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Buying a used hard drive?


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#1 noz03

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:11 PM

I'm considering to buy a second hand internal hard disk for my spare netbook which stopped working awhile ago and just wondering how safe that would be, and how I could test it to make sure I am not getting ripped off?



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#2 AdagioBoognish

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:14 PM

As a rule, I probably wouldn't spend more for a used hard drive than I care to lose. 

 

That being said it shouldn't be very hard for you to test the hard drive. Before meeting up to buy the drive create a Ubuntu bootable USB, since most netbooks don't have a cd/dvd drive. If yours does than you can save a few steps and create a bootable cd.

 

You can now boot a working OS from your USB drive. Having this will save you a ton of time if the used drive has been wiped and doesn't have an operating system installed on it. Plug the used drive into your netbook, assign the USB drive as the primary boot device in your BIOS, and wait for Ubuntu to load. When that is finished you can use Ubuntu's disk utility to run a S.M.A.R.T. check on the hard drive. This link explains what the utility is all about much better than I could: S.M.A.R.T.

 

Good luck noz, hope this helps.



#3 hamluis

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:23 PM

Well...considering the price of new drives and the fact that new equals warranty period...I see no reason to even consider a used drive.

 

If the new drive fails (all hard drives are capable of failing at any time)...you would have a 3-year (or so) warranty period to cover it.  If a used drive fails, get your wallet out and don't make the same mistake again.

 

Louis



#4 TsVk!

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 09:09 PM

I agree with Louis, don't shoot yourself in the foot and buy a second hand one.

 

Hard drives have limited read/write times and life expectancy... it would be like buying second hand tyres for your car.

 

That said, SMART checks miss some things also, the only sure test would be something like HDDScan which gives you actual response times of all sectors, but takes many hours to complete the tests.



#5 noz03

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:59 AM

Thanks for the replies.

The reason I want to buy second hand is, because, well, I'm broke and the cheapest second hand option is less than half the price of buying a new drive, also I really dont care much about the computer, it's just a spare so I want the cheapest option possible just to get it working. Also, I live in a different country every 6 months, so warranties are pretty much useless for me anyway :)

As for the smart check, even if they are not 100% perfect, they would detect any major problems right? I mean, it is reliable enough to assume the drive is in reasonable health if it passes the test? The other thing I'm worried about is... often these kind of problems have such complicated results that I can't always understand what they mean :(



#6 TsVk!

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:31 PM

smart check will check for immediate problems with some accuracy... easy enough to read also, either good or bad.

 

Comprehensive scans will take slightly more savvy to understand, but really what it is checking is response and response times...

 

If it doesn't matter all that much buy a second hand one then, at your own peril.






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