Can You Perform a Hard Drive Head Swap?

Hard drives contain actuator heads that float just above the surface of the platters (discs coated in magnetic material that stores data).  When the actuator heads fail, data is inaccessible — and in many cases, the heads need to be...
January 24, 2023

What Are Hard Drive Error Correction Codes (ECCs)?

Modern hard drives use error correction codes (ECCs) to make sure that data is readable, even when the write process is imperfect.  Hard disk drives store information through magnetic charges, and while actuator heads (also called read/write heads) are extremely...
October 28, 2022

What Is a Hard Drive Spindle Failure?

The hard drive spindle is a shaft that holds the platters in place. The platters are disks coated with a thin magnetic material — that magnetic material stores your data. Modern hard drives often have multiple platters, and part of...
October 13, 2022

Will SSDs Reach Price Parity with Hard Drives in 2023?

Solid-state drives offer numerous advantages for consumers: They’re faster than hard drives, more reliable (although still susceptible to failure), and more energy efficient.  However, they’re also much more expensive. According to, the least expensive internal hard drives have a...
October 3, 2022

Throwing Out an Old Hard Drive? Here’s How to Protect Your Data

This week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) discovered records indicating that Morgan Stanley Wealth Management failed to secure the data of 42 servers, potentially risking the private data of 15 million customers. Morgan Stanley allegedly stored data without ...
September 21, 2022

Please Don’t Pry Open Your Hard Drive (Unless You Don’t Need the Data)

At, we support consumers’ right to repair their own devices. If you pay $1,000 for a smartphone, you should have the option of repairing a broken screen or a busted USB-C port on your own. Generally speaking, manufacturers shouldn’t...
July 28, 2022

Do “File Shredder” Programs Really Work?

You’ve got sensitive data that you want to destroy, and you want to be extremely thorough. You want to make sure that no one — not even’s engineering team — can restore the target files. What do you do?...
July 19, 2022

Can Hot Summer Temperatures Damage Your Hard Drive?

Hard drives are designed to work in a wide range of environments, and a sudden heat wave probably won’t cause your drive to crash. However, there’s certainly a difference between a potential and an optimal operating environment. Over time, extreme...
July 1, 2022

What Is a BIOHD-8 Hard Drive Error?

A BIOHD-8 error code indicates a failing storage device — most commonly, a hard drive, though solid-state drives (SSDs) may also present this issue under certain circumstances. The error occurs on HP laptops and desktops during the boot process. Below,...
June 29, 2022

What Is HP’s SMART Hard Disk Error 301?

SMART hard disk error 301 indicates a failing hard drive or an overheated laptop. Here’s what you need to know to address this common issue.
June 13, 2022