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replacing laptop hard drive


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#1
delawaredrew

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Hi,
My friend's Dell inspiron 8600 laptop has a bad HD and she is looking into replacing it. Dell wants to charge her $400 but I know I have found the actual Dell 60gb piece for about $140 which I would probably help her install. I'm more curious whether the "universal" drives would fit, since a little more money buys a 80gb "universal" drive.
A second question is how complex is the install? I have done a HD install in desktops several times but have never opened a laptop.
Drew
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#2
SRX660

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The only thing you really need to look at in laptop HD's is how thick they are. Most laptops now use the 9.5mm thick drives but some can fit the older 12mm drives in them. Also now they are coming out with 7200rpm drives which does speed up the system somewhat. Most drives are 5400rpm. Depending on the laptop some are easy to replace the drive and others you need to take them all apart and split the upper and lower cases apart. I havent looked at the new dell's but i have quite a few older ones. All of them have a slide out pocket on the side of the cases that makes for easy HD replacement.

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#3
delawaredrew

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I haven't looked at getting her hd out but, I have a Inspiron 8500 (her's is a 8600) and it looks like it is under a cover on the bottom. I'll post back when she makes a decision on what she wants to do. The drive is out at a shop to try to get data off of it.
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#4
delawaredrew

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another question - she says she has XP reinstallation discs. I've never installed xp on a fresh drive, does XP format fresh hard discs prior to installation?
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#5
SRX660

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Yes, Dell reinstallation disks will fdisk and format the drive and reinstall XP onto a new HD. You need to find the registration key and copy it down unless you have the sticker with the key on it.

http://www.magicalje...keyfinder.shtml

You will probably have to reregister with microsoft. Twice i have only replaced the HD and had to reregister again even tho microsoft says you can make 3 changes before reregistering.

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#6
delawaredrew

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thanks for the help -
We are looking at new drives now. The laptop still has the sticker so the key is known, if we have to call and reactivate, so be it.
Unfortunately data recovery has so far failed, I don't know yet how the recovery shop tried to do it. Prices for professional recovery are steep though and I doubt she will spend $500 or more to save her music and schoolwork. I've read about freezing the dead drive to regain access for a few minutes, so maybe I'll get to try that.
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#7
SRX660

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Too bad if you could not get the 6 sets of numbers in the real product key for the laptop. If your sticker only shows the oem id numbers windows Xp will not install. You will have to try getting Dell to give you a set of numbers that will work. I have not had any luck with Dell on this so i used a regular XP oem CD that i had to buy.

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#8
delawaredrew

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I didn't know that there was a different key from the one on the sticker. I think that she still has the whole re-install booklet and disk unopened, would that have the full key? Mine had a sticker on it with some sort of key.
I see what you mean though. The key that Magic Jellybean retrieves is not the one on my sticker either. It is 5 groups of 5 digits, but not the ones on the comp sticker or on the cd. I think I did reinstall XP on this comp once, but on the original harddrive
Whatever happens, she'll have to work it out.
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