What do I need to know before replacing my laptop’s hard drive?

Heather Clapper April 18, 2013
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I have an Aer laptop that’s about 6 yrs old and has a fried hard drive. I don’t know yet what the model is but I need to know what kind of HD I need, if it has to be one made by Acer or can it be by another company and if if its possible to get one with Windows pre installed. I’ve never replaced one before. Thanx.

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  1. Paul Pruitt
    April 21, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Consider get a solid state hard drive (SSD). They make the computer experience so much faster and enjoyable, even with old hardware. You can get a 120GB for $100 now. Samsung one for instance that are quite good. They don't suffer if you drop your machine. If you need space for photos, use cloud service or just don't install a boatload of software you rarely use and then use your extra space for the storage. Unlike conventional drives, SSDs never get slow no matter how close to being filled they are. Finally, I think all SD's are the 2.5" form factor that fits in laptops.

  2. Chris Marcoe
    April 19, 2013 at 5:38 am

    Go to Piriform's site and get Speccy. It'll tell yo everything you need to know about your computer hardware. Then, open the comp up and see the interface/form factor. (Or whomever is going to do the work) Then you will know what you need.

  3. Jim Chambers
    April 19, 2013 at 3:01 am

    How do you know HDD is fried? It may have a restore partition on it, Read your manual on restoring system and drivers, Manual is available on Acer support website if you can't find it. You will need the laptop model number.

  4. DalSan M
    April 18, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Most laptop hard drives are 2.5 inches in size, so any hard drive that size should fit. As far as brands, Samsung, Western Digital, and Seagate are the main top brands, though there are others such as Hitachi. The capacity depends on your needs. 320GB is fine for general use, 500GB or more for media storage like pictures, music, and videos. As far as a hard drive that already contains Windows, that isn't really possible because the drivers and setup needs to be by the system that it is being installed into. You can contact Acer support to see if they can help you get a system installation disc, otherwise you may have to purchase a Windows license and installation files or disc. If you have to install Windows, then you have to go to the Acer support website and install applications that may be available there, update Windows, then use either SlimDrivers or Driver Identifier to update all drivers. https://www.slimwareutilities.com/slimdrivers.php or http://www.driveridentifier.com/

    • DalSan M
      April 18, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      One thing I forgot to mention is that if you were going to replace the hard drive yourself, which is fairly simple, you can Google search for a service manual for your laptop's model number: "Acer AS7684 service manual" is what it should look like when you type it into Google search.

    • Bruce Epper
      April 18, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      The important thing to know about the hard drive is the type of interface it has. Based on the age of the machine, it is probably a SATA drive, but I have seen some of that vintage still using PATA/IDE drives.

    • DalSan M
      April 18, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      Thank you for mentioning that, Bruce. This bit of information is very important so that the proper purchase can be made.

  5. ha14
    April 18, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    perhaps you can purchase Acer recovery discs

    you can get the same one if you wish, in order to find out the exact model of your hard drive try speccy
    Speccy – An Advanced System Information Tool For Your PC
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/speccy-an-advanced-system-information-tool-for-your-pc/

    now the new hard drive comes with no OS, the problem is that if your Windows License is linked to your hard drive then you cannot use the same Windows with your New hard drive.

    Acronic Migrate Easy
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/migrateeasy/

    How to Copy a Recovery Partition to an External Hard Drive With XCOPY
    http://www.ehow.com/how_8024733_copy-external-hard-drive-xcopy.html

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