Hi guys, I have a problem with the HDD in my Dell laptop. I'm looking for a new one, has anyone recently bought a HDD that they can recommend? I currently have a Samsung HDD in the laptop at the moment, but it is making strange clicking sounds and I did a CHKDSK the other night and it says there are bad sectors on the drive, among other problems. I've backed the whole drive up in case it does pop it's clogs before I can buy a new drive.
I was looking at buying a Western Digital 250GB drive for it, but if anyone has a better idea, I'd be open to opinions.
This laptop was 2nd hand when I bought it (could be why), but I've always found the Samsung drives reasonably reliable.
I used to think WD was a reliable brand but I had 2 of them fail last year. They were the Caviar line and they were 3.5" desktop drives and that might make a difference but I'm steering clear of them for now.
For my laptop I replaced the stock 5400 rpm 250G drives with 320G 7200 rpm drives to increase performance a bit. They claimed to have very little impact on battery performance but since my machine is a battery hog anyway I can't tell. No problems or noise from them yet.
I think they were Hitachi Travelstar drives. Of course those were SATA drives. You may need a PATA drive.
I went with a Western Digital Scorpio Blue 320GB drive. It formatted OK, using the Windas XP set-up disk, then proceded to give me a blank screen and the message: A read error has occured, press CTRL, ALT + Delete to re-start. Re-starting, gives the same thing.
This is a Windas fault, nothing to do with the drive. The BIOS recognises the drive as 137GB, but that can be changed after the OS is loaded on it. It would be nice to actually get the OS onto the disk.
I googled that fault message and apparently I'm not the only one having this problem. There are screeds of people that have bought new hard drives, but can't install them because of a fault in the OS and what makes it worse, M$ isn't doing anything about it. They merely say "upgrade" to Vista or W7, which most of the software on my lap-top will NOT work with.
I would initialize it with Western Digital "Lifeguard" tools that you can download from their site. It will let you copy over your old drive too if you have a way to connect both of them. I usually do it on my desk top machine using a 2.5" to 3.5" cable adapter if it is PATA (IDE). With 2 adapters you can do it directly or if you only have one adapter and a spare 3.5" drive you can copy to the spare, then copy back to your new drive. I just did that last week for someone. If you are not trying to copy anything over you can do it all on your laptop. It is usually easier to just clone the old drive if you can. Backup and restore may not actually get you back to where you were. The Lifeguard copy will make it exactly like the one you took out.
I agree with Greg, use the disk that came with the drive or download lifeguard tools. I have had problems with newer drives in older computers. Formatting with the drive software solves this problem. If you have a early version of XP or windows 2K the drive disk software will enable large drive support. Windows 2K will not format anything larger than 120G. Some early copies of Wxp and most Wxp upgrades also have this problem. Robert
As long as you still have a working drive you can just clone it but you will need a couple 3.5" to 2.5" adapters if you are doing this format/copy on a desk top. I had data lifeguard loaded on this machine as an XP ap but I think you can just boot the CD and run on the embedded OS there. Once you get the disk formatted with an applicable file system it will run on just about anything.I have a 250g running on an old W/98 machine that only sees an 8g in the BIOS. I had to load the BIOS extension on that machine but it is on that lifeguard disk.
Maxtor has a similar application for their drives called MaxBlast.