Annuity PC Power Manager

A Complete Power Management for Your Computer

Challenges

As computers provide great precision and accuracy they are being used by people from different backgrounds. Computers have taken industries and businesses to a whole new level and have definitely made lives easier like never before. But have you ever paused for a while and thought about computer power consumption owing to its extensive use? If not, then it’s time to think over it.

Computer power consumption generates one of the largest expenses because of its wide spread use in every sphere but yet majority of users are unaware or have no visibility about their power usage. At simplest level, PC power management means activating sleep settings, shutting down system when absolutely not necessary and implementing other such similar power saving practices. Even though power management is easiest action one can undertake, it’s often overlooked by majority of people.

So, what next?

Users can take smaller steps towards saving energy through power management techniques. After adopting such favorable techniques, one can notice drastic changes in energy usage in near future. But users need to take a firm decision of choosing steady software which can accomplish the power management task independently.

Manage power in an organized way through suitable plans

An application known as Annuity PC Power Manager is stable enough to handle activities such as turning off display/hard disk, turning computer to sleep mode/hibernate, shutting down computer etc. Users can optimize and get more insights to improve and build better performance of their PC through effective power management plans. Depending on PC’s power state this utility organizes power plan settings.

Find out how Annuity PC Power Manager can benefit you

  • Annuity PC Power Manager can reduce desktop/laptop power usage and save a lot of energy each passing day
  • One can take full control of computer shutdown, wake-up and sleep modes through scheduled plans that automatically perform assigned plans/tasks

Overview of Annuity PC Power Manager

This software is a boon for both consumers and enterprises looking out for ways to efficiently manage power but certainly without changing the familiar working style. Download the software and follow the instructions given in setup wizard. Then, after successful installation launch the tool. Next, a home screen appears with three options namely Create Power Plan, Manage Power Plan and Schedule Power Plan. To take a closer look at each of these options, read the following sections carefully.

  1. Create Power Plan
    Users can create their own plans according to their need. Further, one can accordingly change power settings such as turning off display, hard disk, turning PC to sleep/hibernate, lock or wake-up from sleep etc. Also the program allows user to specify desired time interval for each of the tasks.
  2. Manage Power Plan
    Annuity PC Power Manager application by default offers three plans namely-
    • High Performance – Favors performance but may use more energy
    • Balanced – Automatically balances performance
    • Power Saver – Saves energy by reducing computer performance whenever possible
    User defined plans will also be displayed along with above mentioned default plans. Additionally one can enable any plan using this option.
  3. Schedule Power Plans
    Users can have a glance at scheduled/enabled power plan details by clicking on this feature and can also add currently available plans directly.

What existing end users have to say about this software?

“Annuity PC Power Manager has help me to efficiently manage energy thus improving overall performance of system and additionally cutting down power cost”

“With inbuilt scheduler, it’s possible to set desired time duration in order to automatically save power. It’s an amazing application which every PC user needs to opt for”

So far, Annuity PC Power Manager has proved to be most preferred PC energy management utility among various users. Get your copy of this software today by clicking here.

Steps to convert GPT to MBR to install Windows 7

If you are trying to install Windows 7 or the previous version on your computer, which was shipped from the factory with Microsoft windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 operating system. Your computer will show the error message “Windows cannot be installed to the disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style”.

Yes, currently you are using GUID Partition Table (GPT), the newer versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems are using this GPT because of it’s greater partition flexibility. GPT is much more robust than MBR.  From Windows 8 operating system onwards, Microsoft has started replacing MBR by GPT. So if your computer is shipped from the factory with such operating systems, the boot record will be in GPT. If you try to install Windows 7 or any other previous operating systems on the partition, you will get the same error message mentioned above. In such cases, you need to degrade the boot sector from GPT to MBR.

Is it possible to degrade from GPT to MBR?

Obviously…. You can change your boot record from GPT to MBR by following some simple commands. Before converting the boot record, you need to take a backup of all important files from the partitions because, once you have converted the boot record, the whole partitions on the hard disk will be removed and a new partition will be created. If you forget to take the backup of your important file before converting the boot record, the data will be wiped out from the computer and you will need to use a quality partition recovery software to recover deleted partition.

Steps to change GPT to MBR using commands

Please press Shift button and F10 key when the installing window appears on the computer to open the command prompt. Now follow the steps given below:-

Step 1: Type the command DISKPART and then press on the Enter Key.

Step 2: In the diskpart prompt, please enter LIST DISK and click on the Enter button to proceed.

Step 3: If your computer has only one HDD, it will show disk 0 only. It is the hard drive, which you need to work on. Please type SELECT DISK (disk no.), [eg: – SELECT DISK 0] and hit the enter button.

Step 4: Type CLEAN and press enter button, it will remove the whole partitions from the selected hard drive.

Step 5: Next step is to convert the GPT to MBR, for converting please type the command CONVERT MBR in the disk part prompt and hit the Enter key.

Step 6: Now you can see a message showing successful converting of GPT to MBR, now please type EXIT on the disk part prompt and press the enter key to exit.

Now close the command prompt window and proceed the installation process. You will not see the same error anymore because now your boot recorder is MBR, it will support Windows 7 and earlier versions of Microsoft Windows operating system. If you want to install the Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 operating system, again you need to convert into GPT boot record.

The importance of Recovery Partition in your Laptop

People do get excited when they buy a new laptop. I have friends who bought laptop only to watch movies, so the requirement varies from one person to another. They do plan about the hard drive space and how to use it maximum. Some purchase laptop with 500GB hard drive and expect to use 500GB completely.  Dear users, that’s not possible, because a small portion of the hard drive space will be consumed by the installed OS in C drive and a different partition D drive for Recovery. The main reason behind writing this article is, some people delete the recovery partition which comes along with unit when you purchase operating system along with the laptop (OEM). Initially user may not understand the use of this recovery partition. But once OS get crashed and when they search for solutions, they will realize that this Recovery Partition was very important. So do not delete the Recovery Partition to save space in your hard drive.

Recovery Partition

Recovery Partition

Why Recovery Partition?

Recovery partition which normally comes as D drive, is a partition used to reinstall OEM image of operating system when it gets crashed or corrupted. Most of the manufacturers like Dell, HP, Sony, Toshiba, Lenovo creates the recovery partition.

Example: You purchased a Dell laptop with Windows 8 pre-installed. There will be a D drive with recovery partition for Windows 8. In future if there is any issue related to OS and if you have to reinstall the Windows OS, you don’t have to purchase a new Windows 8 software as you can easily restore it from this recovery partition multiple times.

I would like to share another example, as users can go confused.

Example: Same case as above, but no issue with operating system. From Windows 8, you upgraded to Windows 10. Here the operating system changes, but not the recovery partition. After upgrading to Windows 10, if you face any critical issue with OS, then you have to reinstall the OS. But now it will not reinstall Windows 10 as recovery partition has Windows 8. In this case if you reinstalling OS using recovery partition, it will roll back to Windows 8.

 

How to use a Recovery Partition?

The soul remains the same as the purpose of all recovery partition by any manufacturer are the same. But the execution is different for different products.

The first and foremost thing that a user need to do before performing a Windows reinstallation is taking a backup up of the existing data in hard drive. Once the OS is reinstalled, the data in that particular partition will be permanently deleted. But in today’s world that won’t be a major issue, as it is easy to recover partition using tools.

Still I recommend you to take back up as it is the safest option.

The usage of recovery partition depends on the situation in which you are. If you have to reinstall Windows due to some low system performance or other registry issues, you can access recovery partition after booting into Windows. You just need to type Recovery and select the options according to the instructions. But if you are in a situation where the system does not boot into Windows, then you have to access recovery partition from BIOS. Different laptop brands have different way of accessing this recovery partition.

Example: For HP laptops, it by tapping on F11 key to get into recovery environment. Whereas for Dell laptops, you have to press and hold F8 key. The steps are also different. You get the help manual from the respective websites for performing the recovery.

 

Summary

Never ever delete the recovery partition from your hard drive as it is very helpful when you need to perform an OS reinstallation. Hope this article was useful to you for understanding the concept of Recovery partition and its advantages.

Ways to Prevent Hard Drive Crash

The lifetime of a hard disk could sometimes be unpredictable; it all depends on its usage. HD storage serves to be a major component for proper function of the computer. However, disks are primarily meant for storing vast data content, along with the time they are susceptible to damages and threats. Catastrophic failures can ultimately put all crucial data on disk to face major risk.

Computer crashes is simply a hard drive crash: It is a case, where system application freezes and never come out of it or the system itself crashes letting no access to hard disk data. Considerably, problems with hard drive is one such problem that is been frequently faced by a number of users, since times. Here are some issues encountered with system hard drives:

Unable to boot/boot failure- bad sectors- dead hard drive- BSOD/BkSOD errors – Corrupted disk and many other errors. These problems can arise at any point of time in the beginning or after some years. Ultimately shows some or the other trouble, the reliability of an HD is determined by which is termed as MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure)- time measure between failure and working state.

In addition, hard disk crashes could reflect as a major issue to many, especially when vital data is saved on disk.  At critical crash scenarios, the whole computer system appears to be inoperable. Therefore, it is necessary to learn early signs of crash and ways to prevent them before it goes worse. This is because losing important data from HD could prove to be more expensive than that of getting a new disk. Also, we all know that prevention is better than cure, get on with some practical measures explained here in brief:

Note: Technological advancements have made it possible to recover data from crashed hard disk storage. Nevertheless, it is recommended not to put drives simply to face damages.

#1. Keep it clean

Firstly, keep computer away from a dusty environment. Secreted dust particles on disk components will apparently cause wear and tear of vigorous parts. With the accumulation of dust or dirt over CPU fan slows down fan speed, which in turn start producing excess heat that has a direct impact on disk/system components. Therefore, schedule a timely cleanup fan; keeping system ventilated, as accumulated dust and dirt results in component failures. Note to follow all necessary procedure to clean the system using relevant methods and products.

#2. Perform a regular disk defragment

Defragmentation process improves system performance, making the computer run more efficiently and smoothly. This technique arranges data in sequential order and reduces access time to fetch data from drive sectors. Disk defragment can be carried out on a weekly or a monthly basis.

Windows OS comes with an inbuilt utility called Disk Defragmenter that can set to this process automatically. One can simply do add defragment operation to schedule just by navigating through Control Panel>Scheduled Task>Add Scheduled Task>defrag.exe and follow further steps.

Defragging in Macintosh is not necessary to be carried out manually, it is automatically handled by Mac OS X functions.

p.s:- There are programs available to carry out disk fragmentation task. But always rely upon authentic tools from trusted sources.

#3. Power save

Several minutes of inactivity will make system to go to sleep mode, the drive stops to spin. This in turns plays a role to increase life of your hard disk. You can simply configure your system to sleep for a specified time accordingly to your use and breaks you take. Make sure that you are not pushing drive to sleep at frequent rates.

Other power-related issues- Use a UPS or a surge protector to avoid any damages from power surge jolts. If it is your external hard drive then do not place them near electromagnetic objects like TV, speakers etc.

#4. Monitor hard disk health

One can keep track of health status of disk via S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology). This greatly helps in monitoring status of hard drive; (whether it is working properly, is it facing any issues, current temperature, and other related specifications). With this you will be able to identify the exact cause and when disk faces any threats then diagnose accordingly. Any damages to disk is notified by pop up alerts. A number of third-party software tools are available that offers this functionality, be smart to choose a genuine one.

Alternately, without relying on software you can monitor disk status on your Windows PC by-

  • Go to start menu and search for cmd
  • Open Command prompt window
  • Type the command as wmic [press Enter]
  • Type the next command: diskdrive get status [press Enter]

/*There are few other measures that can complement life of your system disk.*/

Extra note: Conversely, there are few other basic tips-

  • Pay attention to early warning signs of hard drive crash
  • Maintain a regular yet timely backup of data stored on SD media
  • Handle disks with care- place it in a suitable environment – protect it from damages due to falling
  • Uninstall all unwanted applications present in the computer

Differences Between Raid Array Types

RAID is a technology that is used to increase the performance and reliability of data storage. The abbreviation stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. There are different RAID levels, each optimized for a specific situation. This article covers the following RAID levels

  • RAID 0-striping
  • RAID 1-mirroring
  • RAID 5-striping is with parity
  • RAID 6–striping is with double parity
  • RAID 10–combination of both mirroring and striping

The software to perform the RAID-functionality and control the drives can either be located on a separate controller card or it can simply be a driver. Some versions of Windows, such as Windows Server 2012 as well as Mac OS X, include software RAID functionality. RAID controllers cost more than pure software, but they ensure better performance, especially with RAID 5 and 6.

RAID 0:

System data are split up into blocks that get written across all the drives in the array. This offers superior I/O performance and can be enhanced further by using multiple controllers.

 Advantages:

  • Excellent performance
  • No redundancy
  • The technology is easy to implement.

Disadvantage: Don’t use this for any critical system.

RAID 1:

Data are stored twice by writing them to both the data drive and a mirror drive. If a drive fails, then the controller uses either the data drive or the mirror drive for data recovery and continues operation. You need at least 2 drives for a RAID 1 array.

 Advantages:

  • Excellent read speed and a write speed that is comparable to that of a single drive.
  • Good performance and excellent redundancy

Disadvantage: The effective storage capacity is only half of the total drive capacity because all data get written twice.

RAID 5:

This level provides better performance than mirroring as well as fault tolerance. With RAID 5, data and parity are striped across three or more disks. If a disk gets an error or starts to fail, then data is recreated from this distributed data and parity block automatically.

 Advantages:

  • Good redundancy
  • Best cost effective option by providing both performance and redundancy. Use this for DB that is heavily read oriented. Write operations will be slow.

Disadvantage: This is complex technology.  If one disk goes bad in an array of disks, then data is lost forever.

RAID 6:

It is identical to RAID 5, but the parity data are written into two drives.  That means it requires at least 4 drives and can withstand 2 drives simultaneously. The chances that two drives break down at exactly the same moment are of course very small.

Advantages:

  • Read data transactions are very fast
  • Used frequently in enterprises

Disadvantage: Write data transactions are slower than RAID 5 due to the additional parity data that have to be calculated.

RAID 10: 

It is a combination of RAID 1 and RAID 0 and is often known as RAID 1+0. It combines the mirroring of RAID 1 with the striping of RAID 0. This RAID level is highly utilized for database servers or any server that is performing many write operations.

Advantages:

  • If something goes wrong with one of the disks in a RAID 10 configuration, the rebuild time is very fast
  • This the BEST option for any mission critical applications

Disadvantage: Half of the storage capacity goes to mirroring when compared to RAID 5 or RAID 6 arrays, this is an expensive way to have redundancy.

 

Other RAID Levels: 2, 3, 4 and 7

These levels do exist but are not that common, but they are really variants of the main RAID configurations already mentioned above.

Three Reasons Why File Compression Is Beneficial

Compression means reduction in the number of bits needed to represent data. Compressing data can save the storage capacity, speed up the file transfer, and decrease cost for storage hardware and network bandwidth. Compression takes place by a program that uses a formula or algorithm to determine how to shrink the size of the data.

File compression is a process of wrapping up a file or files to use less disk space. Compression works by minimizing redundancy in a file’s code. Compression software allows you to take many files and compress them into one file, which is smaller than the combined size of the original files.

Advantages of file compression:

  1. Storage Space – It is the space that is provided by the computer hard drive (or the storage space that comes for a price). Compressing data files allows you to store more files in the storage space that is available. Lossless compression, which is used in zip file technology, will reduce a file to 50 percent of its original file size. However, you will not see a difference in the file size if your zip files are already in a compressed format, such as MP3 audio files or PDF files.
  1. Bandwidth and Transfer Speed – Bandwidth is the speed at which the network transfers data and is measured in Mbps (megabits per second). Network bandwidth is used whenever you download a file, such as an MP3 audio file from a server on the Internet. A compressed file contains fewer bits of data than uncompressed files, and, as a consequence, uses less bandwidth when you download them. This means that the transfer speed, that is, the time it takes for your file to download, is fast. For Example, if you are downloading a file that is 10Mb (megabits) in size, and with a bandwidth of 1Mbps, it will take 10 seconds to download the file. It will only take 5 seconds to download the file if the file is compressed to 5Mb.
  2.  Cost – The costs of storing your data are minimized by compressing your files for storage, because you can store more files in your available storage space when they are compressed. You must buy a second 250MB drive if you have 500MB of uncompressed data and a 250MB hard drive on which to store it. You need not buy an extra hard drive if you compress the data files to 50 percent of the uncompressed file size. By saving the storage space you can maintain the costs of Internet connection. Many contracts with Internet Service Providers (ISP) include charges for the amount of data that you download from the internet. Download compressed files, and you are downloading much less data than you would be if you were downloading uncompressed files. Your Internet download charges will be less as a consequence