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notebook harddrive (?) issues

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Andrew, May 24, 2007.

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  1. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    I have a notebook that likes to periodically die and I'm trying to
    determine my best initial course of action.

    When it dies, I can hear the drive begin to spin when I press the power
    button, but it stops within a couple of seconds and nothing happens.
    I'll leave it for an hour/day and try again and eventually it will start.
    The strange thing is that once it's up and running, there are no problems
    with it.

    My guess it that it's a harddrive issue, but I haven't ruled out RAM (any
    other possibilities?).

    Anyone know if there is a way to test the drive (while it's up and
    running)? I'm not looking for bad boot sectors, as much as I'm looking
    for mechanical issues withing the drive. Most of the diagnositic tools
    I've seen are stricktly for scanning the drive and don't focus on the
    mechanical capabilities.

    I'd test the RAM with a new stick, but HP was kind enough to make it
    impossible to access w/o taking the notebook apart (there's no access
    cover on the bottom).

    Any direction or suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. Vey

    Vey Guest

    If this is an IDE drive, for about $5-10 you can buy an adapter which
    will allow you to plug the drive into a desktop. Then you can observe it
    and watch if it does the same thing.
  3. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Most of the hard drive manufacturers offer utilities for just such testing.
    I use Hitachi's Drive Fitness Test suite available for free on their
    website. You can have it run (non-destructive) seek/read tests indefinitely
    which will exercise the spindle and heads for you.

  4. Art

    Art Guest

    Another route, when it does not start up remove the drive form the laptop,
    give it a quick roational twist with your wrist, hookup it back up to the
    laptop and see if it boots. Simple mechanical test. Another thing you may
    want to try is to put the drive into your freezer for an hour or so, connect
    it back up and see if it boots. Both senerios should help diagnose if indeed
    it is the drive, or something else, causing the problem. BTW I have resorted
    to both to determine indeed if the hard drives are failing.
  5. Guest


    Do you see anything on the screen when you try to start it up?
    Any error messages?
    Does the laptop have a cd or dvd drive? Usb?
    Do you have a battery in it? Does it charge? Does the laptop adapter
    run the laptop without the battery in?
  6. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Guest

    I would not put a drive in the freezer unless (a) I had a complete backup of
    the data and (b) I didn't care about whether the drive would be damaged. I
    suspect that after taking the drive out of the freezer, water could
    condense from the air onto the drive, and if this happened on the platters,
    this could disturb the proper air gap between the head and disk, e.g.
    causing the heads to get stuck to the disk. I have never tried it but it
    sounds risky on a drive that still works sometimes.

  7. Vey

    Vey Guest

    And I think the only ones worth a damn are destructive in that they
    destruct whatever is on the disk.
  8. mike

    mike Guest

    Ram can do this. Boot memtest86 and test the crap out of the ram.
    I've got one laptop with ONE bad ram location that turns "good"
    in a few seconds or so after it warms up. Swapping the simms so the
    "good" simm gets tested first fixed the boot problem. Pulled out most
    of my hair on that one.

    Pull the drive...maybe have to mess with the bios setup to ignore
    the fact that it's missing...boot a live linux CD. That'll eliminate
    the drive variable.

    Bios ROM can do this. Compaq Aero was famous for this. Reflashing the
    BIOS, even with the same code fixed it until next time.

    Hard drive can do this.
    Weak power supply can do this.

    Coke or anything else spilled inside can do this.
    Ditto for smokers.

    A drive that works in your desktop still may not work in the laptop.
    It's worth the experiment, but not entirely conclusive if it passes.
  9. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    Thanks Mike
  10. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    Not me () wrote in
    No, don't get far enough into the boot process to get anything on the
    screen. No error messages.
    Yes to the CD Rom and USB.
    Tested for battery issues by unplugging while it was running (to make
    sure it was holding a charge). Then tested when I had the issue; issue
    continues unchanged with a charged battery or with no battery and a power

  11. Hi Andrew,

    I don´t think, your Harddrive is the Problem. The Drive is switched on
    and off by the Computer. Maybe there is the only Problem...
    But please tell more about "The notebook dies" That is really not enough
    Did you already "google" for Memory expansion for your Notebook?
    It is nearly unbelievable that HP blocked this Possibility...

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