Hard Drives

Computer Studies laptop hard drive

A standard 2 ½ inch ATA drive utilising a 50 pin connector which includes the hard drive interface connector and the power connector in the same package, you should check the thickness of the drive that's being replaced although 9 ½ mm is standard on most modern laptop drives, when upgrading portable hard drives check documentation to confirm the drive type with choices of either a ATA/ Ultra ATA, SATA 1.5 Gbps and SATA 3.0 Gbps. For more information on hard drives there are also solid state hard drives which are being utilised for laptops

Hard Disk Drive

Solid State Drive

Removing the hard drive

Depending on the make and model removing the hard drive is a relatively easy procedure you may need to remove other components in some laptops to gain access to the hard drive or with other models the hard drive is usually accessible by simple removing a cover panel on the bottom of the computer, some hard drives may be modular which means that they can be removed without powering off the computer but it's best to read the manufacturer's documentation to make sure if the battery should be removed before replacing or upgrading the hard drive.

Troubleshooting hard drives

Hard dives make clicking noises when there in the process of failing which is caused by the read/write heads and the other internal components such as the platters creating a mechanical failure, if Scandisk, is reporting errors every time you run it, or you see text messages about "write failures" or if successive surface scans report a large number of errors, your hard drive might be failing, overheating can lead to a hard drive recording errors or with large scale file corruption or data loss, the problem is more likely due to malware (bad software such as a computer virus, spyware, Trojans) than electronic or mechanical failure. Another cause for data corruption is letting the amount of free space on the drive fall so low that the operating system has trouble managing virtual memory you might not be able to defrag the hard drive as a result of no free space, If you have any external devices plugged into your laptop, such as printers, cameras etc, unplug them all. If the laptop boots when all of the external connections are removed, the problem isn't the hard drive, it's a faulty external device or signal, and it could be the driver for that device is corrupted.

Does the laptop BIOS see that a hard drive is installed and correctly identify it in CMOS Setup? If not, try restoring the BIOS defaults, If the BIOS reports "Missing OS" or "OS not found" during the boot process, file corruption can occur for non-fatal reasons, such as glitches during overheating or vibration and shock, the leading cause is probably a computer virus, If the laptop will boot up in Safe Mode, it's usually in pretty good shape but is having a problem with a recently installed (or recently corrupted) piece of software or device driver. If the boot failure has occurred immediately after installing a new program or peripheral and restarting, the first step is to uninstall the software that was just installed, or disconnect the new peripheral and remove the driver before attempting to reboot. In some instances, simply starting in Safe Mode will allow Windows to recover and the system will boot normally, using USB enclosures will allow you to try to read and recover the hard drive data on another computer if you're still having problems booting to the operating system, If you can boot the operating system or factory restore disc that the laptop was sold with, you can try doing a repair installation, which should leave the file system and your data intact.

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