Archive for July, 2012

How To Tell When Your Hard Drive Is Failing

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

There are many different symptoms of a failing hard drive, such as awkward noises, or even blue screening, or your computer might not even run the operating system. All hard drives are destined to fail eventually, so it’s best to be prepared.

How do hard drives fail?

Hard drives fail in many different ways, such as logical failures, media failures, head failures, and mechanical failures. Symptoms that tell you if and when your hard drive could be failing are strange noises, disappearing data and disk errors, your computer stops recognizing your drive, your computer crashes, or just really slow access times. The circuits built into the hard drive that direct traffic of data between the hard drive and the rest of the computer is called the hard drive’s firmware. When problems with the firmware make a hard drive stop working, that is called logical failure. Failure caused by a hard drive getting jarred while the heads are engaged or overheated enough so that the platters get warped may lead to media/head failure. The most common type of hard drive failure is mechanical failure, which happens when the motor burns out, or the bearings get stuck.

Here are some basic diagnostics you can use to make sure it is indeed the hard drive failing:

  1. Check to ensure the power cable is properly connected to the drive.
  2. Ensure the IDE ribbon cable, or SATA data firmly attached and aligned properly.
  3. Master/Slave assignment jumpers are positioned correctly, if the drive has jumpers.
  4. Make sure the BIOS settings for your computer are appropriate for your hard drive.

What can we do to protect your data

Many people don’t use backups; therefore if and when their hard drive fails, all data would be lost, with little chance of recovery. You should plan ahead and employ a backup solution that fits your needs.

Be sure to prepare yourself against a hard drive failure by purchasing a CST Cloud subscription today so you don’t have to risk losing all your data. Other options are on CD Media, flash drives, or external hard drives; however, with those devices you risk the theft, loss, or damage of the device and loss of your data. CST Cloud keeps your backups safely off site, so even in the case of a disaster, you will still have your data.

What is malware?

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

A malware is a program that tells your computer to do something you dont want it to do. A virus or any other malware can be very hard to detect or not very hard to detect. No matter what the circumstances all malware make your computer run less efficient in one way or another. A virus is malware that gets copied when ever you do something on your computer.

A virus is not a bug, because a bug is what happens when someone makes an error in writing a program, a virus is a program purposely made to wreck your computer. Computers can be protected from viruses by using some form of anti-virus such as AVG, Avast, or another antivirus program.

Another form of protection from malware is keeping your computer up to date.

1. Trojan (Horse) – A trojan is a program that looks normal until you run it, then you may start to notice changes in how your computer operates.

2. Worms – A worm is a type of malware that spreads from your computer to others on the same network.

3. Virus – A virus is a type of malware that spreads whenever you tell your computer to do something.

4. Fake AV – Fake antivirus disguises itself as an antivirus program until you download it on to your computer.

5. Rogue Proxies – A rogue proxy is what occurs when someone hacks your dns server and they may be able to access all of your credit card numbers and other banking information.

If you have experienced any of these problems, contact us at Cold Snap Technology, and we will see what we can do to get your computer healthy again.

How might a backup for your data be useful?

Friday, July 20th, 2012

A backup for your files might be useful in the event of your data being corrupted, damaged or deleted during a catastrophe. Having a good backup plan means less work of recovering the data you lost, or simply keeping you from losing data at all. You can backup your data in many different ways to make the recovery possible such as a usb flash drive, a cloud, or a disk. Flash drives and other local storage risk being lost or stolen, but cloud backup cannot be misplaced, and is protected by a strong encryption.

Why cloud backup is better than others

A cloud is probably one of the best ways you can backup your files, because you can access your data from anywhere an internet connection is available even after disaster strikes and everything on site is destroyed. Cloud backup compared to local backup solutions provides more security, availability, and reliability. With CST Cloud you dont have to worry about keeping your data safe, because we get alerts if anything goes wrong. CST Cloud is automated and can be managed remotely. Another benefit of our cloud solution over on-site backup is the different location of your backup. When a flood hit Duluth, Minnesota recently, anyone using only a local backup solution lost data, even though they had a backup “ON SITE.” Using a cloud solution instead, the data would not have been destroyed during the flood. A good cloud backup provides disaster recovery plan, quarterly disaster recovery testing, and backup restore support.

The HIPAA security rule ensures that the confidentiality of your data is maintained, and protected against threats or hazards. Since clouds are not on site, it keeps your data safe from threats and hazards including storms and fires. CST Cloud has strong encryption to guarantee confidentiallity applying a 256 bit AES storage, and 128 bit SSL transfers.

Dont just get a local backup, get CST Cloud, it is much more efficent and you dont have to carry it with you all the time.