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laptop hard drive question - computer guys

JayJay Senior MemberPosts: 3,953 Senior Member
It seems like the hard drive on my laptop is shot. It's been giving me issues for a while, but I've been limping it along. Last night, I left it running and the battery died, so it shut down. When I tried to start it back up, it will not boot. Windows will not start. I hit Esc and go to the startup menu and ran a hard drive test, which failed. This is about the extent of my computer knowledge. Actually, pretty well beyond my computer knowledge.

I bought this laptop several years ago and don't really use it, so no big loss. So, good learning platform, if I can do so inexpensively. I unplugged it and took the battery out, removed the access panel on the bottom and removed the hard drive. I looked at it, took a picture of it, and put it back in. Yeah. That'll fix it...

My question is, how can I find an inexpensive replacement hard drive for this thing, what would work in it, and would it be feasable to buy one and replace it? Second, if I did replace it, what would I do after that? I have no backup of what I had, which wasn't much. Some pictures, but nothing real important. All I really use it for is web browsing, and that's MAYBE once a week, if that.

If it helps, I can post a pic of the hard drive that's in it now...

I just kinda thought it would be an opportunity to learn a little more about computers and maybe inexpensively save my laptop in the process.

Thanks in advance.

ETA - the laptop is a HP Pavillion G7. I believe it's a 500gb hard drive. Anything else that needs to be known to help answer, I'll do my best to provide.
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Replies

  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,953 Senior Member
    Keep in mind, this is going to be like teaching someone who knows very, very little about computers. Actually, that's exactly what this is...:jester:
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,872 Senior Member
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I'm no big computer guy but I did loose a hard drive in my laptop last year to a nasty virus. I bought a new one for about $100 at Best Buy, installed it and loaded all my original software back into it. Laptop works like new again and runs faster than it has in a long time. I found it was easy to do and the most time was spent on loading the software back into it.

    Youtube is your friend on this one!
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    The problem with replacing the hard drive isn't mechanical, it's software. The hard drive you had was loaded with either the Windows or Apple operating system, plus all the other software you use, such as a browser and the internet access software.

    A new hard blank disc will be, er, blank.

    Unless you have all the original system software on a DVD or CD it would be difficult to restore the system without taking it to a shop. What usually is done for new computers these days however is that they come preloaded and you don't get the source software on a DVD or CD at all, just paperwork that shows your license ID -- if you've got that, a shop could easily restore your licensing software on a new hard disc, for a fee of course. They might also be able to crunch the old bad disc enough to read the license ID info and then load the new disc with a copy of the licensed operating system (Windows, etc) but of course you'd have to pay for the work.

    My recommendation is to phone around to local repair shops and ask them about a replacement drive that already contains the software or they'd load the software and maybe recover the ID codes or something similar, and send you away with a working laptop with the necessary software but no data.

    Or, they might be able to even recover the data files if you're interested in keeping them. All for a fee.

    Problem with this is that you've got to either give them your paperwork on the laptop showing the serial number of the operating system and other software, or buy new stuff.

    The hard drive is essential and it has to be loaded with the proper software. I've got zero idea as to what that would cost, and you'd still be with an older laptop and older software.

    If you're okay with this, check on the costs. Otherwise, I'd recommend using it for target practice and getting a new laptop. For a decent midrange laptop, not an ultra fast one, just a decent one, expect to pay in the neighborhood of $400-$600.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,953 Senior Member
    OK. Thanks guys.

    Was in the middle of responding to timc when I got sidetracked.

    My laptop did, of course, come pre loaded with software. So I don't have a disc to load the software onto a new hard drive. I do have all the paperwork on it. That was a concern, but wasn't sure how that worked. Thought maybe I could contact Microsoft with the information necessary and they could send me a disc with the software I needed. Again, learning process here.

    I do think this thing got a virus. It started a couple of years ago. Explorer would not open, so I just started using Firefox only. Some other things didn't seem to work right and it would freeze up occasionally. Also started killing the battery much quicker.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Sounds like a hard disc failure, no virus, just drive motor failure.

    Mickeysoft won't send you a new hard disc, I think -- you could check, but if you've got the paperwork, any decent computer shop will sell you a new faster disc and install a new copy of the software. Shouldn't be too expensive either.

    Check around with pals who are sharp with computers and ask or, if you're near a Microcenter, take the laptop to them and get an estimate. Microcenter is the best.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,953 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Sounds like a hard disc failure, no virus, just drive motor failure.

    Mickeysoft won't send you a new hard disc, I think -- you could check, but if you've got the paperwork, any decent computer shop will sell you a new faster disc and install a new copy of the software. Shouldn't be too expensive either. Thanks. Was talking about a disc with the software I need on it. Not a hard drive from Microsoft. Would be nice...

    Check around with pals who are sharp with computers and ask or, if you're near a Microcenter, take the laptop to them and get an estimate. Microcenter is the best.

    Thanks for the help. I do have one friend who does the IT stuff at his office. He might be able to help. Haven't hit him up yet. Haven't talked to him in a little while, so kinda felt bad calling him up and saying, "Hey, haven't talked to you in a while!! I need a favor!" :tooth: At least buy him a beer or two first!!
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,684 Senior Member
    Jay wrote: »
    OK. Thanks guys.

    Was in the middle of responding to timc when I got sidetracked.

    My laptop did, of course, come pre loaded with software. So I don't have a disc to load the software onto a new hard drive. I do have all the paperwork on it. That was a concern, but wasn't sure how that worked. Thought maybe I could contact Microsoft with the information necessary and they could send me a disc with the software I needed. Again, learning process here.

    I do think this thing got a virus. It started a couple of years ago. Explorer would not open, so I just started using Firefox only. Some other things didn't seem to work right and it would freeze up occasionally. Also started killing the battery much quicker.
    Instead of contacting microsoft, contact the manufacturer, tell them the model. age etc of it, and they SHOULD be able to send/sell you an install disk that will turn a new, blank, hard drive into a clone of the one it left the factory with. All the software, drivers for the hardware that's in it etc.

    Knowing what hardware is in it, that you'll have to have the drivers for, is the MAJOR problem with just getting a new Windows disk from MS and going through the manufacturer eliminates that problem.

    edited to add: That's what I had to do when the hard drive in my deck-top tanked on me. So after replacing the HD, and running the install disk they sent me, when I booted it up, it was just like booting it up when it was new.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,953 Senior Member
    Sweet. Thanks. I'll get in touch with HP and see what they say.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    Jay wrote: »
    OK. Thanks guys.

    Was in the middle of responding to timc when I got sidetracked.

    My laptop did, of course, come pre loaded with software. So I don't have a disc to load the software onto a new hard drive. I do have all the paperwork on it. That was a concern, but wasn't sure how that worked. Thought maybe I could contact Microsoft with the information necessary and they could send me a disc with the software I needed. Again, learning process here.

    Usually the manufacture of the computer will sell you a new HDD with your original software. The only problem I found is they wont let you increase the disk size, you get what came out. I found this out through HP, ever since then I buy my OS so I don't have to put up with their . They are serious when the computer tells you to make a back up disk when you turn it on. This is many many years ago I don't know if they changed this policy or not. All it will cost is the time for a phone call.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,684 Senior Member
    I don't know about what Buford's talking about, I just called Asus, told them my HD crapped out and I'd replaced it and needed a windows install disk for this model.

    I did go up in size when I replaced it.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    I don't know about what Buford's talking about, I just called Asus, told them my HD crapped out and I'd replaced it and needed a windows install disk for this model.

    I did go up in size when I replaced it.

    HP wouldn't let me do that.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,446 Senior Member
    If you want to make this a learning experience realize that you will be learning not just replacing a HD, but also reinstalling the SW.

    If you have ANY friends that the geeks or PC knowledgable, go seek their help. It will be way easier to learn that way then to have someone online try to piecemeal it to you and you having to learn on the fly.

    you can google for "tomshardwareguide" and see what comes up and start reading. you can do some searing on that website for laptop but in general a desktop or laptop is no difference other than the packaging.

    good luck.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,684 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    HP wouldn't let me do that.
    As I said, I had already bought and installed the HD from somewhere else before I contacted the manufacturer.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    Instead of contacting microsoft, contact the manufacturer, tell them the model. age etc of it, and they SHOULD be able to send/sell you an install disk that will turn a new, blank, hard drive into a clone of the one it left the factory with. All the software, drivers for the hardware that's in it etc.

    Knowing what hardware is in it, that you'll have to have the drivers for, is the MAJOR problem with just getting a new Windows disk from MS and going through the manufacturer eliminates that problem.
    Yep.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Just for grins, I checked prices at Microcenter.

    A new HP ProBook 450 G1, same as I have, is $560, and the less fast HP ProBook 6450B is only $250!

    Both come with Windows Professional (64bit) 7, not the awful Windows 8. If you don't really need a fast laptop, check out the new HP 6450 line, all priced in the $250 range. These would be a very nicely featured but not exactly world class fast laptop. Microcenter has several models in this price range. Or maybe spring for a ProBook 450, in the 500-600 buck range.

    Just sayin'
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,953 Senior Member
    Thanks for the help, gentlemen. I appreciate it. Thought it might be a good learning experience. Something I wouldn't mind knowing more about. Ill take the advice Yall have put up so far and see what I can do.

    Thanks for your suggestions, Sam. I'm not really interested in buying right now. If I do, I'll likely just go with an iPad. Fiancé has a laptop, so not much sense in buying another right now. Just wanted to see if I could use this one to learn on and save it without spending too much. Obviously, if it's gonna cost upward of $200, I'd probably be better off just buying a new one. Just not worth spending that much at this point, imo. I do appreciate you looking into it, though.
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,446 Senior Member
    Jay wrote: »
    Thanks for the help, gentlemen. I appreciate it. Thought it might be a good learning experience. Something I wouldn't mind knowing more about. Ill take the advice Yall have put up so far and see what I can do.

    Thanks for your suggestions, Sam. I'm not really interested in buying right now. If I do, I'll likely just go with an iPad. Fiancé has a laptop, so not much sense in buying another right now. Just wanted to see if I could use this one to learn on and save it without spending too much. Obviously, if it's gonna cost upward of $200, I'd probably be better off just buying a new one. Just not worth spending that much at this point, imo. I do appreciate you looking into it, though.


    If you really want to do the work yourself there no reason not to. But its not something you can do in a day. Also, if you do decide to do it you may as well learn how the whole unit works and figure out what does what.

    While youre at it, you may want to look into if the HD can be swapped with a SSHD. That maybe worth doing and at least you can learn something new(er). Also, maybe adding more RAM?

    Software wise, you will want to look into what OS version is the more stable or one where you won't be the beta tester.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    That is why the Cloud is nice, you can backup everything.

    Check computer prices on Tiger Direct...
    CDW was nice to purchase if you had a Government purchase order.

    www.tigerdirect.com
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,080 Senior Member
    Don't get the older Windows program, which probably isn't even available. Windows won't support older versions and you'll be missing a lot. I have 8.1 and tomorrow, I believe, 10 is going to replace it. Free download.

    Windows 8 isn't bad, just takes a little getting used to. I've been using it about 4 years and once you get past the confusing start screen and on to our desktop, it looks just like the old Windows program. It's designed for touch screen, but you can do it all with the keyboard. There are a lot of free aps, which give a lot of options not available on older windows programs.

    My laptop cost about $250 four years ago. It is basic, doesn't have a disc drive but I can do everything (almost) with a thumb drive.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,203 Senior Member
    Everything you love to hate about windows 8 can be fixed by downloading and installing a freebie called "Classic Shell".
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Everything you hate about Windows can be fixed by using expensive Apple....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Everything you hate about Windows can be fixed by using expensive Apple....

    What is wrong with Windows? I have never had any issues. I know folks didn't like 8.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    What is wrong with Windows? I have never had any issues. I know folks didn't like 8.

    Agreed. Winders is just fine. So is the Apple OS. Both were stolen from the gummint defense dept anyway.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    All the graphics CAD people prefer Apple OS, I only use Windows because it costs me next to nothing.......
    I see nobody mentioned the solid state HDD, taking the mechanical component out of the HDD is a big step forward..
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    I see nobody mentioned the solid state HDD, taking the mechanical component out of the HDD is a big step forward..

    That would be in post #20
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    All the graphics CAD people prefer Apple OS, I only use Windows because it costs me next to nothing.......
    I see nobody mentioned the solid state HDD, taking the mechanical component out of the HDD is a big step forward..

    His basic problem is that he's got no source disc or DVD, etc, with his OS. So he'll have to pay someone to load it onto a new disc. But of course, solid state "disc" is better, faster. Likely a bit more pricey, of course.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Good thing I am a Tech-no-nerd-geek-a-saurus, I pay myself, nothing, since I am so cheap.... Ha ha...


    Best thing is to dock an external solid state HDD to a new laptop and do a full backup, then it is easy to restore all.
    A clean install on a new HDD is no big woof either, HP has on line restore resources once you can get your computer online.
    Been doing that for years.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Good thing I am a Tech-no-nerd-geek-a-saurus, I pay myself, nothing, since I am so cheap.... Ha ha...


    Best thing is to dock an external solid state HDD to a new laptop and do a full backup, then it is easy to restore all.
    A clean install on a new HDD is no big woof either, HP has on line restore resources once you can get your computer online.
    Been doing that for years.

    Okay, I'll bite -- if your new disc is blank, how can you get online to get a restore from HP or anyone? You've first got to have a working OS plus internet access with that OS, right? Am I missing something?
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    Boot DVD / CD

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
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