Dell laptop HDD interchangability [Archive] - Glock Talk

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sarge
12-27-2008, 13:38
My son has a Dell Inspiron 5150 that is having some problems. It won't boot up at all. Sometimes when it tries to boot up, it goes to a black screen with the cursor flashing in the upper left hand corner. Other time it makes it to the log in screen, then after you log in, it locks up. I'm kind of thinking hard drive. My wife has a Dell Latitude 610 and I was wanting to try her HDD in my son's laptop to see if it actually is the drive, or if we have other problems.

My question is are they compatible, except for having to change the bracket that mounts it into the computer?? If so, I'll give it a try, if not, I need to find another alternative. Then we will have to work on trying to get his data off the original drive.

Is there any way we might try getting into a safe mode or anything to try to recover data?

Thanks for any help.

UtahIrishman
12-27-2008, 13:55
It's unlikely they are the same drive. I've seen Dell Latitudes that have different hard drives.

Easiest way to tell is to pull the hard drives and see if they match. If the pins match you'll be OK. If there's something wrong with the computer itself though you risk losing the other hard drive as well...soo...

There is also a disk diagnostic feature that you can run at startup. I think it's F12 but I'm going from memory. Safe mode is F8. If you can get into safe mode and everything functions ok then it's not the hard drive itself but most likely a corrupt driver.

If it's still under warranty give Dell a call or even better they have live chat with a technician. They're support is really quite good.

Good luck

sarge
12-27-2008, 20:03
Well I pulled both drives and looked them over. They were interchangeable, so I put the one out of my son's computer and put it in my wifes. It worked, so I got his data off of it onto an external storage device. The Inspiron still wouldn't come on even with my wife's drive in it.

I also pulled the memory modules and cleaned the contacts, still no go. The computer is around 5 or 6 years old, so no warranty. If I can ever get to the point I can get into safe mode, I'll give it a try. Mostly, when I push the power button, the screen comes on black, the cursor flashes at the top left hand corner, and after about 15 seconds, the fan shuts down and the cursor just blinks.

There are several techies that work in my wife's office, so I might have one of them take a look at it and see if they can find anything.

UtahIrishman
12-27-2008, 22:31
have you pulled the battery?

Pull the battery out and put it back in after about 90 seconds or so. Even better would be a spare if you have one.

Neo31rex31
12-28-2008, 01:07
Pause your post screen and then take a picture and post it on the forums. Chances are it will display your error there (if it is a hardware one).

Have you tried:
Last known good
Safe Mode

If you can't get to there by pressing F8, chances are you have:
A, Corrupt Boot Loader
B, Corrupt Hard Drive Sector (that your boot loader is on)

In either case, insert your OS disk and try to run a repair on it (that will fix a boot loader issue most of the time)
if that fails, put the OS disk in again and run a Scan Disk of the drive.

If both of those fail, get a 10 dollar external Hard Drive casing and stick the bad HD in there, from there, stick it in a working PC via the USB and save what you want off of it by file navigation. While its hooked up, run scanning programs on the drive itself via the working PC, just define the scans to the drive you want it to scan. Programs i suggest running on it are:

1, Comodo Antivirus
http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/scan/avscanner.html (Scanner)
http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/download_firewall.html (Download)
2, Comodo System Cleaner
http://system-cleaner.comodo.com/download.html (download)

Another thing you could try is defragging the disk

I doubt its a virus but it couldn't hurt to run that scan above or the system cleaner

(before saving the files i would scan the HD for virus and what-not to try to prevent backing up an infected file and spreading it onto the working machine)

sarge
12-28-2008, 09:11
I have pulled the battery. I did that each time I changed a part or looked inside.

Neo...

This drive does just fine in my wife's Dell. It booted and operated just fine. I did get the data off of it while it was in the other laptop since it was on and running. My wife's HDD would not operate in my son's laptop, same symptoms as the original HDD, so that kinda looks to me like there's some problem in the computer and not the drive.

Most times when it boots, it's just the black screen with the cursor flashing up in the top left hand corner. This happens the instant the power button is pushed. When it does get past that point and on to the Dell bootup screen, it locks up after the login. One time when it was coming up, I pushed F12 and started the diagnostics, it locked up about half way through the diag program. If I can get it to the startup screen, and past the black screen, I'll try to get into safe mode and see what is going on. Since it is ~5 to 6 years old, I'll have to see if I can find the original disks.

Thanks for the help so far.

IndyGunFreak
12-28-2008, 09:16
5-6yrs old, if you can't find the disks, look for some Linux distros to try... I don't know what he does on his laptop, but at 5-6yrs, it can't be much gaming.

IGF

Neo31rex31
12-28-2008, 09:33
This drive does just fine in my wife's Dell.

Ahh ok i missed that in your previous post, my apologies

sarge
12-29-2008, 13:43
5-6yrs old, if you can't find the disks, look for some Linux distros to try... I don't know what he does on his laptop, but at 5-6yrs, it can't be much gaming.

IGF

No gaming, just lab work at college and surfin' the net.

I'm still working on it... :supergrin:

UtahIrishman
12-29-2008, 19:28
The only other thing I can think of is that the CMOS battery is dead or dying. Getting to the CMOS battery in a laptop is kind of tricky. I've done it but you need instructions specific to the laptop.

Here's a link to the manual

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins5100/en/sm/index.htm

MDBULLET
12-29-2008, 19:58
I had a 5150 for a while,, it was a good computer. First I would buy a new hard drive, they are pretty cheap now a days and easy to install. Then reload all the original software that came with the computer and things should be just fine. Now as far as recovering things off the old drive, You can go and buy a cheap 2.5" hdd usb enclosure and put the old hard drive in that and see if you can access the old date and transfer it to the new drive. I bought a enclosure for my wife's laptop a few weeks ago ( 14.95 ), I installed a bigger drive and put her old drive in that so she could pull off all her pictures and music. Dave

duncan
12-30-2008, 23:11
Ultimate Boot Disk to wipe the hard drive

Xubuntu for your new operating system

OpenOffice.org for your office needs

Inspiron 5000
Inspiron 8000
Thinkpad T20

Linux all of the way.

Desktop server dual boots Win XP and Ubuntu:supergrin:

But you might want to score a 6-10GB used laptop hard drive.

sarge
01-01-2009, 21:53
Ultimate Boot Disk to wipe the hard drive

Xubuntu for your new operating system

OpenOffice.org for your office needs

Inspiron 5000
Inspiron 8000
Thinkpad T20

Linux all of the way.

Desktop server dual boots Win XP and Ubuntu:supergrin:

But you might want to score a 6-10GB used laptop hard drive.

If you would have written that in Chinese, I would have understood just about as much... :rofl:

I'm out of town working this week and it will be the weekend before I can do any more work with it.

Thanks for all the help.

duncan
01-02-2009, 01:12
Sorry.

Xubuntu is a variation of Linux - free software

OpenOffice is a a free version of MS Office

Sorry to use the acronyms.

Ultimate Boot Disk is freeware that allows you to wipe or boot anything with DOS.

Just going Linux crazy as I'm recycling more and more $4,000 laptops for cents on the dollar!

Detectorist
01-02-2009, 08:14
This doesn't seem to have anything to do with the operating system.

The Inspiron 5150 series were well known to have heat related problems. Make sure the vents on the bottom are clear and take any necessary steps to prevent overheating.

go to: www.support.dell.com (http://www.support.dell.com)

Here you will find more info including the service manual.

sarge
01-03-2009, 00:20
Sorry.

Xubuntu is a variation of Linux - free software

OpenOffice is a a free version of MS Office

Sorry to use the acronyms.

Ultimate Boot Disk is freeware that allows you to wipe or boot anything with DOS.

Just going Linux crazy as I'm recycling more and more $4,000 laptops for cents on the dollar!

I was just pickin' at ya'. :supergrin:

I'll see what I can come up with on Sunday.