laptop security

What is a Hard Drive?

What is a hard drive? It's term hard drive used interchangeably with hard disk or even fixed disk. These terms are merged or mangled in various ways: hard disk drive, fixed drive or even hard fixed drive.

what is a hard drive?

The term hard drive reflects the current reality, where both the disk and drive are sold and maintained as a single unit. It's a mass produced package, a commodity. If the disk, drive or any other component breaks the cheapest and most effective solution is to replace the whole unit.

Hard Drive Replacement

Hard drives are the primary storage medium in our laptop and desktop computers. There is at least one built into every laptop. They are the weakest link in terms of data security. Precision electro-mechanical devices operating at high speed within microscopic tolerances. They are crammed into a hot space inside a plastic box, that is lugged around with minimum care and attention. It's amazing that hard drives operating under these conditions survive as long as they do. The average life of a hard drive in a laptop computer is 2-3 years.

Unless a laptop is still under warranty, it's rarely worth replacing a hard drive that has had an electro-mechanical problem. It's time to replace the laptop. How can that be? It's because technology keeps progressing and especially hard drive technology. The 40GB or 80GB hard drive in your laptop will be a museum piece in 2 years. In 2 years only the latest 4TB or 8TB drives will be available. Anyone replacing a current model 80GB in 2010 will pay a big premium.

The reality is that laptops are disposable commodities. They should be written off over a maximum of two to three years. Once they get to that age they are susceptible to major problems that have laptop security implications.

Hard Drive Vulnerabilities

In asking the question "what is a hard drive?" our intention is to highlight the vulnerability of data on a laptop and the necessity to do everything possible so that data can be recovered in the event of disaster. That disaster maybe anything from theft, water damage, sabotage, virus infection, software bug, accidental data erasure or disk crash. These are everyday events in the life of a laptop.

One of the better data recovery tools available is Restore My Files

Listed below are some common "hard drive" related keywords used everyday in web searches. They tell a story:

Hard drive data recovery services are expensive, but when every other avenue has been exhausted you may be prepared to pay nearly anything to recover data.

What is a hard drive? There are internal and external drives. Internal hard drives as found in laptops can be inexpensively backed up to external drives. These range from a few hundred GB's to 2-4TB's external hard drives.

Hard Drive Maintenance

  • Hard drives must be checked regularly for potential problems.
  • Check data integrity using tools such as CHKDSK and 3rd party products.
  • Delete unnecessary data and defrag regularly.
  • Maintain a minimum of 20% free disk space.
  • Backup daily or in the worst case weekly.

What is a hard drive? It's a disaster waiting to happen. Consider the option of a drive upgrade.

Surf The Internet At Work?


Windows and other software programs store history about the different activities that you have performed on your computer and on the Internet. This information is stored in the system areas of your hard disk and the built-in Windows functions like 'Clear History' offer little protection as they can only partially delete this data. Anyone can take a look at your history and find out what you have been doing on your computer, and this raises serious privacy concerns.

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