Monday, July 11, 2011

Hard drive replacement for your laptop

A hard drive replacement for your laptop will be a common issue that will continue to plague the laptop owners and operators of the world until the laptop hard drive technology moves to solid state drives, as long as there are moving parts inside that harddisk we will have to put up with head crashes and bad sectors. That’s not to say that any new technology won't have a whole new array of unseen or even unheard of errors and problems.. not giving you a lot of confidence in your data storage am I.

I have one word of advice.. BACKUPS.

OK, back to the info…

A hard drive replacement for your laptop is generally one of the easier jobs to do yourself unless you have one of the makes and models of laptop that doesn’t provide easy access to the harddisk, hiding it away under the palm rest or worse still mounting it to the main board. Luckily there are not a lot of these and most of the laptop makers now recognise the need to have access to the drive for various reasons.

Replacing a drive is simple.. generally you can remove 1 screw from the HDD cavity or enclosure and the drive can be removed by sliding it out.

Once the harddisk is removed it will have some sort of aluminium case or frame that it screws into which will need to be removed and fitted to the new drive. This step is essential to your laptop hard drive repair or the drive won't slide back in properly and possibly bend the pins if you try and insert it.. this is bad.
Some drives have a HDD connector cover on the pins which also needs to be removed and put on the new drive. See below.
HDD with connector on a Toshiba Tecra 9000.

Be gentle when re-inserting the new drive, damage to the pins can be a painful affair. If you insert the drive and the laptop doesn’t boot try removing it and re-inserting as the pins may be misaligned.

Keep in mind too that new laptop hard drives are shipped un-partitioned and not formatted just the same as normal IDE drives, hopefully you still have your recovery CD’s that came with your laptop, if not don’t worry you can use a Windows CD to rebuild your laptop from scratch and then access the internet at some stage to download drivers specific to your laptop (generally available from the laptop manufacturer's website).

If you consider yourself a novice when it comes to installing operating systems then my advice is to have somebody who knows how do it for you, this will save you a lot of time and frustration.

Here are some Compaq images I found also, there’s not a lot of difference between makes so the basic concept is the same.

As we said earlier, a hard drive replacement for your laptop isn't particularly hard to do, it's more about whether you can save any data on your hard drive if it fails completely.

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