If you're getting a SMART message

  Forum Editor 09:11 07 Aug 2004

it's wise to pay attention to it - it means that the drive is probably about to fail, and although Scandisk will mark any bad sectors it finds it can't resurrect a failing drive.

I think you're facing a new drive, despite being in the desert. One final thing - you say the drive is an IBM model, but you don't mention the make of the laptop. If that's an IBM too you must be sure that you buy an IBM replacement drive - IBM machines will not accept other makes.

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