file sharing without any hardware, however there are also disadvantages such as being insecure and limited capacity because the data is stored on an online storage. Including NAS or an external HDD / SSD file server introduced here, firstly consider what kind of data you want to access and share it with whom and with how many people, and choose a suitable sharing method for you.
Basic knowledge you want to know! Let’s understand speed and performance of HDD and SSD
Basically, HDDs and SSDs have been installed in a PC when you buy it. How much do users understand about this HDD and SSD? Although there is an image that stores data somehow, there may be many people who do not understand the transfer speed and the performance.
An HDD and an SSD are indispensable points for creating a comfortable personal computer environment. If you deepen your understanding of its speed and performance, you will be able to create more suitable personal computer environment.
1. HDD and SSD storage capacity
2. Performance related to HDD and SSD speed
2-1. Number of platters (HDD only)
2-2. Rotation speed (HDD only)
2-3. Cache capacity (HDD / SSD)
2-4. SSD type (SSD only)
The performance of an HDD and SSD cannot be judged only by these capacity. The transfer speed also has a big influence on how comfortable you can handle your work on your computer. Of course, speed is very important not only when purchasing a personal computer but also when choosing an external HDD or SSD. The higher the performance, the higher the price of most products. It is important to determine the required performance in consideration of your own usage and environment.
I can’t save the file! How to solve when an HDD or an SSD runs out of the capacity
As you use your PC, various data and files will be accumulated. Not only files such as Word, Excel, and images, but also installing an update program when updating software fills capacity of an HDD and an SSD, and the operation of a PC becomes slow and unstable. So what should you do if your HDD or SSD runs out of space? This content introduces a method to solve an HDD or an SSD capacity shortage using a Windows PC as an example.
1. Delete unnecessary files
2. Disk cleanup
3. Move old files to external media
Although a huge amount of data files are stored in a personal computer, not all of them are used all the time, and some of them may not be used over time. In such a case, try increasing a free space on an HDD or an SSD using the method explained this content. However, if the capacity is still insufficient, consider adding more HDDs and SSDs, or replacing a PC with the one equipped with a larger capacity of an HDD or an SSD.
How long can you use it? Learn the useful life of HDDs and SSDs
HDDs and SSDs also have a useful life. Generally, it is called “lifetime”. HDDs and SSDs naturally deteriorate with the frequency of use, environment, and the passage of time. Keep in mind that it will eventually become unusable due to a breakdown. And it’s important to be prepared before troubles occur frequently and can’t be solved. Therefore, this content explains useful life of HDDs and SSDs.
1. Difference in useful life between HDDs and SSDs
2. What affects useful life of HDDs and SSDs?
HDDs and SSDs are consumables. Many things that cause breakdowns, such as shock, heat, and static electricity, are hidden in our daily lives. By taking care of your HDD or SSD every day, you can take measures such as backing up before it becomes irreparable. It should also be a guide for when to replace your PC.
Since usually an HDD or an SSD containing important data, it is recommended that you are prepared in case of emergency, while paying attention to how to use it so that its useful life will be extended as much as possible.
What to do if you hear an abnormal noise from the HDD?
If you use a same computer for a long time, you may hear strange noises from the internal hard disk. If you hear the sound for the first time, you may think that it is temporarily in bad condition and leave it as it is. However, the abnormal noise of a hard disk can be a precursor to failure. So as not to be too late to deal with, keep in mind what to do if you hear a strange noise. By the way, in case of an SSD, since it is a type of memory, there is almost no noise. However, instead, data may suddenly become unreadable or the drive itself may become unrecognizable without any warning. Therefore, be especially careful when using it, and make sure you learn what to do in the unlikely event.
1. Sounds from an HDD
2. What to do if you hear an abnormal noise from a HDD
2-1. If a PC can still be started normally
2-2. If data is corrupted
2-3. If your PC does not start
HDDs and SSDs are consumables. Therefore, if you continue to use it for a long time, it deteriorates and eventually breaks down. For example, HDDs are generally supposed to be replaced about 2 to 3 years. However, some stop working within one month after purchase, and some can be used even after 10 years. Therefore, it is also important to periodically start dedicated software such as CrystalDiskInfo and check the S.M.A.R.T information in order to grasp the possibility of failure in advance.
* “S.M.A.R.T information” is a numerical value that manages health status of an HDD or an SSD by a diagnostic function of the HDD and SSD itself. It is very important to learn how to deal with an abnormal sounds from an HDD or an SSD in advance so that you will not be in panic.