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My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

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My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

Old 11-01-21, 07:25 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

What is the point of the "crapware" that PC manufacturers pre-install?

And I don't mean stuff like games or McAfee (which might as well be malware itself, but that's another rant), I mean the proprietary shit that they put on top of Windows. Nobody wants it, but they still spend money putting it on there, eating up system resources.
Old 11-01-21, 08:38 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

I imagine that stuff like Bing Travel, Bing Finance, and Bing Sports are revenue generators. They probably direct you to sites that paid for the privilege, and probably collect your personal data for later resale.
Old 11-02-21, 04:16 AM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

^ Exactly. Software developers pay the computer manufacturers to include their crapware on new PCs so the computer ends up costing you less. For that reason, I would not be able to build a computer from scratch (using non-generic components) for what you could buy a computer off-the-shelf.

That refurbished computers are being shipped crapware free says something about the people who are refurbishing them.

I was speaking of new off-the-shelf PCs in my post above.
Old 11-02-21, 10:16 AM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

I don't even mean all of the "bing" shit. (I've never done a clean install of Windows, but I would assume that "bing" would also infect Windows since Microsoft owns it.)

It's like, when I got my Dell Studio back in 2010 or thereabouts, it had this program, I think it was called "Dell Dock" or something, that basically emulated a Mac OS sitting on top of Windows 7.
Old 11-05-21, 01:28 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

Don't look at me, I'm one of the kings of keeping old computers going. My primary home PC is a 2007 gaming rig that runs Win10 just fine.

In your case I would have migrated to an SSD, maxed out the RAM, and while it was apart replaced the thermal paste with fresh.

But a shiny new laptop is soooo nice!
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Old 11-06-21, 11:58 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

Originally Posted by AGuyNamedMike View Post
Don't look at me, I'm one of the kings of keeping old computers going. My primary home PC is a 2007 gaming rig that runs Win10 just fine.
Same here, but I have had to replace the PSU on our 12-year-old Dell Studio 540 Slim about once a year for the last five years (Thanks to those here who pointed out what the problem was). I can hear the PSU fan starting to go again, and I'm tired of replacing the whole unit. I wouldn't mind it so much if it weren't about 75 bucks a pop. Plus, I have to open the case, blow out the dust, and carefully plug the new part into all the right places.

Anyone know anything about the Acer Aspire TC-895-UA91? Hard drive capacity on that one is underwhelming (I'd prefer at least 1TB), but I have a couple of external drives totalling 9TB, so I'll just transfer as much space-hogging material to those as possible. I'll also have to buy a blu-ray drive. An SSD is probably a good idea in terms of better reliability than a HHD, no? Is there anything better than the aforementioned Acer for less than a Grand CAD?
Old 11-09-21, 02:07 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

Yeah, those small form factor power supplies aren't robust at all.

As an electronics hobbyist, I buy and install a replacement then repair the first one (recap, replace cooked transistors & diodes, clean and lube or replace fan) and stick it on the shelf. Then down the line if it fails again swap and repeat.

For most folks this would be tedious I admit.


As far as that particular model, It already has a speedy half-Terabyte NVMe SSD in it. I watched this
for it and it should be easy for you to drop in another 8GB RAM stick and a cheap multi-TB 3.5" hard drive for bulk data storage. Then you can use your external drives for backups.

You mentioned blu-ray. Swapping a slim BR drive out for the included DVD drive should be a breeze.

One caveat I noticed: even in a regular minitower case they opted for the new style 12-volt-only small power supply, so if it dies a replacement might be hard to find at your local CC.
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Old 11-09-21, 03:41 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

Thanks for the suggestions, Mike. Yeah, repairing computers or computer parts is out of my league. I just don't know enough, and more importantly, I don't have the patience for little mechanical fixes. Installing a new PSU annually was already stretching my abilities and forbearance. I did install a blu-ray drive in this Dell 540 several years ago, and even replaced it a couple of times when it died, but I had to jerry-rig it in place with a couple of screws. Not sure I want to do that with a new computer and risk breaking something. I can just buy a blu-ray drive and use it externally, can't I?

As for the uncommon power supply for this Acer, are there any PCs you would suggest instead?
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Old 11-09-21, 08:21 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

Yes, a USB connected external BR drive would work great and you could keep it in a drawer when not in use.

This new 12VO power standard was developed to meet new PS efficiency standards but it forces the motherboard to derive 3.3 and 5 volt from a 12 volt only supply. So the PS and MB must match (though I see some chatter about adapters).

I looked around and couldn't easily find a source for it as a spare part, but I didn't try to contact Acer either. Still, maybe this new 12 volt rail only design is more resilient?


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Old 11-11-21, 12:28 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

They don't seem to make external cd/dvd/bluray drives like they use to, circa more than a decade ago. Very few decent external bluray-r drives made over the past decade or so.

Another option is getting a kit which has a SATA->USB2 (or USB1) coverter + a half height box to hold a generic internal bluray-r drive. Essentially makes an internal bluray-r sata drive into an "external" usb2 drive which can be plugged/unplugged at will.
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Old 11-11-21, 05:35 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

Thanks for the info, morris, but I only understood about 2/5 of the second paragraph.
Old 11-16-21, 02:24 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

morris means buy something like this
Amazon Amazon

and install it in something like this
Amazon Amazon

Easy peasy. If you can swap a power supply you'll have no difficulty assembling this.


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Old 11-16-21, 08:43 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

^Ah, thanks for the translation. Yes, that is dead-easy.

Now, a possibility, though it's more than we want to spend, is this Dell XPS. We'll just use our existing monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers.
Is this a good buy, do you think? It's currently $250 off. Remember, it's Canadian dollars.
Old 11-18-21, 02:20 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

That is pricy, but that's the market right now. And it comes with a blue-ray drive already in it. I don't see anything wrong with that spec though I might boost the basic warranty out to 3 or 4 years. Just one power supply replacement will make that worthwhile.

I'm admit I'm a Dell fanboy. The mid and better tier lines tend to be easy to upgrade and repair and their drivers aren't a nightmare to keep updated, and I have had more satisfactory experiences with their warranty support than others (I'm looking at you, Lenovo and HP).
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Old 11-18-21, 04:02 PM
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Re: My 7-year old hard drive is dying. New drive or new computer?

Thanks much for the input, Mike. Yes, I added a Blu-ray drive and 500 GB of HD capacity, which raised by $320 the base price of that model.

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