#1
  1. Null Pointer Exception
    Devshed Loyal (3000 - 3499 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    america
    Posts
    3,306
    Rep Power
    1583

    How to prepare for hard drive failure on laptop


    I am about to order a new laptop, I have an option between 2 120gb (7200rpm) hard drives, or 1 250gb (5400rpm) hard drive. Right now i'm planning to go for the single hard drive. One thing that i am concerned about before hitting the final buy button, is hard drive failure. I've replaced my desktop hard drives (2 of them) on a few occasions (I go ahead and change em when I think their making noise).

    I usually just plug in the hard drive I want to swap out, and the new one I buy, then run a program that boots off a cd to clone the hard drive. With a laptop, I don't know how simple this might be. I'm thinking if I buy just a single hard drive, there won't be a 2nd sata cable for me to clone the hard drive with. and even if there is a 2nd cable, I don't know If I can run my laptop while the hard drives are out etc. (assuming I purchase the single hard drive, perhaps there isn't physical room to put in a temporary 2nd hard drive)

    I'm not really wanting to purchase the dual hard drive option for the laptop because its just extra money wasted, and higher battery consumption as I see it.

    Being mostly a desktop user and only a very rare occasions opening up the bottom panels of a laptop, I'm not sure what to expect. I just dont want to get stuck in a situation where i have to buy a replacement hard drive and lose everything and do a base install etc.

    btw this is the laptop I am about to purchase: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_can_series.do?storeName=computer_store&category=notebooks&a1=From+price&v1=%24800-%241000&series_name=dv9700t_series
    Last edited by misterdanny; March 27th, 2008 at 08:22 PM.
  2. #2
  3. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    12
    Rep Power
    0
    Hows it goin' Danny,

    Personally, i'd go with the 1 hard drive, just because of heating issues that might arise.

    And as for the whole preparing for hard drive failure, i'd set up a ghosting server on my network. Check into Norton Ghost, it has a feature called offsite backup that backs up your files to NAS (Network-Attached Storage) devices. You could even set it up to where it does incremental backups whenever you connect to your network, or let it run once a week overnight. Or you could even do backups to CD's, my version of Vista came with this compatibility, and its HP as well.

    However, i'd surprising to hear that you're having that much trouble with hard drive failure, Any kind of a clicking, screeching, or otherwise mechanical noise a drive emits is usually a fairly solid symptom of a head crash. The heads are either unable to find a particular group of sectors that they're looking for, they've become misaligned and are making contact with the platters (screeching), or they're locked up against the platters. In any case, you definitely don't want to continue to run a drive with possible head issues.

    Usually, though, hard drives last a good 5 years at the least. I've had some work for 11 years for me before (my first computer's 10gig hard drive still works :P).

    Well, I hope this helped somehow, if you have any other questions, or if i misunderstood your question, don't hesitate to PM me.

    -genR
  4. #3
  5. No Profile Picture
    Grumpier old Moderator
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    14,559
    Rep Power
    4550
    If you're adventurous you can boot a live linux CD and use dd to clone a disk image over a network connection to some computer that has enough storage room. I've done this when swapping out a laptop drive, and once you figure out how to set up dd properly it's pretty easy.

    If you have IDE laptop drives, you can get an adapter for a couple bucks that will let you dangle the laptop drive off a desktop IDE cable, and then just deal with the laptop drive as if it were full-sized. I assume there is a similar adapter for laptop SATA drives.

    You might look into an expansion/docking station for the laptop, which will often allow disk expansion. I had a Tecra expansion station with another 3-1/2 drive in the expansion unit.

    I've only run across dual laptop drives when one was in some removable drive bay in the laptop.
    ======
    Doug G
    ======
    I've never been able to appreciate the sublime arrogance of folks who feel they were put on earth just to save other folks from themselves .." - Donald Hamilton
  6. #4
  7. Null Pointer Exception
    Devshed Loyal (3000 - 3499 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    america
    Posts
    3,306
    Rep Power
    1583
    thanks for the responses,

    I leave my desktop on all day, so I'm sure my hardware ages faster than those who do not do this. This laptop I just purchased (I decided to go with a single drive) is supposed to be a "desktop replacement". I imagine this laptop might get left on good portions of the day like my desktop, so I am adding that plus the fact that it will be moved around and perhaps the slight movement will cause more wear on the drives in the long run.

    I think i might check out this liveboot cd thing and cloning with a hard drive over my network.(if it turns out that I cant add a tempoary hard drive for the purpose of cloning my old one, I'll have to see when i get it). I'm really looking to clone my hard drive so I don't have to redo all my settings everywhere, I already do regular backups on my important files.
  8. #5
  9. Malware Warrior /AV forum Mod
    Devshed Regular (2000 - 2499 posts)

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    San Antonio Tx
    Posts
    2,325
    Rep Power
    1144
    I imagine this laptop might get left on good portions of the day like my desktop
    Personally I would not leave it running but if you choose that route make sure you have a good cooling device under it all the time.

    Clones and backups are ALWAYS a good idea.

    My advice to my customers is no matter how new or old a PC is don't keep any thing on it you cant afford to loose tomorrow.
    Neera: The wraith will not allow us to escape.
    Sheppard: Yeah, well I try not to let them tell me what I can and can't do.
    Neera: You do not fear them?
    Sheppard: The wraith, nah. Now clowns that's another story. They scare the crap out of me.

  10. #6
  11. No Profile Picture
    Grumpier old Moderator
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    14,559
    Rep Power
    4550
    My laptop has been on 24x7 for about 4 years now, no cooling device, gets up over 90F for extended periods in the room it's in. The battery is pulled out except when necessary, and I haven't had any problems related to the constant on. I've used laptops as primary desktops for about 8 years now and they all have been on all the time. My laptops have proved just as reliable as my towers.

    But I sure agree, make sure anything you don't want to lose is backed up.
    ======
    Doug G
    ======
    I've never been able to appreciate the sublime arrogance of folks who feel they were put on earth just to save other folks from themselves .." - Donald Hamilton
  12. #7
  13. Malware Warrior /AV forum Mod
    Devshed Regular (2000 - 2499 posts)

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    San Antonio Tx
    Posts
    2,325
    Rep Power
    1144
    Hey Doug,Is it always running or is the default profile in place on the laptop? Sleep ect.?
    Neera: The wraith will not allow us to escape.
    Sheppard: Yeah, well I try not to let them tell me what I can and can't do.
    Neera: You do not fear them?
    Sheppard: The wraith, nah. Now clowns that's another story. They scare the crap out of me.

  14. #8
  15. No Profile Picture
    Grumpier old Moderator
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    14,559
    Rep Power
    4550
    Originally Posted by Porthos
    Hey Doug,Is it always running or is the default profile in place on the laptop? Sleep ect.?
    Hi, it's always on, no sleep profile, hard disks stay on. I'm using a Toshiba Satellite S-670 with a P4 since 2004, and from 2000-2004 I used a Toshiba Tecra. The Tecra was usually in a port replicator but still it was always on.

    One thing, I never close the lid when it's on, on the theory that hot air rises and if the lid is shut the hot air has a harder time rising
    ======
    Doug G
    ======
    I've never been able to appreciate the sublime arrogance of folks who feel they were put on earth just to save other folks from themselves .." - Donald Hamilton
  16. #9
  17. Malware Warrior /AV forum Mod
    Devshed Regular (2000 - 2499 posts)

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    San Antonio Tx
    Posts
    2,325
    Rep Power
    1144
    One thing, I never close the lid when it's on, on the theory that hot air rises and if the lid is shut the hot air has a harder time rising
    That is so true. I have left the repair order on a laptop keyboard and when I came back later it was so HOT. Never did that again.
    Neera: The wraith will not allow us to escape.
    Sheppard: Yeah, well I try not to let them tell me what I can and can't do.
    Neera: You do not fear them?
    Sheppard: The wraith, nah. Now clowns that's another story. They scare the crap out of me.


IMN logo majestic logo threadwatch logo seochat tools logo