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In This Issue...

- Powerware 1000VA UPS
- HDD Data Recovery
- Flash Data Recovery
- MSI Nx7600GT VGA
- Belkin 1000VA UPS
- Crucial PC2-6400 RAM
- ECS RS40-M Mobo
- Asus Silent 7600GT
- PCstats Weekly Tips

Power Blackouts and Lost Data Issue

It's blackout season - heat records are breaking, air conditioners are running at full tilt, and power consumption is shooting through the roof... These are the perfect conditions for a power blackout when you least expect it. Power loss can cause data loss, and to prevent it every computer needs a UPS. If a blackout (or power surge) has ever caused your PC's spiffy new hard drive to fizzle and burn, then data recovery and backups should be at the top of your to-do list.

Since I've just suffered from a Seagate drive going platters-up, now is a good a time as any to remind each and every one of you reading the PCSTATS Newsletter to back up your info, hook up a UPS to your PC, and turn down the A/C a degree or two. When a summer heat triggers a power blackout in your area, you'll be relieved to know your data won't vanish into thin air as the little electrons in the electrical wiring suddenly stop flowing... because it's backed up!

Before we get into the power backup and data recovery guides, let's focus on the hardware reviewed in this issue first. On the top of the list is a 100% silent Asus EN7600GT Silent PCI Express Geforce 7600GT videocard, and following this is ECS' RS480-M AMD Athlon64 motherboard. Crucial's new Ballistix 2GB PC2-6400 DDR-2 memory kit shows much promise so you'll want to give that a read if you're upgrading to a socket AM2 computer.

Dealing with power blackouts is 50% prevention and 50% recovery. On the prevention side PCSTATS tests the 1000VA Powerware 5125 UPS - a unit which offers many professional options and the ability to increase battery capacity. The Belkin Universal 1000VA UPS is simple to use and offers comparable battery time to the Powerware unit. If data loss does occur, you'll want to have PCSTATS Beginners Guide to Hard Drive Data Recovery and Flash Memory Data Recovery handy. The PCSTATS Weekly Tech Tip focuses on Windows Vista, and how you can claw back hard drive space from one of its backup utilities. Thanks to our sponsor for helping to support this week's edition!

Thanks for reading!
Max Page
Editor-in-Chief - PCSTATS

Powerware 5125 1000VA UPS Review

A couple years ago a massive power blackout hit Canada and the US, plunging 50 million people into darkness for nearly two days. During the first few seconds of that blackout, countless computers went silent, causing untold data loss.  The blackout may have caused the loss of an unsaved document, or in the worst case, total file corruption. This is where the Powerware 5125 1000VA UPS kicks in, a Line-Interactive 1000VA UPS, and with additional Electronic Battery Modules can increase its overall power capacity to 2200VA or thereabouts should your future requirements increase. The UPS features Powerware's own advanced battery management console, "buck and double boost" regulation to deliver constant voltage, hot swapable batteries, the ability to power up the UPS without utility power, sequential shut down and load management, network transient protector. Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: Hard Drive Data Recovery

Killed a hard drive without backing up? This guide helps you recover the data from the hard drive.

If you've been using computers for a decent amount of time there is a good chance someone has told you that data stored on a hard drive is not exactly safe. I'm here to assure you that this is indeed true. Hard drives, being the dynamic storage devices that they are, are extremely easy to erase in any number of ways... as are USB hard drives and flash memory cards (recovery tips for that media is detailed here ). If the power cuts out and the MBR or partition table are damaged, the drive will become unbootable, and may appear to be blank if the partition information has been erased. The quick test is to restart WinXP and wait for it to boot, and wait... and wait... Oops. Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: Flash Memory Data Recovery and Protection

Stuck with lost data on a USB memory key or Flash card and don't know what to do? Recovering data from flash memory devices is possible, and not too complex, so follow along and we'll help you get those pictures back! The flash memory-based USB key has become commonplace faster than just about any other computer peripheral in recent memory. With the USB drivers now built into recent versions of Windows and other operating systems like Linux, they function just like a little portable hard disk, without the bulk and fragility associated with mechanical portable drives. In short, they're just about perfect. In this Beginners Guide, PCSTATS is going to look at how flash memory works, what can go wrong with it, and how to recover and protect your data in case the worst does happen. And it will... Continue Here>>

Belkin Universal 1000VA UPS Review

In this review, PCstats is evaluating the Belkin Universal 1000VA UPS, which is capable of delivering up to 550W of power, or an average of 20 min power. This 1000VA UPS features automatic voltage regulation (AVR) built in, and comes with a USB A-B cable, Serial cable, telephone cable and Belkin's Bulldog monitoring software. Unlike the Home Office 500VA Belkin UPS PCSTATS reviewed earlier, the Universal 1000VA does not have a system limitation, meaning it has enough power capacity to actually handle CRT monitors up to 19" and LCD's up to 21". Continue Here>>

Crucial PC2-6400 Ballistix 2GB DDR-2 Memory Kit Review

This set of Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400 DDR2-800 dual channel memory is 2GB is size, and comes wrapped in bright orange aluminum heatspreaders. The PC2-6400 kit retails from Crucial is ideally suited for quick socket AM2 Athlon64 or socket 775 Intel Pentium D / Core 2 Duo computer systems. Compared to generic stuff, Crucial's Ballistix PC2-6400 DDR2 2GB memory kit may seem pricey, but this is premium DDR-2 and in its class is priced competitively. At PC2-6400 speeds the Ballistix memory will operate with CAS Latency timings of 4-4-4-12, and while in the dual channel configuration Crucial warranties the memory to a voltage of 2.2V. Let's get started!Continue Here>>

ECS RS480-M Crossfire Xpress 200 K8 Motherboard Review

ATi has been desperately trying to get a piece of the AMD chipset action, yet it has taken a slightly different approach on the K8 front than nVidia to do so. While much of the press and attention has been on its CrossFire 1600 and 3200 chipsets, it is ATI's integrated CrossFire Xpress 200 that's been capturing the most consumer interest from what we've observed. The ECS RS480-M motherboard supports all socket 939 AMD Athlon64 X2/FX processors, its two DDR memory slots will accommodate up to 2GB of DDR 400 memory. Should you want to install a stand alone videocard, there is an open PCI Express x16 slot as well as three PCI slots for other peripherals. The ATi CrossFire Xpress 200 chipset is an entry-level solution, and the ECS RS480-M is full size Micro ATX board.Continue Here>>

Asus EN7600GT Silent 2DHT Geforce 7600GT Videocard Review

Asus has embraced the nVIDIA GeForce 7600GT GPU and released a videocard which is not only ideally suited towards the occasional gamer and even a gamer on a budget, but also doubles up the value by offering 100% silent operation which makes it ideal for home theatre PC's or just anyone who wants a quiet computer. The TV output and HDTV output capabilities of the Asus EN7600GT Silent/2DHT/256M/A work hand in hand with its 256MB GDDR3 memory and its 560 MHz GPU to provide a strong feature set for anyone walking down the multimedia path. Looking at this PCI Express videocard, we see that the Asus EN7600GT Silent/2DHT/256M/A features two dual link DVI output connectors, a socket for Component output (y, Pb, Pr), the SLI bridge connector, and the all important SilentCool thermal solution. Now let's have a look at this 100% silent VGA heatsink...Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Vista's System Protection

Windows Vista's System protection feature is supposed to protect users from potential problems, but while doing this fine job it gobbles up a ton of hard drive space. Microsoft will tell you that System Protection dynamically adjusts its file size depending on the demand from the system, however like System Restore in WindowsXP, System Protection seems to get bloated quite easily.

To disable this feature and free up hard drive space, double click on the "System" icon in the "Control Panel"; you might be prompted by the UAC but let it do its thing. After this, select the "System Protection" tab and from there uncheck the "System Protection is enabled" option. Please note that by doing this, you will also be removing previous restore points so this is an advanced user option only. If you aren't familiar with system restore or what it does, it's best to sit on the sidelines for this tip.

Once thats done you should notice quite a bit more hard drive space freed up! =)

Was Colin's tip as good for your PC as it was for his? Let PCSTATS know what you think, and be sure to stop by PCSTATS Forums and post your comments or questions.

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