Looking to buy a laptop HDD - suggestions?


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#1 Zombie

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 06:01 AM

Hi all, the 250GB hard drive of my circa 2013 Dell Studio XPS 1640 laptop is probably in it's last throes as the S.M.A.R.T warning just popped up. So I'm in the market for a new (or newer) hard drive. I've been looking at drives this past week trying to get some ideas,but thought I'd pose the question to you guys first for suggestions. Any recommendations? I don't have unlimited $ to spend on this though so my budget will be ~$100 or less if possible. I do use my rig for gaming occasionally (not hard core with the latest games though) so this has to figure into the equation.

Suppose the budget limits my options to conventional HDD's or the somewhat newer hybrid drives (SSHD). I was thinking of a 1TB @ 7200 rpm and 6 Gb/s for a conventional drive but I'm currently leaning to a Seagate 1TB Gaming SSHD SATA 8GB NAND SATA 6Gb/s 2.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000LM014) from Amazon for $77. The same seller offers a 32GB NAND variant for $115.88 which is just over my budget, but I could splurge on it. Checked newegg and came up with a Seagate ST1000LM035 1TB 128MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive for $77 which I assume is better. (There's also a 2TB variant for $128 which isn't too bad either).

So, suggestions?

Also, does anyone know how to easily copy the contents of my current drive over to the new one? Suggestions on this aspect would be appreciated!

Thanks! Posted Image

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#2 silencer_pl

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 06:09 AM

Do you really need 1TB? I'm more of a Western Digital, since almost more than 10 years I've been only using WD Blacks. Never went wrong.
Technically 256GB SSD is more than enough. 60-80GBs (probably even less) for OS and apps, and the rest is for games or whatever. Having laptop as storage device is bad idea, specially when you can get big sized flash sticks cheap.
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#3 Zombie

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 02:30 PM

View Postsilencer_pl, on 20 May 2016 - 06:09 AM, said:

Do you really need 1TB? I'm more of a Western Digital, since almost more than 10 years I've been only using WD Blacks. Never went wrong.

Well, my current HD is 2/3 full right now (apparently I have a 300 GB drive, 99 GB free). So more capacity would be nice.

View Postsilencer_pl, on 20 May 2016 - 06:09 AM, said:

Technically 256GB SSD is more than enough. 60-80GBs (probably even less) for OS and apps, and the rest is for games or whatever.

It might be enough if I pare down some of the files and games and keep an eye on further saves. There are three issues with pure SSD that bother me a bit.
  • Cost. The darn things are still rather expensive.
  • Manufacturer. Why are almost all SSD built by some noseum (aka unknown or obscure) manufacturer? No name brands.
  • Reliability. I've heard the horror stories of these "drives" failing before they are even a year old.
So if a SSD is built by some unknown manufacturer, has a tendency to fail without warning, and costs a lot, how can I trust it? Granted, I do recognize some of the players on the field (SanDisk, Corsair, Mushkin, Plextor) but those are akin to a sport teams second or third stringers, not the primary players. About the only name I recognize within my price point is Samsung.

View Postsilencer_pl, on 20 May 2016 - 06:09 AM, said:

Having laptop as storage device is bad idea, specially when you can get big sized flash sticks cheap.

I purchased a 16 GB SanDisk USB stick for about $10 at Walmart last year (so let's say $0.63/gb). I do see much bigger stick drives this year though (128gb for $30 or $0.25/gb). That's cheap and all, my issue is I have only 2 USB ports on my laptop and one is filled with a wireless card. The other slot is wonky (it's a little loose and doesn't make a good connection all the time). Plus I only have USB 2.0 so it's not exactly super fast. I guess sticks are an option to help pare down the files on my HDD.

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#4 ñΩxicity

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 02:47 PM

You can always buy a USB 2.0 Hub
https://www.google.c...18?mall=Midwest

I'd go with the Seagate. I bought a 3TB external HD for $89.99 from NewEgg, there was some special at the time. I signed up for their weekly ads and there's constantly sales on all sorts of hard drives. I do recommend that you buy it brand new, one can never be sure about used ones. You can also use external HD's for simple storage. I've got 4 of them a 3TB, two 500GB, and a 300GB and about 20+ flash drives strewn throughout the house.

-NoX
"If you win it's just a game, but if you lose it's a complete waste of time"

-Al Bundy (Married With Children)

#5 silencer_pl

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 02:52 PM

Quote

Manufacturer. Why are almost all SSD built by some noseum (aka unknown or obscure) manufacturer? No name brands.
Reliability. I've heard the horror stories of these "drives" failing before they are even a year old.

Unknown? Come on. Samsung, Intel, Corsair, GoodRam (although I'm not sure GoodRam will be available in USA) and many more. I have Samsung 830. This is a little oldie and works like a charm. The issue you are talking about is from the early years of drives and some bad controllers. But now they are working great. Sure they are expensive but those 250 are currently quite cheap for the speed boost they provide. 500GB are alos becoming more available to the masses.

As for USB, like nox said. Buy a hub.
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#6 Zombie

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 04:51 AM

Finally settled on a 256gb SSD from SanDisk purchased from eBay. Was a customer return but didn't have many hours on it. Biggest selling point was free shipping and the item is located in Illinois so it should get here pretty fast. ;)

Ok, so now the $20,000 question: how do I go about transferring everything to the new drive to make it bootable? Anyone have experience in this?

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#7 silencer_pl

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 07:27 AM

SSD drives come with migration software. You should look it up.
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#8 Zombie

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Posted 28 May 2016 - 05:06 AM

This was a customer return so it may be possible the software/manual/box isn't included. I'm assuming it probably should as most "big box" stores will not accept returns without a receipt and the item with it's original packaging intact. ;)

But just in case of a worst case scenario, are there any cheap alternatives? Like freeware? ;)

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#9 silencer_pl

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Posted 28 May 2016 - 07:10 AM

No it's not in the package. You need to go to manufacturer website or just google SSD transfer software.

Example Samsung Magician.

Sandisk kit.

Some other migration tool
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#10 ñΩxicity

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Posted 28 May 2016 - 07:58 AM

Should of saved up and bought it new :D
"If you win it's just a game, but if you lose it's a complete waste of time"

-Al Bundy (Married With Children)

#11 Zombie

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 03:56 AM

View PostNoX, on 28 May 2016 - 07:58 AM, said:

Should of saved up and bought it new Posted Image

What's the difference if the SSD is new, used, or otherwise if the migration software isn't included? Besides, with the savings I'm planning on putting that to an el-cheapo 1TB external. Posted Image That way, I can shift all my files to that drive without cluttering up the SSD, and I'll also have a backup in case the SSD fails. Best of both worlds, no? Posted Image

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#12 Space Voyager

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 05:51 AM

Wouldn't it be best to just clone the disc? I mean, if you just want a direct migration? There are plenty of free cloning tools. Clone, change the HDD, enjoy?
http://www.pcmag.com...,2421302,00.asp


#13 ñΩxicity

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 06:16 AM

View PostZombie, on 29 May 2016 - 03:56 AM, said:

What's the difference if the SSD is new, used, or otherwise if the migration software isn't included? Besides, with the savings I'm planning on putting that to an el-cheapo 1TB external. Posted Image That way, I can shift all my files to that drive without cluttering up the SSD, and I'll also have a backup in case the SSD fails. Best of both worlds, no? Posted Image

- Zombie

Well when I find myself in a position where I don't/can't spend a lot of money on something I need/want, I try to buy it new. Now the reasons for this is twofold, when it comes to electronics you never really know what the previous user has done to it. An exception however, is that I will sometimes buy something that is refurbished (My first XBOX for instance). My other thing is I've had problems with ebay in the past where the seller will send me the wrong item and the description is not even close to what was sold to me. That's just my experience when it comes to those matters, but if everything works out for you in the long run awesome sauce. I'm just generally saying when it's used you have less options as far as warranty, returns etc as compared to buying used.

-NoX
"If you win it's just a game, but if you lose it's a complete waste of time"

-Al Bundy (Married With Children)

#14 Zombie

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 12:43 AM

K, I got the drive in the mail today. Tried to shove it in my Rocketfish external HDD frame and it wouldn't fit (Rocketfish uses pins, SSDs do not). So I'm kinda back to square one. There's an adapter obviously (SATA->USB), but I don't have that (yet, though I could easily pick one up from Walmart I suppose). A side issue would be transfer rate as my machine is only USB 2.0 which would take quite a while I'd imagine? Is it possible for me to take my current HDD out of my machine, put the SSD in the bay, and then boot from the external? That would be the other option, unless you guys have a better idea... Posted Image

Edit: Nevermind, ordered a kit anyway. Probably easier in the long run. Posted Image

- Zombie

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#15 Zombie

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 06:35 AM

Well, this cloning thing is turning out to be a real nightmare. Got the SanDisk kit in the mail today, ran the software on the cd, hooked up the ssd to the cable, plugged that into the usb port, started up the cloning process. All seemed fine and dandy 3+ hours in but it apparently hung. So, that's 3 hours down the tube. Tried running it again, was coming up with a ton of write errors. I think my ssd is fine as the computer recognizes it just fine. So I let that run another hour. Nothing happened once the software got to the 10% mark, stayed there just cranking away displaying the write errors. Exited out, removed the usb with the SSD and started out all over again. So far 4+ hours wasted. Let it run another hour+ and finally gave up as it was still displaying write errors. That's 5 hours of my life babysitting with nothing to show for it, not a single byte written.

Tracked down the manual, and this is what it has to say about write errors:

Quote

Read, write and verification errors
If EZ Gig reports errors, these are usually defective areas on the
respective medium. However, general problems with the hardware
can possibly also cause (putative) read and write errors. This is mostly
noticeable by a very high number of displayed errors. First of all, try
to fix the problem via the help instructions for the respective hardware
types (IDE, SCSI, USB) because the causes are usually found there. If
the problems cannot be fixed this way either, deactivate step by step the
following options, at best in the indicated order:

•CachedMemory
•Read cache and write cache
•FastCopy
•DMA
•SharedMemory

If the problem does not occur any more after having deactivated a certain
option, the previously deactivated options can be reactivated as a test.

It talks about deactivating stuff, but I don't have a clue where or how or even if I should be messing around deactivating things which might turn my computer into a dead paperweight. Knowing my luck, that's what will probably happen. And "help instructions for the respective hardware types" I don't understand either. Can't these manuals be written in English and then translated into Chinese later?

Any ideas?

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#16 silencer_pl

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 10:15 AM

You are unlucky. My friend bought I think Crucial SSD last year and migrated without any issues. I personally wasn't migrating. I did clean install.
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#17 Zombie

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 10:22 PM

Completely forgot I had a $25 gift card from Best Buy which I got for Christmas in 2009, ahem. So I huffed it over there the other day and picked up a 2TB Seagate Backup Plus drive. The final price was about the same as a 1TB drive, so this should give me plenty of room temporarily.

What I'm doing is this: using the 2TB drive as a temporary clone drive. Then I'll delete whatever isn't necessary off my failing drive, and try to clone it on the SSD. Using Macrium Reflect free and so far so good - created a backup boot disk and the HDD clone is 30% complete right now. Fingers crossed. If everything turns out ok, I'll remove some of the stuff on the backup drive and use that for it's intended purpose. Posted Image

Edit: upon examination, this isn't going to work after all. See, my new 2TB backup is now automagically downgraded to a 300GB drive like my original failing drive. Another 3 hours down the tubes. Seems I need to image the failing drive and save that on the backup. But how to get my original 2TB capacity back is beyond me. Posted Image

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#18 silencer_pl

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 06:21 AM

Since you bought 2TB drive, wouldn't it be better solution to copy all the important stuff and then just do clean install on the SSD?
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#19 Zombie

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 10:03 PM

I don't really know how do do this "clean install" you are talking about. If you mean to reinstall windows on the SSD, that isn't an option as my computer was used when I purchased it a while back and didn't come with the Windows Vista installation disks. It was upgraded by the owner to Win 7. I suppose people with a lot of tech skills know how to make boot disks and backup disks, but I'm not one of those. Heck, most of the windows files are hidden from my view anyway so I don't know where everything is.

Anyhow, I somehow managed to figure out how to remove the partitions of my 2TB drive. Two partitions were on my original HDD: a 100mb and another 300gb, so when I cloned it, that's what I ended up with along with a ~1.4TB unallocated chunk which couldn't be accessed. Here again, a tech savvy type might know how to combine partitions or make a chunk available but stuff like this takes me forever as I need to research everything first. (Do I even need a 100mb partition with the 2TB HDD or the 256GB SSD? I'm guessing the 100mb part was for the OS? Windows Computer Management tool says that 100mb part is "System Reserved"). Now I'm back to the full capacity of the 2TB drive which is good (well, 1.81TB of it at least).

So now that the 2TB drive is formatted, I can copy the all the stuff I want to keep in it, then delete it from the original HDD. Then image the original drive and finally dump that on the SSD and I should be good to go, no?

Was looking at the different connections on my computer last night and found out I actually have a powered eSATA connection. Ordered a SATA -> eSATA (+USB which I don't need) cable for rather cheap, and was located in Illinois so should get here fast. So just in case things are taking too long via the  SATA -> USB 2.0 I can switch to the eSATA instead. Besides, one of the USB connectors on my computer is a little loose and I'm always afraid I'll bump it by accident and stop whatever I was doing with it (either mouse, HDD, thumb drive). ;)

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#20 silencer_pl

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 10:14 PM

Zombie. You have two options, both require same deal:

A) Get soft that extracts windows key. There is no official soft through MS, and only 3rd parties. I have one somewhere too if you can't google it.
B) Either Get WIN7 key and install WIN7 again. You should seek Win 7 Media Creation Tool on MS sites or just any ISO.
C) Upgrade to W10, get the key, download ISO using Media Creation Tool. Do clean install on SSD.

Alternatively just buy Windows it's not super expensive.
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