Laptop HD Upgrade gone wrong
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Thread: Laptop HD Upgrade gone wrong

  1. #1
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    Laptop HD Upgrade gone wrong

    Can I get the opinion of some of you knowledgeable guys out there, before returning what I have decided is a faulty hard disc?

    I have an ageing Dell Inspiron 630m (Intel Pentium 1.73Ghz, 1Gb of RAM, O/S Win XP MCE) but with a minute 40Gb Toshiba hard disc. It's still useful so I bought a new Samsung IDE 160Gb 2.5" 5400rpm hard disc, with 8Mb cache, for a mere 40 from Ebuyer. After several fruitless attempts at installing the XP MCE system from the re-install CD provided with the laptop, I tried a different XP install disc from an old PC, and that will not install either. I have tried several full formats of the new disc, both as part of the install and via the USB port on my Vista o/s PC.

    Everything is fine with the Windows install on the laptop until the reboot after Windows is set up, and it just does not boot from the hard disc. Eventually I get a simple message "Read failure on internal hard drive". An off-line inspection shows the Windows folder and files have been written to the disc, but it seems no (working) boot tracks.

    Is this likely to be a faulty hard disc, or could it be a compatibility issue? Or has the partition supplied on the new hard disc be causing any issues?

  2. #2
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    There shouldn't be a partition on a brand new drive. You'd create that when you install XP.

    Does the BIOS see the new drive?

    Have you checked your cdrom drive to see if is at fault? The disk you're using could be dirty as well and these things can cause Windows to not install. Something you can try and usually works, clean the cd with a bit of dish soap, using your fingers to wash with, then rinse thoroughly, and dry completely. Don't use any thing except air to dry the cd as you scratch. Also get a cd/dvd lens cleaner disk and clean the cd drive. These disks can be bought, if you don't have one, at any place they sell music cds.
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  3. #3
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    A review of that laptop was dated Dec 15, 2005.

    Use a lazer cleaner cd
    Dban the drive, http://www.dban.org/ , the default 3 passes is plenty.

    Make sure you OS cd is clean, and do a clean install again.

    How to install XP
    http://www.buildeasypc.com/sw/windows_xp.htm

    Once XP is installed install the Service packs, best from cds

    Install mobo drivers

    Install antivirus
    Install IE-8
    Now you are ready to get the windows updates.
    SMILE
    and post back. Let us know if it worked.
    [ Book mark this post to find it again]

    AntiX-16, MX-16 and Win 10

  4. #4
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    Many thanks to the replies from PhotoLady and Train, and I will take the suggestions from you both and have another crack at it. I will definitely post back to let you know the outcome.

  5. #5
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    Sorry to say none of the above suggestions had any effect. I bought a laser head cleaner DVD and gave the DVD drive a good clean, cleaned the CD, and wiped the disc. The whole process repeated exactly as before: same meessage "Read failure from internal disc".

    I'm sure it's a faulty disc, so I'll return it to the supplier for a replacement or refund. TBH, I was sceptical about it being the CD as I had no read errors from the CD and it copied all the XP files to the hard disc with no problem. Just wouldn't boot up after the install.

    Thanks for your help anyway.

  6. #6
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    Now that you have done everything you can do, replacement or refund is the next thing.
    SMILE
    and post back. Let us know if it worked.
    [ Book mark this post to find it again]

    AntiX-16, MX-16 and Win 10

  7. #7
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    An update to this thread, and a salutary lesson.

    The suppliers accepted the hard disc back as a return, pronounced it faulty, and supplied me with another 160Gb disc as before.

    After many fruitless attempts to install the Windows XP with MCE 2005 o/s on the new disc, plus a few attempts to install a copy of XP Professional and Vista Home Premium, I kept getting the same message as before: "Read failure on internal hard drive".

    In desperation I managed to get hold of Dell Support and explain my problem, and they simply said that my Inspiron 630m cannot support any hard disc over 120Gb. I had never heard this before, and found it very confusing that the BIOS recognises the 160Gb hard disc but the firmware will not allow an install of the o/s.

    Does anyone have any idea about a work-around for this, or any mods I can make to the firmware to allow a larger hard disc capacity? I don't think the suppliers would be that sympathetic with a refund as it was supplied correctly and really not their problem.

    Or maybe time to consider replacing the laptop...

  8. #8
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    Unfortunately hard disc drive size limitations is nothing new for laptops.

    Not aware of any drive overlay software for described situation.
    Cheers.

  9. #9
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    Make a 50 GB partition, install XP and after SP3 is install, the 48-bit , in the Service pack,will allow you to pick up the rest of the hdd in Disk Management.

    Had to go that route several times over the years.
    SMILE
    and post back. Let us know if it worked.
    [ Book mark this post to find it again]

    AntiX-16, MX-16 and Win 10

  10. #10
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    If you can slave the drive to another PC, you could try creating a partition of less than 120GB, and see if it will accept that. I doubt it will work TBH, but there would be no harm in trying.
    Nick.

  11. #11
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    Thanks to Train and Supersparks for the suggestions, but fortunately Ebuyer agreed to give me a full refund on the hard disc, which is pretty reasonable considering it was not their problem. I would have tried going the partition route and see if it worked, but tbh I am going to have to accept this laptop has now had its day, and I am going to shop around for a replacement.

    My Inspiron was pretty much out of date the day after I bought it, as within 2 weeks Dell were supplying a regular Inspiron with a dual-core processor, 160Gb SATA hard disc, 2Gb RAM and larger screen. Bit gutted really.

    Plus my Inspiron's battery is knackered. So thanks again for all the helpful advice, but a replacement laptop at today's prices is a no-brainer really.

  12. #12
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    And you will pleasantly surprised in how a new laptop runs compared to the old one.
    Good luck and thatnks for posting back!!
    SMILE
    and post back. Let us know if it worked.
    [ Book mark this post to find it again]

    AntiX-16, MX-16 and Win 10

  13. #13
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    Good luck with the laptop hunting! I got a very nice discount on my Sony Vaio earlier in the year, so they deserve a bit of a plug, if you haven't come across them before:

    http://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/
    Nick.

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