Forum Spotlight: Understanding Laptop Storage, Fixing PCs with Flash Drives

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Welcome to the NotebookReview Forum Spotlight, a biweekly series where we highlight the hottest and most important topics in our forum. The NotebookReview forum is the largest Internet forum dedicated to the discussion of notebook computers, including Macs and tablets. You can sign up for free by clicking here.

Running Antimalware Via Flash Drive

If you’re the kind of person people go to for computer help, you need the right tools for the job. Carrying around a USB flash drive with antimalware/antivirus software is a great way to stay prepared in the event you have to “disinfect” a PC. ESET SysRescue

A forum member asked about what software to use. One of the recommended tools is ESET SysRescue Live, which is available as a free download. You can’t argue with that price.

Discuss More Solutions

Does Your Notebook Need a Cooling Pad?

High-performance notebooks are one of the most challenging thermal environments. A notebook should be able to cool itself without assistance, but helping it can’t hurt. A notebook cooling pad can be a worthwhile investment, especially if you have a thinner gaming notebook with less-than-stellar cooling. This thread discusses numerous cooling pad options.17" Targus Chill Mat

My advice is to try the no-cost route first: use an object to elevate the backside of your notebook. Airflow is the key to cooling, so anything you can do to improve that is worth a try. Getting air to the surfaces under the chassis can make a world of difference, even for regular usage. Angling the keyboard deck can also have some ergonomic benefits.

(The cooling pad shown here is the Targus 17” Laptop Chill Mat.)

How to Configure a Laptop with Multiple Storage Drives

One of our long-term forum members found that computer technology, especially storage, has changed a lot in the last eight years. Notebook makers are increasingly choosing M.2 storage drives instead of the old 2.5-inch standard, meaning you’re unlikely to see traditional hard drives in notebooks for much longer. It’s not uncommon for larger, higher-end notebooks (especially workstations and gaming models) to be equipped with two or more M.2 storage slots, so how do you configure them? Read the many detailed responses here. Samsung 970 Evo Plus SSD

One of the most popular configurations is to use the first slot as your operating system (OS) drive (where Windows or another OS is installed), and the other(s) for secondary storage. The OS drive is also where you’d install your apps, so it should be as fast as possible. (The Samsung 970 Evo Plus shown in the image is an excellent choice.) The storage drives, on the other hand, don’t need to be bleeding edge unless you have special usage scenarios.

Creating a Linux Partition

Would you like to give the Linux operating system a try? If your notebook has a second storage drive, you can do it without worrying about erasing your Windows installation.

After formatting your drive or partition, your only worry will be choosing a flavor of Linux. See our Linux forum for recommendations. Linux is free (as is reading our forum), so you have nothing to lose. Go for it!

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