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Dell laptop HDD interchangability

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by sarge, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. sarge

    sarge Millennium Member

    507
    0
    Jan 26, 1999
    90.44.1W 35.48.4N
    My son has a Dell Inspiron 5150 that is having some problems. It won't boot up at all. Sometimes when it tries to boot up, it goes to a black screen with the cursor flashing in the upper left hand corner. Other time it makes it to the log in screen, then after you log in, it locks up. I'm kind of thinking hard drive. My wife has a Dell Latitude 610 and I was wanting to try her HDD in my son's laptop to see if it actually is the drive, or if we have other problems.

    My question is are they compatible, except for having to change the bracket that mounts it into the computer?? If so, I'll give it a try, if not, I need to find another alternative. Then we will have to work on trying to get his data off the original drive.

    Is there any way we might try getting into a safe mode or anything to try to recover data?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. UtahIrishman

    UtahIrishman BLR Silver Member

    6,891
    1,471
    Nov 11, 2001
    Utah
    It's unlikely they are the same drive. I've seen Dell Latitudes that have different hard drives.

    Easiest way to tell is to pull the hard drives and see if they match. If the pins match you'll be OK. If there's something wrong with the computer itself though you risk losing the other hard drive as well...soo...

    There is also a disk diagnostic feature that you can run at startup. I think it's F12 but I'm going from memory. Safe mode is F8. If you can get into safe mode and everything functions ok then it's not the hard drive itself but most likely a corrupt driver.

    If it's still under warranty give Dell a call or even better they have live chat with a technician. They're support is really quite good.

    Good luck
     


  3. sarge

    sarge Millennium Member

    507
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    Jan 26, 1999
    90.44.1W 35.48.4N
    Well I pulled both drives and looked them over. They were interchangeable, so I put the one out of my son's computer and put it in my wifes. It worked, so I got his data off of it onto an external storage device. The Inspiron still wouldn't come on even with my wife's drive in it.

    I also pulled the memory modules and cleaned the contacts, still no go. The computer is around 5 or 6 years old, so no warranty. If I can ever get to the point I can get into safe mode, I'll give it a try. Mostly, when I push the power button, the screen comes on black, the cursor flashes at the top left hand corner, and after about 15 seconds, the fan shuts down and the cursor just blinks.

    There are several techies that work in my wife's office, so I might have one of them take a look at it and see if they can find anything.
     
  4. UtahIrishman

    UtahIrishman BLR Silver Member

    6,891
    1,471
    Nov 11, 2001
    Utah
    have you pulled the battery?

    Pull the battery out and put it back in after about 90 seconds or so. Even better would be a spare if you have one.
     
  5. Neo31rex31

    Neo31rex31

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    Dec 23, 2008
    Pause your post screen and then take a picture and post it on the forums. Chances are it will display your error there (if it is a hardware one).

    Have you tried:
    Last known good
    Safe Mode

    If you can't get to there by pressing F8, chances are you have:
    A, Corrupt Boot Loader
    B, Corrupt Hard Drive Sector (that your boot loader is on)

    In either case, insert your OS disk and try to run a repair on it (that will fix a boot loader issue most of the time)
    if that fails, put the OS disk in again and run a Scan Disk of the drive.

    If both of those fail, get a 10 dollar external Hard Drive casing and stick the bad HD in there, from there, stick it in a working PC via the USB and save what you want off of it by file navigation. While its hooked up, run scanning programs on the drive itself via the working PC, just define the scans to the drive you want it to scan. Programs i suggest running on it are:

    1, Comodo Antivirus
    http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/scan/avscanner.html (Scanner)
    http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/download_firewall.html (Download)
    2, Comodo System Cleaner
    http://system-cleaner.comodo.com/download.html (download)

    Another thing you could try is defragging the disk

    I doubt its a virus but it couldn't hurt to run that scan above or the system cleaner

    (before saving the files i would scan the HD for virus and what-not to try to prevent backing up an infected file and spreading it onto the working machine)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  6. sarge

    sarge Millennium Member

    507
    0
    Jan 26, 1999
    90.44.1W 35.48.4N
    I have pulled the battery. I did that each time I changed a part or looked inside.

    Neo...

    This drive does just fine in my wife's Dell. It booted and operated just fine. I did get the data off of it while it was in the other laptop since it was on and running. My wife's HDD would not operate in my son's laptop, same symptoms as the original HDD, so that kinda looks to me like there's some problem in the computer and not the drive.

    Most times when it boots, it's just the black screen with the cursor flashing up in the top left hand corner. This happens the instant the power button is pushed. When it does get past that point and on to the Dell bootup screen, it locks up after the login. One time when it was coming up, I pushed F12 and started the diagnostics, it locked up about half way through the diag program. If I can get it to the startup screen, and past the black screen, I'll try to get into safe mode and see what is going on. Since it is ~5 to 6 years old, I'll have to see if I can find the original disks.

    Thanks for the help so far.
     
  7. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    5-6yrs old, if you can't find the disks, look for some Linux distros to try... I don't know what he does on his laptop, but at 5-6yrs, it can't be much gaming.

    IGF
     
  8. Neo31rex31

    Neo31rex31

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    Dec 23, 2008
    Ahh ok i missed that in your previous post, my apologies
     
  9. sarge

    sarge Millennium Member

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    Jan 26, 1999
    90.44.1W 35.48.4N
    No gaming, just lab work at college and surfin' the net.

    I'm still working on it... :supergrin:
     
  10. UtahIrishman

    UtahIrishman BLR Silver Member

    6,891
    1,471
    Nov 11, 2001
    Utah
  11. MDBULLET

    MDBULLET

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    Nov 30, 2004
    South Dakota
    I had a 5150 for a while,, it was a good computer. First I would buy a new hard drive, they are pretty cheap now a days and easy to install. Then reload all the original software that came with the computer and things should be just fine. Now as far as recovering things off the old drive, You can go and buy a cheap 2.5" hdd usb enclosure and put the old hard drive in that and see if you can access the old date and transfer it to the new drive. I bought a enclosure for my wife's laptop a few weeks ago ( 14.95 ), I installed a bigger drive and put her old drive in that so she could pull off all her pictures and music. Dave
     
  12. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    2,263
    19
    Feb 15, 1999
    Seattle
    Ultimate Boot Disk to wipe the hard drive

    Xubuntu for your new operating system

    OpenOffice.org for your office needs

    Inspiron 5000
    Inspiron 8000
    Thinkpad T20

    Linux all of the way.

    Desktop server dual boots Win XP and Ubuntu:supergrin:

    But you might want to score a 6-10GB used laptop hard drive.
     
  13. sarge

    sarge Millennium Member

    507
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    Jan 26, 1999
    90.44.1W 35.48.4N
    If you would have written that in Chinese, I would have understood just about as much... :rofl:

    I'm out of town working this week and it will be the weekend before I can do any more work with it.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  14. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    2,263
    19
    Feb 15, 1999
    Seattle
    Sorry.

    Xubuntu is a variation of Linux - free software

    OpenOffice is a a free version of MS Office

    Sorry to use the acronyms.

    Ultimate Boot Disk is freeware that allows you to wipe or boot anything with DOS.

    Just going Linux crazy as I'm recycling more and more $4,000 laptops for cents on the dollar!
     
  15. Detectorist

    Detectorist

    14,450
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    Jul 16, 2008
    Missouri
    This doesn't seem to have anything to do with the operating system.

    The Inspiron 5150 series were well known to have heat related problems. Make sure the vents on the bottom are clear and take any necessary steps to prevent overheating.

    go to: www.support.dell.com

    Here you will find more info including the service manual.
     
  16. sarge

    sarge Millennium Member

    507
    0
    Jan 26, 1999
    90.44.1W 35.48.4N
    I was just pickin' at ya'. :supergrin:

    I'll see what I can come up with on Sunday.