How To Upgrade Your Hard Drive Without Data Loss

A hard drive upgrade is now a common upgrade undertaken on both desktop and laptop computers. Usually it is recommended that you completely reinstall the operating system on the new drive for the cleanest of installs but this is not always wanted or possible and in these case you can clone your current hard drive to your new drive. The benefits of this are

  • There is no need to reinstall software
  • No need to reinstall the operating system
  • Your drive is cloned but the space available increased

There are a few things that should be noted.

1. You can’t clone a larger drive to a smaller drive. For example if your current drive is 250GB you cannot clone it to a 200GB drive for obvious reasons.

2. There are many free software programs out there that let you clone like for like (250GB to 250GB) but those that do let you clone from a smaller drive to a larger drive can be more complex.

Free Software Vs Non Free Software

There are a number of free tools out there that can clone your hard drive but many of them can be complex to use or don’t clone the smaller drive to a larger drive they only do like for like copies. You can find tools like clonezilla or easeus disk copy will do a disk clone very well.

In my experience there are a couple of non free programs out there that I have used in the past that makes this task easy and pain-free without having to have a wealth of technical knowledge.

Acronis True Image Home

True image is not only a tool you can use to clone your hard drive it is also a fully featured backup suite.

The clone tool in the program allows you to make a duplicate copy of your drive to a drive of equal size or a larger drive. When cloning to a larger drive the software adjusts the free space to use all available space on the new drive.

Norton Ghost

Another tool that is very popular and effective when cloning a drive is Norton ghost which can be purchased from Norton website. Norton Ghost has a feature called copy my hard drive which clones an exact copy of your current drive.

Cloning Vs Reinstalling

I believe if you have the windows installation disks and product keys for your software your best option is always to reinstall the operating system rather than clone your hard drive.

The reasons for this are simple. You will get a lot cleaner install from a re-install then you will from a hard drive clone. While cloning the hard drive with some software is easy and works great they are never 100%. By installing a clean version of your operating system you are giving your computer and new hard drive a fresh start.

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Improving Your PC Speed: 4 Easy Tips For Windows 7 Step by Step

Note: To continue be sure to be logged as administrator, otherwise you probably will not be able to complete all the steps. These tips are basic, there are other procedures that may also achieve the objective, however i recommend these as a start.

Tip #1. Get some space!

Your computer can get crowded very easily with things that are not used or were supposed to be temporary. The tool here is called Disk Cleanup. To use this tool:

1. Click Start, then All Programs, click Accessories, click Systems Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup. Then specify the drive you want to clean and wait for the program to analyze the disk.

2. A dialog box will appear where you will be asked to select which files will be deleted in the Files to delete list, here you can chose to keep something or just get rid of everything. Check only those you want to delete and click OK.

3. You might be prompted to confirm the operation, if so click Yes. A few minutes later the process will complete and close the dialog box.

Tip #2. Check for errors.

Hard drives can develop bad sectors, these can slow down data writing or saving. To scan our disk for errors we use the Error Checking utility. To use this tool:

1. Click Start, then Computer.

2. Right-click the hard disk you want to scan, then select and click Properties.

3. In the dialog box, click the Tools tab, then click the Check Now button.

4. In the next dialog box, select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors option and click Start.

5. This will start the process; if any bad sectors are found choose to fix/recover/repair them.

6. When finished close any remaining windows.

Tip #3. Dispose of bugs and protect your computer.

Spyware, malware, adware, viruses and much other nasty software pose a threat to your confidentiality and can hinder your computer task speed and performance. There are tons of Malicious Software Removal Tools available, even if most of them are quite effective, you may want to consult technical forums to see the user reviews of them and I would recommend also see specialized sites which contains technical reviews of these programs so you can find the best one that suits your budget. Those programs have their own guide to help you.

Tip #4. Organize and Consolidate your Disk.

As a busy office, if the disk is well organized and all papers are in their proper place, everything runs smoother and faster. The tool to use here is Disk Defragmenter. (In some cases this task is already scheduled on a regular basis by default, here we assume is not)

1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and finally click Disk Defragmenter.

2. In the dialog box click the drive you want to defragment, the click Analyze Disk.

3. After it finished a dialog appears recommending or not defragmentation based on the results obtained, to begin the task click Defragment Disk. You will be able to monitor the process in the Current Status Area, under the Progress column. After completing results are displayed.

4. To display a detailed report of the results click View Report, when finished then click Close to exit the dialog box.

5. To close the utility just click the Close button on the title bar.

Why Is My Computer Running Slow? Do I Need A Registry Cleaner?

Have you been using your computer for a few years then all of a sudden noticed it slowed down? It takes long to start up and programs that loaded in 3 seconds are now taking more time to load? Well maybe you are telling yourself, it should not be that way. Truth is; if you have been using the computer then it should slow down.

How can I speed up my PC?

The following free computer tips can help clean your PC and increase its speed. It takes into consideration Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP Service Pack 3. NB: Some of these tools require you log in as an administrator.

Free up your disk space

A disk cleanup tool helps free up space on your hard disk to improve your computer’s performance. It clears files that take up your computer’s space such as temporary internet files, downloaded program files, empties the recycle bin, deletes windows temporary files, uninstalls programs that are no longer in use, clear unused restore points and deletes system files.

Registry fix

Windows registry contains hundreds of files containing information about almost everything that occurs on the computer. This includes a website visit, program installation, a computer log, drivers installed and any other essential program. It can be compared to a blueprint and may contain hundreds of entries created all the time. As it takes in information, the registry may slow down your pc. One problem is that, windows rarely clean up the computer registry. These errors do not have to be tolerated and can be cleared up though not completely. As a point to note, registry cleaning is risky and you should be careful.

Scan your computer for viruses

Viruses are notorious of starting up in the middle of a windows program. Although not all of them, if your computer have a lot of viruses, worms, spyware, Trojans then these programs will definitely slow down computer

Annoyed by ads on your computer

A good registry cleaner will quickly identify missing and invalid references to eradicate those unwanted ads. Many people will attempt to re-install Windows to repair those consistent errors. Optimizing your computer for the internet and everyday use will save the user hours of extra labor. It is possible to get rid of the extra files in your computer immediately. Stop those annoying extra pop up ads on your computer instantly. Update your computer with the tools necessary to increase a computer performance today.

Why Input and Output Devices Are So Important in Information Technology

To use a computer, we must have some means of entering data into the computer for it to use in its computations. There are a wide variety of input devices, and we will mention only the most commonly used types. The input devices that you as a manager are most likely to use are a microcomputer keyboard and a mouse. In computation, these devices are generally called first-phase devices. In modern days, these devices are slowly getting replaced by some more smart devices, capable of inputting our instructions with touch or even human voices.

A terminal is a simpler device than a PC; it is designed strictly for input/output and does not incorporate a processor (CPU), or at least not a general-purpose processor. The terminal is connected to a computer via some type of telecommunication line. Most terminals consist of a keyboard for data entry and a monitor to show the user what has been entered and to display the output from the computer. Terminals are widely used by clerical personnel involved in online transaction processing. Special types of terminals are also in widespread use as computer input devices. Point-of-sale terminals are in use at most retail stores, and automatic teller machines (ATMs) are commonplace in the banking industry. Like the standard terminals described earlier, these special-purpose devices serve as both input and output devices, usually incorporating a small built-in printer to provide a hard-copy record of the transaction.

Voice input to computers is another input option, although the accuracy of speech recognition software is still less than perfect, with the best packages achieving recognition accuracy in the 95 to 99 percent range. With these numbers, speech recognition software is a productivity- enhancing tool for users with limited typing skills, disabilities, repetitive stress injuries from overusing a computer keyboard, or no time to do anything except dictate (such as medical doctors).

Some input methods read an original document (such as a typed report or a check or deposit slip) directly into the computer’s memory. Check processing is handled this way in the United States through the magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) input method. Bank checks have the account information already printed using code type of numbers and a special magnetizable ink. After a check is cashed in any bank, the bank that cashed it records the amount of the check in magnetizable ink at the bottom of the check. Magnetic ink character reader is a kind of computer device which magnetizes the ink along with understanding the number. It is as well responsible for transmitting the data to the records of bank database.

4 Most Common Computer Issues and Their Fixes

If you are experiencing computer problems take note that you are not alone. Millions of users around the globe know how it feels to be unconnected with the online world even just for an hour. Sure you scheduled a strict regular PC maintenance and checkup but it is not a guarantee that you can totally avoid any technical error being a regular computer user.

As they all say, knowledge is power and before you will encounter any problem with your PC or to avoid the same PC issue you often run into, here are the top computer problems and their fixes.

Slow Computer

This is probably the number one complaint of all computer users and also the easiest to fix. Most of the time, your PC may have slowed down because of too much data leaving not enough space for your PC to execute commands. To amend this, just delete all unnecessary files. Your PC needs 500 Mb of free space to perform better.

Computer reboots automatically

A computer rebooting itself over and over again is another common problem. To fix it, check the hardware. You may have dirty or defective cooling fan. As the dust accumulates on the fan, this makes your PC to heat up faster, thus to cool itself, the computer reboots automatically. If it is the fan, then a little cleaning will solve the matter. If the fan is fine, then check the cables and make sure that they are attached tightly to your PC.

No or Slow Internet Connection

To speed up your internet, you need to frequently clear your cookies and internet temporary files. In the Windows search temp and press enter to open the temporary files folder. Then select all files and press Delete. Some files may not be deleted especially if they are being used by your Operating System but it is alright. The deleted files are enough to nudge your internet connection faster.

On the other hand if you are having a problem connecting to the internet, make sure that your IP address is correct. Also check if your server or gateway firewalls are not blocking http requests from your PC.

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)

BSOD is a common issue but it is rather serious. However, in a nutshell, BSOD is a protection mechanism that shuts down computer operations before further damage can occur. Oftentimes, the blue screen of death is caused by a hardware driver issue and a reboot can solve it. Unfortunately, sometimes more troubleshooting is needed to diagnose the problem and correct it.

There are still many computer issues that you may experience as a regular computer user, if you think that you know how to solve them then go ahead. Otherwise you need professional PC technical support to diagnose, analyze and solve these issues immediately.

Speed Up Your PC by Cleaning Its Registry

If you’re suffering from a slow running PC, you know how frustrating it can be. There are several possibilities as to why your computer isn’t running to its fast potential. Often times, the cause of a slow PC is an overloaded or junk riddled registry.

Computers than run on Windows operating system have what is called a ‘registry’ which is essentially a database that contains files from almost everything that occurs on your computer – from websites you have visited to left over applications. A lot of these files are completely unnecessary to have on your registry, and an overload of these files will make your computer sluggish. When your registry is clogged with too many entries, your computer has to process more information, which slows down processing speed, thus leading to slow performance, and even freezing of your computer.

This common issue can be cured by removing the junk files from your registry. If you have a good antivirus program installed, run it and it should tell you if you have any malicious files. If you do have malicious files, you should go into your Control Panel and uninstall them. Sometimes removing just the malicious ones doesn’t speed up your PC to it’s full potential. To optimize your computer, you should get a registry scan that will tell you what files are unnecessary and should be deleted. It catches things that an antivirus wont, such as left over software applications from an uninstalled program. Registry software also points out any errors that are causing your computer to take longer to process. This is a common theme among a clogged up registry, and it’s essentially to delete these speed-killing errors.

You can get a free registry scan from most registry software companies, which will tell you how your registry health stands. The reputable registry cleaners tell you what caches and applications should be deleted. Some advanced programs also include features that let you prevent problems that can arise from a clogged registry, such as automatic scan scheduler so you can clean your registry regularly.

The last step is to run a reliable registry cleaning software that will identify all files that can be removed to optimize your PC’s speed. Make sure whatever software you choose has a backup option to ensure your files are backed up incase anything goes wrong during the cleaning. You should go with a top rated software that has a customer support option, and is easy to use.

5 Things To Know About Enterprise Backup Solution

An enterprise backup solution is an important consideration to assure that, in an emergency, the essential data of the company can be accessed when needed. Without it, the loss of the data, alone, could cause the collapse of the company. That is how important a company’s essential data has become.

Gone are the days when the CEO could manage the affairs of his entire organization from memory or even with a few handwritten notes. Our ability to collect massive amounts of data has driven personal memory out of competition. The more data we collect, the more we have come to depend on its storage and retrieval to maintain business operations.

Come and gone is the threshold where not just collection, storage and retrieval have become essential for operations. It is, for many companies, critical that enterprise data be backed-up. Everything from hard drives to servers have experienced crashes with resulting loss of original data.

Here are 5 things to know about the right enterprise backup solution before purchasing it:

1. What is the importance of the data and to whom? It may not be enough to consider only data that is shared across several departments. The best gauge of importance of enterprise data is to consider what their loss would do to the enterprise, even if the data are used by one individual in one department. An enterprise cannot determine importance of data until it has completed a thorough contingency plan of operations should a disaster of any kind occur. Which data represent loss of critical-path operations of the enterprise?

2. What is the frequency of data change? If essential enterprise data change daily, then backup must occur daily. This may not affect all data. The chosen enterprise backup solution ought to have the flexibility to differentiate data and perform backup on a multi-point schedule.

3. How fast must recovery of backed-up data be accessible? If data need to be accessed from backup storage on a daily basis, but a backup system being considered is only capable of recovery in three or four days, that system is insufficient for critical-path operations of the enterprise.

4. Who is responsible for backup and recovery of enterprise data? Yes, it is automated and scheduled equipment that performs the backup, and that equipment should be selected and purchased on the basis of the answers to all of these questions, but no system operates successfully in a void. A management-level employee of the enterprise needs to be appointed the task of management of the enterprise backup solution, whatever it may be.

5. Is it essential that the physical location of the enterprise backup solution be off-site? If a natural or man-made crisis destroys or damages the on-site systems of enterprise data collection and storage, it is essential that backup data be accessible. If that is also on-site, it is also subject to the same destruction. An off-site location for an enterprise backup solution, whatever its type, is essential for recovery and continuation of critical-path operations of the enterprise.