Hard Drive Problems/hard drive failure


 Can you help me understand a strange situation?   I have an Aspire One 533.  I bought it from Ebay.  It has a 250gb hard drive but when I got it it said it only had a 85gb hard drive.  It worked well and I gave it to a friend who started installing all kinds of programs on it.  Then it crashed.  The hard drive made a clicking noise and would not repair.  I thought it was done for when it couldn't install a fresh Win7 and I was going to put it in the scrap pile.  But I had an evaluation copy of Win8 so for fun I put that in and to my surprise it installed.  It said the hard drive was 150gb but when it installed it reported the hard drive size as 50gb.  It doesn't clack anymore and it runs great.  My questions are "Am I on borrowed time?", "The Win8 is only good for 3 months, will it just shut down after that or will it continue working on Win8?  The only legal operating system I can put on it is Win XP, will that work or will it have bad driver issues?"  "Is there something free like Linex that would work on it?"  "Is it worth buying a new hard drive or is it too hard to install and set up and not worth the money?"
  Thanks for the help.

Hi Don!

Are you on borrowed time?  I'd say yes.  The drive is clearly not working as designed, so I would not put anything important on it at this point.  I would start by running full diagnostics (either from Acer or from the drive manufacturer) on the drive to make sure it is healthy.  I would then use a tool such as DBAN to fully format the disk to remove any file or partition remnants.  If the disk still does not show its full size (are you sure it should be 250GB - other than the eBay seller saying so?), then I would throw it away, regardless of how it appears to operate.

Hard drives are cheap.  You can get a 250GB drive for $50-60, and replacing the hard drive is one of the easiest things to do inside a computer.  "Almost" no computer is too old or obsolete to not be worth a new drive.

Windows 8 will stop booting to the Desktop after the trial period, allowing you only to run the activation program.  Linux is designed to run on many types of hardware, and would probably run fine on your Acer.

Feel free to follow up with any additional questions you might have.

Good luck.

Hard Drive Problems

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I can answer questions about server hardware RAID and general storage for servers and PC's - hard drive issues, troubleshooting, advice, specs, and information. While some apparent drive/RAID array failures can be recovered, I can only provide advice/recommendations in the event of catastrophic data loss. I don't assist in actually recovering from this type of data loss on this forum.


I worked as an analyst in Dell server support for 2 years, and have since worked with many Dell PowerEdge servers. I am currently employed as IT Manager. I am currently ranked in the top 5 All-Time in Server Hardware and Hard Drives in a very popular and large forum similar to AllExperts.

I have a BS in Computer Science and have earned the following certifications: CompTIA Security+, A+, Project+; CIW Web Design, Database Specialist; Microsoft Windows 7; Dell DCSE Server. I am also an expert in Windows 7, Servers, and Hard Drives (I don't normally do XP - not because I don't know it inside and out, but because I have "retired" personal support for XP, and I want to see it die :)).

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