Customer's HDD originates from an HP 2000 laptop model.
Problem: The customer’s niece was on the computer and while in use the laptop became unstable and non-responsive. Subsequent re-boot attempts resulted in slow Windows 8.1 loading, but never completing to the log in windows page.
Internal hard drive in the HP 2000 laptop was a SATA hard disk drive model: ST9320LT020
1st step: Checked the Seagate drive condition by running a couple of test utilities, such as MHDD. No apparent signs of firmware and hardware related errors were detected.
2nd step: Created a backup of the files from the hard drive using WinHex to another healthy Samsung USB external drive.
3rd step: Since the customer was on a tight budget wanting to save as much money as possible, but also wanting to have an up to date machine, we went ahead and restored the default Windows 8.1 installation. Once completed, since Microsoft still offers free Windows 10 updates with any genuine license, we went ahead and upgraded the laptop to Windows 10.
4th step: Tested laptop to ensure it works properly, installed additional applications that the customer wanted on the laptop, such as Chrome, Skype and Microsoft Office suite of tools.
5th step: Educated the customer on backup resources procedures needed to have a reliable backup copy of the files.
Warning: In an effort to get their computer working again, quite often, people rely on the assumption that the drive inside the laptop is healthy. As result, people feel comfortable enough to run chkdsk commands, restore an installation to default factory settings, or restore the machine from a backup. The problem with this approach is that most people fail to make their computer operational again because the hard drive is failing. Therefore, any of those operations will result in failure and frequently results in file corruption or complete data loss. It is critical to first check on the drive’s condition to determine if such an approach is feasible. If not sure how to go about doing so, it is recommended to get educated first, ask a data recovery specialist, or simply experiment once a proper backup has been created and critical files are safe. If not, disaster is around the corner.
Cost: less than $190.
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