Coming to Korea is a wearing experience, even for computers, especially if they aren’t handled well on the journey over (thanks airport security for cracking my friend’s screen). If you’ve been having trouble with your computer -> slow down, freezing, crashing, over-heating, or only turning on sporadically, it would probably be a good idea to either (A) upgrade the whole computer or (B) switch out the hard drive. Most people would probably prefer to not shuck out the bucks for a new computer, so with this post I’ll deal with cloning and switching out an old hard drive.
With technology becoming cheaper (and capacity increasing greatly) these days, it is becoming more common to just upgrade a computer part by part rather than buying a whole new computer. Additionally, most people have multiple files, photos, videos, music, and programs on their original hard drive that they’d prefer to keep intact. Therefore, it is effective and cost efficient to buy a new hard drive, clone the old one, and replace it with the new one. This will allow you to keep everything exactly as it was on the new hard drive as it was on the old one -> and it will also allow for an upgrade of hard drive capacity (no one wants to replace an old hard drive with one the same size -> go big or go home!).
In Jeonju, it’s pretty easy to buy an external USB hard drive from E-mart or HomePlus or Lotte Mart, so long as the connection bus is standard. One of my friends recently had their HP laptop crash. I bought an external, but when I opened up their computer, I found that HP had customized the connection bus of their hard drives so the one I bought wouldn’t fit in there. I’ve also had similar problems with Dell and Gateway. It seems some computer manufacturers like to use non-standard parts in their computers for some reason (so you have to depend solely on them for repairs or upgrades perhaps?). Many of these same manufacturers also use operating system install discs that only work for their computers (i.e. it scans the system to install on and if it isn’t recognized as an HP system that the disc came with, it will refuse to install the operating system).
I’ve always hated PC manufacturers like that. If I want “system specific” hardware or software, I’ll buy a Mac (best computer I ever bought). But PCs should be standard and use standard hardware and software as switching out parts in upgrades or repairs is incredibly common and often undertaken by the PC owner. But that’s another soap box. The picture below (from http://www.laptopparts101.com) shows different laptop hard drive connections. Most that I’ve seen are SATA, but you might want to open up your laptop (in the back – standard Philips screws) and just double-check.
Buy the Hard Drive
In Korea, I know there is a huge electronics market up in Yong-San in Seoul. You could either head up there, or check out your local Emart or HomePlus. When looking to purchase a new drive, I know that prices in Korea are much cheaper on the Internet if you can find the right person to help you look.
You could probably find a list of compatible models online on http://www.gmarket.co.kr -> but then you would need a Korean to help order that model from the Internet. I don’t know what size HDD you’re looking to purchase -> 160GB is pretty standard, but a bit small in this day and age, I’d say 250GB or 320GB is better.
Don’t be fooled by any old hard drive though. As you know, there are two “main types” of computer hard drives: There is the 3.5 inch (width) HDD (around 90mm wide) for internal use in desktop computers, and there is the 2.5 inch HDD (around 63.5mm wide) for internal use in laptop computers. You can find more information at this site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_drive#Form_factors)
Definitely the most important thing to be concerned about (besides the connection) is the size of the hard drive, the dimensions. Laptop drives are 2.5 inch drives, so they should have dimensions around 69.85 mm × 9.5–15 mm × 100 mm -> or similar.
Something along the lines of this ought to do the trick: http://www.gmarket.co.kr/challenge/neo_goods/goods.asp?goodscode=151914114
Be sure that whatever drive you do end up purchasing has an external case and a USB connection. This is imperative for the cloning process (as one drive needs to remain IN the computer while one drive must be connected EXTERNALLY and cloned to).
Buy the Cloning Software
After acquiring the new hard drive, you’ll need an appropriate software to facilitate the cloning process.
Here are just a few links that I found quickly with a Google search:
http://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm (Free software)
http://labnol.blogspot.com/2006/08/clone-hard-drive-with-free-disk.html (Blog with free tools and hints)
http://disk-imaging-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ (Software reviews with features)
Just Do It
Here’s a quick procedure of what you need to do to clone your old drive onto the new one:
- First connect the USB external drive to the computer and turn on your computer as is.
- Install the disc cloning software (if you haven’t already)
- Run the software, and select the external USB connected drive as the drive to clone to.
- Let the software run and clone the whole drive.
- My friend said: “Acronis turned out to be an excellent program with a ‘clone disk’ function, which made it super easy to copy my old hard disk sector for sector. It only took about 1.5 hours for my 120 GB internal Samsung drive to be cloned and Acronis automatically adjusted the partitions to fit the new, larger disk. It couldn’t have been easier!”
- Turn off the computer, unplug everything.
- Remove your laptop’s hard drive, and remove the external hard drive from it’s enclosure.
- Put the external (cloned) hard drive into your laptop.
- Put your laptop’s hard drive into the external enclosure.
- Close it all up and start it up to check and be sure that the cloned drive is exactly the same as the original.
- In case of trouble, trouble-shoot
- My friend said this: “To finish things off I also downloaded Norton Partition Magic to fine-tune the size of my new system and data partitions. Acronis didn’t allow me to adjust the size of my system partition because there wasn’t enough space (usually this can be done with Acronis except in my specific case), so I had to use Partition Magic.
My computer is now running very smoothly with the new drive installed. There don’t seem to be any errors, alhtough I did have to run chkdsk before Norton Partition Magic allowed me to resize my partitions (apparently there were some cross-linked file errors).”
Basically, the whole process is like doing a “switcheroo” on the two drives, so they need to be nearly identical in dimensions.
You’d probably like to keep your old laptop hard drive for storage (you can erase it once the process is successful) in the external enclosure. It should work like a large USB disc that way and it shouldn’t get as much wear and tear by being an external drive, so it should (hopefully) last a while longer -> if you want.
So, if you’re having laptop hard drive problems, why not go do some online shopping (a great US site is http://www.newegg.com), but please check for the dimensions of the hard drive: 69.85 mm × 9.5–15 mm × 100 mm and connection SATA or IDE.
What do you think?
Was this helpful? Did I miss anything?