Posts Tagged ‘hard drive’

Amazon Cloud Drive: A Great Way to Save Hard Drive Space for Free.

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Recently on March 29, 2011 introduced a new feature called the Amazon Cloud Drive.  Amazon’s newest business venture is an online storage center that offers Amazon customers a free 5 gigabytes (GB) of online storage space with the option to purchase additional space if needed.  Online storage and backup systems have been gaining popularity over the past several years because they enable users to conserve precious hard drive space, provide the option to access data from multiple locations, and limit the need to purchase external hard drives.

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Tag Cloud
from April 2011

Although it is not the first type of online storage product offered by Amazon, the first being Amazon Simple Storage System (S3), it seems that the Amazon Cloud Drive was the next logical step.  Amazon S3 is an online storage that is more geared towards large developers who need to share resources, access information from multiple locations, and store information in a secure online infrastructure. The Cloud drive offers the same storage and sharing power however the system is more focused on the individual everyday user.

The Cloud Drive is a great new feature offered to all Amazon customers that can be very helpful for users who either do not have room on their hard drives, want to backup files or want to have an online and centralized sharing system for their files.  With the Amazon Cloud Drive users can easily upload audio, video, document, and photo files to a secure location within the cloud infrastructure. Even though this product is meant for individual users it can be a great tool for small businesses that need to conserve hard drive space, access files from various locations, allow multiple users access using the same login, and ensure that they have the space for other more important files on their hard drives.

Each Cloud Drive user has the option to utilize the 5GB storage plan for free and also has the option to upgrade their storage space for $1 per GB.

The Amazon Cloud Drive offers storage space plans that include:

  • 5GB for free
  • 20 GB for $20 a year
  • 50GB for $50 a year
  • 100GB for $100 a year
  • 200GB for $200 a year
  • 500GB for $500 a year
  • 1000GB for $1,000 a year

It is also worth mentioning that when a user purchases an online music album they are given a 20GB free account for a year as opposed to only 5GB.  Once the year ends Amazon will modify the user account to the original 5GB unless the user decides to purchase the $20 option.  Additionally when a user makes a purchase for a video or audio digital download it is automatically stored within the users Cloud Drive.  These files are playable using Amazons Cloud Player that comes free with the Cloud Drive account.

The Basic Features of Amazon Cloud Drive:

  • Upload your music, movies, documents, and photos from any location using your secure Amazon login
  • Purchase and download a file directly to your Cloud account
  • Organize your files with the option to move files, create folders, copy files, rename files, delete files and recover deleted items
  • File search allows users to search their entire cloud drive
  • Users can access their files from any computer or Android device that has an Internet connection.

In conclusion the Amazon Cloud Drive is a helpful resource whether you choose to utilize the free option or pay for additional space.  This feature is ideal to save space on your computer and is extremely convenient for any necessary offsite access.

Keep your computer running fast by preserving important hard drive space and learn more by trying out the Amazon Cloud Drive for free at Get Started, Amazon Cloud Drive.

Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland

Running Out Of Space? The Advantages Of Adding More Space!

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Laptop computers that are available today often come equipped with hefty hard drives.  Their capacity can range from 100GB to 899GB and can be even larger in desktop units. Because the amount of hard drive space available, the average computer user doesn’t really have to worry about overloading their hard drive. However for the folks with tons of software applications and hordes of movie, photos, and mp3 files it’s easy for their hard drives to still become flooded.  Do you have too much stuff, is your computers hard drive approaching its full capacity?

When a computer’s hard drive begins to reach its maximum capacity it’s not uncommon for the computer to experience a major decrease in its speed.  In addition to a drag in the speed, programs start to slow, freeze, and crash frequently.  Additionally, you might also encounter reoccurring error messages and experience problems with new program installation. In a couple of our other blogs we detailed some methods of regaining your computers speed and reclaiming hard drive space. Described in the past blog articles were techniques that included managing the startup folder, running security software, clearing temporary internet files, performing a disk cleanup, and defragmenting the disk.  Although these methods are extremely helpful in obtaining more space they will most likely be unable to assist with any hard drive that is above 85% capacity.

So what other options do you have?

Rather than purchasing a new computer, the two best economical options include upgrading your hard drive or purchasing an external hard drive.  Although purchasing a new laptop hard drive might be cheaper than buying an external component it also comes with its own restrictions.  Even though laptops make the access to the hard drive fairly accessible, the average computer user still may not have the knowledge to change out a hard drive. Attempting to change out the device without the adequate knowledge or equipment can create a situation where more harm than good could come to the computer.

Without getting too technical the steps to swap out an existing hard drive for one with more space consist of selecting a new drive with the necessary specifications, copying your drive, dismantling the hard drive cover on your computer, swapping out the component, reassembling the panel, and performing any required re-installation. (Check out the links provided at the end of the article for more details)  But if you’re like me you probably don’t want to risk damaging your computer.  In that case paying a professional is always an option but even then you have to spend more money and take the time to copy over your current hard drive data.

This leads us to our next option. Even though an External Hard Drive component may be accompanied with a slightly higher price tag they tend to alleviate some of the effort and frustration involved with adding more space. An external device will allows you to select which files you would like to store on it.  Due to the external and portable nature of the hardware most come equipped with a password encryption and addition security attributes. External hard drives are available in varying sizes and can often be found for a suitable price. If you decide on the external device, you will be able to save some time on transferring your entire existing hard drive. Usually these kinds of hard drives are plug and play which will do most the work for you.  Just connect the device, let it create the back up, and then move your files to create space. Usually by dragging and dropping or a simple upload menu users will be able to manage the files on their main disk and relocate them if necessary.

If you have tried the methods in our past blogs mentioned earlier and didn’t achieve adequate results it might be time to invest in a new hard drive either internal or external. It is advised that you keep 10-15% of your hard drive space free at all times and the advantages of adding more space are unmistakable. Your computer will experience fewer errors and run faster!

For information on external hard drives and more technical help on installing an internal hard drive visit:

Benefits of an external hard drive!

Upgrading your hard drive

(Video) Changing a hard drive on a desktop!

(Video) Changing your hard drive on a laptop!

Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support to Businesses in Maryland

Components of a Computer, Parts That Everyone Should Know About!

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

laptop internal componentsFor most of us we use computers because they make mundane tasks easier and we typically don’t think twice or concerned about how they are able to accomplish all that they do.    Have you ever wondered what makes your computer tick? It would be helpful to be aware of the basic components that make up your computer.   Whether it is to understand a sales person, identify a problem, or for a general understanding, knowing the basics about your computer can be very useful.

You probably know that your computer is made up of both hardware and software.   Software is the programming that tells the computer what to do, how to do it, and which devices to use.   The following are hardware devices located in your computer.

#1 – CPU

A CPU or Central Processing Unit is the processor or brain of your computer.   This small device is the most important component of your computer.   It understands the programs, receives instructions from the user, and delivers the results.

#2 – RAM

Random Access Memory or Computer Memory enables space for the computer to read and write temporary data.   The data that is stored in the RAM is only available to the CPU while the computer is running and once the computer is turned off the data being stored in RAM will be cleared.

#3 – Hard Drive

The hard drive is the storage center of your computer.   It keeps the contents of your desktop and is accessed by RAM.   The RAM displays the information while the hard drive stores it.

#4 – Video Card and Sound Card

These cards have their own RAM and although it is this RAM that holds the data you need to hear or see, it is the video and sound card that transfers it into actual images or sounds.   A video card transfers the data to the monitor whereas the sound card transfers the data to the speakers or headphones.

#5 – Network Interface Card (NIC)

A NIC is used to pass on information from your PC to a broadband modem.   It both sends and receives data over a local area network (LAN).

#6 – Mother Board

A Mother Board is the largest component of a computer is a circuit board that holds or connects to all of the other components.

#7- Computer Software

Computer Software is any program that has written instructions or machine code that is to be carried out by the computers components.   Software basically tells the hardware what to do and how to do it.

Additional components include input and output devices. Input devices are used to communicate messages or instructions from the user to the computer and output devices transmit the results from the computer to the user.

Input Output






Digital Camera

Touch pad

Touch screen





It’s clear that you don’t necessarily need to know what makes up your computer or how it gets things done.   But it is still always good to have some understanding of what is going on behind the scenes.

For more information on computer components check out the following links:

Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support to Businesses in Maryland

Is your computer running slower than normal? How to regain speed!

Friday, December 31st, 2010

happy about computers speedHello everyone, this is Dustin and I am back to help you with recapturing your computers speed.

Have you experienced a decline in your computers speed or are you un-happy with the speed of your system? At some time or another we all have endured a slow startup, encountered simple tasks that have taken way too long, or suffered with speeds less than what we have come expect from our machines. In an attempt to salvage the fast processing speed that you may once possessed here are some simple methods that will help you regain and maintain speeds that you can appreciate.

  • Check your security software- Run antivirus, and anti spyware scans!
    • Using programs like McAfee Protection Software or Norton Security programs can identify and eliminate threats that can cause your equipment to run slower. These threats can infect your system causing harmful damage to your data and take up precious resources on your hard drive.
  • Manage your startup folder- Eliminate the programs that are not needed!
    • The start up folder contains files of any programs that you or software manufacturers have designated to start up automatically when your computer is first initializing. They can often drain the performance of your computer and this folder should only include the programs that you will be using immediately or those important to your computers operations.
    • In order to fine-tune the startup folder you will need to access the system configuration folder. This can be done by expanding the Start menu, Clicking Run and then typing MSCONFIG. (Windows 7 uses the Search application instead of RUN.) Once the Configuration window appears click the Startup tab and carefully select the programs that you are positive that you do not need for startup. Save and exit, restarting your computer is required for any setting to take effect.
    • Additionally you can also manage their startup programs with the security software previously mentioned.
  • Clean up your hard drive- Remove the applications you no longer!
    • If your hard drive space is currently occupied by programs that you don’t want or will never use again it’s advised that you clear them off your system. Be sure that these are un-needed programs. Any programs that you are unsure about leave in place, for removing certain programs could cause more problems.
    • To edit your programs enter the Control Panel, open the Add or Remove Programs function (Windows Vista and 7 “Programs and Features”). When the list of program populates select any program that you wish to amend. You can even sort by the last used date or installed date. Follow the uninstall procedures for each individual program and restart your computer if necessary.
  • Trash any useless files
    • Delete any redundant or unwanted photos, music, movie, or document files that you are no longer need.
    • Most of the time this can be done by simply locating the file that you wish to eliminate and dragging it into the trash can. You can also right click and select delete as well as highlighting it and pressing the delete key.
    • In order for it to be permanently deleted, access or right click the Recycle Bin and execute the permanent delete option.
  • Buy more space- Get an external hard drive!
    • External Hard Drives are available and come equipped with various sizes.If your files are important and you would like to keep them rather than deleting them, this is your best bet. Storing surplus files on an external drive provides more space and still allows for easy access.
    • Other Computer Data Storage include: CDs, DVDs, Flash Drives, and smart cards. Online storage centers like iBackup are also available.
  • Clear away Temporary Internet Files!
    • In the “My Computer” window, right click on your hard drive (C:), right click Properties (General Tab), you’ll see a link for Disk Cleanup. After a new window opens, you’ll see an option to delete Temporary Files, check the box, then click Clean up. This is a good way to clean up any data left over from installations or web browsing that you won’t need anymore.
  • Perform a disk clean up!
    • The Disk Clean up process will search out any unused or unnecessary files or folders on your PC that are safe to delete.
    • To perform a disk cleanup access the Start menu, locate the accessories menu in the programs folder, scroll down to system tools and select disk clean up. Or enter cleanmgr in the Run application box located on the Start menu.
  • Execute a Disk defragment.
    • Disk Defragmentation searches out similar files on your hard drive in order to consolidate or group the similar files or applications together. Files can often become fragmented and cause a computer to run slower because it has to search harder to locate them.
    • The Disk Defragmentation program can be found on the same menu as the disk clean up program described in the previous method.

Additional Tips to help increase your computers speed:

  • Keep windows up-to-date using Windows Automatic Update.
  • Add additional RAM
  • Maintain above 15% of free space on your hard drive, again an external hard drive can assist with any overages.
  • Obtain Registry Scan software

Hopefully by using some of these techniques you will be able to see and enjoy an increase in your computers speed.

Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support to Businesses in Maryland

Reclaiming Your Precious Hard Drive Space with Free Tools

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Hey, everyone, Josh from Computer Fitness back with another award-winning article to help you with your computer woes.

Hard Drive space is a precious resource. If you’re like me, you have tons of movies, pictures, and music taking space there. At the same time, if you let it get away from you, files that just build up over time will rob you of the gigabytes you need to keep all of the stuff you want. Fortunately, there are some ways to make sure that you get back your hard drive.


We’ve gone over this before, but Defragging is incredibly important. As you open and close files at random, bits and pieces of files and programs get left around. They build up and you lose space. On top of losing storage space, you also have increased load times for your data. Defragging helps to clear up a lot of this.

Check your Installed Programs

Now, be careful in here. The Add/Remove Programs link at the top of your Windows Explorer takes you to a list of all the programs installed on your machine. This includes the good and the bad. Take some time and look through what’s installed here. DO NOT uninstall things without checking first. IT professionals have a better idea of what’s going on here, but it is good to take a look for programs you remember installing and don’t use anymore. I know, for me, it’s usually old games.

Clear Temporary Files

In the “My Computer” window, if you right click on your hard drive (C:), you’ll see a link to clean up your hard drive. You’ll then see an option to delete Temporary Files. This is a good way to clean up any data left over from installations or web browsing that you won’t need anymore.

Computer Fitness

Offering Technical Support for your business computer systems with Onsite & Remote Tech Support in and around Baltimore, Maryland.

Hardware Overview: Solid State Hard Drives VS Traditional Drives

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Hello and welcome to Computer Fitness’ Blog! My name is Josh.  Computer Fitness is a tech support firm for small and medium businesses in Reisterstown, MD. Our areas of expertise run the gamut from workstation repair to server maintenance.

If you’re looking to get a new hard drive or computer, one of the first things you’ll likely look at is the size of the drive. You’ll try to figure out how much space you use now and how much you think you’ll use in the future. All of that is great, but a growing option for the hard drive is now the choice of a traditional drive, which utilizes spinning plates to hold data, or a solid state drive, which is very similar to the memory cards used in cameras, iPods, etc. This may not seem important at first, aside from the price. However, take a close look at three things to consider when buying a new hard drive.

1) Solid State Drives Have No Moving Parts

This is a winner for all you laptop owners out there who keep dropping your machine. Since there are no moving parts, falling won’t damage any delicate equipment located on the inside of the drive. A traditional drive might crash if dropped. Solid State drives win here. However, if you are getting a desktop, don’t even worry about this part.

2) Traditional Hard Drives Last Longer

Not too long ago, solid-state drives were said to have a lifespan of about two years. They’ve doubled that since then, but the fact of the matter is that a traditional drive was last longer. If you’re a techie who is always upgrading, this may not be a concern for you. However, it is something to consider.

3) Solid State Drives are VERY Expensive

If it just comes down to money for you, a solid-state drive is not your choice. They are much more expensive. This is due to the newness of the technology, combined with what it takes to make them. If you are looking for crash protection for a laptop, it might be worth the money. Otherwise, go with the traditional drive.

That’s all for this week. Check back again for more computer fitness tips!

Computer Fitness
Onsite and Remote Tech Support

Do It Yourself: Hard Drive Maintenance

Friday, February 26th, 2010
hard drive

hard drive without cover

Hey, Josh from

We are a technical support company located in Finksburg,Maryland. This week, I’d like to talk to you about Hard Drive maintenance.

I know this sounds like something that could be really complicated, but it’s quite simple. This will be another one of those things that you’ll be able to do on your own and save a bundle at the same time. Some of the big box stores that offer tech support would charge around $50 for this. All it will cost you is time.

You’re probably thinking, “Why even do this?” Well, I’ll tell you. Your hard drive is where all your data is stored; your music, documents, all of it. What happens is that over time, bits and pieces of the files get spread around the hard drive as you open and close programs. This process is called fragmenting. What it means for you is that the time it takes to access your files increases. Defragmenting, or “defragging”, your hard drive makes your computer run faster.

First, open up My Computer. Here you will see your hard drive. It is almost universally labeled as “C:”. You may see statistics on the drive underneath it’s label, usually the amount of free space. Now, place your mouse over the icon and right click the drive. Select “Properties”.

Once the new window has opened up, you should see a tab across the top called Tools. There are three options on this screen. The one you want is “Defragment”. The tool will start up and you will have two options. The first is “Analyze” and the second is “Defragment”. The latter will also analyze the disk, as it is a requirement for Defragmenting. Now comes the hard part. Wait.

This tool will take an inordinate amount of time to complete. I don’t mean a “go make a sandwich” and come back time frame. I would leave this over night. Depending on the size of the hard drive, it could take an hour or several hours. One thing to note is that you should not use your computer while this is running. So also plan for that.

That’s all for this week. Now you should have some idea of how to take care of your PC a little better. Make sure to check back next week for another post!