Some would argue that 'Data loss' is the biggest of the three Ds ('Death' and 'Divorce' being the other two). But no matter how you rank them, few things in life are capable of inducing that same gut wrenching feeling you get from realizing you just deleted a group of files you weren't supposed to, or nuked the wrong partition. Oops!
Lucky for you, several companies have stepped up to the plate with programs that promise to recover your data when you can no longer do so on your own. How can that be? Well, whether you deleted a file or hosed an entire partition, your data isn't actually destroyed, Windows just no longer knows where to look for it. Your files remain until their location is overwritten with new data. For this reason, you'll want to install a data recovery app on a separate drive than the one you're trying to recover data from.
We put eight different data recovery apps to the test -- six of them free, and two that will set you back half a C-note -- and we'll tell you which ones are worth your time and, if applicable, your money.
Last week an unusual number of Seagate 1TB Barracuda hard drive owners came forward complaining of lock ups and other related hard drive failures. The problem appeared to affect Barracuda 7200.11 drives made in Thailand (ST3100034AS), to which Seagate ultimately determined was the result of faulty firmware. But now users are complaining that the updated firmware Seagate posted has only made matters worse.
According to Tomshardware, "100 percent of users who attempted the update have bricked their drives with the new firmware" after updating to version SD1A. The update is now "temporarily taken offline as of Jan 19, 2008 8PM CST for validation," but users who managed to attempt the update before it was taken offline say they are getting read errors preventing them from accessing the data.
While the knowledgebase article makes no mention of manufacture date, one user who contacted Seagate customer support claims he was told only drives manufactured in December need to be updated, and his drive, which was built in October, failed because of this. Whether or not that's the case, we'll have to wait until hearing an official word from Seagate. In the meantime, if you're an affected owner, you'd do well to keep an eye on this thread.
Todd Jackson, Google's Product Manager for Gmail, told CNet in a recent interview "We know people's file sizes are getting bigger. They want to share their files, keep them in the cloud, and not worry about which computer they're on. Google wants to be solving these problems." And while Jackson didn't specifically mention the oft rumored Google Drive, Mac users point out that Google's recently released Picasa for Mac gives users the option to move an image collection to 'Google Web Drive.' Not convinced? Consider that a WHOIS check of googlewebdrive.com reveals Google's name servers, suggesting such a service is a matter of when, not if.
TGDaily believes "the service has the potential to eclipse even Gmail, Google's second best-known product after their google.com search engine." But would it? Cloud-based storage isn't a new concept, and several services already exist offering to host your files online. But Google has the advantage of owning, by last estimate, an infinite number of servers (we rounded up), paving the way for the search giant to offer much more space at no cost, and perhaps wrapped up in a sleek user interface. Throw in some useful features like malware scanning, image backups, auto-syncing, and whatever else Google might be working on, and TGDaily might just be right. But this all assumes you're ready to store your data in the cloud.
Hit the jump and tell us whether or not you could see yourself replacing your storage drive with Gdrive.
Should you have the misfortune of experiencing a flood or fire in your home, backing up your digital photos, music, documents, and other data probably isn't high on your list of things to do. Even power users tend to put family and pets first, and for those of you that are married, don't forget the wedding album (for the wife) and universal remote (for the husband).
A new product by Solo promises to keep your data safe in the event of a disaster if you don't have time to pick up your computer, laptop, and other devices containing your data. The company's ioSafe is an external USB 2.0 storage unit capable of holding up to 1.5TB, but unlike typical external backup drives, the ioSafe was built to withstand extreme situations. Solo says it can survive temperatures up to 1550° F for 30 minutes and/or being submerged in 10 feet of fresh- or saltwater for 3 days. To prove it, Solo posted a video demonstrating situations you probably (definitely) shouldn't try at home.
The ioSafe is available for preorder (ships January 28, 2009) in 500GB, 1TB, and 1.5TB capacities for $150, $200, and $300 respectively.
Tom's Hardwarereports that Western Digital will be first to market with a 2TB drive. The WD20EADS is a part of WD's GreenPower series, and uses four 500GB platters. Other specs include 32MB of cache and a seek time of 8.9ms.
Although Tom's Hardware reports that the drive will run at 5400RPM or 7200RPM, you should take the claim of 7200RPM with a grain of salt until we get our hands on actual hardware for testing. As this analysis from SilentPC on the first GreenPower drive indicates, GreenPower drives normally run at the slower speed.
How much will the first 2TB drive set you back? Around $210-240, rumors say, but we'll all know for sure when the drive hits retail shelves later this week. Will you be lining up for the first 2TB drive, or would you rather have a couple of 1TB drives? Join us after the break and sound off.
QNAP is a company that hasn’t had a release in some time, but it’s clear they weren’t up to nothing. Their latest release, the TS-639 Pro Turbo NAS has had plenty of time spent on it, evident by just how much has been packed under the hood.
What is the TS-639 Pro Turbo NAS, you ask? Well, in short, it’s network storage that packs six bays, a 1.6GHZ Intel CPU, 1GB of DDR RAM, gigabit Ethernet and support for just about every type of RAID under the sun (0/1/5/6/5+spare). Match all that up with built-in iSCSI target service with Thin Provisioning, and you’ve got one heck of a NAS.
Still, there’s no mention yet on pricing or availability.
Now in its third generation of solid state drives (SSDs), SanDisk says its new G3 series qualifies as the world's fastest multi-level cell (MLC) based SSDs, equating the performance to that of a theoretical 40K RPM hard drive. That's a big claim considering that, for the most part, SSDs have thus far failed to push real-world performance boundaries.
SanDisk rates the G3 series at 200MB/s read and 140MB/s write, which the company says is five times speedier than the fastest 7,200 RPM hard drives, and twice that of SSDs shipping in 2008. On the reliability side, which is another concern when it comes to high usage Flash memory, SanDisk says its G3 series can withstand 160 terabytes written (TBW) for the 240GB version before the cells turn into read-only. By SanDisk's measurements, that translates to over a century of typical usage.
One-Terabyte drives are no longer unusual, but until now, drive vendors have needed three or more platters to hit the magic 1TB goal. Not any more.
Seagate is now shipping the first 1TB hard disk to get the job done with just two platters: the Barracuda 7200.12. It jams 320 Gigabits of storage per square inch into each platter to achieve its 500GB per platter capacity. It uses a 3Gbps SATA interface and a 32MB cache to move your data around.
The drive is also available in 750GB (32MB cache) and 500GB (16MB cache) capacities. No word on official pricing yet on the 1TB big guy, but some websites are showing the 500GB model selling for about the same price as its predecessor, the Barracuda 7200.11 (32MB cache).
What do you think about getting the same capacity with fewer platters? Join us after the jump and sound off.
Do you ever find yourself wondering what to do with those spare SSDs you have lying around? Neither do we, but A-DATA's new XPG Dual SSD 3.5" RAID Enclosure makes a fairly compelling pitch to go out and buy a pair of the pricey drives. Or at least put to use those spare HDDs cluttering your PC room, which is a far more likely scenario.
Whether you want to roll with a pair of SSDs or HDDs, A-DATA's RAID enclosure will accommodate both. By adjusting the hardware DIP switch on the back, users can opt to run each drive independently or in tandem with seven different RAID modes to choose from, including JPOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, Span, SAFE33, SAFE50, or GUI.
A-DATA's multi-purpose enclosure comes with a one-button backup utility and can be used as either an internal or external unit with support for both SATA and USB. The enclosure will also be offered without the built-in RAID function.
Both versions are expected to ship by the end of Q1 2009, and according to TomsHardware, will run roughly $30 for the non-RAID version and $60 with built-in RAID.
Just how low can the memory market go? Pretty freakin' low, according to DRAMeXchange, who revised its flash bit growth from 108 percent in September to 81 percent. By comparison, that number stood at 175 percent in 2006, or more than double what it currently is. DRAMeXchange blames the slowed growth rate on declining demand for electronic gadgets.
Despite the weakened demand, the market research firm estimates 1Gb flash shipments to reach 52 billion units, up significantly from 28 billion in 2008. But as competition continues to heat up in the memory market and push flash storage capacities to new heights, actual chip shipments are expected to decline as a result. Throw in an oversupply of flash memory and there's not much for memory makers to celebrate in 2009.
Also feeling the pinch are SSD sales. There's been a major push in 2008 towards maneuvering SSDs into the mainstream, but despite those efforts, sales have been lower than anticipated.
"The penetration rate of SSD in the low cost PC market will be lower than 10% in 2009,” DRAMeXchange stated. "The short term demand mainly comes from the industrial market and the outcome in the low cost PC market is actually lower than expected, which was due to price and reliability issues."
The upshot, at least for consumers, is that flash memory is dirt cheap, and will probably remain that way at least through the next few months.