Re: Computer Expert Help
Am a day late and a dollar short to the e-party, but...
If your drive failed, check the website of the drive manufacturer, under their warranty section. I had a drive go out on a 5 year old puter I purchased off eBay, and the manufacturer honored the warranty. Also, for future reference, if a system drive appears to go sour, it's always useful to have a standby along with an external USB case. That way, you can pop out the system disk, put it in the external, pop in the standby, boot up, and snoop around the system drive before trashing the data with a full blown format/defrag. The standby *does not* need to be running windoze or any other system pig. I'd probably install a watered down version of linux or bsd. Just enough so that I can snoop around the potentially bad drive.
Btw, format/defrag, does not actually remove the data. It just sets up the file structure, partitions, etcetera, as if you have a new, empty drive. Even the data erasure programs do not guarantee data erasure. All they do is write ones and/or zeros, over and over to the disk surface. This is why most of these programs suggest you set them to execute, at the very least, 16 passes. But in reality, give me an electron microscope and I can probably recover the majority of data. That is, unless there was a head crash. Though, even a head crash doesn't wipe data, it just makes it impossible for the read/write head to scan the surface of the drive.
To understand how this works, take 3 or 4 quarters. Now, drop one on the table. Take the next quarter, and try to drop that quarter so that it is perfectly aligned with the previous quarter, and so on and so forth. What you will see is that they will never align perfectly. There will always be a smidgen sticking out. Now, consider how a disk drive works. The disks are spinning at 2200 RPMs, while the drive head is floating above the surface, due to the air cushion created by the spinning disk, is moved between the center of the disk and its outer edges via servo (in the old days, the used a stepping motor). It is also attempting to write data by changing the magnetic properties of the surface which generally involves flipping bits, so to speak, directly under the read/write head. However, these flipped bits are never exact. Hence, if necessary, one can still retrieve data from an "allegedly" erased disk drive.
Wrt to virus protection, that sort of thing. TrendMicro is okay but imnsho, hardly the best virus protection out there. And Norton & Symantec, are more bloatware, than anything. For this reason, I generally advise my clients go with Comodo Internet Security Suite. And no, I don't work for Comodo. My consultancy simply requires I keep abreast of security solutions. In any event, imho, Comodo's free version is not only good enough but outdoes other security tools by far. Esp considering that it not only provides a firewall and virus protection but protection against Trojans and RootKits, as well.
And finally, if you're just needing the basics (i.e., word processing, reading email, surfing the web, storing pics/vids), I'd strongly urge you to go with Mac. While the skr1pt kiddie community is beginning to turn their attention toward Mac OS X, though, they're more focused upon iOS, these days, OS X is still by far less susceptible to this sort of thing. Though, if you do go with Mac, then you'd need to rely upon Little Snitch, or some such to protect your data.
Btw, and aside, if I were you, I certainly would not give or sell the old drive to anyone on the internet. Just take it apart and take a hammer to the thing. I only say this bc, imho, you don't want some stranger accessing any private data that remains on that drive.
Last edited by shadowraiths; 06-07-2012 at 08:22 PM.