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Solved: Problems replacing laptop hard drive

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by leneal, Apr 5, 2008.

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  1. leneal

    leneal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
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    This is frustrating. I know just enough to know I don't know enough!

    The hard drive in my daughter's Inspiron 8600 just gave out. (It was a Toshiba MK6026GAX ATA-100.) So I checked the Dell site for a replacement, got the specs of the only compatible HD they sell for this laptop (Western Digital Scorpio ATA-100), and picked it up at a local store. The drive came with neither CD nor instructions, so I'm trying to sleuth this without any documentation or experience.

    I easily swapped out the old for the new, inserted the XP reinstall CD that came with the pc, and went into setup. Setup doesn't see the HD.

    I've tried researching the forums, but I'm just not clear what the problem is or how best to approach it. I'm not sure whether it's:

    (a) A compatibility issue -- The drive fits fine, but the connectors don't look similar (not sure the terminology, but the old drive had a jumper-like strip that overlaid the pins and made a long flat connector edge, while the new one has a similar connector edge but not one long uninterrupted edge). Did the Dell website send me to the wrong hardware?

    (b) A missing driver -- Is setup looking for the old hardware and needs the driver for the new one? If so, how do I get the correct driver and install it?

    (c) a fundamental step I'm overlooking in my inexperience (e.g., formatting)?

    I'm not adverse to paying someone to put in another HD, but having done enough of my own desktop repairs over the years, I'm hoping this is do-able for me and not over my head.

    Any and all advice appreciated!
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    51,988
    Is the drive recognized in BIOS? Did you set the jumper?

    It's an EIDE, so no driver needed.

    Do all the pins connect?

    Formatting is part of setup and not needed beforehand.
     
  3. leneal

    leneal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Messages:
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    BIOS shows no primary hard drive.
    The old drive had no jumpers on it.
    The connection? That's the ticket!

    I just examined the two drives side-by-side and their connections are markedly different. The old drive has a long black cover that fit over all but two pairs of pins and created a flat black edge connector. The new drive has a similar black edge connector, but is slotted and has one row of pins on the end. Not clear whether they hit the contacts in the same way.

    Just realized: they can't. I'm kicking myself for not picking up on this before, but the old drive, because of the overlaid connector, is significantly longer. I'll bet the drive is not reaching far enough in to connect. And I can't use the old drive's connector on the new drive because it's designed to fit over pins and is not compatible.

    Ugh. Where do I go from here? Am I dealing with a drive that's wrongly listed as compatible, a missing extender / connector that I can easily find, or an upgrade configuration that Dell designed to ensure I buy from them? I might be able to track down an identical one to the (discontinued) model that just died, but that's not a very attractive solution.

    Any advice?
     
  4. leneal

    leneal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Messages:
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    For crying out loud! I just realized that the new drive must be SATA, not IDE. This model comes in both with nearly identical part numbers. The @#^% salesman pulled the wrong one out of stock. Back in the car.

    Appreciate the help, Elvandil!
     
  5. Dell_CA

    Dell_CA Account Closed

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Messages:
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    leneal,

    My name is Mike, I’m a Technical Analyst at Dell corporate headquarters in Round Rock, TX. I'm part of an internet outreach team developed to interact with the online community regarding technical questions and issues that customers face with Dell products.

    I wanted to chime in and let you know that the long flat connector at the end of the original Dell hard drive should come off. You'll need to take it off of the original hard drive (careful, it's easy to bend the pins) and put it on the new hard drive in order to properly connect it to the motherboard. The hard drive you need is an IDE drive, it will have 2 rows of pins so it won't look like the hard drive you pulled out of the system. This is probably why you thought the SATA drive looked right.

    Mike
    Dell customer advocate
     
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