Hard disk drives are designed to be used regularly, not stored on a shelf for months or years. The magnetic strength of the digital bits recorded on a drive slowly decays when that drive is disconnected from a computer. After many months, this effect can cause data files to fade, sometimes becoming unreadable.
Read more about this phenomenon here.
Manufacturers include firmware in their drive mechanisms that counteracts this inevitable bit decay. Every time a bit is accessed, the drive 'refreshes' its magnetic imprint on the disk. When a drive is active and connected for an extended time, this refresh cycle runs automatically. But when a drive that has long been powered down is briefly reactivated -- to copy a file or run a simple integrity scan, for instance -- most bits remain unread and unrefreshed.
DiskRefresher makes the time-consuming process of refreshing multiple, external disk drives simple and safe.
At launch, DiskRefresher lists the external storage drives you have mounted and shows each drive's storage capacity. You can select one or several drives to be refreshed and you can drag a drive up or down in the queue window to adjust the refresh order.
When you click 'Refresh', DiskRefresher begins reading every bit on each of the selected drives. (Generally, this process takes more than an hour -- several hours if your drives are over 250 GB). A progress bar displays the estimated time remaining in the process.
NOTE: No data is written to the refreshed disk.
DiskRefresher will not alter or add any files to the disk being refreshed. It is strictly read-only. It will not attempt to repair corrupted data nor will it defragment files. When we say read-only we mean it! There are many disk repair/recovery applications on the market but DiskRefresher isn't designed to perform those functions. In short, DiskRefresher does nothing that might damage your data!
To help you keep track of refresh sessions, DiskRefresher keeps a log file (in the Application Support library on your internal boot drive) that lists the drive name and refresh date. You can access this log in the menu at File > DiskRefresher History.
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