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Installing an internal hard drive


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#1
peppers13

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I have a Sony Vaio desktop purchased back in 2002. Last week the hard drive completely crashed, and I have gone round and round with what to do. I have pretty much given up on recovering the data from the C partition. The D partition's data was recovered using Puppy Linux. When I tried PUDD, it damaged one partition of my external hard drive when I was trying to copy the C partition. I really had no clue what I was doing, but I figured it was worth a shot.

I was thinking of removing the bad hard drive and installing a new internal hard drive. I have never taken apart my computer, and honestly, I am afraid to do so. It would probably make more sense at this point to just purchase a new desktop. However, finances are tight, and if I could just spend $100-$150 on a new internal hard drive, that would be easier.

I do have the original restore disks and software that came with the Vaio.

Seriously, how easy would it be for a complete newbie to remove the bad drive and install a new one? If I opened the tower up, I would not even know what to look for...

Are the current internal hard drives on the market today compatible with a computer from 2002?

Sure hope someone can please help...thanks!
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#2
Tyger

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You're going to find out that it's very easy to replace a hard drive, you only have two connectors to worry about and they won't fit in the wrong way, and two to four screws holding the drive in in most cases, and one jumper setting to deal with. If the jumper on your old drive was set to cable select, most likely the case, then set the new one to that.

But before you do why don't you try putting in the recover disks and see if they will work with the old drive. You may have simply damaged the partition in some way.
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#3
peppers13

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O.K. Thanks, Tyger. That is definitely worth a try!

*edit* Everything worked like a dream. I am back in business (except for the fact that the C partition wasn't backed up since last December...my fault). The restore disks worked perfectly. I didn't think of trying them since I thought the hard drive was physically damaged. Thank you sooooooooooo much! Now, I'm downloading all the Windows updates, etc., etc. Have a great weekend!

Edited by peppers13, 02 May 2008 - 06:08 PM.

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#4
peppers13

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After painstakingly downloading all the Microsoft updates (was up till 2 last night and gave up...restarted things this morning), getting the printer driver installed, purchasing/installing AVG virus software (after reading horrible reviews about Norton), the computer sadly crashed again.

I was in the process of TRYING to uninstall some of the programs that I did not want, and I kept getting error messages ("Internal error; unable to load or call external DLL; Please contact your vendor for more information"). Then I got notice that an exe file related to AVG had crashed, and Microsoft asked if I wanted to report the error.

When I clicked to report the error, the screen went completely black, and the computer rebooted to that screen where it lists the PCI devices. At the top I saw it physically remove the "D" from "Pri Master Disk" to "Pri Master isk." Obviously, something is seriously wrong with the drive.

I tried rebooting, and this time the drive made a never-ending spinning sound and would not go past that screen.

Since this computer barely survived a lightning strike (some of the USB ports do not work), it is perhaps better to just buy a new PC at this point (or get a MAC) rather than install a new internal drive.
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#5
powerbuilder333

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My old VAIO has done the same thing. It's now on it's 3rd hard drive.
You'll need a new IDE (PATA) hard drive. They are inexpensive. I bought a 500GB IDE Seagate at Fry's for $84.99 plus tax, last month. Look for specials at Fry's if there's one close to you. Or check out frys.com, or new egg.com .
As long as you have your recovery disks, you'll be OK.
My model is a Sony Vaio PCU-RX650. If yours is similar you'll find at the back of the top cover, two latches (tabs) that you lift up. The top cover can then be slid off. That'll give you access to the side lever located at the upper right corner of the back. Pull it out. The side panel should practically fall off. Inside you'll find a drive bay (room for two hard drives) that is also lever operated. Pull the lever (I think) to slide the drive bay out. Pull off the IDE ribbon cable connector (by the connector - not the wires), and the 4 pin molex power conector. Unscrew the 2 to 4 small screws holding the hard drive in the drive bay and then smash the hard drive with a sledge hammer, and replace - lol.
Good luck. Few are less "handy" then me, so you should be fine.

Oh. Just read the lightning strike part. That opens up the possibility of many other problems.
I'm sentimental, so I'd probably try to fix it. The rational person would try to replace it.

Edited by powerbuilder333, 05 May 2008 - 02:23 AM.

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#6
peppers13

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Thanks so much, Powerbuilder. I appreciate the instructions on how to get the VAIO open. I tried last night and was very confused...saw the tabs but nothing happened. Didn't even think about sliding them. :)

The lightning strike occurred almost 3 years ago. Basically, the keyboard and mouse stopped working, the cable modem was fried, and a couple USB ports stopped working. Other than that, things were operating really well until now (obviously).

Again, I so appreciate your response. I'm quite sentimental, too, so I might try to save it. There just aren't too many things on the market today that have the features I want for a low price.
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