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Help! How best to replace Dell laptop hard disk?

Help! How best to replace Dell laptop hard disk?

Old Dec 11, 10, 6:30 pm
  #1  
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Help! How best to replace Dell laptop hard disk?

Well my previously trusty Dell XPS 15 got knocked onto the floor of the plane, and has since been churning out I/O errors on about a third the drive and freezing for half an hour at a time. Attempts at chkdsk, reformat and reimage have all been dismal failures

Data is backed up, but I think I might need to get a new disk put in there.

It was purchased 11 months ago in Australia, but I'm in the US for the next month at least (NYC), so warranty probably won't help unless Dell provides an intl service.

My question is, does anyone have any experience with getting a new disk? Is it even possible to pop the hood? And should I go to a Dell store (are there any?) or will any computer shop be able to help?


I appreciate any advice! I miss my computer
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Old Dec 11, 10, 9:58 pm
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Go to support.dell.com, enter your service code (it's on your machine on a tag), and find the service manual. Start there. If you post any more questions, try to post more specific model info so we can look it up also.

Anyway, once you figure out the type of drive you need, we can find a place for you to pick one up. I'm guessing you need some sort of 2.5" SATA notebook hard drive.

Do you have the backups with you, what about the install disks? If you don't have the install disks with you, or media that lets you boot and restore from your backups, well, you will need to deal with that too.

-David

Last edited by LIH Prem; Dec 11, 10 at 10:08 pm
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Old Dec 11, 10, 9:59 pm
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I changed the hdd in my Dell Inspiron the day after I bought it -- since I wanted a 7200 rpm drive with g-protection, which Dell did not sell at the time. Trivially easy to do, just loosen one screw on the back (even marked with an icon of a hard drive, looks like a cylinder). Presume the XPS case is similar if not better. Most computer stores will change it for you, often for free, when you buy a drive from them. About USD 50 will get you a better drive than it came with. Be sure to get one of the "better" drives which will shut down when detecting imminent shock, and protect the platter. Mine has survived a dozen drops of 1 m with no problems.

You might want to get an external USB case for another USD 10 so you can access the old/new drives simultaneously, and transfer the working 2/3 of the drive over.
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Old Dec 12, 10, 12:08 am
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OP, here is a video from CMS Products showing the step by step procedure for replacing a hard drive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALCxCav15Lg You do not need to buy their hardware to use this procedure. Also, you can ignore the data transfer parts of the video if your original drive is shot.

A while back I needed not only a replacement HD for a Toshiba but also the "frame," screws and connectors. I called Spare Parts Warehouse and they had everything I needed. The website says they handle Dell as well.
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Old Dec 12, 10, 5:57 am
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Reinstall required

If you replace the disk you will need to re-install the operating system and your backup tool (to retrieve your backup) unless your backup was done with a full-image tool. Do you have the requisite software/disks with you? If not you will probably need to get them sent to you.

/dnastudios
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Old Dec 12, 10, 7:22 am
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Since your laptop was made in the last few years it would take a bare 2.5" SATA drive. You can get a 500 GB one for well under $100 USD now.
You should use something like acronis true image to mirror your hard drive.
Or you can do a clean install from the original software disks that came with your computer, then transfer data over. You will also need a cable or hard drive enclosure so you can access the data or to clone the data on to.
Usually there is a door on the back of dells where the hard drive is that can be accessed with a small philips screwdriver.
Here are some links to a US web order supplier since I don't know where you get these things in Australia but I'm sure you can find them there.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=1&name=2.5%22
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-002-_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCateg...op-Hard-Drives
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Old Dec 12, 10, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by LIH Prem View Post
Go to support.dell.com, enter your service code (it's on your machine on a tag), and find the service manual. Start there. If you post any more questions, try to post more specific model info so we can look it up also.
I'll second this. Dell has it's advantages and its disadvantages but Dell's strongest, number one advantage in the laptop market is that they put really good, top notch, quality service manuals on-line. Once you find your on-line manual on dell.com they will have pictures with arrows and diagrams of each and every screw and connector you must remove and replace. Step A.... Step B....... Really easy. Assuming your data is backed up, just buy a compatible hard drive. Replace. Reinstall windows with your Dell "restore" media. Re-setup.
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Old Dec 12, 10, 11:26 am
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If none of that works for you I'd recommend these guys if you want it professionally done
http://www.tekserve.com/

they're awesome with computers.
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Old Dec 12, 10, 11:35 am
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And remember - in most cases, you do not need to buy an internal drive - you can usually just get a portable external one, pop it open, and take the drive out. More often than not, this will also be cheaper.
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Old Dec 12, 10, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
And remember - in most cases, you do not need to buy an internal drive - you can usually just get a portable external one, pop it open, and take the drive out. More often than not, this will also be cheaper.
Really? A bare OEM drive is more expensive than the same drive in a portable enclosure?
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Old Dec 12, 10, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by nerd View Post
Really? A bare OEM drive is more expensive than the same drive in a portable enclosure?
I dunno where he's shopping....
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Old Dec 13, 10, 4:10 pm
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Tekserve is Mac shop.

Originally Posted by armattheus View Post
If none of that works for you I'd recommend these guys if you want it professionally done
http://www.tekserve.com/

they're awesome with computers.
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Old Dec 13, 10, 4:12 pm
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I've seen some USB drives that are cheaper than a bare drive but once you crack the case you void the warranty. If you shop around or know where to look you can get a better deal on a bare drive.


Originally Posted by armattheus View Post
I dunno where he's shopping....
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Old Dec 13, 10, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by nerd View Post
Really? A bare OEM drive is more expensive than the same drive in a portable enclosure?
Depends on where you shop, and how good the sales are on the portables. In general, I'd expect not (except certain retail outlets like Best Buy or before its demise CompUSA where they overcharge for internal components), but I've definitely seen some short-term situations where it would apply.

One more concrete benefit is that you can get portable external drives (ie drive + enclosure) a lot more places - ie Target, Staples, Office (Max/Depot) - where they're less likely to have any internal components.
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Old Dec 13, 10, 8:16 pm
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Your first stop should be Dell. Your warranty should be valid worldwide, and if it is under warranty they should ship you a replacement drive.
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