Death of my hard drive


My laptop is currently back from the dead (does that make it a zombie? but I digress…) with a new hard drive.

Well, a new old hard drive.

The story:

Earlier this week, I was in Windows running some updates and stuff and generally just browsing. We went to lunch around noon and I came back to a black screen and this error:

Intel UNDI, PXE-2.1 (build 082)
Copyright (C) 1997-2000 Intel Corporation

For Realtek RTL8111B/8111C Gigabit Ethernet Controller v2.0 (071105)

Client MAC ADDR: 00 90 F5 91 CC FC GUID: 0090F591-CCFC-000-000-000000000000
PXE-E53: No boot filename received

PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM.
Operating System not found

How can the operating system not be found? This computer had two operating systems on it (Ubuntu and Windows 7) and I know it was working before I went to lunch. Ok, it was time for some troubleshooting.

I booted to a LiveCD and checked in Gparted. My main hard drive wasn’t detected at all. It was like I had pulled it out of the computer. I rebooted and checked my BIOS. No hard drive at all. I reseated it, and ran the same tests (BIOS check, LiveCD) and noticed that it started clicking when I did a startup. Not good.

So I submitted a note to the Ubutu forums that maybe System76 could help me out. I was directed to send them an email, which I did.

Ok, so it turns out that it’ll cost about $170 to replace the drive. I politely declined service, as I can replace the drive easily on my own. I know I was out of warranty, but I thought I could at least get a drive from System76 as it was a replacement from November of last year.

Price comparision: I can replace the drive with a 500 gb one from Newegg for between $60 and $80.

I’m working fine with this 200 gb drive from my brother. I’d like to get a 500 gb drive so I can devote 75-100 gb to Windows 7 (just so I have plenty of room to install games and stuff).

I’ll still recommend System76 as a vendor if you need laptop hardware. It’s too bad they won’t even take my old drive back to get some of their money back though. This is still a great computer, and runs well. My warranty had run out (just barely though) and I understand that they can’t do any “free” work on it. Makes sense.

3 thoughts on “Death of my hard drive”

  1. did you use a UPS? or power stabilizer? as i know, hard drive is very sensitive, that even just a little electric instability could cause short circuit.

    1. No and no.

      I didn’t even think of that, but I to shut my power strip off when I’m not using the laptop. I also pull the battery when I’m not using it.

      Would either of those cause a problem?

Comments are closed.