Install Questions

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by Metalmann, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Metalmann

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
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    Dell says my HDD is fried, (Online diagnostics), so I bought a new one.

    How hard is it to install the new drive to reinstall Windows 8.1?

    Can I just plug it in and boot to the new drive?

    Any special steps I need to know about?

    IOWs, I'm a computer dumbass.;)

    When I try to fire up the old drive, I only get a black screen after the Welcome screen.......no desktop at all.

    I'm using my Wife's sucky Compaq right now.
     
  2. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    Is old drive PATA or SATA?

    Do you have bootable cd/dvd with the OS?

    Installing the hard drive is easy.

    Installing OS takes hours, install the OS, install the updates, install the drivers, install the programs. If you have a lot of programs you use, the whole process can take a day.
     
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  3. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
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    My bet is that you have the dell preinstalled with win8.1 and no installation disc or anything. There might be a recovery disc available, or you may need to go to your retailer and ask for one. Some notebooks have a hidden flash drive with the install tools needed.
     
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  4. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    I have not heard of hidden flash drives. The usual practice is to have a hidden partition on the hard drive, but if the hard drive is gone bad, then you don't have an access to the files on the drive and that includes the hidden partition.

    Metalmann, kubeek has a good idea in the beginning. Your comp should have M$ sticker with Windows registration key. You don't actually need official OS installation disk. Just download/torrent windows installation disk, burn it on cd/dvd (I think they are all dvd now), and use it to install OS, when installer asks you for Windows CD Key, use the key from the sticker.
     
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  5. nigelwright7557

    Senior Member

    May 10, 2008
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    Too late now but you can download a program that tells you your Windows key.
    Save it for when you need to install a new hard drive next time.
     
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  6. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    I would have 0 faith in what Dell had to say.

    You first need to tell us if it is sata or IDE. IDE is the big wide data cable SATA is the real narrow cable. Also if IDE, do you have more than 1 drive?

    IDE is fairly old, not sure if you can buy them anymore. I will bet it is SATA.
     
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  7. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    And this thread probably belongs in computers and networking.
     
  8. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Thanks. I moved the thread.
     
  9. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    A bit late for this I know, but I use Acronis back up utility for all my P.C.s, I have 2 desktops, and 3 laptops, all backed up on a W.D. remote H.D., just in case.
    The $35.00 is worth all the aggravation!
    Max.
     
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  10. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I quite agree, but I just proved that hard drives in the closet do not last. See my thread from yesterday. You can store an image on an active hard drive, but you can't trust them if they aren't plugged in.
     
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  11. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    USB-powered external drives spend a lot of their life unplugged. Are you saying these can't be trusted to retain data?
     
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  12. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Look at my thread from yesterday. 9 out of 10 hard drives, stored for 5 years or more, did not survive.
    Half of them could not be detected by Windows Vista and the half of them that could be detected could not be read, initialized, or formatted by Windows Vista.

    http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=93709

    I found 4 more HDDs last night and tested them. The "Dead" pile includes Western Digital, Seagate, Samsung, and Maxtor drives. I conclude that I must use DVD's to store image files.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
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  13. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    One of them is called Magical Jelly Bean
     
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  14. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    #12, you are being a bit unfair. If I understood your post correctly, you got a bunch of used hd. So there is no way to know what condition they are when YOU got them. If I remember right, hd generally designed to last 100,000 working hours. Maybe the drives you got have had 500,000 working hours on them... There is no way to know. So, you are lucky any of them worked at all. Again, no way to know.
     
  15. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Are you telling me I do not know that every one of those hard drives was working when I put them in storage instead of dropping them in the trash can?

    Guess again.
     
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  16. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    I did not know they were your own drives. Now I do.
     
  17. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    If I had picked up a dozen drives that somebody else threw away I would not be spending time trying to find out why 9 out of 10 did not work. I would already know they don't work because somebody else threw them away.

    I was testing old drives that came out of computers I upgraded, and they were all working when I stored them.
     
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  18. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    What's the theory on the failure mode? Can they be low-level formatted?
     
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  19. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Maybe, but that is beyond the scope of Windows Vista (and me).
    I would suspect that it's the old story about dead electrolytics, but I also suspect that electrolytic capacitors are not used in hard drives. I'll autopsy some HDDs to see if I find any, then I'll mail the magnets to strantor.:p

    Seriously, what part fails simply because time passed?
    Aluminum electrolytics.
    What else?
    Would the magnetic fields on the disk commit suicide in 5 years?
     
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  20. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    I'd be surprised if they did, but then again ...... I've got ancient (>20 yr old) cassette tapes which still seem to play at their original volume. But I guess that technology can't necessarily be extrapolated to HDD magnetic domains.
    I've had CDs/DVDs become unreadable after only ~5 years. Perhaps flash memory would be better for archive material?
     
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