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Upgrading Data Storage - these days the hot topic in storage is -- SSD!

Upgrading Data Storage - Upgrade Your Data Storage - Hard drives, CD/DVD drives, Flash or Pen drives, SSD, and Tapes.

Hard drives are one of the greatest bargains today, the most bang for your buck. Although the price per byte is cheaper, it is not the cheapest upgrade you can do.

 A free guide to help you get a new hard drive or SSD installed...

Considerations - What type of drive? What capacity, How many?

Hard drives -

Types: Current drive interface types are IDE (ATA) or SATA (Serial ATA) you need to know what interface type you need before you buy. If you have an older computer more than likely it has a IDE controller, newer computers are coming with the SATAII or SATAIII controllers embedded along with the IDE for CD/DVD drives (backward compatibility).

If you have a IDE and want to purchase that 500 gig SATA drive you will need a couple of things before you can make it run. You will need a SATA controller, some manufactures are including the controller with their drives, some are not. You will also need an interface cable and a power cable converter.

As with other upgrades what do you want you new drive to do? Is it for increased storage for data and programs? Is it for your OS, will it be the Boot drive?

If you are upgrading for just storage, then go for the SATA and the biggest you can afford. I have Doom 3, Half Life 2, these programs come on DVD's and they are compressed files, in addition Half Life 2 goes out to the internet and down loads updates every time I play the game (well it tries, I don't let it). The reason I put these facts in is that my 20 gig hard drive was to full to load these two games, my choices were delete something or upgrade. Upgrading data storage was the choice.

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If you are upgrading for the OS you may want to consider the biggest you can afford, also you will have to stay with the controller embedded in your main board, I have not seen a bootable SATA add-on controller at this time.

CD and DVD -

CD/DVD - All DVD drives will read the CD format so why buy a CD Drive? If you are replacing a CD with a DVD consider buying a Writeable DVD, the latest Dual Layer DVD Burner costs less than a regular CD drive in today's market! A DL DVD that will create DVD movies, 8.7 gig of data storage will also read and write cd's! With rewriteable cd or dvd you can use this device for your backup, if you back up your data selectively.

Flash memory devices -

The wonder of technology - Flash drives (or pen drives) are the latest and greatest from the memory innovators and manufactures. These devices store data on a chip that retains the data when the power is removed. You can get these devices in different capacities. The only draw back I can see with a flash drive is that they are very small and can be misplaced, this could be a security risk if you put personal data on one.

SSD or Solid State Drives

Like the flash or pen drives the SSD uses the same technology to store your data. The difference comes from the size (which it will change), power requirements, and capacity. These drives come mainly in the SATA format so if you have a computer that has only IDE interfaces you will need a SATA interface controller. At this time the highest capacity is 1 6 Tetra Bytes (TB) and it costs over $900 $1200 (depending on manufacture) but with time the capacity will increase and the price will drop. I have written a review here.

And the upgrade page is upgrading data storage to a SSD.

Tape -

Adding a tape drive to do backup of your data is a wise choice. With the latest hard drives moving towards 6 TB you wonder if you can afford a tape drive that will back up all that data in a timely manner. In a word: No. If you selectively backup data only you can get by with a fairly cheap drive with a 10 to 30 gig capacity... (fairly cheap means how important is your data?) After considering your options you may want to use a DVD to back up your data.

Update 11/01/13 - When this article upgrading data storage was written the IDE interface was King, now SATA is the preferred interface for most mass storage from hard drives to optical to memory drives (SSD) and then the move from the original SATA specification which had backward compatibility to the IDE interface to the pure serial interface specification.

What this means is if you have an older drive or motherboard the newer SATA II and III may not work with them. That is a SATA II or III motherboard will not accept a old SATA drive with out the older drivers required to see the older drive. Conversely an older motherboard may have problems seeing the newer SATA II or III drive, there is a possibility that you may find drivers to load that will see the device, check Intel's web site for possible solutions.



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