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Due to the difference in technology, HDDs are inherently slower than their SSD counterparts, and their performance decreases over time as you store more and more data on them. This can be attributed to data fragmentation during the writing process. However, there is a simple fix for it called defragmentation. In this article, we will go over a few simple methods to help you defrag your Windows hard drive and get a significant performance boost.

What Is Defragmentation?

To understand what defragmentation is, you need to know how a hard drive works. Think of the latter as a train where the coaches store and carry data. Every time you add more data to your hard drive, it’s broken down into smaller pieces or fragments, and a new coach is added to the train to store that data. These coaches are added in a sequential manner.

Now, during the process of storing more data, the hard drive fills up the empty coaches with some fragments of data and creates new coaches for the remaining pieces. This results in data being scattered all across the hard drive. Even though it seems efficient that those empty spaces are finally being used, that’s not the case.

The issue here is that whenever data fragments are stored farther away from each other, it takes a while for your computer to recollect it all before it can be presented to you again. This slows down the overall reading speed of that hard drive. This is another reason why hard drive-based computers tend to slow down when your storage is almost full. The process of reversing this breakdown and reorganizing the data on the hard drive is called defragmentation.

These days Windows automatically defrags mechanical hard drives. However, it only works for drives that are physically connected to your motherboard. So, if you have an old or external HDD, it’s always a good idea to defragment it yourself for a smoother performance.

How To Defragment Your Hard Disk in Windows 10 and 11

Now that we know what defragmentation means, we can begin with the steps to do it manually on your PC.

1. Use the Disk Optimization Tool

Open the disk optimization tool – search for the “Defragment and Optimize Drives” program in Windows Search.

    Check the percentage of fragmented files in the results.

    Note: There’s no hard and fast rule regarding how fragmented your drive should be before you can defrag it. However, you should try to maintain the fragmentation level below 5% so that the defragmentation process doesn’t take too long.

    When Windows is finished with the process, the Optimize Drives program should show your drive as 0% fragmented.

    2. Schedule Optimization

    You can put this whole defragmentation process on an automated schedule from the same location.

    3. Use the Command Line

    Press Win + X and choose ”Windows Terminal (Admin)” from the pop-up menu.

      To defrag that drive, use the following command, replacing X with your drive letter:

      defrag X

      Wait for the defragmentation process to complete.

      If you want to defrag your whole system except for your main drive, use this command instead: defrag /E X:. Here, X is the letter of the drive you want to exclude.

      4. Use a Third-Party Defragging Tool

      Instead of using the inbuilt defragging tool, you can also use third-party defragmentation tools like MyDefrag or Auslogics Disk Defrag to achieve the same results.

        Depending on your drive size, it can take a while to defragment your HDD.

          Once the process is complete, you will get a message that says “Defragmentation Complete.”

            Close Disk Defrag.

            Frequently Asked Questions Are there reasons not to defrag your computer?

            If your computer has a mechanical hard disk installed or you have an external hard disk, you always want to defrag those disks. The only exception where you never need to defrag your computer is when it’s using only a Solid State Drive (SSD) or an M.2 NVMe Drive, because those are modern versions of mechanical drives and automatically defrag themselves without requiring manual intervention. If you defrag these drives, at best, it will do nothing, but it can also cause unnecessary wear and tear if done multiple times.

            How often should you defrag a hard drive?

            For most Windows users, defragging an HDD once a month should be fine. You can use your PC’s inbuilt “scheduled optimization” feature to set a monthly cleanup cycle for your hard drive. Not only does it reduce the need to do it manually, it also improves the performance of your HDD. However, if regular defragmentation of your hard drive does not speed it up, you should consider upgrading it to an SSD.

            Image credit: Pixabay

            Ojash Yadav

            Ojash has been writing about tech back since Symbian-based Nokia was the closest thing to a smartphone. He spends most of his time writing, researching, or ranting about Bitcoin. Ojash also contributes to other popular sites like MakeUseOf, SlashGear, and MacBookJournal.

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            You're reading How To Defrag Your Windows Hard Drive

            How To Clone A Hard Drive On Windows 11/10

            Backup is an important part for anyone who uses a computer, but there are times when we need to clone the drive for various reasons. While there is no direct feature to clone a hard drive in the Disk Management tool, another method can still be done. Then there are many free tools to clone a hard drive which I will discuss in this post. This works on Windows 11 and Windows 10.

            Cloning a Hard Drive — What does it mean?

            Cloning means creating a replica of the original. The same applies to the digital world. However, please do not confuse it with backup or copy. For example, you may copy entire data or your hard disk to another, but you can not boot from it. On the other hand, Clone is a digital copy and can be used at times of disaster recovery. In other words, this will allow you to switch the hard drive and restore the PC almost instantly.

            How to Ghost or Clone a Hard Drive on Windows 11/10

            Windows offers a built-in backup-restore feature that can be used to create a clone of a hard drive. You can use this feature to make a backup of Windows or to restore a previous version. While made backup, the ability to create a system image, i.e., sector by sector copy of the original disk, makes it a perfect Clone maker.

            Note: This method also works if you want to clone Windows to an external hard drive. However, you may not be able to use it as a primary drive.

            Here are the steps to create a System Image Backup:

            First, you have to make sure that the storage device you want to use has enough space for the System Image Backup file. Second, make sure to remove any unnecessary files to reduce the time of cloning.

            Open Start Menu, and type Control, and then open the Control Panel.

            Then locate the backup or restore your files link.

            You have three options here—

            On a hard disk,

            On one more DVD, and

            On a network location.

            How to use System Image to Recover PC?

            Connect the external drive, and choose to recover the PC. The Windows System Image Recovery process will use the image and then clone it to the computer’s primary disk. Once done, you can boot regularly, and your PC should be up and running.

            Third-Party Cloning Software

            While System Image Backup works, third-party software offers more options. Here are some free tools from the software list we have discussed under free backup software for Windows.


            It is the simplest and bare bone backup and recovery software that can easily clone a hard drive. It’s free, and it doesn’t require a lot of computer knowledge to make use of it. You can use Clonezilla Live that is suitable for a single-machine scenario.

            Macrium Software Reflect Free:

            It offers disk cloning, differential imaging, restore non-booting systems, supports backup in Hyper-V virtual machines, create images of running Windows OS, browse backup contents in Windows Explorer, and direct disk cloning.

            DriveImage XML:

            If you have ever used Norton Ghost, then it’s a great alternative to it. The software enables you to create a complete backup image of any drive or partition. You can use it to restore later to the same or another partition. You can also clone a drive to another.

            Can Windows clone HDD to SSD?

            Yes. Most of the SSD come with software that allows users to migrate from HDD to SSD to boost performance. They create a clone, and when you switch the boot device, it will be seamless.

            Does cloning a hard drive copy the OS?

            Yes. Cloning or creating a System Image means sector by sector copy. So it will copy the Boot sector, the OS, programs, drivers, and all the files. However, if you switch drive or restore after a long gap, it will need to be updated by all means.

            Do you need to activate Windows after cloning?

            No, however, if you connect to a different PC where hardware has completely changed, you may have to reactivate or transfer the key to a new Windows PC.

            Can I do real-time HDD cloning?

            No, Windows can not do that. Real-time HDD cloning means any change made in your C drive gets instantly cloned. However, that’s a process you cant rely on, sector by sector writing takes a toll on the system, and hence even if third-party software offers it, it will be a real-time backup solution at best.

            How to clone a partition of my hard drive to SSD in Windows?

            Yes, it is possible through third-party software to select which partition to clone from a drive and then clone it to the destination drive. However, every time you do it, everything in the destination drive will be deleted.

            I hope the post was easy to follow, and you were able to clone a hard drive on Windows 11/10

            How To Format And Partition An External Hard Drive Or Ssd On Windows

            Windows is pretty good with hard disk and SSD file systems. While you may think that you’re stuck with the same partitions and format your hard disk came with, Windows will let you change things up as per your preference. It’s not too complicated, either. Here’s how to format and partition an external hard drive or SSD on Windows.

            QUICK ANSWER


            What you need to know about partitioning and formatting

            How to format an external hard drive on Windows

            How to partition an external hard drive on Windows

            What you need to know about partitioning and formatting

            You might have heard “partitioning” and “formatting” used in the context of hard drives and OS. But what do these terms actually mean?

            What does partitioning mean?

            “Partitioning” refers to the process of dividing a disk into several sub-devices, and allocating sub-devices to the OS to allow it to carry out functions in the rest of the sub-devices and computer. So, for instance, you can have one 500GB drive, and have it partitioned into one 100GB drive partition to boot Windows out of (and the OS will create all the other requisite partitions for recovery, etc.), and the other 400GB drive partition to store your programs and files.

            Why should you partition a drive?

            What does formatting mean?

            “Formatting” refers to the process of preparing a storage disk for its initial data storage use. More commonly, formatting refers to the process of generating a new file system for that particular storage disk. Think of the file system as an index that figures out what file can and will be stored where — without this index, the OS would be unable to see empty and used spaces. So formatting a drive essentially tells the drive where it can and cannot store data, and that it is ready to accept data in the first place.

            Difference between format and quick format

            Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

            When you start a formatting operation, you will often see the option to do a quick format. A quick format essentially removes the index but not the files. As a result, one cannot see the files that exist on the drive, but the files still continue to exist and can be recovered through specialized software. In other words, the files on the disk are just marked “safe to overwrite” without actually being overwritten. A quick format also skips scanning of bad sectors on the disk, but this concept is outside the scope of this article.

            A regular format or full format is different from a quick format in that it overwrites the files with blank data in addition to removing the index. This ensures that it becomes almost impossible to recover the file. A full format also scans the drive for bad sectors. Because of the wider scope of the task, a full format takes significantly longer than a quick format.

            Why should you format a drive?

            As mentioned, formatting a drive is a step towards using a drive for storage. Different OSs use different file systems for storage. So formatting your drive with the correct Windows-supported filesystem will allow you to use the drive on your computer without any further hassle. Without the correct file system in place, your Windows computer likely won’t see the drive as available for storage. Note that formatting a drive will delete your data, and a full format will make the data almost irrecoverable.

            How to format an external hard drive on Windows

            Formatting an external hard drive or SSD on Windows is quite simple.

            Connect the external drive to your PC and open Windows Explorer.

            Rename the drive under Volume label, if you wish to.

            If you want the drive to be formatted more thoroughly, uncheck the Quick Format box.

            Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

            Windows will format your external drive, and give you a confirmation dialog box when the formatting is complete.

            To partition an external drive on Windows, you’ll need to use the Disk Management tool.

            Find your external drive listed in the grid view in the bottom half.

            To create a new partition, you will need unallocated space. You will see this under a black header in the Disk Manager.

            Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

            The Shrink Volume dialog box will pop up. In the box next to Enter the amount of space to Shrink in MB, type in how much space you want for your new partition(s).

            Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

            Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

            Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

            Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

            It will take a couple of seconds, but the partition will show up in the grid view of your external disk in Disk Manager.

            Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

            If you want to create another partition, you can repeat the process to create a new volume with the allocated space you left before, or repeat the whole process by shrinking existing partitions.


            There are no downsides to partitioning your external hard disk. It depends upon what kind of usage you want from your external hard disk. It’s good to partition it if you want to use the hard disk for two different purposes and don’t want to mix up your files.

            It’s not a necessary thing. It solely depends upon your usage and whether the usage warrants having partitions for different purposes.

            Yes, Disk Management in Windows lets you do that. You will need unallocated space available if you want to extend a partition, and if you’re shrinking a partition, it will leave you with unallocated space that you can use to extend other partitions.

            A full format of the hard drive erases the data on it irrecoverably. However, a quick format merely deletes the files, leaving them recoverable with specialized software.

            You should check if your hard drive has any partitions for an OS you no longer need, through disk management. This will also bring to light any unallocated space. Then partition the drive as needed for the new usage, and format it with the filesystem needed.

            Fix: Windows 10 Thinks Hard Drive / Ssd Is Removable

            Fix: Windows 10 Thinks Hard Drive / SSD is Removable




            The internal Hard Drive should not be shown as an external device that can be quickly removed. This suggest a configuration issue and your computer might perform slower than usual.

            Let’s correct this mistake by making some settings changes in Device Manager, updating BIOS and Windows and making sure everything else is properly configured.



            To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

            Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

            Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

            Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

            Fortect has been downloaded by


            readers this month.

            Some Windows 10 users have reported concerns over the system thinking that their hard drives or SSDs are removable. If you’re experiencing the same, this article will help you resolve the issue.

            When Windows 10 thinks hard drive is removable, it could also show your external USB flash drive in the Disk Drive section. But what is happening there?

            This behavior is known to be found in systems where the installed SATA AHCI driver is in conflict with the computer’s motherboard and/or BIOS. By default, Windows will install a generic SATA AHCI driver when you install the operating system so that it gives basic functionality across different products.

            In this case, the best thing is to install the most current drivers, such as SATA related drivers. For Intel systems, this would be the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver that handles AHCI functionalities, as AMD has its own AHCI driver. The problem at hand is manifested when your internal SATA HDDs or SSDs are displayed as removable media in your taskbar.

            Here are solutions you can use when Windows 10 thinks hard drive is removable.

            What to do if Windows 10 thinks hard drive is removable? 1. General troubleshooting

            Restart your computer

            Check for and install any available Windows updates

            2. Update BIOS from device manufacturer

            Check and install available BIOS updates, but if none exist, use the steps below to override how the inbox driver surfaces devices on specific ports:

            exe add “HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesstorahciParametersDevice” /f /v TreatAsInternalPort /t REG_MULTI_SZ /d x

            (x corresponds to the Bus Number you noted in the previous step).

            Expert tip:

            3. Use Registry Editor

            Disclaimer: Before changing anything in the Registry Editor, back up your registry first.


            Create a new KEY called Controller0

            Inside Controller0, create another KEY called Channel0

            Inside Channel0, create a new DWORD called TreatAsInternalPort

            Set the value to 1. This will set the SATA port 0 (Drive C) to no longer show up in Safely remove hardware)

            Go back to the Controller0 folder

            Inside Controller0, create a new KEY called Channel1

            Inside Channel1, create a new DWORD called TreatAsInternalPort

            Set the value to 1 (this sets SATA port 1 (Drive D) to no longer show up in Safely Remove Hardware)

            Repeat this process until all internal SATA ports are set to be treated as internal. If you have 6 SATA ports, set Channel0 up to Channel5. If your motherboard has fewer SATA ports, remember to start at 0.

            Reboot to allow changes.

            4. Modify in Device Manager 5. Check BIOS

            Go into your BIOS and check if the SATA port to which your hard drive is connected to has the Hot Plug enabled. It could mean that your motherboard supports hot-swapping of hard drives, which you can disable the AHCI feature on your motherboard and it will disappear.

            Here’s how to enter BIOS settings on your Windows 10 computer:

            Here’s what do to if you can’t hear your hard-drive powering up

            6. User suggested solutions

            Here are some additional solutions suggested by users on Microsoft’s forum:

            Install or update SATA AHCI driver as you could be running on the generic Windows driver. Check your motherboard manufacturer’s website for a current Windows 10 driver. (Or laptop manufacturer’s website if this is a different rig than that in your specs). If there’s no Windows10 driver, then use the most recent one. If there’s no SATA/AHCI driver there, you can get one if you install the most current version of Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver

            Try using a different SATA port and also try plugging it with a different SATA cable. Go to your motherboard manufacturer’s website and make sure you have the latest SATA controller and chipset drivers for your model. Giving the BIOS reset a try might also be a good idea, it would get your BIOS settings back to factory defaults which could help with the proper detection of the HDD.

            This is generic problem of windows 64 bit versions. Microsoft has yet to find and fix the issue. It is related to performance. 64 bit operations cannot cope up so 64bit operating system is patched to treat internal drive as portable removable drive. Install 32bit version of windows, as this issue is not there.

            Tip for Windows 10 users: create a ‘Storage Pool’ through ‘Storage Spaces’. A Pool can exist of just 1 storage medium. That will integrate the removable storage to be seen as an internal drive.

            It’s not a solution for your system drive. For that the best bet is to find the most recent driver. If that does not work for you might want to change your 3rd party AHCI/RAID controller driver to the ‘Generic SATA AHCI controller’ that was shipped with Windows 10.

            In my case I had disks attached to a Marvell adapter show up as removable. After changing them to create an MS storage space instead of a Marvell mirrored drive, they appeared in the normal spot thus making them available to disk optimization too.

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            Best Hard Drive Recovery Software For Windows 11/10 Pc

            Best Hard Drive Recovery Software for Windows 11/10 PC  10 Best Software To Recover Files From Hard Drives (2023) 1. Advanced File Recovery

            Don’t let lost or accidentally deleted files be the end of your data story! Advanced File Recovery is the superhero you need for your Windows operating system. It holds the ability to recover lost, formatted, or deleted files from a wide range of storage devices, including hard drives, SD cards, and USB drives. This software will bring your precious data back to life in a single scan. Advanced File Recovery is one such hard drive recovery tool that every Windows user should have in their data recovery toolkit.

            Download Advanced File Recovery


                  It supports recovery from various storage devices

                  Advanced File Recovery can recover a wide range of file formats & types

                  Can recover files even from damaged or corrupted storage devices

                  The hard drive recovery software has a user-friendly interface & hassle-free navigation


            Has the excellent ability to recover 1000-plus file formats

            It has a preview feature that allows you to view recoverable files

            Comprehensive and round-the-clock customer support


            The scanning process can be slow when using the deep scan feature

            It cannot recover overwritten data

            2. Advanced Disk Recovery

            Did you accidentally delete or lose an important file on your Windows operating system? Fear not! Advanced Disk Recovery is here to save the day! Its deep scan feature and preview option ensure you can easily recover the right files.  But with its overall utility, Advanced Disk Recovery is an essential tool for any Windows user looking to recover lost or deleted files from hard drive & removable devices. Not only this, it supports restoring data from partitions as well.

            Download Advanced Disk Recovery

            Full Review on Advanced Disk Recovery


                  It supports recovery from various storage devices

                  The hard drive recovery software has a user-friendly interface

                  Provides a quick scan & a deep scan feature

                  Can recover various file formats & types in one go


            No limit to data recovery

            The preview feature allows users to check the recovered files

            Have the ability to create a disk image of a storage device

            Simple dashboard


            The capabilities of the trial edition are restricted

            The scanning process can be slow while scanning large storage devices

            3. Disk Drill

            Disk Drill is a reliable and powerful data recovery software that can easily help you recover files from the hard drive. Its benefits far outweigh its limitations, and with its user-friendly interface and powerful recovery capabilities, it’s a must-have tool for anyone looking to protect their data from potential files/folders loss scenarios. So, why wait? Download Disk Drill now and enjoy peace of mind knowing that your files are safe and secure!


                  Supports hundreds of file formats

                  Having the capability for lost partition search

                  Superior data protection and backup features

                  Has powerful recovery capabilities in one go


            Intuitive user interface

            Inexpensive data recovery of up to 500 MB (Windows)

            Being able to mount scan findings as a folder


            Phone support not available

            Limited support for Linux file systems

            4. Wondershare Recoverit


                  Supports over 1,000 file formats

                  Recovers data from various storage devices

                  Can recover ultra-HD, 4K, 8K photos/videos without compromising with the quality.

                  Can recover deleted or lost data remotely.


            Can recover data from encrypted or password-protected storage devices

            Can create a bootable USB drive to recover data from a crashed computer

            Supports remote data recovery from failed or corrupted NAS servers

            Can repair corrupted videos in various formats, including MP4, MOV, and AVI


            The paid version can be expensive comparatively

            The scanning and recovery process can take a long time for larger storage devices

            5. Disk Genius

            Looking for a solution to recover deleted files, backup and restore partition tables, clone partitions or disks, and verify and repair bad sectors on your Windows 10 PC? Look no further than Disk Genius! With its powerful data recovery capabilities, you can easily recover accidentally deleted files and restore them to their original state. Besides data recovery, Disk Genius supports modules for partition management, data backup, rebuild MBR etc.


                  Create, delete, resize, format, hide/unhide partitions

                  Recover deleted or lost files from various storage devices

                  Clone a disk or a partition to another disk or partition

                  Backup and restore the partition table


            Scan and fix bad sectors on a disk

            Virtualize the current operating system into a VMware virtual machine

            Combines data recovery and partition management into one tool

            Offers a free trial version for users


            The user interface may not be very intuitive for some users

            The software may not be as specialized in data recovery

            6. Piriform Recuva

            Recuva is a free data recovery tool that can restore files from damaged or corrupted disks, memory cards, and other storage media. It comes from the popular CCleaner family and has a very good reputation among Windows users. It includes a user-friendly interface and supports multiple file systems. You can unlock the premium version with a paid subscription to enjoy higher recovery rate up to 50%-80%, receives auto-update and ability to restore files from virtual disk.


                  Deep scan mode for thorough recovery

                  Covers NTFS, FAT, exFAT, and ReFS in its list of supported systems of files

                  Can recover files recover data from hard disks and damaged or formatted disks

                  Portable version available


            Free version available

            Quick scan mode available for faster recovery

            User-friendly interface


            It may take more time to perform a deep scan

            It may not be as effective on heavily damaged disks

            7. Stellar Data Recovery

            Have you ever lost an important file/folder due to a corrupted or inaccessible hard drive? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Our powerful Stellar Data Recovery offers many features, including the ability to recover data from encrypted drives, create image files of hard drives and supports recovery from CD/DVD, HD DVD and Blu-Ray discs. Don’t let data loss bring you down, try this hard drive recovery software today!


              Recovers data from encrypted drives

              Can restore data on a dual monitor setup as well.

              Capability to rescue lost/deleted data from 4K hard drives.

              Can scan and recover multiple file types and formats

              Can create image files of hard drives or volumes


            Fast scanning and recovery process

            Supports both Windows and Mac operating systems

            Can recover files from damaged optical media

            Provides a preview of recoverable files


            The free version has limited features and can only recover up to 1 GB of data

            The deep scan may consume a prolonged time

            8. TestDisk

            Imagine losing all of your important files due to a hard drive crash, virus attack, or accidental deletion. The thought alone can be daunting! However, with TestDisk, a powerful and free external hard drive recovery tool, you can recover lost files and restore your peace of mind. TestDisk is intended to restore missing partitions and repair non-booting discs as well. TestDisk is a well-liked option for inexperienced and seasoned users because of its robust capabilities and user-friendly layout.


                  Can recover lost partitions and make non-booting disks bootable again

                  Can fix partition table, recover deleted partitions, and recover files from formatted disks

                  Capable of scanning and recovering files from all types of file systems

                  Can reboot the NTFS boot sector


            Free and open-source

            Operating systems supported include Windows, Linux, and macOS

            Can fix boot sector and MFT tables


            The command-line interface may not be user-friendly for all users

            No preview feature for recovered files

            Must Read: Weighing The Chances of Recovering Virus Infected Files

            9. R-Studio


                  Functions on local and network disks

                  Recovers files even from heavily damaged drives or unknown file systems

                  Recognizes and assembles the components of disk managers with slightly damaged databases

                  Supports various file system features such as NTFS encrypted files and more


            Offers in-depth file analysis with extended search and mask capabilities

            Can estimate the successful recovery chances and recoverable file information

            Has a standard Windows Explorer-style multi-language interface

            Flexible parameter settings


            The software may not work for severely damaged or corrupted files

            It has a relatively steep learning curve, especially for beginners

            10. Data Rescue

            Looking for external hard drive recovery software that can save your precious memories and important documents from being lost? Look no further then Data Rescue! It is the ultimate solution for Windows users that offers Quick and Deep Scan options to rescue data, cloning capabilities, and a free demo for previewing recoverable files. With the professional license, you get unlimited system activation and drive recovery. Don’t wait to recover your lost data – try Data Rescue today!


                  Creates a clone of a failing drive

                  Offers Quick and Deep scan options

                  Recover data from hard disk and from various storage devices and file systems

                  Provides a free demo version with a preview of recoverable files

                  Offers Standard and Professional licenses


            Recovers a wide range of file types

            User-friendly interface with clear instructions

            Preview of recoverable files before purchase

            Ability to create a clone of a failing drive

            Offers flexible pricing options


            Slow scanning process

            Limited options for customization during scans

            With so many hard drive recovery software options available for Windows, choosing the right one for your needs can be challenging. However, by considering factors such as ease of use, features, success rate, and cost, you can select any of the best tools for your situation. The options we discussed in this article offer a range of features and benefits, so that you can find the one that meets your data recovery needs and get back to using your device with peace of mind.

            Our personal recommendation in the category is Advanced File Recovery is a highly effective and trusted data recovery software in the market. It is one of those finest programs in the market that is capable of rescuing files/folders from emptied Recycle Bin as well. Besides, this it supports restoring data from digital camera SD card & Zip drive as well, which is quite helpful!

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            Raj Soni

            How To Find Out How Much Hard Drive Space You Need

            When purchasing a new computer, it’s hard to determine how much hard drive space you need. Every computer has a set amount of space, such as “500GB,” but how big is that?

            What can you store on a 500GB hard drive? Will it allow you to install as much software and download as much media as you want? Is it too small? Given that there’s no physical reference to just how big 500GB is, it can be hard to visualize its size. This guide helps you determine how much hard drive space you need.

            Tip: if replacing your hard drive, you may want to upgrade to a solid-state drive.

            What Goes on a Hard Drive?

            Image source: Unsplash

            Your computer’s hard drive is where all your data is stored. Everything goes on your hard drive, from your operating system, work documents, music, and photos, to bigger files, like games, movies, and TV series. It also stores your settings preferences, peripheral drivers, and anything else required to make your computer work.

            SSD or HDD?

            Whether you should get an SSD or an older-style HDD (Hard Disk Drive) may sound like a separate topic, but it’s inextricably tied to your storage capacity. Even a SATA SSD is leaps and bounds ahead of a conventional HDD regarding read-and-write speeds and system responsiveness. You can get a 1TB SATA SSD for only 20 percent more than it costs to buy a 1TB HDD.

            Below is our general rundown of what is best stored on what kind of drive, which will help you decide on the capacity and type of drive you need.

            SSD: operating system, demanding games, video editing, Photoshop, and other demanding software

            HDD: documents, movies, music, photos, lightweight games, and software.

            Also helpful: If you are having issues with your current hard drive, you can try defragging your Windows drive.

            How Much Space Do I Need?

            Let’s break down the most common use cases into light, medium, and heavy storage usage. For each, we are listing the everyday activity included in that type of usage. We also take a look at just how big a hard drive you need for each one.

            Light Usage

            Light Use Describes You If You Are:

            Work user

            Maintain a home office

            HTPC (home theater PC) user

            How Much Hard Drive Space You Need: 250GB to 500GB

            No matter how many you use daily in this category, purchasing on the low end of the scale of hard drives should be plenty. Computers that sport a hard drive of around 250 to 500GB of space should work for you, and you even have the world of cloud-based storage to explore, such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

            Tip: expand your PC storage before deleting anything off your hard drive.

            Medium Usage

            Medium Use Describes You If You Are:

            Occasional gamer

            Movie buff

            Photography enthusiast

            How Much Hard Drive Space You Need: 500GB to 1TB

            Image source: Unsplash

            This tier includes usage from storing high-resolution photos and videos to archives of lossless music and HD movies and TV series. It can also include a few games if you’re okay with uninstalling titles once you’ve completed them. If you identify with many of the above use cases, you may need to spend a bit more and purchase a higher-capacity drive that can last you a few years.

            If you’re an avid gamer and movie watcher, however, you’ll probably make light work of 500GB and want to look for something around the 1 TB mark instead. You can easily find 1TB NVMe SSDs starting from around $35.

            Also helpful: you can back up Google Photos to your hard drive if you have enough space.

            Heavy Usage

            Heavy Use Describes You If You Are:

            Heavy gamer

            Have extensive archives of movies, TV series, and photos

            How Much Hard Drive Space You Need: 2TB to 4TB

            Image source: Unsplash

            This tier is for those who enjoy downloading and playing multiple modern games and don’t want to repeatedly delete older titles to make space for the new ones. It’s also for those who wish to maintain a huge library of 4K movies and TV series on their computer. As high-end modern games can very easily breach even 150GB, and a 4K movie can exceed 30GB to 40GB, you’ll need to equip your computer with serious storage to be prepared.

            You can get away with 2TB if you’re only into gaming and HD or 4K movies. If you’re also a content creator who needs to store multiple RAW files, you’ll want to get a minimum of 4TB storage on your PC, or you may feel the squeeze quite quickly!

            Moreover, if you’re also storing all of your photos and videos from your smartphone on your computer, you’ll need to consider those size requirements as well.

            Frequently Asked Questions Is SSD better than HDD for daily use?

            Although SSDs have become drastically cheaper in just the past few years, choosing between an SSD and HDD will depend on your specific use case. SSDs offer responsiveness in another league, but SSDs with 2TB storage and higher are still expensive. An ideal solution is to have a combination of a fast and slightly costlier SSD for your OS and most important files and a slower but cheaper HDD for storing files that are less frequently accessed.

            How many GB of storage should I leave free?

            For a traditional hard disk drive, leaving around 15 to 20 percent free is recommended to allow Windows to defragment and store temporary files and backups. For SSDs, defragmentation is not a thing anymore. Still, to allow for optimal performance, especially on SSDs without a DRAM buffer, leaving around 10 to 20 percent free is recommended.

            How much space is enough for Windows?

            For your operating system, whether it’s Windows 10 or Windows 11, it’s recommended to have a partition size of at least 150GB. This allows enough space for Windows system files, your installed programs, and the hibernation file.

            How much hard drive space does a laptop need?

            The capacity of the hard drive on your laptop depends on your requirements. A 1TB hard drive should be enough for most users – unless you want to store multiple large games and huge media archives. But one thing to remember with laptops is the physical storage limitations. Unlike desktops, where you can add hard drives and SSDs as long as you have enough ports on your motherboard, laptops are different. Many laptops have a single hard drive that you can’t replace. Even in models where adding and replacing drives is possible, you can, at best, keep two drives simultaneously. It’s essential to assess your storage requirements carefully before choosing your laptop configuration.

            Image credit: Unsplash

            Tanveer Singh

            Tanveer hunts far and wide for PC Hardware, Windows, and Gaming ideas to write about. An MBA in Marketing and the owner of a PC building business, he has written extensively on Technology, Gaming, and Marketing. When not scouring the web, he can be found binging on The Office, running for his life in GTFO, or wrecking karts in Smash Karts.

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