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better HDD for Inspiron 1525

Posted on 2011-09-07
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the laptop currently has wdc wd3200bevt-75zct2 , but have to be replaced.

could you give ideas/suggestions for a nice hdd- perhaps with more stable & quality hdd than the above?
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Question by:25112
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Reece Dodds earned 67 total points
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Spend a little bit extra if you are not needing the storage capacity and upgrade to a Corsair/OCZ or Intel SSD.  The performance increase will astound you.

Or a Seagate or Hitachi 7200RPM HDD will do the job fine.  Both have good and easy to use warranty services.
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by:LHFoods
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Upgrading to a 7200 RPM drive in my wife's Inspiron a few years back was like a night and day difference.  The WD "Black" series of drives seem to be the best performers and most reliable drives these days in our environment.

Good Luck!
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by:garycase
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Both of the above comments are spot on.

First, you'll notice a VERY nice performance gain by switching to a 7200rpm drive.   The WD Scorpio Black drives are excellent -- you can get a nice 750GB unit for $110:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136835

... that's your best option if you want to preserve capacity.

Second, if you don't need the high capacity, you could get a MUCH better performance improvement, along with higher reliability, lower power, and lower power consumption, by switching to an SSD.    But the cost/GB is MUCH higher with these ... a good 120GB unit is $174:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227590
... and higher capacity drives can be MUCH more.

For most applications, I'd recommend the 750GB Scorpio Black.

Note:   You can get even better performance by using the Scorpio Black, but limiting the partition to about 1/2 of the drive size (e.g. 375GB).    This "wastes" half the drive ... but keeps the entire OS partition on the outer cylinders, where performance is best.    You can still make a 2nd partition on the rest of the drive -- use it for backups; images; etc. ... or just to store stagnant data where performance is less important.
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by:McRonis
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For god sake, don't go with OCZ SSD drives, they are very very unreliable. Those SSD are dying like flies
Better take a look to Crucial M4 SSD drives, they are very fast, with new firmware they have the same speed as sandforce based SSD, which one can push like 400 - 500MB/s .
The best place to read reviews is newegg.
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by:25112
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OK-

if going with 7200rpm, what is sata vs sata2 vs sata3?
what we have is 3200rpm, right? is speed the only difference or quality also?

we need some more space, and hence ssd may not be best choice at this point..
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by:McRonis
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Take a look to Seagate Momentus XT drives, they are reliable and relatively fast, and they got 7200RPM, 32MB cache.
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by:25112
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the below is what is on the laptop..

does the new hdd be exactly partitioned for dell to recognize (by its tools and dll).
1.jpg
2.jpg
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by:25112
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it has 4 partitions now.. (but i see only 2 - C and D)
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by:McRonis
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Partitions are done when you installing OS or in Windows using Disk Management.
You can't see the rest because they are not formatted and mounted. You can do this in "Disk Management"
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by:25112
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when i am running DELL DVD, will it ask me and give me these options or will it put it all in C and do these alter with Disk management?
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by:McRonis
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When you are installing Windows, you can do the partitioning in there, or do the same thing when your windows is installed.
For example, you got 250GB HDD and you need 4 partitions, and you decide to install Windows Vista, in meanwhile, the setup will ask you to format HDD. 1st partition will be used for Windows itself, let say 50GB. Then, you hdd will have 200GB free space. You install the Windows, when setup is completed, you go to Disk Management and setup as many partition as you need, let say, another 50GB for Backups, another 50GB for file sharing within local network, and the last 100GB for personal docs & files.

But don't forget - If you will make partition 250GB while you are installing windows, you won't be able to make additional partitions on that HDD, because no free space available
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by:garycase
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Your current drive has 4 partitions, just like you've noted.    There's no unpartitioned space ... but two of the partitions are "hidden", so you don't see them in Explorer.

Assuming you haven't modified the original configuration, you have a diagnostic partition, a recovery partition, your OS partition (C:), and the 4th is likely a Media Direct partition (hard to say for sure from what you've shown above).

If you want to preserve all of the Dell functionality (diagnostics partition; restore partition; etc.) then it's best to use a tool that will clone your old disk, rather than copying individual partitions.    It's not necessary to do this -- you could simply install Windows from scratch on the new disk (assuming you have a Windows installation DVD) ... so it's your choice which way to proceed.

Once you clone your old disk, you can move the last partition to the end of the disk using any good partition management tool [I like Boot-It for this];  and then resize the OS partition to use the rest of the space on the disk.

... but since you have a Dell installation DVD, you may want to simply install Windows from scratch and not bother with the additional partitions (there's no real need for them).

You're not going to use an SSD, but just a comment r.e. OCZ SSD's:   I've used 4 of the Vertex-2 and Vertex-3 drive, and they've been exceptionally reliable.   OCZ did have some firmware issues a couple years ago, but those are LONG past.    I've also go a Crucial M4 and an Intel 320 ... both of these are also very good drives.   I'd recommend any of these units for those considering SSDs.

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by:25112
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we had WD, and if that brand is decent, and 320 GB is what we have and that will suffice..

could you comment if this is optimal:
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Scorpio-Notebook-WD3200BEKT/dp/B001CO3EKQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1315495668&sr=8-2

is this different/better than what I already have?
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by:garycase
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Yes, that's an excellent unit.    It's not the same as what you have.    Your current drive is a 5400rpm unit;  the Scorpio Black is a 7200rpm unit with much better access time and transfer rates, and a 5-year warranty.    It's the exact same size, so if you elect to clone your old drive, there's nothing else to do r.e. restructuring the partitions.
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by:25112
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> >>
... but since you have a Dell installation DVD, you may want to simply install Windows from scratch and not bother with the additional partitions (there's no real need for them).

this is assuming we will not need DELL assistance from its tools, right?
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by:25112
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Gary; that is a great idea about the clone...

so in general, with WD, is the blue 'entry-level' and black scorpio more 'up-scale'.

quality wise, would both be same? (both have same chance for failure or breakdown?)

is the 5 year warranty bettering than the blue or the blue also has 5 years?
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by:garycase
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The black are notably better drives than the blue series.
(the blues are warrantied for 3 years -- and also have appreciably higher failure rates)

.... as for needing "assistance from the Dell tools" => the diagnostics in the diagnostics partition are the exact same diags you can download and burn to a bootable CD.
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by:25112
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great-

1)if i just use the dell DVD and crate a fresh OS install, and forget about the 3 other partitions, I am good to go, right? (I am not obligated to dell in altering the HDD as I like, right?)

1b)can diag, recov, mediadirect all be downloaded into cd?

2)>>You're not going to use an SSD, but just a comment r.e. OCZ SSD's

so, from your experience, you would never say SSD has proved to be unreliable? how do you understand some people's experience that they did not have a reliable SSD. Also, what kind of consumers are best suited for SSD?

3)the reason for moving from blue to (potentially) black HDD is blue is damaged (dell diag error code 0142 ) disk. the laptop is out of warranty, and hence considering upgrade. if we do a clone and move data of c drive to the black drive, will it be void of any disturbances from the bad sectors? i am assuming the error code confirms that the OS files are ok, and that it is just the blue drive.
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by:Reece Dodds
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I have built over 10 systems with SSD's of various quality and capacities.  I have also installed SSD's into laptops to replace the HDD.   So far, ALL feedback I have received is really really good.  I'm using Corsair Force series SSD's.  

A typical consumer that would use an SSD is one who is looking for fast boot-up and program loading and is not likely to need significant storage.  
If you need storage, yet still want "better-than-average" performance, seriously consider a hybrid hard drive (eg:http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/internal-storage/momentus-xt-kit/)...  and the price/GB is better than an SSD, but not quite as good as a HDD.
If money really is the decision maker, just go for the Scorpio Black drive as people have suggested.

A fresh-is-best install would be the best option, and if you are currently using Vista on the laptop, you'd be a nutter not to spend an extra $100 and get Windows 7.  Your biggest performance increase will be noted there!  
And... if you get a 2.5" SATA external USB case or a SATA-USB adapter, you can just receover data from your old drive once you have teh new one set up... (don't forget to run a Belarc Advisor profile on the old hdd before uninstalling it, this way you get a list of all  the software - and licenses, hardware, and network settings).
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by:garycase
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"... 1) if i just use the dell DVD and crate a fresh OS install, and forget about the 3 other partitions, I am good to go, right? (I am not obligated to dell in altering the HDD as I like, right?)"

==>  Yes, you're good to go.   There's no obligation to maintain the disk structure from the original disk.   As long as you have an installation DVD, you can simply install from that to a clean partition

"... 1b) can diag, recov, mediadirect all be downloaded into cd? "  ==>  Yes, No, Yes :-)    You can download the diagnostics and create a bootable CD if needed.    You can also download and install Media Direct.    You cannot recreate the recovery partition => but quite frankly, it's FAR better to (a) install a fresh copy of the OS;  get it fully up-to-date;  install your programs and get everything configured the way you like it;  and then (b) make an Image of the fully configured system and save that image on an external drive (or set of DVDs).     Then if you ever need to restore you system, you simply restore that image -- and instead of the system being reverted to the original factory state (out-of-date; none of your programs installed; etc.) it's exactly the way you want it, with all programs intact, etc.    An image on external media also provides you with insurance against a failed hard drive -- a restore partition kept on the same drive clearly is of no use if the drive fails.

r.e. SSDs ==>  Early SSDs definitely had some reliability issues; particularly the multi-layer cell units (MLC) -- which is most of the drives.  (single-layer cells are much more expensive)

Modern units are FAR more reliable, and when used with an operating system that supports TRIM (e.g. Windows 7) the write deterioration issues of the previous generation are history.    Any of the better units are fine -- the only real downside is the cost [For example, a 300GB SSD would cost you over $500 ... compared to ~ $55 for a 320GB Scorpio Black]

r.e. cloning your failed drive.    Since the drive has known problems, I would NOT clone the OS.   If you can still boot to it and read your data, I would back all of the data up to an external drive, and then swap drives and do a clean install.    Definitely buy a Black series drive -- they are FAR more reliable than the blue series (that's true for both the laptop series drives and the desktop drives).
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by:coredatarecovery
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Is do a fresh install on a seagate hybrid, 500/8 for 99.00 is a great solution, tons of space, good speed a well. I've got one in my 1545 and love it.
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by:Jim-R
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When it comes to opinions on hard drives, they are like pick up trucks in red neck country.  Everybody's got one.

I personally have had bad luck with Seagate drives ever since they had the firmware problem.  One drive in particular has failed 3 times and I gave up on sending it back because I've already paid for a new one in freight charges.  I told them they could have it if they emailed me a shipping label, but they didn't bother.  The drive is under warranty until 2013, and they didn't even want it back for free.

Now when I buy a hard drive, I go for the Western Digital Black series and I buy it from a place that offers over the counter immediate replacement for a nominal fee.  I get a brand new drive, not a re manufactured one and I don't have to wait to get it.  They take the old drive into the back of the store and when it tests bad, they hand you a new one.  No more repaired / re manufactured drives for me.  It seems they are just some one elses' problems.
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by:25112
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reecem27, thanks for the Belarc Advisor idea.. will the problematic drive currently in use give any trouble if used with a 2.5" SATA external USB case or a SATA-USB adapter?
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by:25112
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r.e. cloning your failed drive.    Since the drive has known problems, I would NOT clone the OS.   If you can still boot to it and read your data, I would back all of the data up to an external drive, and then swap drives and do a clean install.    Definitely buy a Black series drive

Gary, are you recommending the black drive for the external drive?
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by:25112
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Jim-R, good idea - which stores do this service for you?
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by:Jim-R
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I deal with Memory Express in Calgary AB, but they have other locations in Edmonton, AB, Richmond, BC, and Winnipeg, MB.

Their Web Site, I think, is the easiest for finding what you're after.  They have it so logically organized for people that know anything about hardware and their prices are amongst the best around.  Take for example:

Western Digital 750GB Scorpio Black 7200rpm SATA II w/ 16MB Cache 2.5" Laptop Drive for $125.98 including $15.99 for a Four year Instant Replacement Plan.  The 500GB version of the same 7200RPM Scorpio Black series drive would run you $79.98 including $9.99 for the Four year IPR.

They have a flat rate shipping charge of $5.99 for orders under $250.00 any where in Canada save for the remote locations where delivery always costs more.
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by:garycase
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"... Gary, are you recommending the black drive for the external drive? " ==>  No, I was suggesting the Scorpio Black for your replacement internal drive.    The external drive can be anything you happen to have ... if you're buying one from scratch I'd get a WD MyBook, which generally use the low-power green series drives internally.
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by:25112
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thanks-

could anyone also answer this last one:

will the problematic drive give any trouble if used with a 2.5" SATA external USB case or a SATA-USB adapter? (if it is not the OS drive anymore but just another drive on the usb, will its problems be any less?
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by:garycase
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If the drive is working, you can easily access it with a SATA-USB bridge.   The only issue is you may have to "take ownership" of the file structure to gain access to the files (easy to do, but exactly how depends on the OS you're running).

If the drive has failed and/or has bad sectors, it's more complex.   You may need to use a good data recovery program to recovery what you can.    But first try a simple USB bridge device and see if there's a problem before worrying about the next steps.
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by:25112
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OK- but if it has problems, you would recommend backing the data asap, and not consider keeping it for long term?

(
1.it crashes when used as the OS drive.. would you expect the same if it is not the OS drive anymore?
2.regardless of if it is in laptop or in bridge or usb, it has same chance of crashing again,right?
)
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by:garycase
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Crashing could be a corrupted OS or a bad drive.

In either event, I would certainly backup your data ASAP ... you should, of course, always have good backups;  but particularly when you have a troublesome drive it's time to be sure those are VERY current, as you could lose the drive permanently at any time.

If the issue is a corrupted OS, then when you connect the drive as a 2nd drive and reformat it all may be well.    If the problem is with the drive, then I'd toss it.    Once you don't need the data anymore, download WD's free Data Lifeguard diagnostic, and run the Quick Test, then the Extended test;  then Write Zeroes on the drive; and repeat the Extended test.    If these all work well, the drive is fine.    If you get errors, toss the drive.
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by:25112
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you have helped me with v good choice
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