The Hard Disk

Written by Pawan Bangar,Technical Director,Birbals,India.

The Hard Disk Guide ;

From throwing our unnecessary files, to defragmenting, from partitions to formats-learn how to keep your hard disk in top shape

The hard disk isrepparttar place where all your programs and data are stored. Ifrepparttar 107770 hard disk Stops working you could end up losing all your data. What we’ll do here is take you on. A quick tour ofrepparttar 107771 different things you need to know about it, so you can keep it working smoothly.

What isrepparttar 107772 hard disk? The hard disk is a magnetic mass storage device installed in special bays withinrepparttar 107773 system unit. The hard disk could do compared to a large cupboard having several shelves With different items being neatly arranged and stored on each self. The hard disk stored allrepparttar 107774 data you need to store on your PC-the operating system (for example, Windows), Software program (for example an office suit), business or household applications and data, games, e-mail message, address books and so on.

A hard disk offrepparttar 107775 assembly line is just a mass of magnetic media. The magnetic surface ofrepparttar 107776 hard disk has to be structured into specific areas where data can be stored properly, a process known as formatting. When you buy a new computer,repparttar 107777 system comes with a formatted hard disk.

A hard disk needs to be divided into partitions before it can be used. The hard disk on a newly purchased computer comes configured with a single large partitions,repparttar 107778 primary partition (C: in My Computer) and an extended partition, which may be further subdivided into logical partitions (D: E: and so on in My Computer) if required. Partitioning makesrepparttar 107779 storage of data more efficient and reducesrepparttar 107780 access time to retrieve data.

The storage capacity of hard disk has increased by leaps and bounds since IBM XT’s first 10 MB hard disk. Nowadays, 10GB isrepparttar 107781 entry level and 17 GB is common. The hard disk communicates with a PC’s motherboard through an expansion card or a disk interface card.

How does it wok?

The dusk is formatted to divide its magnetic surface into concentric circular paths called tracks (these are likerepparttar 107782 grooves on a phonograph record) and wedge-shaped slices called sectors. Data is stored inrepparttar 107783 form of a file or groups of disk sector called clusters. A disk drive locates data by moving its magnetic read-write head to specific track within a specific sector.

When a new file is created in a freshly formatted hard disk, it is assigned cluster numbers in a sequential order. Ifrepparttar 107784 file is expanded, thenrepparttar 107785 first available clusters are assigned. When file is deleted, their cluster numbers are simply marked as available. Over course of time, when files grow in size to require additional cluster or are deleted,repparttar 107786 perfectly ordered sequence of clusters gets disturbed, a process known as fragmentation.

Partitioningrepparttar 107787 hard disk Partitioning divides a large hard disk into smaller virtual-not physical-hard disk or partitions, leading to an efficient utilization of space and boosting your PC’s performance. Partitioning could be very useful in following circumstances:

1-One PC, several users-If several persons have to work onrepparttar 107788 same PC, partitions could be assigned for each of them so that each person has his or her own “working space.” This could be useful in home setting too, where you could have separate partitions for your spouse, children’s games, business applications and data and so on.

2-Work on multiple operating systems-You may want to work on more than one operating system on your PC, for example Win98, Linux and Windows95. (Maybe you have applications that work perfectly in Win95 but suddenly crashed in Win98). You can keep these various operating systems safely onrepparttar 107789 same hard disk by installing them in separate partitions.

Partitioning Tools There’re several partitioning tools available for your hard drive. Two ofrepparttar 107790 most popular ones are:

1-PartitionMagic Version 4.o for Windows95 and 98-Partition Magic, from Power Quest is a useful and powerful partitioning program. It effortlessly creates, moves, converts and resizes partitions on your hard disk withoutrepparttar 107791 necessity of reformattingrepparttar 107792 disk of erasing valuable data.

2-FDISK- is a freely available partitioning utility that runs inrepparttar 107793 DOS environment. Its greatest UPS is that it is available for free. It is cumbersome to use and also requires formatting ofrepparttar 107794 hard disk (perhaps its biggest drawback).

Formatting a hard disk

As with most mechanical devices, prolonged use ofrepparttar 107795 hard disk results in inevitable wear and tear and malfunction. Repeated adding and deleting of files takes its toll onrepparttar 107796 hard disk and you may get disk error, includingrepparttar 107797 notorious “fatal error” of Windows. This is an indication that you may need to re-format your hard disk to have it working properly again. However, before deciding to re-formatrepparttar 107798 disk it may be worthwhile to try out other alternative- 1-Run Disk Defragmenter 2-Use a cleanup shareware programs such asregclean.exe, available for download.

However, if after trying out these alternatives, you continue to get fatal error message, then you probably need to format your hard disk.

The procedure of formatting is simple enough but has to be done carefully. When you formatrepparttar 107799 hard disk, allrepparttar 107800 data onrepparttar 107801 disk is lost-Windows operating system, software programs, business applications data, games, e-mails messages. In short everything.

How to dorepparttar 107802 formatting

Windows 95 1- Double-click on My Computer icon. Then clickrepparttar 107803 icon forrepparttar 107804 drive you want to format. (e. g. C:)

2- Onrepparttar 107805 File menu, click Format and followrepparttar 107806 instructions.

Remember that you can not format a disk if there are files open on that disk. Ifrepparttar 107807 disk has been compressed, use Drivespace or other compression to formatrepparttar 107808 disk.

Windows 98

1- Click Start, click Shutdown, click Restart, and then click on OK. 2- Press and holdrepparttar 107809 CTRL key untilrepparttar 107810 Microsoft Windows 98 Startup Menu appears.

3- Select Command prompt only and press Enter. 4- Atrepparttar 107811 C:prompt, type format C: and press ENTER. 5- Followrepparttar 107812 instruction onrepparttar 107813 screen.

After formatting you’re left with a blank hard disk with more space then before. The next step is to restorerepparttar 107814 programs you need on your disk.

Tips for Buying a PC

Written by Pawan Bangar,Technical Director,Birbals,India.

Tips for Buying Your PC

Buying a PC that's right for you and your family is not all that simple task. More so if you're going to buy an unbranded or an assembled one. But branded or not, you have to get you facts right before you shell out your money. First, why do you want to buy a PC? Is it because almost every one has one these days, or that you haverepparttar money to spare. If these arerepparttar 107769 reasons are that you want to end up spending a lot of money on something you're unlikely to use. But if your reasons are that you want it for home based business, or for your kids for their education, or to work at home, or that you want to surfrepparttar 107770 net, you are onrepparttar 107771 right track. Now let's get down to specifics. What do you need it for? Take a piece of paper and write down what all you need to do withrepparttar 107772 pc.

Spreadsheets, Word processing, Surfingrepparttar 107773 Web, sending e-mail, playing games. Running multimedia, Watching movies, playing music ,CAD drawings, graphics designing, Web designing. Programming and Online learning.

Make your list. Why? Because different needs need Different PCs. You really don't needrepparttar 107774 latest computer if all you're going to do is browsing, no matter whatrepparttar 107775 vendor tells you.

When you make your list be sure to look a little ahead and see what all other things you might be usingrepparttar 107776 computer for. For instance, do you think you are likely to take up graphics designing? Or willrepparttar 107777 kids start playing all those high-end games?

How much money do you want to spend?

Get hang ofrepparttar 107778 money you can spend onrepparttar 107779 PC. Then you have to look forrepparttar 107780 PC that suits your needs and your budget. This may need some balancing even, if your requirements are huge andrepparttar 107781 budget isn't. This will also decide if you should go for branded PC or an assembled one.

Brand or assembled?

This is a question that has gone on for a while now. A year ago, branded ones. We recommend that you go for a PC for which you can get assured service and support.

What is it?

This isrepparttar 107782 part that hasrepparttar 107783 computer's basic circuitry and components. The processors, meomory, BIOS, expansion slots, etc all go onrepparttar 107784 motherboard.

What's available?

Right now you have two broad choices for a motherboard. The motherboards based on Intel 845 chipset haverepparttar 107785 graphics and audio capabilities on torepparttar 107786 board itself-that's what they mean by integrated graphics and audio onboard. In case you're looking for better graphics (say, you will be moving to high-end games, or graphics, or CAD or need better sound environmental audio, sound-editing), you'll have to get some high-end video and audio cards. Which such a motherboard won't support. You could, in such cards.

What to askrepparttar 107787 vendor :

What arerepparttar 107788 upgrades possible on this motherboard? Which processors are supported? How much arerepparttar 107789 upgrades going to cost?

Processor----What is it?

The brain ofrepparttar 107790 PC. You don't always have to go forrepparttar 107791 fastest. And just having a processor that's fast won't do. The rest ofrepparttar 107792 system has to keep up with it.

What's available?

Amongrepparttar 107793 low-end ones available are Celeron, AMD K6.2 and K6-3, and now AMD'S Duron. They are available in different clock speeds-go forrepparttar 107794 one you can afford. Amongrepparttar 107795 high-end processors are Pentium 4 and AMD's 2400+ XP, P4 2 GHz and more.

Also remember that a processor alone can't makerepparttar 107796 PC zip. For instance, A P4 on an 845 motherboard that doesn't have much graphics capability isn't of much use.

How much do you need?

If you are going to work on office application like word processors and spreadsheets, and some browsing, a Celeron or an AMD K6 series, AMD XP 2200 would do. For work that needs more processing power you have to go for a Pentium 4 2GHz or more an AMD XP 2400+ and more. You'll find some Pentium IIIs inrepparttar 107797 market but Intel Doesn't makes them anymore.

Hard Disk---What is it?

This isrepparttar 107798 place where all your program and data will b stored onrepparttar 107799 PC. Your PC's performance will depend uponrepparttar 107800 rate at which your hard disk can read data and give it torepparttar 107801 other parts. The speed of a hard disk is measured in rpm. These days most hard disks come with a speed of 7200 rpm. And some other available in hard disk 20GB, 40GB, 80 GB, and for more on how to take care of your hard disk, check out The Hard Disk Guide at http:/

How much do you need?

Most PCs now come with 40 GB of hard disk space. With fat OSs and fatter office suites and games, you'll need some bit of space. 40 GB is quite common, now even 1000 GB doesn't raise eyebrows. So do take those offers of GB's with a huge bag of salt.

RAM---What is it?

The place where information is stored for a while so thatrepparttar 107802 processor doesn't have to keep hunting for it onrepparttar 107803 hard disk.

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