Hard drive purchased in US being installed in Korean HP laptop, electrical compatability

Posted on 2009-04-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a Korean Students Laptop.  Original Drive Crashed.  I purchase a US WD 160 GB notebook hard drive and installed it.

Originally and accidentally installed 64 bit vista home premium onto what I think is a 32 bit laptop.  Everything seem to work fine initially, but got a BSOD and system froze a couple of times.

I thought it was due to 64 bit vs 32 bit conflict.

I am currently installing 32 bit XP Home on it.  It has frozen once during the set up.  The hard drive seems much warmer than I would expect.

So I am now wondering about why the hard drive is so hot.  The power supply for the laptop is plugged into a USA converter.  Meaning to convert USA electricy to match Korean electricity.  ( I know it sounds likes like a kindergartens description, but I am not sure the differences in the mHz and wattage)

Would this heat up the hard drive and cause it to freeze?

Thank you.
Question by:Jerry Thompson
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Expert Comment

ID: 24087443
Hi jerlo727,

A hard drive is not suppose to get hot, it might get warm if activity is going on but it shouldn't get hot. You might have a problem with the hard drive itself, have you tried testing the hard drive to if it's bad or going bad?

Author Comment

by:Jerry Thompson
ID: 24088841
I tested the hard drive with PC Check software.  The Hard drive passed all tests.

I spoke with the Korean Student and she said the hard drive area of the computer was always hot.  So I now suspect that that is the nature of this laptop.  I also suspect that is why the previous 2 year old hard drive died.

The PC check software also told me that is is an AMD64 sempron processor.  so my concern about 64 bit on a 32 bit system was moot.

Do you think there could be an issue with the converter?

thank you.

Expert Comment

ID: 24089088
Yes, it's possible, when the previous 2 year old hard drive died, was the laptop using the USA converter?
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Author Comment

by:Jerry Thompson
ID: 24089269
Yes,  She has been here almost two school years (1.5 years).  The majority of the time was here in the states using that converter.

I think we will explore a new converter

Expert Comment

ID: 24089327
I would explore in a new converter, also is there a fan(s) or do you know if there is any fan(s) that you can see running? If you don't have any fans or if a fan died that too can burn up your hard drive do to no air flow.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 24093070
Why are you using a converter?  Korea is 220VAC @ 60Hz, correct?

The power supply (brick) should have a rating similar to this:

  switching adapter
  INPUT 100-240VAC~50/60Hz 2.0A
  OUTPUT +19.0V 8.0A

That would indicate that it can use AC mains from 100V up to 240V, at 50 _or_ 60Hz.  Power in the USA is 110VAC @60Hz.

The only thing you need to change is the cord connecting the adapter (brick) to the wall.

Using an external power converter is a waste of money.  It may introduce problems, especially if it does not offer a ground.

Accepted Solution

skywalker39 earned 65 total points
ID: 24093319
Hi aleghart,

I was thinking about this converter again, and coming to think jerlo727 doesn't really need a converter. His main concern is having heat problems.
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

aleghart earned 60 total points
ID: 24093969
Heat can contribute to premature failure (i.e. 2-years instead of 5-years).  Also, reduced battery life due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures. That's "normal" for today's portables.

That's also why Apple specifically removed the work "laptop" when the aluminum PowerBooks came out.  Left a nice red mark on your thighs.  Tech support had a standard answer for me....don't put it in your lap.

Heat buildup is worse when the user puts the portable on a pillow or blanket, or sets it on a sofa or carpet.

My HDD is currently at 33C (91F), and it's not running full speed.  Worst temp was 53C (127F).  for a free download of their S.M.A.R.T. HDD monitor app.


Author Comment

by:Jerry Thompson
ID: 24096620
More information

Thanks for the comments Aleghart.  You are correct.  I made some false assumptions that the adapter was converting electricity.  Upon further inspection, it is just an adapter to allow a 2 round prong plug to plug into the 3 prong USA outlets.

The hard drive runs very hot.  I rested the laptop on a thin thermometer and it got up to 131 deg F.

She said that that part of the computer has always been very hot.  I have to believe there is something systemically wrong with the laptop.  It runs fine other than this hot hard drive.

Thank you all for you input.  Unless someone else has keener insight, I think this is now closed.  I'll wait a day before accepting a solution.

Author Closing Comment

by:Jerry Thompson
ID: 31567503
Thank you for your input and helping me understand the situation

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