Replacing a faulty hard drive

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I have a friend whose computer is not working. He sent his 4 year old
computer running Windows ME back to the manufacturer for analysis. My friend
told me that the manufacturer said, "The hard drive is faulty causing other
components to become obsolete. We recommend that you upgrade your tower unit
from 299".

I was slightly surprised that they never mentioned upgrading the hard drive
and a bit puzzled by their statement. I would be interested in anyone's
comments on this. Why would a hard drive failure affect other components?

If he does upgrade his hard drive, will the new hard drives being sold
operate in a computer over 4 years old?


Re: Replacing a faulty hard drive

On Tue, 19 Jul 2005 07:35:47 +0100, "Phil"

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That sounds a lot like a translation by someone who doesn't
speak english natively, and could be a slight bit factual
(about the drive failing) or might be nonsense.

It's a bit incredible that it was sent to the manufacturer
when 4 years old.  Did it have an extended warranty or is
this user in some remote outpost in outer space so there is
no closer technician?

Manufacturers (at least resonably large OEMs) are not
particularly adept at troubleshooting failed systems.  They
don't take a "what's wrong" approach so much as a "replace
some parts and see if that helps" approach.  Problem with
that approach is that when a box gets older, and due to the
typical OEM part price markup, it's usually not viable, not
cost-effective to have this type of repair work done.

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IF it's only the hard drive, it wouldn't.  One problem now
is that no matter what the initial problem was, another
party has been mucking around inside the box and without a
working hard drive, operating system, and/or whatever is
necessary to get it working right again, they can't very
well be sure they haven't caused any further problems.  For
example, leaving it unplugged such that the now-aged battery
has drained too much, or shifting a card, not installing
memory fully or who-knows-what.  It's very useful after
doing any work to be SURE the box works immediately

Even so, a competent shop could shove another hard drive in
just long enough to test that aspect, or just boot something
from floppy or CDR (for example Knoppix Live).  That is not
so likely to happen with a manufacturer.

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Sometimes a motherboard bios update is necessary to support
the capacity of a larger drive.  Being 4 years old, no
older, it is likely to support at least up to 128GB HDD, if
not before the bios update then afterwards (but likely
before).  Therefore, you should be able to replace it with a
120GB (common size less than 128GB) EIDE/ATA (ATA100 or
ATA133) drive.  The motherboard may not support the max ATA
mode the drive does, for example ATA133, but the drive will
be backwards compatible and operate at the max speed the
motherboard supports.

If you had detail on the specific motherboard make, model,
and perhaps a link to the (motherboard) manufacturer's
product page that might provide useful information.

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