While solid state drives (SSD) are more stable than hard drives, age can eventually cause them to fail. It is therefore important to know what signs to keep an eye out for, which could signal an impending failure. According to Tony Yu, South African country manager at ADATA, while there are tools available to monitor your SSD for flaws, there are some very specific signs you can look out for.
“While the technology in SSDs has evolved over the years, making them even more stable and reliable, there are instances where they can fail. When a computer attempts to read or save a file, but it takes unusually long, the system will eventually abandon the task and give an error message. These are known as bad blocks and can result in you not being able to read from or write files to the SSD,” he says. Other symptoms of bad blocks include needing to repair your PC or file system, and the freezing and crashing of active applications. “If you are getting frequent errors when moving files, or your system is running slow, particularly when you access large files, you should consider running a diagnostic tool to determine whether there are any physical problems with your drive. I would also advise you to back up your files immediately to avoid data loss.”
Yu says there are two ways in which bad blocks can affect your files. “If your system refuses to write data to the drive, I would recommend that you try and save the files to another location, or copy it to the cloud, restart your computer and try saving them to the drive again. Fortunately, in this case the data has not been compromised as it was not written to the drive in the first place,” he says. “Unfortunately, if your system refuses to read the data, you have a much bigger problem, because often, that data is lost for good.”
An error popping up stating that your PC needs to be repaired can be a sign of your SSD developing bad blocks. “While this error sometimes pops up purely because the computer was not shut down properly, it can mean that you have issues with your SSD. Fortunately, most operating systems come with built-in repair tools that will guide you through the steps of repairing the file system,” says Yu. “There is the possibility of losing some data in the process though, which is why we recommend that you back up your data on a regular basis.”
Another symptom that your SSD is on its way out, is when your computer crashes during the boot process, but works fine after hitting the reset button multiple times. “If you are experiencing this, I would suggest that you immediately back up your data, because this is usually caused by a bad block or an impending SSD failure,” he says. “Again, it’s best to use a diagnostic tool to test whether it is the drive and, if you have backed up your data, consider reformatting your drive and reinstalling the operating system.”
In the event of the drive becoming read-only, data can still be recovered. “If you are unable to save to the drive, we recommend that you try and connect it to another device as an external or secondary hard drive. That way, if the SSD is still working, you can at least recover all your files and delete all the data before discarding your SSD,” says Yu.
Welcome to world of 2099
The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.
Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.
This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.
Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.
As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.
“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”
The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.
“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”
- Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube
Use the page links below to continue reading about Tan’s visions.
Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com
This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.
Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.
What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.
However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.
As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.
It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.
The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.
To enter the competition follow the steps below:
Competition entry details:
3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.
4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.
5. The competition is only open to South African residents.