Looking for a new, good HDD under 80$ for my Laptop--Help Please

Evenodd

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I have a Sony Vaio VPCF1 that, I believe, has a failing hard drive.

This will be my first time buying computer parts and I'm not sure about what I'm suppose to be getting, like, the hard drive in my laptop has this metal "armor" around it that hides the disc things, but online I can see there are a bunch of different looking hard drives so it's really confusing for me.

My current hard drive, which came with my laptop when I bought it is 500GB. I'd like a new hard drive with the same amount or more if it's cheaper.

Please help me look for a new hard drive before the day is over, thanks!
 
That looks like a recent model, which should use a SATA HDD. Just to check the port where it connects to the laptop should look like this



I'm not sure what you mean by "armor" but real HDDs are covered. You often see "open" pics of the inside of a HDD online but that doesn't represent the way they ship; opening a HDD will kill it. The 'platters' (the metallic-covered glass disks inside the drive) are VERY precisely engineered and do not tolerate dust getting on the surface and under the read heads... at all. Beyond this, most laptops use a mounting bracket of some kind to secure the drive in place, often held with screws. This can be transferred from old to new drive.

Any SATA 2.5" will do, here are suggestions:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4831KG2457
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA24G1741541
 

Evenodd

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Yeah, I meant that it's covered and thanks!
 

Evenodd

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I haven't run one yet, I'll do that now.

Sometimes I hear clicking noises. I recovered from some problem with my laptop where it was going super slow and I had to do a factory reset a while ago. Everything was fine for some time after that and then my computer just suddenly started getting slow as hell again. I'm always in safe mode now to surf the web because it's faster. I can't even open applications in normal mode because the computer just freezes or something.

I don't believe it's any malware or virus. I have a good antivirus program and surf safely.
 


OK, run the diagnostic. If it fails get a new drive (you'll need to re-install Windows from a disk). If it passes, go into normal mode then go to the Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL or right-click taskbar) and bring up the "Performance" tab. That should indicate minimal CPU activity on a clean installation and an idle desktop but if it's showing heavy CPU usage there's something running in the background slowing down your laptop.
 

Evenodd

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Which one do I select?


EDIT: I'll do all of them
 

Evenodd

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No I don't.

Is there a way to make one?
 


Here are all the options:

Your first option is to create a recovery disk. As long as the laptop is still bootable and has the original software, check the system for a recovery media creation tool. For a Sony it might be included in one of the "Vaio care" programs, or somewhere else under "Sony" in the start menu. Most laptops of that era had an option to create recovery disks built in, to make up for the fact they usually didn't come with disks in the box. If you can find that option insert however many blank DVDs it calls for (one by one as it asks for them) and let the computer burn the disks.

As to a free, clean copy of windows: technically it depends on the version of Windows but since it appears that originally came with Windows 7, yes there is a legal way to download the software. I'm assuming you have Home Premium. Check the underside of your laptop for the product key sticker to verify that Windows 7 Home Premium is the OS and that the code is readable.

This is the link to the 64 bit version: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-24209.iso

With this file you have two choices: burn to disk or copy to flash drive. This tool can create a bootable flash drive from the image (at least 4GB capacity) http://wudt.codeplex.com/

Or you can insert a blank DVD, right-click the file and select "burn image to disk"

If you have a problem making out the product key, you won't be able to use that to activate Windows. In that case, skip the free download and contact Sony support to ask for a copy of the recovery disks to be sent if either of the above options doesn't work. Whatever Sony will charge is probably less then buying a new copy of Windows.

Finally, you could attempt a "clone" of the old hard drive onto the new hard drive (as long as the new drive has at least the same capacity it should work - if it's possible as you see below). If you get a WD drive, use the WD cloning tool from their site, or "DiskWizard" for a Seagate drive. Other manufacturers may also have tools on their websites; if you need a program for a different drive try one of these: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-free-and-reliable-cloning-tools/

While a fresh installation will install either the original Sony factory image or a clean copy of Windows (depending on which of the above disks you get/create), a successful clone will bring back the system exactly as it was on the old disk, including all your files and settings and programs you added will be back and working. Since the old drive isn't full\y healthy, the success of a clone attempt can't be fully guaranteed, so be prepared to use one of the above options as a backup if you want to try to clone.
 
Let me also note that doing a clone requires both drives be connected at once. If you don't have an external enclosure or USB to SATA adapter that won't be possible on a laptop. A desktop can be used to clone the hard drives if you have one handy. The software can be used as a boot disk like the windows installer or in some cases, installed on the original drive which is then rebooted into the clone tool (if you can get around the first obstacle)
 

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