Friday, June 19, 2015

One Way To Not Ruin Your PC

    I would be using this blog post to talk about CodeHunt, and the research I just started doing on it but my laptop is damaged and I'm in the process of getting it repaired, so instead I'm going to explain what caused it's failure in the first place. Before the arrival of the blue screen to announce the breakdown of the system like a grim reaper signalling death, the computer was as reliable as any gadget out there. The technician who I took it to for diagnosing the problem and fixing it tells me my internal hard drive is corrupted. This doesn't seem like the worst possible case- a processor or motherboard could be more expensive to replace- but it's not that easy on the pockets. It also means I have to re-install Windows 8, and Microsoft being unable to recognize my product key means I may have to buy it again. So I'll want to keep this from happening in the future.
    You might be interested to know- how does a hard drive get damaged? Well I asked the technician, and he described the workings of a hard drive to me. It involves a disk with a pin resting lightly on it as the disk spins, similarly to a CD or gramophone player. The pin is what is responsible for reading data off the disk, as you may have guessed, but apply pressure to the pin while the disk is moving, and it scratches the disk. Eventually the scratches make it unreadable. That is one way to corrupt the data and render the hard drive unusable.
    Since the drive is still being accessed in sleep mode, the disk is still spinning. This is what enables you to continue using the PC without having to reboot the operating system. He further explained that many students put their laptops in sleep mode and place them in their backpacks and walk about with them. Then the laptops get knocked around a little here and there, sometimes a lot, and the disk gets scratched and it's lifespan gets reduced, since the disk wears from the pin contact in due time anyway. Guess who's guilty of doing exactly what he described? Guess who also will not be using sleep mode anymore while packing up to go to the next lecture?
    Hibernating seems like a better alternative, but I can tell from the sounds coming from the computer that the disk doesn't immediately stop spinning. So if I'm going to keep this from happening in the future, I'm going to err on the side of caution and shut down the system whenever I need to move the laptop. You can learn from my mistake; consider yourself warned!

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