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Making A Dead HDD Work


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#1 s1mp13m4n

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 10:29 AM

Hello everyone. I was given a dead Gateway laptop. It is a few years old. It has an Intel Celrom CPU 1.7GHZ and 512MB RAM, 15.4 inch screen, and 80GB HDD. The machine had WinXP on it but it became very slow with the HDD starting to make noise and the LED for the HDD staying lit almost constantly. I want to install Linux on it and use it for a basic laptop for surfing the web....my carry laptop, etc. Is there a way to "revive" that hard drive, run tests that maybe can "jump start" it, or do I simply need to replace it with a new one? It is an ata-6 drive which I can get from Newegg, but I was trying not to spend money if I can avoid it. Thank you for the help.

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#2 Delta16

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 10:36 AM

If you will replace your current HDD you may get more performance and a lot more space

#3 s1mp13m4n

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 11:02 AM

I have thought about replacing it with a larger drive, but I also have a 2TB external HDD that is networked at home, that is why I am not worried about a huge drive in that free laptop. I am more interested in have a computer around for when friends come over, family visits, I go and visit my dad 100 miles from home, etc. I would only be using the laptop for Internet, watch a DVD, nothing hard core, no gaming.

#4 mike18xx

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 02:06 PM

If you will replace your current HDD you may get more performance and a lot more space

It's not the drive, it's the ram. With only 512mb, he's probably dumping into virtual-memory very often -- ESPECIALLY if the machine is infested with malware WHILE ALSO having a worthless bloated anti-virus program like McAfee running constantly.

Try installing Malwarebytes.

Also try finding a utility which will let you customize what things auto-load on startup.

#5 s1mp13m4n

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 03:20 PM

OK, let me try and explain this better. The laptop right now as I type this has NO OS ON IT at all. It will not install Linux, I get a hard drive error. I just tried to use the factory install image cd, and so far that has worked. Now to upgrade the BIOS on this laptop, Gateway did a dumb thing and makes you install a BIOS update from inside Windows, it will not run from a cd on bootup. Now, SpinRite drive diagnostics gave an error message saying that my BIOS was not compatable with the softwares read/write diagnostics to check for and repair bad drive sectors, thus I must try and get some form of Windows installed to do a BIOS update, so I can run Spinrite via a live cd and see if it can salvage the hard drive so that I can install Linux on to it and use the old laptop for a basic surf the web machine. :thumbsup:




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