Repairing a Dell Inspiron 1545

A while back I was given a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop to repair. The system had a dying hard drive with lots of bad sectors, so I tried my trick of using the middle of the drive to install the OS, so the “bad” portions could be avoided:


This worked for a while, but the hard drive now has nearly 2000 bad sectors and the OS doesn’t really boot anymore, so now I need to get a new hard drive. I went on Amazon and ordered two Toshiba MK3265GSK 320GB drives (one for this laptop and one for another laptop that needed repair). The other laptop had its drive replaced just fine and everything installed perfectly. This wasn’t the whole story with this laptop, however.

I put the new drive in and installed Windows 7 straight away. The installation went perfectly with no issues and I installed all the drivers just fine. Everything worked and was quick. But after a few reboots, the laptop started taking longer and longer to boot, eventually taking minutes. I put my ear to where the drive sits in the laptop, and I could hear the dreaded tick-tick noise that is associated with read errors and failing drives. This was a brand new drive!

I took the drive out and plugged it into my desktop. And lo and behold:


What!! 30 bad sectors??? The drive was two hours old!

I might have a defective drive and might need a replacement, but I wasn’t convinced. So, I am currently HDAT2 to do a surface scan of the drive to see what it comes up with:


I hope everything turns out to be okay and the laptop has more serious issues – maybe the SATA chipset is dead? I’ll post back with the results when its eventually finished (this takes aaaages – many hours)!

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