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October 10, 2009

Replace Laptop Hard drive

I decided that I'd go ahead and replace the hard drive on my Sony Vaio VGN-SZ120P laptop. I've not been pleased with how it's performing lately. When I was in Mississippi, I could not get it to boot up at all. I believe it was the humidity though because, when I got back to Colorado, it worked fine. It scared me bad enough that I ordered a new hard drive and copied all my files onto my new WD Sharespace as soon as I got home. But then, I never did get around to installing the new laptop hard drive because...well...it started working and I was traveling and I really didn't feel like messing with it. (Sometimes, it's wise to let sleeping dogs lie).

But now that I'm planning an extended romp down through the Mexican desert, I figured that I'd better get the laptop all torqued up because, if I get down there and my drive crashes, and I lose 20,000 images, I'd be seriously bummed.

So, I went ahead and yanked out my laptop hard drive following these directions. The directions were perfect except for when they talked about popping the keyboard...my tabs were at the top, not on the sides, but I figured it out. In any event, I got the drive swapped, now I'm reinstalling the O/S. Pray for me.

OK. Basically following these directions, I created a partition of 76317MB on the drive. I decided to go with "Format the partition using the NTFS file system" instead of the "Format the partition using the NTFS file system (Quick)" option because I wanted to scan the new drive for bad sectors.

OK. That got Windows XP Pro SP2 installed. But, no drivers. So, it would boot into XP, but nothing much worked. Video wasn't optimized. Couldn't connect to internet. So, I downloaded my drivers and burned them onto a CD and then installed the drivers. That got me connected to the internet via wired and wireless connections and fixed my video.

Then, I installed Firefox, IrFanView, TweakUI, ImageResizer, and AVG.

Now, I'm noticing that I don't have any sound. So, I installed my modem drivers and that got the sound working. Then I activated my copy Windows XP by entering the product key on the bottom of the laptop.

Now I realize that somehow I managed to set up my hard drive as the E drive instead of the C drive. The drive I replaced was a Seagate Momentus 5400.2 100 GB Model ST9100824AS. The new drive is a Hitachi 80 GB Model HTS541680J9SA00 from SEP 07.

So, when I get time, I'll try to figure out how to change it to be my C: drive, but I really don't have time to deal with it right now. I've got too many fish to fry.

Hmmm. I can't install my Garmin Trip & Waypoint Manager MapSource CD, because it's expecting a C: drive.

I tried to change the drive to be the C: drive following these directions, but it didn't work because "Changing the drive letter of the system volume or the boot volume is not a built-in feature of the Disk Management snap-in." Hmmm.

I'm going to try going into the BIOS to see if it says anything about how it assigns drive letters. I was thinking that it might be a jumper on the new hard drive, but I'm not even clear that the new drive has jumpers.

OK. This is driving me nuts. I went into the BIOS and there's nothing to do there. It's something with this stupid drive, I've decided. So, I went to Hitachi's hard drive website. The drive is obsolete, of course, and not listed. But I believe it's called a Travelstar 5k160.

The only thing that I can figure it's related to the jumper settings on the drive. But no, this is a SATA drive and there are no jumpers.

The problem has to be something with the fact that it sees the other drives first, for whatever reason. It sees my stupid Sony memory card drive, and then my DVD drive, and then maps this stupid hard drive after them for some reason. OMG this sucks!

I've actually started to completely reformat the drive more than once. But, when I go in there, it says "c:\windows\..." That's the installation that it sees. So what I don't get is why does the installation (under DOS) say c: and then windows says "e:". That's what I don't get. Drives me nuts, I can assure you. Anyone with a lick of sense would throw the fvcking thing in the trash and pick up the phone and call Dell. But, as Will once observed, I can't stand to let a computer get the best of me.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 10, 2009 at 11:18 PM


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