Hard drive woes...

  nick_j007 17:37 09 Aug 2004

Hello all,

I'm running Win XP on a Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop. 512MB RAM.

I have it with two HDD's. The original 30 GIG drive (C), and an additional 40 GIG in the media bay('X'). The PC is about 2 1/2 yrs. old. I have no extra warranties etc.

For some time now the original drive has been making some pretty nasty noises such as clicking and cracking. I have researched this on a Dell support forum and I am not alone like this. Most come to the conclusion that the drive is about to give up :-(

I am frequently getting a message that both the optical drive and primary hard disk are not found shown in basic text on a black screen. I need to reboot to get it up and running...not always with success. I have reseated the HDD but to no avail. I can use the PC for short periods, but the noises are there virtually all the time and the system seems to hang frequently now.

I have all my valuable material and all the back ups I think I'll need on 'X' which is a slide-out drive so I believe I'm safe in that respect.

I'm unsure what to do next. I think a new drive is expensive from Dell...can I buy from somewhere/someone else?

My other option (if possible even) is to run the whole PC from the extra drive 'X'. I will need to empty it, and reformat it I think. But from there I am somewhat lost. I have the original installation CD, so do I run that to install the OS again on drive X?. Where do I go on the PC to tell it how I have it set up in terms of its HDD's.

So, anything to get me going would be appreciated. Thankfully my partners laptop is here for me to speak to you all.



  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:46 09 Aug 2004

You need to go into BIOS and change boot order CD first drive bay second hard drive third. Boot with XP disk in CD drive and install XP but at the beginning of the install process you need to tell XP to install to the X drive.

When installed change boot order to drive bay X first HDD second.

  nick_j007 17:53 09 Aug 2004

Thanks Fruit Bat. Think I got that. Presumably I can remove the C drive and run the PC later on without in screwed into the caddy?


  woodchip 18:00 09 Aug 2004

You need to go out and buy a new drive and start from scratch if all your files are backed up on the second drive. The drive for your laptop may be a Toshiba

  nick_j007 18:58 09 Aug 2004

Well I do want to renew this drive really.

I've pulled it out and I'm looking at an IBM travelstar with part numbers on it etc.

Might I be able to buy a new one and slip it into the caddy that houses it?

I shall hunt around on the net now.



  nick_j007 22:02 09 Aug 2004


I believe after looking around that I need any 2.5" 9.5mm HDD. I shall need to carry over a small adaptor from my old HDD.

Any thoughts on the max. capacity and speed my Inspiron 8100 will work with please?

Where's my best place for this sort of gear also please?



  nick_j007 23:07 09 Aug 2004

Will I notice much real-world difference between a 7200rpm drive than a 4200?


  jonnytub 23:11 09 Aug 2004

yep, if you wanna go mid range get a 5400 rpm.

  [DELETED] 23:12 09 Aug 2004

No you won't really notice it much. Slight improvement in seek time thats all, but whether you actually see the difference is a moot point,

  jonnytub 23:14 09 Aug 2004

you will notice the speed differnce where large files are concerned, as i said before a mid range one might suit you better, my opinion only ;-)

Regards Jonny

  woodchip 23:14 09 Aug 2004

If you have a restore disc there may be a hidden partition on the old Hard drive that you need to copy as a Image file with something like Acronis True Image or Drive Image software so that it can be setup on the new drive otherwise you may have to buy a new operating system CD. It would also be a good idea to get the same drive if you can so that it looks the same when the restore disc looks at it.

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