Dell Inspiron 530 bad hard drive, maybe?

Picked up a PC to repair because it would not boot. I tried the "fix the computer" using the F8 function key but got nowhere. The hard drive is a SATA drive. Last thing I have tried was I connected the hard drive to another Vista PC and it ran a check disk on the hard drive I had just added. During step 1 of 3 it started showing this error message..."File record segment 16505 is unreadable" then 16506 and 16507 then it start rolling them off as fast as the PC could read the unreadable segments. Looks like they are all unreadable from file segment 16505 on. Does that mean the hard drive is bad? If not what can I do to get this PC going. I have some extra SATA drives lying around and the customer says that she has nothing important that she needs saved or backed up. And I have all the software that came with the PC including the OS. But here is the catch. I was originally going over there to upgrade her PC to Windows 7. OK experts, what would you do if you where in my shoes?
Thanks
bbbb2
bbbb2Asked:
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DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
Dispose of the disk drive appropriately and replace it.   The disk has demonstrated it's ability in no uncertain terms that it will gladly destroy the previous owner's data.  Why would you want to give it a chance to destroy your data?  

You can pick up a brand spankin' new 500GB drive for $50.   Is your data worth $50?  Better yet, get 2 disks and mirror them with Win7 (RAID1).   I would never use a computer that doesn't have at least RAID1 protection. My time is too valuable.

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celdridgeMadmanConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I would suggest replacement of the hard disk. As mentioned previously Hard Disk drives are very cheap now days for the amount of storage on offer, it would be a shame to try and save $50 only to have to spend 4 or 5 hours re-installing everything again later on (not even considering potential data loss factors).

If you are looking to upgrade to windows 7 in any case and there is no need to recover data off the old hard disk then I would skip the windows Vista installation and go straight to windows 7. You shouldn't run into any compatibility issues across windows vista and windows 7.
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nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
what i do in such cases is :
1-backup the data - if possible
2-run a diag on the drive - run the correct one from ubcd : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
3-if you want to try to repair the disk drive, try HDD regenerator, it saved already 3 disks for me : http://www.dposoft.net/
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davidlevans13Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I would get a new 7200 rpm SATA drive and install that.
Since you were going to upgrade to win7, and you need to have a preexisting windows install on the drive to do that, I would re-install the bare minimum of the original OS, and then do a clean install of the Windows 7 OS.
Brand new machine!
OR, if you haven't bought the Win 7 Upgrade CD, then you could buy a OEM copy of the OS when you get the drive
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B HConnect With a Mentor Commented:
i wouldn't put too much time into the drive...  although run chkdsk on it with a surface scan.

if it has bad sectors, toss it.  if not, full format it and put win7 in there.

if there's bad sectors the drive is untrustworthy.  if it's just corrupt FILES, the drive is probably fine, the guy probably just shut down abruptly and some files got corrupted and the physical drive is fine.

give him a slight discount on the extra drive you have on hand, keep his original and format it, use it for something else like an external usb drive for travelling or something

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bbbb2Author Commented:
@celdridgemadman.. Are you saying I dont have to install vista at all to run Winows Upgrade cd? I would think I would have to install vista on the new hard drive first and since I done have a copy of the full install handy and I have the upgrade right here I was going to install vista the do the upgrade. Experts, please give me your opinion.
Thanks
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davidlevans13Commented:
I read of a way to do the upgrade without a pre-existing OS but it sounded like more trouble than just letting the Vista install, having a coffee, and coming back and doing the upgrade.

I tried doing a clean install on a new bare drive with an upgrade license but it wouldn't let me do that.

So....  I did the Vista thing and Upgrade went smoothly.
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B HCommented:
this guide should help you install on bare metal with a win7 upgrade disc
http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/clean_install_upgrade_media.asp

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bbbb2Author Commented:
I have went ahead and reinstalled Vista and all the drivers are installed. I am now doing the updates. Should all the important updates be installed before upgrading to Windows Home Premium?
Thanks everyone
bbbb2
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davidlevans13Commented:
You don't need any updates or drivers or anything...  Just as long as the Windows 7 install CD sees that there was a previous windows install it will be fine.
Best bet is to boot from Win 7 CD and do a clean install.
Do not carry over anything from Vista. Don't do an inplace upgrade.
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nobusCommented:
i would first upgrade to W7 - it should have a lot of the updates already
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B HCommented:
yeah upgrading from vista to 7 is like building a new house on a 150 year old crumbling foundation with a leaky basement

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bbbb2Author Commented:
@DavidLevens13, you are confusing me. You tell me to install then upgrade and now you are saying
First you said this:I read of a way to do the upgrade without a pre-existing OS but it sounded like more trouble than just letting the Vista install, having a coffee, and coming back and doing the upgrade.

I tried doing a clean install on a new bare drive with an upgrade license but it wouldn't let me do that.

So....  I did the Vista thing and Upgrade went smoothly.
......................................................................................................................................................
 Then you said this: Best bet is to boot from Win 7 CD and do a clean install.
Do not carry over anything from Vista. Don't do an inplace upgrade
Its to late now. I install vista and then upgraded to 7. Seems to be running fine. Thanks to everyone for there imput.
bbbb2
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davidlevans13Commented:
Well, I may not have been very clear in my advice but you did  what I was intending to suggest..
The only difference might have been.... when the Vista was installed ( as it was) there is still an option to do a clean install. As long as the install software found a pre-existing Windows install( the vista) then it would allow you to use your upgrade.
If you have any troubles, you could still do a clean install over the Windows 7 install.

I am glad it worked out for you. Sorry I wasn't more precise in my instructions.
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bbbb2Author Commented:
Thanks for all the suggestions and sorry for the slow resounse.
bbbb2
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