Q: I need more storage in my workstation. How easy is it to install an additional hard drive?
A: With Serial ATA (SATA) drives, standard in modern workstations, it’s dead easy. Simply take off the side panel of your machine, plug in a SATA power and data cable, fix the drive to the cradle, then
format. There are loads of step-by-step videos on YouTube to guide you through. It should only take 15 minutes tops, even for beginners.
Q: The drive I bought a few months ago has almost doubled in price. Isn’t technology supposed to get cheaper as it gets older?
A: Usually, yes, but that was before the terrible floods in Thailand last summer, which shut down many of the world’s production sites. Expect prices to come back down in the next few months.
Q: I’ve heard about this thing called RAID. What is it and do I need it?
A: RAID is a storage technology that combines multiple drives inside a workstation – either to improve performance or protect from data loss. RAID 0 ‘stripes’ data across two drives for better performance. However, if one drive fails all data is lost. RAID 1 ‘mirrors’ data across two drives, so if one drive fails you don’t lose your data.
Q: What’s all the fuss about Solid State Drives?
A: SSDs are a relatively new type of storage that has no moving parts unlike traditional magnetic disks. The major benefit is increased performance — operating system, applications and data sets should load faster. However, price per GB is still high.
Q: I heard SSDs are indestructible. Is that true?
A: SSDs are more durable than standard rotating disks, primarily because there are no moving parts, but we wouldn’t recommend driving a truck over one quite yet. They can also degrade over time so you can still lose data. Don’t forget to backup!