Let me ask you a question. "How old is your hard drive?"
Why you ask? It is my feeling that the design engineers are looking at a 5 year design lifetime when drive is on the drawing board. Many drives last quite a bit longer and as some of us know from experience, quite a few drives don't last that long.
If your hard drive is 4 years old or greater then it might be time to think about backing up your data and moving it to a new hard drive.
It is usually a fairly simple job to transfer everything (usually by a process known as imaging) from one drive to another as long as the original drive is working properly. When this procedure works it is a thing of beauty. When you reboot your computer after the hard drive swap you should find that everything looks and works the same except that you have a new hard drive holding your precious data.
Your motherboard can fail, the power supply can fail, the sound card, the network card, the DVD can fail and you can still get your data back. If your hard drive fails then you are in trouble, your data is gone. Then it's time for the old techie joke, "you will just have to restore from your backups". The joke here is that the old techie knows there are probably no backups. Very dark humor for sure.
It is worth noting that there are services that go to extreme lengths to retrieve valuable data on dead or failed hard drives. It is also worth noting that these services are extremely expensive.
The really important thing on a computer is the data you have saved on to it. The next two important things on it are the configurations that we do for programs, passwords, codes etc. The issue here is that these configurations were possibly done years ago, who remembers. The other important type of info on our computer is the installed programs and various theirs codes and activations. I have seen many people have to re-purchase applications because of lost disks, codes or install files. All three of these types of data are stored on your hard drive.
There are certainly some types of hard drive failures where the drive does not completely stop working and it is possible to pull some or all the data off but since the drive is not working 100% the ability to transfer the entire drives contents to a new drive often won't work. What you are left with is a much larger job of re-building your computers. Fresh OS install, install and configure programs ( find the disks and codes too), install printers, restore data etc. It's a lot more work than imaging from one drive to another.
From experience I can tell you that recovering from a hard drive failure can be huge pain in the rear and lots of work. Why bother when a little preemptive maintenance can save you all that bother. We all take for granted the wisdom of replacing the tires on our car before they blow out while we are driving.
It is an odd phenomenon of the computer age that people who are totally tied to their computers rarely give them a mechanical thought until they stop working.
Failure over a long enough timeline is a absolute certainty. To make it interesting we do not get to know how long the time line is. Best be prepared sooner than later.
Recipes by Gina - Recipe of the Moment
Smoked Cheddar Twists
Perfect to serve with drinks, these can also be made with aged cheddar or all parmesan. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (#9125)
- 1/3 cup cake flour (#9165)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne #13880
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated smoked cheddar #20620
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese #20702
- 1/4 tsp salt #13790
- 12 tbsp cold butter, cut into 1/2" cubes #44115
- 2 tsp lemon juice #10262
- 1/4 cup Ice water
- Mix the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cayenne, cheddar, Parmesan cheese and salt together and place in freezer one hour before use.
- In a separate bowl, place the butter in the freezer one hour before use.
- Place the ice-cold flour mixture on a work surface and add the ice-cold butter and with a metal pastry scraper, cut the butter into pieces the size of peas and cornmeal. Alternately this can be done in the food processor by pulsing. Place the mixture in a bowl. Combine lemon juice and ice water and add enough of the liquid until it almost holds together.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured board and press together as best you can to form a rough rectangle shape. There will be large chunks of butter showing. Do not knead. Roll out dough into a 1/2" thick rectangle. Fold the narrow ends towards the center to meet in the center. Fold in half again so that there are four layers. This is your first turn.
- Turn the dough a quarter of a turn and roll again to form a rectangle 1/2" thick. Repeat the folding process. This is your second turn. Turn the dough a quarter of a turn and roll again to form a rectangle 1/2" thick. Fold into thirds as you would a letter. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- On a well floured surface, with a rolling pin, roll the dough to a 1/8" rectangle, approximately 7-inches by 15-inches. Trim the edges. Cut the dough into sticks 7"-inches by 1/2-inch. Twist them slightly. Place them on a baking sheet 1-inch apart. Bake until golden and crisp, 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets. Remove with a spatula. Makes 20 sticks