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One thing I have learned about hard disks in all of my time working on computers, FORMAT clean, reload operating system and software, and you save time.

Switching hard disks is much quicker than trying to fight problems with viruses, spyware and corrupted software.

Hard disks are easily corrupted once you go on the internet. Just surfing the forums of most FPS teams will load some types of spyware on your system. Most teams use free forum boards, and free always comes at a price. Rather than fight against all of the problems, make a backup of any essential data to a CD, and switch out the HD. I usually try to keep 2 identical hard disks available. By loading software on both, and only using 1, if the primary drive gets corrupted, there is a backup reay to go in 3 minutes, power down, swap cabling, and up and running. Transfer the data from a backup CD nto the new HD, and everything is good again. Lots of people will take their computer to a shop to get it repaired, when it can easily be done at home with a spare HD. Whenever I start up with a fresh HD, it does seem to run a slight bit faster, until the spyware gets onto it.

For hard disk I have used most all of them, and have rarely had a problem with any specific brand. IBM, Seagate, Fujitsu, Western Data, etc. have all been corrupted by surfing the net long before the hard disk was ready to fail.

Get a HD that will hold whatever programs you need, with some spare disk space for defragmenting. A 120GB HD should hold plenty of games and such. If you want to run video and capture programs, a 10,000 RPM HD will save the screen captures better, with less video dropout. If you are just doing standard gaming, a 7,200 RPM hard drive will be fine.

Defragmenting - Make sure to defrag your hard disk once a week or so. If you don't defrag, the data gets stored in areas all over the hard disk, and it will slow the HD down some, because it has to search in more areas to find the data. To defrag with Windows XP:
All Programs
System Tools
Disk Defragmenter

Do this once a week or so, and it will help the gaming speed slightly. In the same area as disk defragmenter is the Disk Cleanup, run that before you defrag to get rid of unnecessary files.

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Let us know if these tips helped you, and what other topics will help you more.

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