Need help with HDD issue on Dell Inspirion 5160

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Hello, All--

I have a Dell Inspirion 5160 laptop (P4HT 2.8 / 512 / BIOS A08 / about
1.5 yrs old) that recently stopped working.  While I was playing a
DirectX game, suddenly the screen went to a blue screen with a message
that said that to protect my system, the computer was going to shut
itself off.  Of course, it didn't work when I restarted it.  I got a
message "hard disk read failure" after the (thorough) POST completed

Ok, HDD failure, I thought.

I got Dell to send me another one.  Slapped in the refurb disk they
sent--no dice.  Got the same message.

Lame.  I then ran the Dell diagnostic tests they ship on CD with their
boxes and all came up clean as far as the procesor, cache, memory, bus,
etc etc etc are concerned.  There were no tests for the HDD.

Obviously, the CD drive works because I was able to boot and run the
tests of the disk.

I'm pretty sure the HDD is getting power because the LED 'activity
indicator' lights up when the computer should be trying to access the
HDD.  Or would this indicate that the HDD controller is functional and
not indicate that there is power going to the HDD?

Any thoughts on what the problem could be?  All help appreciated.


Re: Need help with HDD issue on Dell Inspirion 5160

I suppose there is a small chance you got a bad replacement drive--that
sometimes happens with Dell.  You also might have a bad controller or maybe
a bad cable/connector.  Do you think the system might have gotten hot while
you were playing the game?  Is the new hard drive set to go or were you
supposed to format and install the OS?

This may not help, but before you go to bed, unplug it and take the battery
out so it can sit overnight.


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Re: Need help with HDD issue on Dell Inspirion 5160

Clark wrote:
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My laptop always has run a little on the warm side.  I keep the back
propped up to give the vents additioal cooling space and air flow (use
my glasses case, which also reminds me to take the case with me when I
go somewhere, saving my glasses, and the better angle saves my wrists).

Well, I don't know how the HDD was supposed to come.  I just assumed
that I would have to install the OS.  I asked for new CDs, and they
sent them, so I guess it was blank.

To format a 'new' primary drive (forgive my ignorance here, but I had
the fear of "format" instilled in me in the days of DOS 4 on our blazin
386DX 33MHz [only with turbo] with a massive 120 MB HDD and so have
never--believe it or not--formated a HDD), one would put in the Windows
CD and it would guide one through the process, yes?

I did try fdisk on my 'new' drive, but it encountered an error (and
gave that same very helpful message) and exited.

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Did that last night.  No dice.


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