My hard drive is starting to fail

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SolarpunkFan
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My hard drive is starting to fail

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2018-03-26 05:08pm

So I did some recent SMART tests that gave me some information on my HDD. This one was a quick scan done on the installed OS:

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A more recent scan provided the same answers with the warning being reallocated sectors and pending sector count.

So it seems my hard drive might fail in the near future. But I'm not sure what I should do about it. I'm thinking about either getting a new hard drive or just buying a new laptop altogether (plus the internal keyboard doesn't work anymore and I have to use an external one).

So should I buy a new hard drive or an entire new laptop? If so, which HDD/laptop model would you suggest?

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Re: My hard drive is starting to fail

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-03-26 05:17pm

What do you need the laptop for? How much are you prepared to spend on a new one? Is the battery life of the existing laptop still useful? You've asked an incredibly open ended set of questions.
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Re: My hard drive is starting to fail

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-03-26 05:43pm

Do you need 750GBs?

Because you can get a Samsung EVO 500GB for a between $100-$200. The 850 series is fine and will blow away a 5400rpm HDD. Buy a SATA external tether for like $15. Plug the SSD in via USB, load the Samsung cloning software, clone your drive, remove the HDD and replace with SSD, and enjoy a much faster laptop. If the time comes you need to replace your whole laptop, the SSD is still useful.

This is provided you aren't using more than ~500GBs and don't want to format. I really can't recommend SSDs enough, especially in aging laptops.

If your keyboard is bad, you can always replace it yourself, but it isn't for the neophyte, even with a step-by-step guide. That said, keyboards can be fairly cheap for popular models. In the $30 range and you could learn something if your other option is to just trash the thing.

It's hard to recommend laptops. For the workhorse you pay out the ass for: Lenovo. I also recommend ASUS, but they aren't as rugged as Lenovo. I've also had good luck with Dell for many years. They have lemons, but that's just how it goes. You look to buy as much hardware as you can afford since they are hard to upgrade. I prefer NVidia cards especially for Laptops as Intel (and to a lesser extent) AMD are "garbage-tier" when it comes to driver support for OEM devices. You also need to price out RAM and make the call if you want the bump to something like 16GBs versus the much cheaper 8GBs. Because it will be hard to find a laptop you could upgrade TO 16GBs off 8GBs without being forced to toss your old RAM due to lacking more DIMM slots.

You then need to make the call on CPU. i5s and above (or equivalent AMDs) will extend the life of the laptop for more than a few years because they have room to expand into newer and more apps. A dual-core or (god forbid) a celeron will crater hard within a year or so, if you're lucky. And i3 is shaky here. I think in 2018 they would last a lot longer than they would in the mid 2000s.

As Skimmer said: What do you need the laptop for?

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Re: My hard drive is starting to fail

Post by aerius » 2018-03-26 06:28pm

TheFeniX wrote:
2018-03-26 05:43pm
It's hard to recommend laptops. For the workhorse you pay out the ass for: Lenovo. I also recommend ASUS, but they aren't as rugged as Lenovo. I've also had good luck with Dell for many years. They have lemons, but that's just how it goes. You look to buy as much hardware as you can afford since they are hard to upgrade.
I just figure out what I'm willing to spend, then go on Craigslist or whatever and find the newest generation Lenovo T or W series laptop that fits in my budget. There's always a ton of them coming off-lease from businesses and the darn things are built solid so there's still plenty of life left in them even if they're a few years old. And even if something does go wrong, they're fairly easy to repair as far as laptops go and there's a ton of replacement parts floating around on ebay.
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Re: My hard drive is starting to fail

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2018-03-26 07:18pm

Sea Skimmer wrote:
2018-03-26 05:17pm
What do you need the laptop for? How much are you prepared to spend on a new one? Is the battery life of the existing laptop still useful? You've asked an incredibly open ended set of questions.
My apologies. I don't use the laptop for particularly heavy work (90% of what I do on it is Web browsing/messaging, the other 10% is listening to music or Python learning). As for the battery life I haven't tested it. I'm not quite sure on price point yet but expensive machines are out.

Edit: yeah, I probably don't need 750GB, 500 should do fine. So I'll take your suggestion for consideration, TheFeniX.

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Re: My hard drive is starting to fail

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-03-27 10:21am

How easy is it to replace the hard drive on your laptop? For some laptops, you can pull the hard drive out after undoing a couple screws, while others require practically disassembling the entire case. The amount of work required to replace the drive should factor into the cost-benefit analysis of replacing the drive vs. buying a new laptop.

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Re: My hard drive is starting to fail

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-03-27 12:29pm

1. You got a make/model for the laptop?
2. How much are you looking to spend on a new laptop?

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Re: My hard drive is starting to fail

Post by Zixinus » 2018-03-27 03:35pm

But I'm not sure what I should do about it. I'm thinking about either getting a new hard drive or just buying a new laptop altogether (plus the internal keyboard doesn't work anymore and I have to use an external one).
Unless you have an Apple or something similarly repair-unfriendly, installing a new hard drive is not hard. You can replace the internal keyboard too, although you might want a technician doing that.

I can't imagine a new internal keyboard and new harddrive (or SSD, which you should get instead of a HDD, they are much faster, less prone to failure from carrying the laptop around and consume less battery) being more expensive than a new laptop unless the laptop is really old or otherwise junk/dying.

Really, both keyboard and HDD are stuff that can be just replaced, especially the HDD. If it was the laptop's motherboard that friend, it might be worth a new laptop but it really depends on the laptop's model in question.
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Re: My hard drive is starting to fail

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2018-03-27 05:20pm

TheFeniX wrote:
2018-03-27 12:29pm
1. You got a make/model for the laptop?
2. How much are you looking to spend on a new laptop?
Toshiba Satellite C55-B5200

At this point the keyboard/drive replacements are going to be what I'm aiming for. Thank you all for putting up with my shit yet again. :|

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Re: My hard drive is starting to fail

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-03-27 06:48pm

Getting to the HDD sucks because you have to pull like 11 screws from the bottom. But once you get the bottom off, the drive is right there. Many are much easier to get to, some are.... incredibly more difficult. So, that shouldn't be much of an issue.

You've got two bottom-side screws holding the keyboard down as well, so it will be a bit more annoying than some replacements, but doable if you follow instructions. There are videos on this. I haven't watched them all the way through, but (from experience) be very careful with the ribbon connector on the MB. They are usually very thin and fragile, if you apply too much pressure, you can easily break it. If you encounter any resistance to it unclipping, you're probably doing it wrong and should recheck the guide.

You should plan to do both replacements at the same time. But remember, if you don't want to reformat: tether the new drive to the Laptop via USB and clone it first, before installing the drive. If you want to reformat and reinstall, then it doesn't matter.

Have fun.

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