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Hard drive going ?????

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Poppa Bear, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

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    Might be losing the HD on my laptop. Ran scandisk and found a lot of bad sectors. My plan is to reformat the drive with the full format option and see if it is hardware or software based errors. My question is this? I can either use a program to image my drive and restore that data to the freshly formatted drive, or I can wipe it out and start from scratch and reload the software without all of the garbage that might be in the imaged version.

    I currently have all of the major programs saved to another HD so I can easily copy their data back to the correct locations after I reformat the drive. An explanation of this is I use software to keep copies of the My Documents folder, the Programs folder, as well as what I call my Temp folder (it holds all downloaded drivers, programs, and data backups) synchronized between my laptop and a 100 Gig external USB HD so my data is safe. I also have the room to save my entire laptop HD to this disk if needed. I have also copied all of the serial numbers for different programs to a Word file so I can reenter the numbers if I go the full format and reload all software route.

    Some of the disk errors are in the system files, so when I tried to backup the drive with the MS version it would not complete the backup. What would be the recommended program to backup the entire HD? What has worked well for you?


    What do the resident experts recommend? Image and restore, or start from scratch?

    Finally, because the errors might be hardware based this would also be the time to replace the HD whether it needs it or not. Current is 30 Gig at 4200 rpm with 10 Gig of free space. I am looking at 60 Gig either 5300 or 7200 rpm. Thoughts on this?
     
  2. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    I'd swap drives, leaving the old one intact for now.

    Format and install XP SP2 on the new, faster HDD and then, if needed, get an external enclosure for 2.5" and 3.5" drives. Costs maybe $30. Then you can run the personal data back onto the laptop via USB.

    And after that is completed, you can format the old HDD and use it for archiving stuff.

    Best regards,

    Eric
     

  3. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

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    That sounds like a better idea. :)

    I will place the old HD into the anti-static bag the new drive comes in and save it for if I need data off of it. With the 100 Gig HD for backup I have all the program data saved already. If anything I will get a cheap cable to access the drive if there is a password or serial number I need that I do not already have stored away.
     
  4. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

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    Ordered a new 7200 rpm Hitachi drive. User reviews said it really sped up the system both at startup and starting large programs like MS office, AutoCAD, and Paint Shop Pro, all of which I have on my laptop.

    Will post back when I get it installed and running to let anyone interested in upgrading their HD know how much of a difference it made.
     
  5. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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  6. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

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    Well got the HD installed.

    Old HD was a 30 GB, 2 MB Cache, 4200 rpm drive. Average start time was 3 minutes from power on to wireless network logon.

    New HD is an 80 GB, 8 MB Cache, 7200 rpm drive. Average start time is 1 Minute and 30 seconds from power on to wireless network logon.

    To install the new HD I removed the HD screw and slid the enclosure 1/4". Entire caddy with HD is now free of the computer. Remove 4 screws from the caddy and slide the HD out. Insert new HD and reinstall 4 screws. Take caddy and place into HD opening on the laptop. Slide back 1/4" and reinstall HD screw. HD is now installed.

    Started computer with XP Pro CD in CD drive and partitioned and formatted the HD. Installed XP and then Acronis True Image. Used Acronis True Image to restore settings from old drive and I am now up and running.
     
  7. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Good job, PB!!

    And it starts up in half the time. Imagine!!

    Keep it up, and I might be out of a job soon. ;) :cool: ;)
     
  8. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

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    Fastvfr computers do not scare me. I build microprocessor based control systems. What does scare me is doing something for the first time. Like all of us I have started only to find the project is much more complicated than I thought. The thing that scared me with the laptop HD change was the fact that it is a laptop. Laptops are notorious for proprietary hardware and unlike a desktop you cannot disable the onboard hardware and install a PCI card in an available slot.

    The biggest problem I had with the upgrade was my choice to use a full version XP Pro CD rather than the Compaq quick restore CD. I had to default to basic VGA and Audio drivers until I could go online to download the correct drivers. I made this choice because I did not want to load all of the factory programs.