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Replace a hard drive, or buy a new computer?

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  #1  
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Replace a hard drive, or buy a new computer?


So the hard drive on my trusty old Dell GX270 seems to be dying. (I say "seems", because while it won't boot up, even in safe mode, I can boot using a Knoppix CD with no problems.)

Should I replace the hard drive? Or is it not worth it on an old computer?

Thanks for your suggestions.

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  #2  
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Junior Guru
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Buy a new computer. Cash is not an issue if you are asking this sort of question.

  #3  
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Is the computer doing everything you need it to so far? If it is buy a new hardrive, if it is not then get a new computer.

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  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atarim View Post
So the hard drive on my trusty old Dell GX270 seems to be dying. (I say "seems", because while it won't boot up, even in safe mode, I can boot using a Knoppix CD with no problems.)

Should I replace the hard drive? Or is it not worth it on an old computer?

Thanks for your suggestions.
Sounds like you can afford a new computer... or you would not ask.

You really want a new computer, get it. Get yourself a new toy. Don't feel guilty for those who can't. I have tons of computers that I can never use... and don't care.... sometimes I give them away to kids going to college. All good... buy it.

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  #5  
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Grand Nagus
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atarim View Post
Should I replace the hard drive? Or is it not worth it on an old computer?
That depends on answers to a few quetions:

1) Is this your primary/main computer?

2) If it isn't, how exactly do you use this as a secondary computer? How often? How important is this computer? Is it mostly for hobby use?

3) If this is your primary computer, I would buy a new one which will come with a faster CPU, GPU, Windows 7, DVD Burner, etc.

Older $50 IDE hard drive or $500-ish new OEM computer.

If you can justify the cost of a new computer and aren't going to build your own. Check a hot deals site such as GotApex.com where you can buy a brand new Dell with LCD, Windows 7, etc. for under $500-ish.

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  #6  
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Join Date: May 2010
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Buy a new computer. That's a P4. That means even an E3300 would smoke it. Sans hard drive, which you'd need to buy anyway, you could build a very nice PC for $100 if you take advantage of a Newegg combo.

Also, we have a fleet of P4 Dell machines about the same age as yours at work and they are starting to get a little flaky.

  #7  
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Hey, everyone - thanks for the replies so far. Meantime, to add a twist, I found this from Dell Support that makes it sound like not a hard drive failure after all (Unmountable Boot Volume, error code 7). I haven't tried out the diagnostics at home yet.

Your thoughts? If it isn't a hard drive failure (this time), am I living on borrowed time with my current setup? Or should I keep it going as long as it is able?

Thanks again.

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  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfrogue View Post
you could build a very nice PC for $100 if you take advantage of a Newegg combo.
I hope thats a typo... the cheapest newegg motherboard is 40 dollars alone and even if it was under 100 it would be equal to about a pentium 4.


To the op: Did you link to the wrong thing? I don't see any mentions of error code 7 there unless I skipped a part.

  #9  
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Here's the part that caught my eye, in the Things To Check section:

"Hard drive failure Run the built-in diagnostics on the hard drive. Remember: Code 7 signifies correctable data corruption, not disk failure."

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  #10  
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Update: following the instructions I triangulated from a couple of different web sites, I was able to repair the errors using chkdsk and then fixboot. The computer seems fine so far.

Does the fact that the file errors occurred indicate any larger problem, or am I good to go now?

Thanks again.

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  #11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atarim View Post
Update: following the instructions I triangulated from a couple of different web sites, I was able to repair the errors using chkdsk and then fixboot. The computer seems fine so far.

Does the fact that the file errors occurred indicate any larger problem, or am I good to go now?

Thanks again.
I would backup your data and run some chkdsk's every few days. I have seen hard drives do this when they start to show there age and other times it is just a one time occurrence and is back to normal.

  #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atarim View Post
Update: following the instructions I triangulated from a couple of different web sites, I was able to repair the errors using chkdsk and then fixboot. The computer seems fine so far.

Does the fact that the file errors occurred indicate any larger problem, or am I good to go now?

Thanks again.
Oh, no one knows if this is part of a larger problem. Drive could last five minutes or five years... no one knows.

I'd dump it myself, but that is me...

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  #13  
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If it is performing best and you are only having a problem with storage then its better to buy a new hard disk..

If you are millionaire then why bother about such small things

  #14  
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Junior Guru Wannabe
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 52
Millionaire or not, Atarim has a really good point. What is the optimum price point that when arrived to will dictate if he should either purchase a new computer altogether or just replace the part. He might be a millionaire because he constantly asks these questions and watches every penny for all we know!

So my guess, Atarim, is that if your HDD presents more problems in the future you will simply purchase another HDD. The opportunity cost of migrating the whole computer to a new one could also pose some time/value questions that someone reasonable like you would probably take into account.

When the HDD finally breaks, let us know what you do.

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  #15  
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Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful and helpful suggestions!

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