Keep Your Computer Safe From Ransomware

Ransomware is the latest cyber threat. It silently infects your computer. You won’t be able to  access your files. Don’t become a victim. Read on to learn more about it.

This week on “60 Minutes,” correspondent Scott Pelley reports on the growing cyber threat called ransomware, a type of malware that locks up a victim’s files and denies access to a computer system until money is paid with a digital currency that is hard to trace. While Pelley’s report focuses on the effects of ransomware, the experts he spoke with said most attacks can be prevented.

(Via: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ransomware-prevent-your-computer-from-being-infected-60-minutes-2019-05-05/)

Although it could be prevented, some cities have already been hit by it.

The cities of Newark, Atlanta, and Sarasota have been hit. So have Cleveland’s airport and San Francisco’s transit authority. When the cyberattack targeted Leeds, Alabama, its mayor had no access to email, personnel files, or financial systems.

(Via: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ransomware-prevent-your-computer-from-being-infected-60-minutes-2019-05-05/)

There are ways to prevent a ransom attack. Know more about them so that you could keep your computer safe from ransomware.

The first thing you can do …

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Expert Shares Her Thoughts On Data Recovery And Windows 10

Windows 10 is very popular these days. Most computer users are using this particular OS. That’s why it is always good to hear from the experts as to what their thoughts are regarding this very popular OS.

Continuing its informative series of blogs surrounding hard drive technology and operating systems, including MacOS, Hard Drive Recovery Group discusses the popularity of Microsoft Corporation’s Windows 10, easily the dominant OS when it comes to PCs.

“It’s really an amazing situation that PCs continue to use Microsoft Windows so long after the OS really made its debut in 1985,” said Maureen Davies, spokesperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. “There have certainly been a ton of hiccups along the way, but despite some slight moves by Google’s Chrome and Android, we’re still talking about the absolutely most dominant OS that the world has ever seen.”

(Via: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/4276841 )

Let me iterate. Windows is immensely popular among computer users. Now when it comes to smartphones, it’s Android. This might raise a couple of eyebrows out there but come on, it’s true.

While Android did gain

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Tracking Down A Lost Hard Drive Can Be Devastating

A lost hard drive is bad news. No one wants to lose a hard drive, especially one that’s filled with valuable data like family photos and videos. That would be heartbreaking. Sacred family memories should always be kept private. They should never be handed over to complete strangers. It’s just too dangerous.

A hard drive can be filled with so many kinds of data. For it get lost or stolen just widens the possibility of exposing data to complete strangers. That pretty much explains why a man, in a particular news article dated March 9, 2019, is heartbroken after losing his hard drive filled with family memories.

Tymes Marsh has been documenting his three-year old son, Wes. He started from the day Wes came home from the hospital.

Tymes Marsh says since the day his three-year-old son Wes was born, he’s been documenting every memory. From the trip home from the hospital to his first steps, even swim lessons.

(Via: https://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/valley-man-trying-to-track-down-cherished-hard-drive-filled-with-family-memories)

There is a very good reason as to why Tymes went on to document the life of his …

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What Does A Hard Drive Do?

A hard drive stores data. From a layman’s point of view, that is the main function of a hard drive. It stores our precious digital data.

Apparently, the function of a hard drive can get more interesting than that. In the future, a hard drive can do more than just that.

Eggheads at the University of Michigan in the US, and Zhejiang University in China, have found that hard disk drives (HDDs) can be turned into listening devices, using malicious firmware and signal processing calculations.

(Via: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/03/07/hard_drive_eavesdropping/)

So, if you think that only walls have ears; think again. Here’s how two computer scientists are making it possible for hard drives to eavesdrop.

For a study titled “Hard Drive of Hearing: Disks that Eavesdrop with a Synthesized Microphone,” computer scientists Andrew Kwong, Wenyuan Xu, and Kevin Fu describe an acoustic side-channel that can be accessed by measuring how sound waves make hard disk parts vibrate.

“Our research demonstrates that the mechanical components in magnetic hard disk drives behave as microphones with sufficient precision to extract and parse human speech,” their

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Data Analysis Vs. Data Visualization: What’s The Difference?

We all work with data. Smart decisions can’t be made without data. It’s safe to say that data make the work go around. Just imagine if there weren’t any data. Where would we all be? We’d all be back in the dark ages where our survival was based merely on hunting for food. We have definitely gone a long way since then because our survival now relies on data.

Nowadays, the data industry has grown immensely. From data practitioners to data scientists, several skill sets have been created to deal solely with data.

Numerous job adverts focus on data visualization skills while not necessarily specifying the importance of analytical skills. Job titles reflect this trend with the emergence of new roles such as ‘data artist’, ‘data visualization expert’ and ‘data storyteller’, but organizations are still looking for people who can extract value from their data, so these roles must include analytical skills.

(Via: https://www.forbes.com/sites/evamurray/2019/03/29/what-is-the-difference-between-data-analysis-and-data-visualization/#3d7c8c606411)

In this huge data community, there are two terms that are bit confusing. These two data terms are data analysis and data visualization. What’s the …

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Keeping Online Data Safe With The Latest Tools

Online data sharing is easy nowadays. As matter of fact, it just takes a click to share data online. Once data is shared online, it automatically reaches a wide range of audiences. As convenient as it may seem, it could get quite dangerous. It’s hard to guarantee the privacy of online data.

Advances in digital technology are challenging our concept of privacy. In today’s world, huge volumes of data are being collected, shared and stored in unprecedented ways and at tremendous speeds. Everything we do with our connected devices generates data that can be used or misused without our knowledge. Controlling when and how our personal data is used by others seems impossible, especially since sharing this information is an integral part of our participation in today’s society.

(Via: https://phys.org/news/2019-04-tools-online-misuse.html)

Technology has made online data sharing inevitable. Even if you refuse to share data online, you will still find bits and pieces of your personal information floating on the world wide web. It’s just the way it is these days and there’s no way you can stop online data …

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Here’s How You Can Transfer Data From One Phone To Another

It could be pretty tedious. If you have to transfer data from one phone to another, it could take up a lot of your time. It’s for that reason that some folks would rather stick to their old smartphone. Even if they’re tempted to upgrade, they’d rather not.

With the influx of smartphones, it’s a must to upgrade. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the latest features of a leading smartphone, would you? In that case, you would just have to allot some time to transfer data from one phone to another. But if you read on, you’d know that it isn’t so hard to do after all.

Here’s how you can transfer data from android to android.

1. When you turn on your new phone, the first few steps will be the normal Terms and Conditions kinds of screens. As you tap through, you’ll eventually be asked if you want to bring your data over to the new phone, and you’ll be asked to pick where the data should come from.
2. Tap “A Backup from

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Seagate’s Latest 14TB Hard Drives Provide More Business Storage

It’s time for some good news. Seagate announces their latest 14TB hard drives. Needless to say, they are all suitable for storing a huge amount of business files.

The data storage solutions provider recently launched its advanced range of 14TB hard-discs that includes SkyHawk that can store over 9000 hours of HD video, IronWolf for your NAS needs, and the Barracuda Pro for desktop computing.

(Via: https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/09/seagate-14tb-drives.html)

The first on the list of Seagate’s latest hard drives is the Barracuda Pro. This is a helium-based drive that is very durable. There’s hardly any friction inside this super light-weight drive. That’s a good thing because it lessens the wear and tear of this particular hard drive. Needless to say, the Barracuda Pro has a longer lifespan. It’s perfect for small businesses that deal with a great amount of data.

The Barracuda Pro offers small businesses, IT staff and creative professionals with industry leading 7200 RPM spin speed and transfer rates of up to 250 MB/s are possible. What this simply means is that you can now efficiently transfer large files

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Hard Drive Failure: One Of The Most Annoying Tech Problems

Tech problems are annoying. While technology is supposed to make things a lot easier for us, it could also lead to a lot of frustrating situations. When technology breaks down, we break down as well. The fact that we can’t get any work done because of an annoying tech problem is enough to drive us nuts.

Of course, there are extreme cases. Some people actually throw a fit when faced with an annoying tech problem, such as a hard drive failure.

One in eight British people have broken their gadgets or tech in a fit of rage, a survey claims.

(Via: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/tech-gadget-break-anger-top-problems-survey-a8840781.html)

The survey should not justify our rage. After all, a hot temper will not solve a problem. The survey just proves that we aren’t the only ones going crazy when faced with a tech problem, such as a hard drive failure.

Commissioned by online mobile and tech supporter Wiztek, the poll of 2,000 adults found that many people have lost patience with their tech devices at some point.

On average, those polled said they will experience 63

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Upgrade Your PC With A Western Digital Solid State Drive

Is your PC aging? Does it need more storage space? Well, if your answer is yes to both questions, there’s no need to throw out your aging PC. Yes, you can still keep your PC and save a couple of bucks. Instead, you can upgrade it by  adding a Western Digital solid-state drive.

One of the simplest ways to get extra performance and squeeze more life out of an aging PC is by upgrading the storage to a more spacious or faster solid-state drive. This is especially true if your system relies on a slower hard disk drive. Though solid-state drives, or SSDs, are generally more expensive than their hard drive counterparts, Western Digital is making the upgrade more affordable for consumers with the launch of the WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD, which starts at $55 and uses the faster NVMe technology, rather than the cheaper SATA-based SSDs.

(Via: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/western-digital-wd-blue-sn500-ssd/)

While the price range of Western Digital’s 500GB WD Blue PC Mobile hard drive is lower than Crucial’s P1 and Samsung’s 970 EVO, it still lacks the main features …

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Defining Data Restore

Do you know what data restore is? Well, unfortunately, it could mean bad news. If you desperately need to do a data restore, it means that you have lost or damaged some valuable information in your computer. It could also mean that some of your information has been stolen.

Data restore is the process of copying backup data from secondary storage and restoring it to its original location or a new location. A restore is performed to return data that has been lost, stolen or damaged to its original condition or to move data to a new location.

(Via: https://searchdatabackup.techtarget.com/definition/restore)

You wouldn’t want to end up losing some of your valuable data. The thing is, can you avoid it? Probably not. Even if you back up your data regularly, you’re bound to lose some of them in the future. This is not meant to scare you or anything but that’s reality. Considering the possibility of losing data in the future, there’s always the need to do a data restore.

There are several circumstances that lead to the need for

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RAID Vs. NAS: Differentiating These Two Data Storage Technologies

We all need data storage. All our personal and business files are dependent on it. It’s safe to say that the longevity of all our files rely a lot on which data storage technology we choose to use.

These days, the two most widely used data storage technologies are the redundant array of independent disks (RAID) and the network-attached storage (NAS). So, which data storage technology is better? It’s hard to say without differentiating one from the other first.

Let’s talk about the redundant array of independent disks or RAID first.

RAID, short for redundant array of independent disks, is a method of enhancing disk performance, increasing storage capacity and improving fault tolerance, depending on the RAID level chosen.

RAID enables the same data to be saved across multiple disks while still appearing as a single logical drive using specialized hardware or software called a RAID controller. RAID levels, which are denoted by a number, determine the performance characteristics of a given configuration and how much or little data protection they offer.

(Via: https://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/storage-networking/raid-vs-nas-how-they-differ-and-overlap.html)

There are several RAID levels. …

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Laptop In Check In Baggage Will Finally Be Allowed In U. S. Airports

Airport security checks can be a hassle. You practically need to strip down to get screened properly. You need to take off your shoes, your belt, your jacket, and accessories.

In U.S airports, you even have to take out your laptop from your carry-on bag. The carry-on bag can’t go through security check with a laptop inside. The laptop has to be taken out and that causes so much stress and hassle in the long cue of passengers.

The good news is, change is coming.

In a press call Friday, the TSA announced that it has signed a $97 million contract for 300 upgraded baggage-scanning machines. As reported by Bloomberg Government, the new technology will roll out this summer, with the recipient airports to be announced.

It’s akin to replacing X-ray machines with CT scanners. While an x-ray creates a single static image, a CT scan can produce a 360-degree image.

(Via: https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/tsa-laptops-in-bags)

These upgraded baggage-scanning machines will surely lessen the chaos in the security check. Finally, your laptop and toiletries stay inside your carry-on baggage. The whole world …

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Experts Share Their Insights On How To Recover Data

You should know how to recover data. As a matter of fact, everyone should know how to recover data. There’s always going to be a need to do so. Unfortunately, that need comes at a most unexpected time.

Spare yourself the agony of wasting time just to recover data. Instead, take it from the experts. Learn from them. Here are some valuable insights from the experts.

Make data your top priority. Here’s what Alan Conboy, of Scale Computing, has to say.

Mission-critical data fuels the speed of today’s businesses, which is why it’s essential that backup and disaster recovery plans are made a top priority. World Backup Day is an important reminder of this reality, with many organizations forgetting a few essentials to a solid backup plan.

(Via: https://www.dig-in.com/list/insights-on-the-importance-of-data-backup-and-disaster-recovery-strategies)

Have a reliable backup strategy. Make sure it works all the time. Here’s what Neil Barton, the chief technology officer of WhereScape, has to say:

Not only should organizations have a backup strategy, it is also extremely important for IT teams to test it regularly. The first time a business

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Data Loss: It’s Here To Stay

Can you avoid data loss? Unfortunately, you can’t. No matter how hard you try, there’s just no way you can avoid data loss. The truth is, it’s here to stay. No one is spared from the pain of losing data.

Data loss can happen in so many ways. Accidental deletion is one of the many reasons as to why data loss happens. Who hasn’t deleted data accidentally?

The limited lifespan of a computer is also a valid reason why data loss happens. Computers don’t last forever. As they become outdated or infected with a virus, they begin to fail. When computers begin to fail, data could get corrupted or lost.

Aside from reasons such as accidental deletion and computer failure, natural disasters could also lead to data loss. These are just a few of the many threats to data. Obviously, there’s no way anyone could ever avoid data loss. To make matters worse, there is an increasing number of people who are losing data.

65.1 percent of consumers or their family member lost data as a result of an accidental

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RAID Explained

What is RAID? If you’re not an IT person, you probably don’t know a lot about it. However, one thing is for sure. You’ve probably heard about it. If you’re working in an office where massive data are stored in servers, you’ve probably come across the RAID acronym.

RAIDs are boxes on your network that hold two or more drives, and constantly mirror your data. If one drive fails, you can rebuild the array to recover your data. These are also called NAS (for network-attached storage).

(Via: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/backups-act-like-your-business-depends-on-them)

Companies rely a lot on RAID systems. For starters, they’re very cost effective. Secondly, they can help lessen the impact of a data loss.

One of the reasons why many companies are using RAID is that the data in the array can simply be used. Those using the data need not be aware they are using RAID at all. When a failure occurred and the array is recovering, access to the data will be slower. Accessing the data during this time will also slow down the recovery process, but this

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How Identity Thieves Gain From Data Loss

Data loss is dangerous. It’s even more dangerous if the data loss consists of some very personal information. More often than not, they do. Pieces of information like your email address, date of birth, physical address, Social Security Number, passwords, and even family photos are just a few of the pieces of information that make up your personal data.  When you lose your personal data, those pieces of information go with them. That could be very dangerous.

Your personal data is very valuable. They’re valuable to huge companies that rely on consumer behavior for profit. That’s pretty much all of the companies that exist right now. These huge companies rely on data brokers to get all the information they need for marketing purposes, to say the least.

If you’re familiar with data brokers, this won’t come as a shock. But if you’re not already aware, data brokering is a multi-billion dollar industry made up of companies who collect consumer data and sell it to other companies, usually for marketing purposes.

(Via: https://www.webfx.com/blog/general/what-are-data-brokers-and-what-is-your-data-worth-infographic)

With data brokering becoming a multi-billion-dollar industry, …

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Can You Really Prevent Data Loss?

It’s a typical day. You’re typing away to get work done. Things are going smoothly because you have all the data that you need in your computer. It’s just a matter of putting everything together to get the work done. Then suddenly, you notice you’re missing some data. You’re getting worried. Nonetheless, you’re hoping that everything is okay but it’s not. You’re definitely missing some very important data. How could something like this happen to you? Well, truth be told, data loss is very real. It happens to everybody. That includes you.

While data loss affects everyone who uses a computer, it is especially problematic for those who use word processing software. Losing the important documents that you’ve spent so much time creating is frustrating — especially if you’re like most users, who create documents directly on the computer and don’t have the benefit of a handwritten copy. Questions and tales of woe about recovering lost files abound in online forums and bombard technical support departments.

(Via: https://www.lifewire.com/ways-to-prevent-data-loss-3540224)

So, how can you actually prevent data loss from happening. The …

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Data Recovery Cost: Is It Worth It?

Data recovery cost varies. In some cases, it can cost a lot. Not all data recovery issues are the same. For example, the cost of recovering data from a hard drive wouldn’t be the same as the cost of recovering data from another storage device. That said, it’s not that easy to put a flat rate on any kind of data recovery cost.

The first thing to note is that hard drive data recovery prices are variable. It is typically not one price to do every HDD recovery because as is often the case, the first answer is really ‘it depends…’!

(Via: https://www.thetechmentor.com/posts/how-much-for-hard-drive-recovery-the-costs)

Data recovery could also get quite costly, especially if it’s not done by professional technicians. Luckily, these days, there are reliable hard drive recovery experts who can get the job done well.

There are still ‘sharks’ who charge much more than what it costs them to recover your data, but in most cases the more damaged your hard drive and therefore the more difficult and time consuming the data recovery, the higher the cost. Good professionals

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Remote Data Recovery: Is It Right For You?

There are various options for data recovery. You can recover data from your backups. That is, if you have any. If you do, you better hope they’re updated. If they’re not, then they’re just going to be pretty useless.

Another data recovery option is for you to tap the expertise of lab-based data recovery technicians. You can send them your media/hard drive so that they can diagnose it in a clean room, which is a sterilized. temperature-controlled work area.

A work area in which the air quality, temperature and humidity are highly regulated in order to protect sensitive equipment from contamination. Clean rooms are important features in the production of silicon chips, hard disk drives and other technologies such as satellites. The air in a clean room is repeatedly filtered to remove dust particles and other impurities that can damage the production of highly sensitive technologies.

(Via: https://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/clean_room.html)

Another option for data recovery is to avail of the various software programs available out in the market. There are some data recovery tools that can help get back lost or …

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Deleted Files: Where Do They Go?

No one knows where broken hearts go. But do you know where deleted files go? Sure, your deleted files go to the recycle bin. Once you right click on a file and choose delete, it ends up there. However, that doesn’t mean the file is deleted because it’s not. It’s simply in a different folder location, one that’s labeled recycle bin. From there, you can easily restore the file anytime you want to.

Emptying out the recycle bin doesn’t necessarily mean that your files are permanently deleted. It might seem like it but that’s not exactly the case.

When a computer deletes a file or the Recycle Bin is emptied, it is removing the reference to the file on the hard drive. Once the file header, or reference, is removed, the computer can no longer see the file. The space the file took up is no longer reserved for that file, and any new file can be stored in that location.
What does this mean? The file is no longer readable by the computer. However, the file is still on

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Hard Drives: Two Critical Things You Should Know About Them

Hard drives. How much do you know about them? Well, here’s a little trivia for you. Decades ago, hard drive meant something else. For regular folks like you and me, hard drive was definitely not defined as an object. Back in the days, hard drive was far from being an object. In this day and age, it’s a lot different. Hard drive now refers to the hardware device found inside a computer. Hard drive or hard disk drive is where all the data are stored.

In many respects, the hard drive is your computer. It’s where all the data in your computer is stored for the long term — not just the things you save, but all the code required for your operating system, the framework browsers use to connect to the internet, drivers for your accessories, and everything else. When people talk about computer storage, they are talking about the hard drive.

(Via: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/what-is-a-hard-drive-your-guide-to-computer-storage)

A computer would definitely be useless without a hard drive. But that wasn’t the case in the early days. It’s quite interesting to know …

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The Best, If Not The Safest Way To Data Recovery

There’s nothing simple about data recovery.  This process of salvaging deleted data on a hard drive can easily scare anybody. If you have no IT background, you’re bound to panic, and quickly get above your head looking for a fix.  Imagine losing all your irreplaceable data and not knowing how to get them back can really send shivers down your spine. Who can blame you? After all, there are a lot of data stored in that hard drive of yours.

According to a study on second hand hard disk drives, it was found that more than half of them contained some very critical data.

A new study from technology firm Blancco Technology Group found that 78%— more than three quarters—of used, resold, or refurbished hard disk drives still contained personal or confidential information, despite supposedly being “wiped.”

In the first quarter of 2016, the group purchased a total of 200 used hard disk drives and solid state drives sold in the United States from eBay and Craigslist. Out of the 200, the Blancco’s digital forensics team was able to

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Should You Consider A Hard Drive Recovery Service?

Consumers want convenience. That’s a fact. When it comes to convenience in this day and age, we, consumers, turn to software or apps. One good example is relying on a cloud-based software to back up our data.

Cloud backup is primarily used on an individual’s or organization’s data via an offsite and remote cloud storage platform. Cloud backup works when a cloud backup provider allocates cloud storage that is accessible globally over the Internet or backup software via a purpose-built user interface or vendor API. Cloud backup storage can be used to virtually store and back up all types of data or applications. Unlike traditional backup techniques, cloud backup is highly flexible and scalable in scaling up and down on run time.

(Via: https://www.techopedia.com/definition/13587/cloud-backup)

If you think about, cloud backup is very convenient. With everything stored in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about capacity. You’ll probably just have to pay for it but you’ll be spared from worrying about it. You won’t have to put in so much effort in figuring out where to store data since …

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How To Deal With A Hard Drive Problem

Your  hard drive stores data. In case things go wrong, you can always rely on it to get back your data. Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? But what if your hard drive fails you? How are you supposed to get back your data when your hard drive fails? You don’t have to wait for your hard drive to fail.  You’re better off knowing the warning signs.

Most components on a PC that can fail will give some warning of their deteriorating condition before they just stop working altogether, and hard drives are no exception. Here are some warning signs of a developing hard drive problem. Disappearing files: If a file simply disappears from your system, this can be a sign that the hard drive is developing issues. Computer freezing: Computer freeze up from time to time, and it’s almost always solved by a quick reboot. However, if you find that you need to reboot more and more frequently, that could be an indication that your hard drive is beginning to fail. Corrupted data: If files on the drive are suddenly

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