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Hard drive corrupt and dying; what are my options?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Jim1970, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Taphius

    Taphius

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  2. billn

    billn

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    If it is just a hard drive i would install Lubuntu, a Ubuntu ditro for older machines.

    http://lubuntu.net/

    I have an old dell I bought in the early 90 running Lubuntu w/o a hiccup. It is fast and the only time i turn it off is when the electricity goes off or a major update.
     

  3. billn

    billn

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    You can run Lubuntu from a CD or USB bypassing your old hard drive.
     
  4. billn

    billn

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  5. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

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    If the netbook has a flash memory card reader and if the BIOS can be set to boot from the memory card you can install Linux on a memory card. I use SD cards. Knoppix Linux defaults to a lightweight desktop. It has about the best hardware detection, especially for wifi. A large enough memory card can have a traditional hard drive installation of Linux or a live CD / DVD installation. Even with the live system a Linux swap partition helps with the speed of the system. If more storage is required you can use an external USB hard drive exactly the same way. A hard drive, both internal and external drain the battery faster than flash memory. You can remove the internal hard drive completely and run the computer from an external drive or memory card.
     
  6. Jim1970

    Jim1970 Learnin'

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    Wow - what a great bunch of responses! Thank you to everyone.

    The machine with the dead hard drive is a Toshiba Netbook 305. I bought it a couple of years ago, knowing that it was a $250 "disposable" machine. Now I'm not making the same kind of money I was, so I'm trying to find a way to get as much life out of it as possible. Besides that, I really like the little bugger!

    My local computer guy said the hard drive is corrupt. He didn't say there was anything else wrong with it, and I have no reason to think there is anything else wrong with it. I found ssd and platter drives on newegg (and other places) that are the 2.5" designed to fit my machine. I think the best ssd price I found was something like $90. Totally do-able.

    In addition, I also found a video on YouTube where a guy shows complete dis-assembly of his Toshiba NB305. Getting to the hard drive is a piece of cake! I can do that for sure.

    I like the idea of using Ubuntu or related software. The one thing that keeps me from it is what I read about it online: that there is such a common experience having problems with drivers for various things -- like printers, for example. However, I may finally be at a point in my life where I have the motivation to learn a new operating system, and to do the research to solve the problems associated with the new language.

    If I go with Ubuntu, I would just need to get it on a jump drive, then have the laptop boot to the jump drive to install the software, correct?

    Once I've got it installed, will I have wireless connectivity, or will I need to do something special so I can access the internet?

    Thanks again for all the help!

    Jim
     
  7. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Just a thought, and from me, regarding computers, that in and of itself could be dangerous. How do you know the HDD itself is physically damaged? Have you run the various tests on it to check it's integrity? You could backup your data on something sperate, like a thumb drive, and install Ubuntu on it wiping out the windows OS you have and see how it runs.

    When my HDD was failing, That's what I did. I didn't know it iwas the HDD itself or the software on it, all I knew is the computer wasn't working right. I installed Ubuntu and it ran great after that. I got about a year out of it when the HDD puked all together. The HDD was probably bad all along, but I didn't know how to check it so I did what was free, an install of Ubuntu on the entire drive. I guess Ubuntu is more tolerant of a defective HDD. I don't know, maybe I had two different issues.

    At any rate, you can try Ubuntu for free on the HDD you have now and it might run for you.
     
  8. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Pretty much.... You can actually test the OS from the jump drive if you want to. Depending on your wireless device, it might take a bit of work to get your wireless device going.. but most of those Toshiba Netbooks have either Broadcom or Ralink wireless devices, so it should work pretty easily.

    When you download Ubuntu, download 12.04. 12.10 is the current version, but Unity has some whacky dashboard bugs that need worked out. I don't know if they tried to hard to implement the Ubuntu market into it (every time you look for software you you have installed, you get a suggestions on software to buy.).

    12.04 is solid though.

    http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  9. Jim1970

    Jim1970 Learnin'

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    Hello,

    When the time comes, and I do decide to give Ubuntu a try, I KNOW I'm going to be a pest to IndyGunFreak, as I will undoubtedly bug him with questions!

    Thank you!

    Jim
     
  10. MySiK26

    MySiK26 ******

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    Google is your friend! Also there's an Ubuntu forum as well. I usually find most problems that I come across, someone has already encountered, and most likely has been documented somewhere. It's been a while since I've bugged IGF with any questions :supergrin:
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  11. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    This. Google any problems you have and I've found that Ubuntu forums usually has the best answers among the Google results. Also, Ubuntu forums usually has more than one thread for a given problem, so I'll find say three "solved" threads for my problem. Usually one or two are either too complicated for me to understand, but one or more will be a very simple solution that only requires a few clicks or maybe cutting and pasting some stuff into terminal.

    The easiest thing to do is to move in next door to IGF though and just stop buy with a bunt cake and a broken computer.