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bricked laptop - doesn't recognise SSD - worth trying replacement?

bricked laptop - doesn't recognise SSD - worth trying replacement?

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Old Mar 15, 16, 9:57 am
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bricked laptop - doesn't recognise SSD - worth trying replacement?

A 3 year old Samsung series 9 (NP900X3C, i5-3317) started playing up a couple of weeks ago, initially a Windows update that wouldn't finish, then frequent blue screens. Thankfully managed to get all the data off, as it intermittently went to the boot menu, failing to find the SSD at all.

Managed to update the BIOS during one of its 'happy' periods, and reinstalled windows 7, but now it's gone - doesn't get past the boot menu, and no recognition that it's got an SSD at all. Booting from a USB Win 7 stick leaves it asking for drivers, it can only see the boot X: drive.

Is it worth trying to replace the SSD? ie is this likely to be an isolated SSD problem? Or is the motherboard/anything else fried?

The laptop is really showing its age (touchpad has popped clean out of its mounting) but if I can get it running for the sake of a $50 SATA drive, it would be good to have as a spare...

If the SSD is replaceable, what should I look for as a replacement? The original is a SAMSUNG MZMPC128HBFU according to Belarc.

Thanks
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Old Mar 15, 16, 10:17 am
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If the machine is working well otherwise (other than SSD or touchpad), you should be able to purchase a replacement SSD drive for the machine.

There are several options - SanDisk, Crucial and others have 128GB SSD drives in the sub $50 range (check your local computer store or on-line vendor); 256GB and 512GB are also cost effective. Even if you decide to replace the laptop, you can pull the new SSD drive out and use it as an external drive for your new machine for backups...

Jim
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Old Mar 15, 16, 10:27 am
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Does it not see the drive in the BIOS?

This is common, or was common. Did you ever upgrade the firmware for the HDD? It's worth just power cycling the machine and the drive. I've had one magically come back that way, and after updating the firmware, the drive was good to go.

I've had good luck with Intel and OCZ drives.
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Old Mar 15, 16, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
Does it not see the drive in the BIOS?
No - the BIOS does not list the SSD as a boot option, and Windows couldn't see it either.

It's been through many many power off/on cycles; I never upgraded the firmware for the SSD, but then I haven't upgraded it on this machine either (identical, except still working fine )

My question really is - is this an SSD-only problem, or is it possible/likely to be wider spread, and therefore not soluble with a new drive?

And my query about 'what to look for' wasn't regarding make, but rather... what format/size/spec? I am the IT department, but not through choice!
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Old Mar 15, 16, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by Stewie Mac View Post
No - the BIOS does not list the SSD as a boot option, and Windows couldn't see it either.

It's been through many many power off/on cycles; I never upgraded the firmware for the SSD, but then I haven't upgraded it on this machine either (identical, except still working fine )

My question really is - is this an SSD-only problem, or is it possible/likely to be wider spread, and therefore not soluble with a new drive?

And my query about 'what to look for' wasn't regarding make, but rather... what format/size/spec? I am the IT department, but not through choice!
Ah, yes, I have had this issue. I power cycled it multiple times a day once, and it worked after a week. It just magically found the drive. I have no idea why that was an issue.

I was told to do so by way of the good ol' internet, and I was skeptical. This has happened twice in my life, and both were resolved after upgrading the firmware of the drive. OCZ and Intel declared them as a known issue that was resolved by way of a firmware upgrade.

To me, drives are a commodity now. I look at price/TB. I'll just go on newegg and look to see how the reviews are. I don't think twice now. The prices used to be pretty stupid $1/1GB, now they have dropped.

I wouldn't look too into it. If Amazon/Newegg etc has good reviews, that's all I look for. Buy using an AMEX or something with insurance if you really care. That's my $0.01 on the matter anyway. Best of luck in your search!
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Old Mar 15, 16, 1:03 pm
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Have a couple of those Samsung Series 9 laptops and they are nice! I would consider replacing the drive if at all possible.
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Old Mar 15, 16, 1:52 pm
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Beware. Many years ago I was getting ready for a trip and after leaving my laptop copying files when I went to bed I wake up to find it crashed. Reboot--the hard drive is showing a capacity in the tens of megabytes (it should have been tens of gigabytes) and it won't even try to start Windows.

I figured the drive died, I put in the drive that I had replaced with the one in it. This time the drive read a different number but otherwise the same symptoms.

It was the motherboard, it killed both HDs.
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Old Mar 15, 16, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post

It was the motherboard, it killed both HDs.
This is near impossible. Are you positive? Maybe it was the PSU that fried the HDs but a system board? VERY unlikely.
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Old Mar 15, 16, 10:01 pm
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Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
This is near impossible. Are you positive? Maybe it was the PSU that fried the HDs but a system board? VERY unlikely.
2.5" PATA drives only plug into the board, not the power supply. Their power comes across the board. I have a hard time believing a power supply could fry the drives while leaving the board the power is flowing through intact enough to POST.
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Old Mar 16, 16, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
2.5" PATA drives only plug into the board, not the power supply. Their power comes across the board. I have a hard time believing a power supply could fry the drives while leaving the board the power is flowing through intact enough to POST.
Very interesting. Either way, I hope you bought a lottery ticket that day
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Old Mar 16, 16, 9:06 pm
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It's quite typical to be able to revive SSD's by just applying power to them for an hour and then pluggin them into an USB socket. A standard and cheap USB to SATA adapter is great for that.

Now that being said from your descritpion I would say that the SSD is gone. Considering just how powerfull computers are now a days a 3 years old computer doesn't seems that old to me. Since SSD drive prices have fallen lately I would definitely want to invest a few bucks and replace the SSD. I usually go with Samsung 8x0 series and I'm happy with them.
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Old Mar 17, 16, 6:23 pm
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I'm a big fan of SpinRite. It has saved more than one hard drive for me. Might work for you if there is data still valuable on the disk.
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Old Mar 18, 16, 6:08 am
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Originally Posted by worldwidedreamer View Post
I'm a big fan of SpinRite. It has saved more than one hard drive for me. Might work for you if there is data still valuable on the disk.
Originally Posted by from SpinRite website
The simple rule of thumb is that if drives can work and be recognized under DOS, perhaps with the addition of extra device drivers, they should be "seen" and usable by SpinRite
I've tried booting to command prompt under a Windows boot USD key, and DOS can't see the C:drive - it only sees the X: boot drive...

Have ordered a 256MB Crucial drive, I am going to swap that into this Samsung (which still has a more or less functioning touchpad) and swap the 128MB original drive from this into the bricked laptop, and see what happens. I'll report back next week sometime.
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Old Mar 18, 16, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by worldwidedreamer View Post
I'm a big fan of SpinRite. It has saved more than one hard drive for me. Might work for you if there is data still valuable on the disk.
He can't even find the disk. How will spinrite help? I'm a big fan myself but do not believe that it will be helpful for him.
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Old Mar 22, 16, 4:06 am
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success ... sort of

So, installed the new SSD into this laptop (almost) without any trouble - it needed a 'clean all' before Windows would install, but otherwise straightforward.

I then took the back off the bricked laptop, and found out why the trackpad had popped right out - the battery has swollen/burst and was pushing the trackpad out.



Looking around the web, seems like Samsung had a big problem with swelling batteries in their phones a while ago, and maybe this battery had a similar problem. The battery on this laptop [the one that I'm writing this on, with the new SSD] died totally after about 9 months and was replaced under warranty, so touch wood won't have the same problem.

Anyway, a new battery will cost me another $50 or so, and screws for both the battery and the SSD are too tight for me to remove, so think that this is heading for the bin...

thanks all
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