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  1. #1

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    Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    Ok, my Gateway hard drive was defected as told to me by a Geek Squad Rep. When I asked how this happens or if there was anything I did wrong, he said that this was caused from alot of moving the laptop around while it was on.

    I was confused. I thought laptops were meant to be MOBILE. I asked him this and he said yes, they are meant to be mobile but its best that the computer is on "sleep"mode or off when moving it around because this turns the hard drive off. Ok, that makes sense.

    But honestly, whos knows that? I moved my computer from one room to another and I guess that is what caused my Hard Drive to fail. I know the better now. He also suggested a Toshiba laptop as their Hard Drive is protected in a case so this doesn't happen.

    Anyone here familiar with this kind of thing?

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    I have a Toshiba laptop, and well. The keys have fallen off (no I dont beat on it or anything, it cost me a pretty penny so I take care of it) and after 4 months of having it, I had a problem with it, and when I called the tech line, they told me I needed to do a system restore (meaning I would lose everything on my harddrive) well, the disk was defective but wiped my drive anyway, then my motherboard fried. I was without my laptop for almost a month (the adapter fried the day I got my laptop back).
    "I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. "Groucho Marx

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    Notebooks are meant to be portable, and it is better if they are not moved while they are turned on. But here in the real world, they will be moved when on, or banged into something, or even dropped. They will normally take a fair amount of abuse without failing. I would guess that your drive was borderline defective already, and it just failed. As for Toshiba having a better protected drive, this is not really true. My business partner and I service and repair notebook computers, and Toshiba, even though it is a good brand, is not constructed much differently than most other brands. In fact, the entry level Toshibas ($1200 or less) aren't even made by Toshiba! Every hard drive will fail, it is just a matter of when - could be 10 minutes or 10 years. be carefull not to excessively impact the computer, BACK UP YOUR DATA, and don't waste time worrying about it, and you will be fine.

    P.S. As far as "alot of moving around when on", I have used my notebooks in moving vehicles, on set for video production, walking around, and have even on occasion dropped my computer while on, and the only drive that failed me was in a notebook that sat on my desk and was never moved (go figure!)

    Also, (I'm not trying to knock anyone) but the geek squad people I know don't always know as much about computers as they would like you to believe, and most techs are taught to come up with a "plausible" answer, instead of saying "it just went bad".
    Last edited by Captain Video; 11-02-2006 at 03:21 PM.

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Video View Post
    Also, (I'm not trying to knock anyone) but the geek squad people I know don't always know as much about computers as they would like you to believe, and most techs are taught to come up with a "plausible" answer, instead of saying "it just went bad".
    Quoted for truth.
    Happy Anniversary, MiceChat!

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    Wow..well thanks for the input.

    I have sent off my Gateway Laptop for a new hard drive as it was still on warranty and I'm getting another laptop. No more Gateway as I've had nothing but probs with them. I was thinking an HP laptop. Any thoughts on those? I've heard good things about them.

    Regarding the hard drives...the moving around thing...I just never even thought that would be a problem. But now I know and will be more careful. Not that I was careless before...but will still be more careful.

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Video View Post
    Also, (I'm not trying to knock anyone) but the geek squad people I know don't always know as much about computers as they would like you to believe, and most techs are taught to come up with a "plausible" answer, instead of saying "it just went bad".


    Hmm interesting...so you think that this Geek Squad tech was just telling me something plausible to get me to shut up because I was kinda pummeling him with questions? I was trying to see if there was something I should know for my next laptop. I mean, I could totally believe that as its happened to me before with other computer techs I've worked with.

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    Quote Originally Posted by claribella View Post

    Hmm interesting...so you think that this Geek Squad tech was just telling me something plausible to get me to shut up because I was kinda pummeling him with questions? I was trying to see if there was something I should know for my next laptop. I mean, I could totally believe that as its happened to me before with other computer techs I've worked with.
    Well, remember the stories I told you with 2 different best buys when things were sent off with the geek squad. personally, i wouldnt send my stuff to them, but to each his own.
    "I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. "Groucho Marx

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    Quote Originally Posted by frecky View Post
    Well, remember the stories I told you with 2 different best buys when things were sent off with the geek squad. personally, i wouldnt send my stuff to them, but to each his own.

    Yeah...the thing is, I used to send my computer to another guy who has his own little business but he would keep my computer for MONTHS and I would have to call HIM asking about it. Its like he would fix it then forget about me.

    I just want to turn the dumb thing on and have it work! Not deal with ANY tech! But we don't life in Perfect, USA.

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    After mr frecky gets out of practice tonight, Ill ask him to recommend some laptops for ya.
    "I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. "Groucho Marx

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    Quote Originally Posted by frecky View Post
    After mr frecky gets out of practice tonight, Ill ask him to recommend some laptops for ya.

    Cool beans! I'm guessing he knows his laptops..because I really am tired of my hard drives crashing and burning. This is the second time! I just want some good sound advice to the best that I can get it.

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    Quote Originally Posted by claribella View Post
    Cool beans! I'm guessing he knows his laptops..because I really am tired of my hard drives crashing and burning. This is the second time! I just want some good sound advice to the best that I can get it.
    Computers are his business. Ill see what he says and let ya know.
    "I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. "Groucho Marx

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    Quote Originally Posted by frecky View Post
    Computers are his business. Ill see what he says and let ya know.
    You ROCK!

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    He was probably trying to give you an answer that wouldn't make him look like he didn't know what he was talking about, and he was probably being sincere. Unfortunately, some of these guys don't have a lot of training. They may know the basics, which will allow them to fix many common problems (and a large majority of computer problems are basic); If the problem is deeper than that, they get lost, but they still need to be the "expert" to the customer.

    I also do my share of IT work, and I am Microsoft certified, and I find myself fixing a lot of problems that were "fixed" by other "experts" that didn't know enough when the problem was more than they bargained for.

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    Hard drives are complex little buggers, and what often starts trouble is bumping or shocking them while the platters are turning and they are actively reading and writing data.

    Go read things like http://www.howstuffworks.com/hard-disk.htm among others for the gory details.

    Simplified: The platters are spinning at 2500 - 7500 RPM, and there are two read-write heads on little arms for each platter inside. (Desktop drives usually have two or three physical platters inside the casing.) The heads ride on an air cushion from the spinning - meaning a drop or bump at a bad moment can make the heads crash into the platter. That makes a bad spot on the magnetic platter that can get worse over time, and can damage the read-write head also. And the magnetic media that gets scraped off the discs can damage the other heads and platters in the drive - which can cause the whole thing to fail in short order (an hour to a week). When the drive is stopped the heads are fully retracted off the platters, and minor bumps can't hurt anything.

    In other words, you have to be a little gentle with them while the drive is running, and you still don't want to throw it around even when off.

    If you want to make sure that all your computer drives live a long and happy life, get a copy of Spinrite from www.grc.com and run it occasionally (monthly). It cleans up little problems on the hard drive and can give you advanced warnings if the drive starts going bad - and if it has a fatal data corruption Spinrite can often fix it long enough to recover most/all your data. Then once you recover the data you can analyze it again in a day - if the drive's condition gets worse fast, the drive is about to say bye-bye for good.

    The second thing to do is get an external hard drive and backup all your data either daily or weekly.

    You can swap out your own bad hard drive on a laptop if you want to keep the computer, you usually pull two screws off a cover and it plugs right out. Replacements are available at retail for a slight premium over desktop-sized drives. They are standard ATA/IDE interfaces, just a smaller connector with the power and data lines in one - you can get little $10 adapters to plug a laptop hard drive into a desktop machine for testing or data copying.

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  15. #15

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    Re: Laptop Hard Drive moving around to much?

    say, how bad are HP laptops??

    I just got one for a real early Christmas present to use in class... and was wondering... cause i dont know if mom got a warentee on this at all..

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