Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

New Laptop Hard Drive Crash and Burn

My 5 month old HP Pavillion dx6000 just had a hard drive crash the other day. The good news is that I don’t store data on that machine so nothing was really lost.

A call to HPs tech support got immediate results. Within a half hour, they had run through the diagnostics and set up shipping of a replacement HD and recovery CD.

What had happened was that the machine locked up while I was in a $tarbuck$ working with the aircard. I though a power off and reboot would work. I got the Windows repair (Windows Vista Home Premium). That went through it’s stuff and came back with a message that the drive was defective. HP’s tech had me run through the BIOS HD testing and it came up with the same message so they started the replacement process.

The problem I was faced with was that I had some data on the machine. I’m not comfortable returning a drive with data to any company. (id theft and all that). I would think they have adequate internal controls but in today’s litigous society, you can’t be too careful. You never know when a lawyer is looking for a victim to sue.

After you go through the startup repair, there is an option for advance diagnostics. I tried the system restore to an earlier point but that didn’t work. I then tried the ‘restore to factory defaults’. That got the machine up and running. The nice thing was that the way HP partitioned the hard drive any data I did have was on the D drive.

I was able to reinstall my aircard, the norton trial and openoffice. I’m almost 90% functional until the replacement hd arrives. When it does, I will be able to delete all my personal info, wipe out any windows saved passwords, cookies etc and then run a disk wiping app to clean things. That way I’ve done my ‘due dilligence’.

The problem with the potential compromising of data on a returned hard drive is that you could find yourself open to a major lawsuit. Some people, especially those subject to any government regulation, should consider taking a sledgehammer to the drive or perhaps a couple of rounds of jacketed .45 and not returning it. You will be charged for it but the $200 cost is less than one hour of attorney’s time.

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