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Hard drive question

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by 7654321, Jul 12, 2007.

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  1. 7654321

    7654321 Thread Starter

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    I hope I put this in the right location...if not administrators may need to move it?

    I was recently given a laptop, a newer laptop--a Toshiba Satelite that I believe to be 2 years old. It has a nice monitor, decent specs from what I can tell, and a DVD/CD/RW drive. More computer than I need at present. The laptop is at present dead. The power works, the monitor works, the former owner said it needed a new hard drive. He did go to the "geek squad" and this was their assessment as well.

    Rather than reaffirm it through them, I was hopeful someone here may be able to help? Here's what I know.

    1. This unit worked 2 weeks ago, and worked well.
    2. The power source does function.
    3. The monitor does funtion.
    4. The unit turns on, can go into set up mode...but will do nothing else?

    My question is this: I don't have a lot of money, and I don't wish to put hundreds into this unit. Based on anyone's expertise or similar experience, does this sound like an issue that could be resolved with a simple hard drive replacement? I have the set up disk(s) and plan to clear the unit should I resolve the issue with the hard drive, if that is what it is? The computer would then given its tools would more than satisfy my limited computer usage means.

    Anyone have thoughts as to whether a simple hard drive replacement (they can be had online for about 100$) would solve the problem?

    Does anyone have any tips for a site that offers used/refurbrished hard drives at discounted rates? Would the unit have to have the same hard drive as the model in it at present?

    I'm quite good with software, but hardware issues like this befuddle me. Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Striker840

    Striker840

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    So you can access the BIOS if I read your post correctly. If you can, is it listing the hdd or not?

    replacing the hdd is a fairly straight forward process, just google the model and get the manual for it. On some models you have to remove a panel from the rear, others it just slides out the side. Just pull the old one, whatever mounts it is in just put the new one in place, reinstall and load.
     
  3. 7654321

    7654321 Thread Starter

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    A second question, what would be the advantage of buying a larger hard drive? I believe it is 60 GB, would an 80 GB or 100 GB make the unit even more effective?

    Thanks
     
  4. 7654321

    7654321 Thread Starter

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    Yes in the BIOS a hard drive (serial#) is showing up. What does that mean? How does that change things?
     
  5. Striker840

    Striker840

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    This just tells me that its not a motherboard issue, the BIOS can see the existing drive but it may be bad. As far as drive size, its all a personal choice here.
     
  6. 7654321

    7654321 Thread Starter

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    so would you purchase a hard drive?
     
  7. saikee

    saikee

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    This is my suggestion.

    Go to buy a Linux magazine that comes with a Linux Live CD. Anyone Live CD will do as long as it is bootable.

    If you want to save the magazine money just visit distrowatch.com to download any one from the over 200 different distros.

    Boot up the computer by a Linux Live CD. Depending on the distro some will mount the partition automatically for you but other may need you to do it manually. Slax and Knoppix are the two that belongs to the former. I recommend Slax because it is lightning fast too and enable you see every Windows partition in the desktop.

    You can use Linux to see the hard disk and access its content. A MS system dies if one of the system files corrupted but the partition can be mounted in another operation system. You can play MP3, see photos, edit Word documents, play with Excel spread sheet,s see movies etc, etc with a Linux Live CD using the data inside a MS system. If you want you can salvage every file inside.

    A Linux Live CD is a free operating system that run on the CD and has no need to be installed into the hard disk. Many of them are also installable into the hard disk if you want it.

    If the operating system died you can either purchase a MS Windows License or just install the Linux into the hard disk. Linux should report to you if the disk any good or its partition table has been corrupted or not. A Linux only needs about 5Gb for residence and so you can install as many different distros inside because every Linux can multi-boot. You can have any number of MS systems in the PC and a Linux can boot all of them.

    If the hard disk is bad you can buy any 2.5" hard disk, think there are 160Gb around, and just replace the bad one with the new one. There is only one size 2.5" hard disk and my guess is your unit should be a Pata type. Newer Laptop can have Sata disk now.
     
  8. 7654321

    7654321 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the advice, I'm going to try the Linux kernel. Will the mobile technology and internet function using slax?

    I do have some interest in resurrecting the unit as it was. Does a new hard drive sound as if it might solve this problem?
     
  9. 7654321

    7654321 Thread Starter

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    Can I use a flash drive or does it have to be on a CD?
     
  10. saikee

    saikee

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    Internet in Linux never a problem with me using wired ethernet. Wireless is supported but you may need to shop around the distros as some are better put together than the others.

    You can do everything with Linux, say by cloning the existing disk onto a bigger drive, remove the old drive to put away, put in the new drive and start resurrecting it.

    As with a bigger drive you can install a Linux (several) in the empty new space.

    Just get an external 2.5" hdd enclosure, put the new disk in, hook up as a USB hard disk and clone the drive out. Steps are here.

    Internal to internal hard disk cloning is about 50Mb/s. Allow the speed drops to 1/3 or 1/4 when an external USB disk is involved. A 2.5" external hdd enclosure is not normally shipped with a power supply but a twin-head USB cable is provided to plug into two USB ports to double the current to power the external laptop hard disk.
     
  11. 7654321

    7654321 Thread Starter

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    The Linux method hasn't produced results as of yet. Am I correct to understand that XP is on the hard drive which appears to be malfunctioning and a restoration of that hard drive would allow XP to run? I'm not interested in salvaging one file or program from the computer. I have the office suite ready to be placed on it and that along with wireless networking on the use of its CD/DVD/RW would be its primary functions. Would buying a used hard drive make sense in this case? I have actually located a used one for about 40$, it is identical to the old one.

    Thanks.
     
  12. Striker840

    Striker840

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    Ok lets start from the beginning here, what if any errors do you get booting to the existing OS on the drive. Does it even get to the OS?
     
  13. saikee

    saikee

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    If the laptop has an commercial OS, say a XP, chances are it would be an OEM license that is supposed to die with the machine. An unbootable XP may be repairable using another XP installation CD. As long as the product key is available the XP could quite possibly fire up eventually.

    Buying an old disk is a waste of time IMO as a new disk isn't expensive nowaday. Every disk has a finite number of operating hours and it is a risk of getting one that is about to go off after clocking 95% of its life cycles.
     
  14. Striker840

    Striker840

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    Thats where I was headed, if it just a corrupted mbr or something in the os itself just do a repair install and go with it.
     
  15. 7654321

    7654321 Thread Starter

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    None, I get nothing. Toshiba pops up and then a blank screen.
     
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