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Thread: Some techy advice please......I need to replace the HD in the old boys computer

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    Some techy advice please......I need to replace the HD in the old boys computer

    but I cant work out what to replace it with exactly......the dying HD is a st3500418as ata......which as far as I can tell no longer available..... so what should I get instead? There must be a "next model".....He doesn't have the budget to buy another computer atm so replacing the HD seems logical......I am pretty sure I can work out how if I know what HD to buy lol! Doesnt hurt to try!
    Gotta go to work now
    cheers
    Jan

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Do you know what connections your motherboard has? Depending on it's age it could have a range of connection types for HDD, from IDE, ATA, SATA to eSATA.

    Once you know what connection options you have, then we can assist more.
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    Google is your friend - that model number looks like a 500Gb SATA HDD.
    See Ebay http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Seagate-S...-/250856864911
    Any HDD with SATA connections should fit so you can upgrade capacity.

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    Another thing to consider, depending on the old boys computer use, is getting 2 hard drives, (they are cheap these days) and once everything is installed and running, back it up, to the second drive. Comes in handy if you ever need to restore it. Set a regular backup schedule too. But if he only uses it for email, playing games etc, he may not have much that he cares about if the HDD dies in the future. but for me, having a good backup plan is necessary part of having a computer

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    pretty sure it is SATA......this looks like it could be the replacement? Seagate Barracuda 7200 500 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 16 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST500DM002 http://www.pcmarket.com.au/24741_Sea...-ATA-6.0Gb.php Is this a good place to buy online? I cant see me shopping with the 12 year old who built the computer Far easier to order online lol
    Thanks
    Jan
    as she is running out the door!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    pcmarket has been around for quite a few years now and has a good rep. but try www.shopbot.com.au and type in the exact drive details and you might find it cheaper somewhere else as well

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    Go bigger than 500GB, hard drives are cheap. Step up from 500GB to 1TB should only be about $15 more and you get double the capacity (or from somewhere else a bigger drive may be cheaper). For example, Seagate 1TB ST31000524AS SATA can be sourced from www.umart.com.au for $79 plus shipping. I've been using UMart for years, rate them very highly.

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    Personally, I would say get a 2TB drive. Better value per MB.
    Matt.

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    Hi Jan,

    just to be sure you fully understand, you don't have to get yourself another 500Gb Seagate drive.

    Any brand of SATA drive will do the job, and if you only have the one already installed, there should be at least one more SATA port available to plug in another drive, with the current drive alreadyu in situ.

    So far, in my relentless pursuit of value for money drives, I've found that the Samsung 1Tb drive, model number HD103SJ (it has to be an SJ model not the SI model) is one of the fastest and best value for money drives available(as a main drive for the OS).

    Because you're looking to replace the main drive, speed is handy in that it will help the OS and apps to load quicker. That is load quicker not necessarily run more speedily.
    How you allocate your data on the drive(s) is important for both PC performance and application speed too.

    Another hard drive of note, that I also recently purchased, is the Western digital WD2002FAEX drive and it is slightly faster, but of course much more expensive being a 2Tb drive.

    2Tb is far too large for a OS and apps hard drive, and for overall performance, I'd recommend having two 1Tb drives, where the OS and all apps are located, and another for all other data, including all personal data, as a backup drive in the PC.

    Just a quick flick through some of my regular PC prices links, a Samsung 1Tb F3 drive(that I recommended earlier) can be had to about $70 a pop, whereas the WD 2Tb drive, sells for approx $200 or thereabouts(I got mine for $180 from a store).

    MSY always seem to have about the best prices you can find, but the problem I've found with them, is that they can't or don't always stick the particular model you want.
    You're always best off going into one of their stores and distinctly asking for the particular model you want.
    (this happened to me when I built my current PC, where they only had this Samsung HD103SI model, and I wanted the SJ model. I bought it anyhow, as I needed a drive there and then, but eventually found two of the SJ models to add into the PC as well.

    FWIW: I also have one of the Samsung 2Tb 'green' hard drives and by comparison to my faster drives, it's woefully slow(as an internal drive)

    But all this really means, is that as a USB3 or eSATA external drive, it works quite well. These are very cheap, run very cool due to their slower rotation speed, and the USB3/eSATA link speed is about perfect for them.

    I've played around with various combinations and permutations of which drive works best in what position, and the faster drives, connected directly onto the motherboard works best if it's a fast drive.

    theoretically the eSATA link is supposed to be as fast as a regular SATA link, and you could easily run your PC from this, and not have an internal drive, but my testing has found that this is not the case, it's runs at about 3/4 of the speed of the internal SATA connection.

    If it's just one drive you're after for the ol boy's PC, then for value for money the HD103SJ is about as good as you will find.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    PC market seems to call their HD103SJ drive the F2, where Samsung call it the F3.

    Just a minor note, but the drive model is the important bits.....

    Samsung-Spinpoint-F2-HD103SJ

    This is the one!

    Of course you can get it cheaper from elsewhere, but then you have to add in freight, where PCMarket have already included this in their (higher price).

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    just to re-iterate what's already said about backing up and multiple hdds;

    Buy as much storage space as you can afford x 2.
    it's nice to be able to get a 2tb hdd at reasonable prices (~$100) but your data shouldn't fall in the 'all my eggs in one basket' category.

    so, no matter the size of hdd you're going to purchase, get 2 identical hdds; one for normal use and one to backup your files to, regularly.

    I usually have 3 hdd on the go; 1 little one [~40gb] for the Operating System [Microsoft, Apple or Linux distro], 1 for my data and 1 for backup.

    the more worried you are about the thought of losing data, the more important your need for a backup hdd. After all, ~$100 is a lot cheaper than a yelling/screaming episode with someone you love ;-)

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    Their very expensive for a 500g hard drive when you can get a 2tb from here for $89 or 500gb for $49.
    Keith.

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    Gosh you guys are a mine of information
    Ok I think I have this.....2 x HD's are better than 1......he could then be taught to back up his files There should be room in the box to put 2 x hard drives......I am assuming? I haven't opened the box as yet......The dust! The dust!
    What if I put 1 in and then backed up his stuff and the put in another one? Mirror imaged the damaged one??
    He runs Turbo Cad on Vista but I have copies of some of my stuff on his computer that dont need to be there
    cheers
    Jan

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    In general, PC's will have at least room for two, but there are some caveats.

    A while back, I was asked to fix my sister's PC, and it turned out to be affected with some HDD corruption(on an old 200G drive).
    Normally this isn't an issue, but the files that got corrupted were Windows system files. She'd filled the hard drive up and stuff got corrupted in a cleaning effort or whatever.

    The problem was that I'd taken the PC home, it was a HP pavilllion of some kind, and the drive bays had some proprietary HDD mechanism, that required these specific retaining clips to hold the hard drives in place.
    Never seen them before, but the case design was such that the usual and standardised side screw system of attaching hard drives wouldn't work. The drives had to have these HP retaining clips.
    Very annoying in that there was room for a second drive, but no way to fix it in place.
    Idiots! at the least they could have inserted another pair of these clips so that if the owner wanted too, they could add a second drive.
    Most cases will come with a full complement of any proprietary hard drive retaining accessories(Antec cases do).

    For my sis, I gave her one of my external USB drives to use as the backup space.

    Open it up, and check for room and if it requires any special retaining accessories to mount extra drives. The retaining accessories will be fixed to the sides of the hard drive.
    If the hard drive doesn't require any special retaining devices, then it should simply screw into the holes provided inside the case chassis.

    Another small note. My 2Tb WD hard drive didn't come with the four screws that are used to mount the hard drive into the case, but all(5) Samsung drives that I've so far purchased all have.
    Can't remember is Seagate or other brands provide the screws, and for me it;s never a problem as I have hundreds of them lying around the place. Just be warned if you purchase a hard drive.

    Is the PC a 'manufacturer' based system?(ie. Dell/HP/Compaq/etc) or is it a grey box built PC from a PC store? 99.99% of grey box systems.. such as from the likes of MSY/Scorptech/CentreCom/etc, all use cases that are built to standardised specs.

    If you manage to get the PC running for an hour or so without any possibility for hard drive issues and hence no possibility for data corruption on the hard drive, the easiest way to reinstall a Windows PC onto a new hard drive is to do a Windows System Image backup/restore.
    I think Win Vista is similar to Win7(which I have), but in the Control Panel, there may be a Backup and Restore tool. In that there may be an option to create a System Image. Can take an hour or more to do this, and the image you are making needs to be written to a separate drive. That is, you create a system image of the C: drive, and if you install the new drive whilst the old drive is in place, and you subsequently get an F: drive, you direct the system image tool to save the System Image on this F: drive.
    You then remove the C: drive from the PC, leaving only the F: drive connected and when you install the OS again, instead of a standard PC install, you go to the advanced menu in the install routine as the PC is booting up from the install DVD, and there is an option to restore from a system image.

    I've had both success and failure in doing this, where the first two times I did it, it worked a treat and my PC was ready to go again in about 10mins and exactly as I left it after installing OS and my main software.
    But only last weekend I completely stuffed something up when I reverted back to Win7 on my tablet and the System Image I created wasn't recognised even tho I could see it there on the hard drive.
    But this last instance was most likely completely my fault, as I moved the folder that Windows had written the System image too.

    One issue with System Imaging tho is that if you have any corrupted data in the Windows folders, they will also be transferred to the next hard drive. So if it's not too much of a pain, you may be better off doing a fresh install anyhow. But of course only you know this and how well the PC is running.
    If you choose the fresh install method, then once you've installed your core software and are happy with this as a basic start point.. that is the software you know you are going to use, and you have the PC running cleanly, it's wise to then connect a second drive, or even a third drive, and do this System Image backup thingo, and place it onto this other drive for posterity.
    One thing about System Image too, as you suddenly remember that 'Oh .. I forgot this program too', the System Image tool annotates the current backup image with the new software on the PC to the system image you've already started, instead of writing a completely new System Image.
    I think there's a ton of info about it on the M$ website if you choose to follow it up.

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    Many thanks Arthur! His comp is a grey box model built by a 12 yr old in one of the local shops. I am pretty sure there will be room for another HD......I will order the parts and probably have a play this weekend.....unfortunately I am having a couple of health issues.......if they come to the fore I am just gonna send him and his computer to " the man " even tho I would prefer to fix it myself. I may run short of time
    The system is still running well and I dont think it would be an issue to mirror the drive...... but then maybe a fresh install would be less troublesome
    The amount of info freely available on the net amazes me sometimes and I am quite happy to research and ask questions. I do appreciate your help and advice
    cheers
    Jan

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