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Can a netbook eat HDDs? :)


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#1 John Peat

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:11 PM

2 months ago I was asked to look at a Dell Mini 10 which wouldn't boot. It was clearly an HDD fault so I removed the HDD and ran a full set of diagnostics on it.

The manufacturer's own diagnostic said the HDD's "shock sensor" had been triggered - it was clear the HDD was unwell but over 36 hours I managed to recover most of the data.

I replaced it with an HDD I had lying around - it came from a nearly new laptop someone had poured coffee into and I'd been using it in a caddy with no problems for a couple of months.

Roll forward to now and the Mini 10 has again stopped booting-up. Slightly different symptoms this time but clearly an HDD fault so I've again removed the HDD and this time the diagnostics say that the temperature sensor has been tripped (over 110 degrees says the message).

That means either

a - the owner dropped the laptop and then baked it!!
b - the owner dropped the laptop and the drive I replaced it with was faulty anyway (bad luck to say the least!)
c - this netbook is doing something to destroy HDDs - perhaps a voltage/current fault or a drive controller fault???

At this point I'm not sure how to proceed so I'm looking for advice. Would YOU risk a new HDD in this thing (it puts the total repair cost over it's purchase price!!)??

I could source a used HDD but that just opens-up the "it might be broken already" thing again (tho if it kills another HDD I'll definately suggest it needs to be binned?)

What you YOU do :)

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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:30 PM

Do these hard drives work in other systems?

#3 John Peat

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:56 PM

Do these hard drives work in other systems?

The first drive would show-up for short periods when connected via USB (hence I could recover stuff) but this one is worse. The BIOS/HD software sees it but it cannot read anything from it (Windows just thinks about it for ages and then asks if you'd like to format it).

I reckon both drives are physically damaged and that seems to be to be 'unlucky' to say the least - hence I'm wondering if it's the netbook itself which is doing the damage.

I guess a 3rd HDD failing would be that proof...

#4 cryptodan

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:15 PM

You could format the drive and do a long or / extended format and have it check for bad blocks.

#5 John Peat

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:30 PM

You could format the drive and do a long or / extended format and have it check for bad blocks.

The read test continues after it reports the 'overheating' error and produces error after error after error - it quits at 100 errors and that's after very little time - the HDD is definately toast.

The other drive was a bit different - it actually passed most read tests BUT it would shutdown randomly and take EONS to spin back up again (hence why it took a day-and-a-half to copy everything off it!!)

I've repaired a few hundred PCs over the years and I've seen very few drives this badly knackered - to see 2 from 1 machine is therefore a bit worrying!?

#6 cryptodan

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:36 PM

time to send the mini back to dell.

#7 John Peat

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:39 PM

time to send the mini back to dell.

It's out of warranty (about 13 months old) so that's a waste of time completely.

It's a 'fix it or use it to pro-up a wobbly table' machine now :)

#8 cryptodan

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:46 PM

im suspecting a possible voltage issue with the motherboard and the drive.

#9 John Peat

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:51 PM

im suspecting a possible voltage issue with the motherboard and the drive.

I'm thinking that or a total failure of power (causing the drive to stop/start/stop/start would definately break it pretty quickly) - the last time I saw a drive which had this sort of problem (hardware issue rather than just bad sectors) it also had scoring/charring on it's power connector (not connected properly).

Of course these's NO way to test this :(

#10 cryptodan

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:03 PM

id use it for parts personally.




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