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Friday, January 20, 2006

Hard Drive Temperature Monitoring with DTemp and SpinRite

Well, today's post is short, because tonight was our bowling league, then we had a fundraiser for the local CYC. I shot a 224 (surrounded by some crap 160+'s) in the league, and then threw 8 in a row during the fundraiser before getting two stupid splits to end the game near 249 or so. Blah.

Anyway, like I mentioned earlier I set up my second PC, and am cleaning up Windows XP step by step for a long detailed blog post. However my initial concern is, "is this really a safe drive?" It whirs a lot when it's just sitting idle, so that scares me - 120gb is very tempting, and I don't want to fill it with files just to have it fail.

First, I installed a temperature monitor program. It's wonderfully small and it runs in the systray, showing a constant temp right there. Get it here: DTemp temperature monitoring program. This is important because I have a LOT of electronics running in a small upstairs bedroom with the door shut 90% of the time. Also, the PC is under a desk, and in an effort to get it hooked up faster I haven't cleaned the 2 years of dust that's collected inside yet (that's for this weekend). So, it's much likely to run hotter than a normal machine.

Then, I installed SpinRite, a general hard disk monitoring utility which tells you of failures, etc. From their website:
SpinRite now brings its legendary data recovery and drive maintenance magic to the latest file systems, operating systems, and hard drives. It runs MUCH faster than ever before, can help maintain all of your drives in tip top shape, can warn of impending disaster, and wrestle data from dying and nearly dead drives . . . before it's too late.

Sounds perfect - and so far so good. Drive seems OK, though I'm going to monitor it daily for a while, so I'll post if I have any more information on SpinRite. I read on a login-only forum the following user comment:
Just to comment on this. I had 2 x 200 GB drives spanned to appear as one 400 GB drive when one of them died. Thereby loosing ALL 400 GB of data. I used this app and ran it on the drive - it did a sector by sector analysis / repair of the HD. Took a LONG time because it was a spanned volume, but it DID recover 99% of the data. All but one 100 MB folder was recoverable. AND the disk is still running fine today over 5 months later! Totally recomended !!!

That's good enough confirmation for me to give it a solid shot! Also, from the same site (grc.com) I also recommend running the Shields Up utility, which is web based, and checks for any vulnerabilites your PC might have as far as allowing traffic to and from your PC. I'll post more on that later.

So, that's it for now, some hard drive utilities for your installing pleasure. I also read an interesting Digg post about freezing your hard drive to recover data, but I'll have to post about that later...gotta be prepared for a Friday at work by actually getting some sleep tonight!

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