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installing a new hard drive

Posted on 2010-01-02
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my hard drive recently went bad and i'm not great with computers.  i just want to make sure that i do everything correctly, so i need some advice.  are there any free operating systems (not windows) that i can use.  also, are there any specials things that i need to know to make sure everything goes well?
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Question by:douglascarleydotcom
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by:nordtorp
ID: 26162553
When you ask for free operating systems there are a lot of them. You mention you are not that great with computers, so I would recommend something like Ubuntu. It is one of the most popular Linux distributions out.

Download a .iso file from ubuntu.com and burn it out as a CD. You will now be able to boot from it as long as you have set your computer to boot from a CD. Ask us if you wonders how.

When it comes to the hard drive, in most cases where you only have one hard drive it will only fit in two-three places. If it fits, it is okay.

In some cases you have to set master and slave on your disks. But with just one that would be no problem.

Please ask us if you have more questions.

Ubuntu Home Page
http://www.ubuntu.com/

Distrowatch
http://distrowatch.com/
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Expert Comment

by:Rick Nicholson
ID: 26163550
Why do you say "not Windows"? Because it's not free, or because you really want to migrate away from Microsoft?

Ubuntu and other Linux flavors are truly free and are great alternatives - but are generally not good options for someone who is not great with computers. Are you comfortable downloading and burning a disk image, as nordtorp suggests?

If you have a brand name PC (Dell, Gateway, HP/Compaq, etc.), you may be able to use an OEM Windows disk to legally re-install the operating system for free.

 
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Author Comment

by:douglascarleydotcom
ID: 26177417
@nordtorp
thank you very much!  i should be able to boot from the CD.  thank you for the links!

@ricknick57
i liked windows well enough.  money is very tight right now and i'm watching every penny.  i try and save where ever i can.  i've never used anything but windows though.  what makes it difficult?  my computer came with a 'HP restore plus" disk.  would that work?
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Author Comment

by:douglascarleydotcom
ID: 26177456
@nobus
thanks again!

@ all
i opened up the side panel and the hard drive is located in an inverted position toward the back.  there seems to be no easy way to get at it.  i'm going to see just how much i may have to disassemble.  i may need to take it somewhere...  the couple sites that i've found with pictures and the instructions that came with the new drive make it look easy because their virtual cases all have a nice slot at the top that the drive slides into from the front.  
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Expert Comment

by:Rick Nicholson
ID: 26177609
Hi douglas...

When you say that your hard drive went bad, what exactly happened? Did Windows stop working, or did you actually start hearing clicking noises or other symptoms from your hard drive? Are you sure that your hard drive is really physically damaged? If not, a re-install of Windows from that HP Restore disk might work for you.

Is there any chance that your computer is still under warranty? If so, HP Tech Support may talk you through the process of a re-install.

I will never bad-mouth Linux and other Open Source software, but you're really "not in Kansas anymore" when you try to transition from Windows to Linux. It can be a really daunting learning curve. If there's any way for you to re-install Windows, I'd really recommend going that route.

Rick
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by:nobus
ID: 26178176
normally you have to take both side panels off, and unscrew 2 screws on each side of the drive
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Expert Comment

by:splait
ID: 26179188
What is the model # of your HP?  Maybe we can find a DIY site for you to work from.
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Author Comment

by:douglascarleydotcom
ID: 26187587
@rick
there are no beeps, but no matter what i try to do to boot it, i get the BSOD.  i recently updated the video driver and things just kept getting worse as i tried doing things like booting in safe mode.  i tried using the restore disk and got the BSOD again.            it may be still under warrently.  i got it during the summer.  i need to look.  i can't do that until next week, though, when i get some time off work.  right now all i have time for is an hour or two looking at this to try and work with some of the solution provided and get any errands i have to do done.

@nobus
the hard drive is situated toward the front of the case with one set of mounting screws facing in toward the center of the tower and the other set obstructed by the faceplate.  it's a dumb set up.  the only reason i can see is to make room for the two bays for personal media drives.  

@splait
it is a HP pavilion M9400F




thanks everybody!
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Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 2000 total points
ID: 26188169
here your manual; replacing disk drives on page 8 :
http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c01457519.pdf
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Expert Comment

by:Rick Nicholson
ID: 26189994
Douglas,

It doesn't sound at all like you need a new hard drive. I would use HP Tech Support and have them talk you through a Windows re-installation (which you'd also have to do with a brand new hard drive...). Or, we can probably also help you to do the re-install with the Recovery disk you have....

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Author Comment

by:douglascarleydotcom
ID: 26326767
@nobus
thanks again!  i'm going to give HP support a call and then use this manual.

@rick
i'm calling now.  thank you.



sorry that i took a while.  my job put us on furlow for a while and i'm looking for another job.
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Author Closing Comment

by:douglascarleydotcom
ID: 31671990
thanks again!
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Author Comment

by:douglascarleydotcom
ID: 26333508
couldn't get old hard drive to work with tech support.  i went ahead and installed the new drive.  my sister has a college e-mail address so i got the cheap windows 7.  rick, i should have given you some points for the advice on umbuntu.  i'm sorry.  i for got that that was on this thread.

thanks everyone yet again!
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by:nobus
ID: 26334091
tx for the feedback !
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