Would You Buy a Used Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by powrwrap, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. powrwrap

    powrwrap Guest

    I had a Western Digital 250GB IDE hard drive go belly up on me
    recently. I was able to salvage almost all of the content and it's now
    been removed from my Dim 4550. I grew accustomed to having extra
    storage space and am thinking of getting another hard drive. The
    problem is that new replacements are around $70 and I can't find new
    ones outside of Western Digital. Refurbished Maxtors and WD's are
    around $35-$40.

    However, used ones can be found on ebay for around $20-$25. Kind of
    leery about buying a used one, though. Would you buy a used hard drive?
    powrwrap, Aug 30, 2011
    #1
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  2. powrwrap

    olfart Guest

    "powrwrap" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I had a Western Digital 250GB IDE hard drive go belly up on me
    > recently. I was able to salvage almost all of the content and it's now
    > been removed from my Dim 4550. I grew accustomed to having extra
    > storage space and am thinking of getting another hard drive. The
    > problem is that new replacements are around $70 and I can't find new
    > ones outside of Western Digital. Refurbished Maxtors and WD's are
    > around $35-$40.
    >
    > However, used ones can be found on ebay for around $20-$25. Kind of
    > leery about buying a used one, though. Would you buy a used hard drive?


    what do you do for backup??? A brand new HD can go belly up minutes after
    installation.....although not likely, it does happen... or it can last for
    years. You can probably replace it under warranty, but you have plost all
    your data.I use nothing but WD drives and have hd very good luck with
    them,,,both IDE and Sata in my 4 desktops and 2 laptops. But I maintain
    backups of all of them just in case. Have had one WD 250 go bad in about 10
    years. If you value your data you can buy 2 used drives on eBay and get a
    USB enclosure for one of them to backup your data. Wouldn't hurt to kep a
    backup....image or clone...of your C Drive either. Will save alotof grief
    later if C goes kaput
    olfart, Aug 30, 2011
    #2
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  3. On 8/30/2011 1:17 PM, powrwrap wrote:
    > I had a Western Digital 250GB IDE hard drive go belly up on me
    > recently. I was able to salvage almost all of the content and it's now
    > been removed from my Dim 4550. I grew accustomed to having extra
    > storage space and am thinking of getting another hard drive. The
    > problem is that new replacements are around $70 and I can't find new
    > ones outside of Western Digital. Refurbished Maxtors and WD's are
    > around $35-$40.
    >
    > However, used ones can be found on ebay for around $20-$25. Kind of
    > leery about buying a used one, though. Would you buy a used hard drive?


    your best bet is to get a syba sy-via-150r for under $20 from newegg
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=15-124-023
    and a fast sata disk like a 500gb seagate for under $40 with coupon code
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148767
    the card comes with a sata cable so the only other thing you will need
    is a molex to sata power adapter cable like this...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200819
    Christopher Muto, Aug 30, 2011
    #3
  4. powrwrap

    RnR Guest

    On Tue, 30 Aug 2011 15:15:57 -0400, Christopher Muto
    <> wrote:

    >On 8/30/2011 1:17 PM, powrwrap wrote:
    >> I had a Western Digital 250GB IDE hard drive go belly up on me
    >> recently. I was able to salvage almost all of the content and it's now
    >> been removed from my Dim 4550. I grew accustomed to having extra
    >> storage space and am thinking of getting another hard drive. The
    >> problem is that new replacements are around $70 and I can't find new
    >> ones outside of Western Digital. Refurbished Maxtors and WD's are
    >> around $35-$40.
    >>
    >> However, used ones can be found on ebay for around $20-$25. Kind of
    >> leery about buying a used one, though. Would you buy a used hard drive?

    >
    >your best bet is to get a syba sy-via-150r for under $20 from newegg
    >http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=15-124-023
    >and a fast sata disk like a 500gb seagate for under $40 with coupon code
    >http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148767
    >the card comes with a sata cable so the only other thing you will need
    >is a molex to sata power adapter cable like this...
    >http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200819



    Yeah but I think he wants to spend a lot less than $70 if I read his
    post right.

    But to answer his question, I wouldn't do it if given a choice
    (meaning you can afford to buy a new one). This is also assuming if
    you buy a new one, you like the return policy and the vendor pays for
    shipping for a return. Then if you do buy a new one and it goes bad
    soon after, return it and replace it under warrantee. Of course keep
    in mind any drive can fail any time so a new drive could go bad after
    the warrantee is up. The same goes for a used drive... it can go bad
    any time. I guess it's a crap shoot either way :( .... just
    read a lot of reviews before you buy.
    RnR, Aug 30, 2011
    #4
  5. powrwrap

    powrwrap Guest

    Olfart, I've got a portable 1 TB USB drive for backups.

    Christopher, I don't want to spend that kind of money on a 9 year old
    computer. I'm looking to get a XPS Studio sometime next spring.

    RnR, Yeah, I'm scared of buying used hard drives.

    I guess the consensus is to avoid a used hard drive. Thanks for the
    responses.
    powrwrap, Aug 30, 2011
    #5
  6. powrwrap

    BillW50 Guest

    On 8/30/2011 4:22 PM, powrwrap wrote:
    > Olfart, I've got a portable 1 TB USB drive for backups.
    >
    > Christopher, I don't want to spend that kind of money on a 9 year old
    > computer. I'm looking to get a XPS Studio sometime next spring.
    >
    > RnR, Yeah, I'm scared of buying used hard drives.
    >
    > I guess the consensus is to avoid a used hard drive. Thanks for the
    > responses.


    Actually used hard drives can often be a great buy. Sure the warrantee
    is less or none at all. But they are a lot less. So buy two and you are
    still usually ahead.

    9 year old computer? Ouch! But talking about old computers, I like the
    ones from the end of 2006 myself. Why? Well because they can usually run
    XP, Vista, and Windows 7 just fine. It is almost magical actually. Older
    and newer ones can't usually claim support for all three. I dunno for
    sure, but they might be able to handle Windows 8 too.

    Now if you buy the latest and greatest, it will cost you a lot. For
    example this machine cost new about 4 years ago at about $3000+. But
    today you can buy it under $300 (and I have two of them). Okay some are
    selling them for around $600, but don't buy those unless you really want
    one.

    And I always had this belief that buying PCs since '81, is that you buy
    often and cheap. This usually means you buy last years model or a little
    older at bargain prices (be careful about buying too old). As it beats
    paying like $3000 for a wonderful machine, doesn't it? Let the people
    who wants the latest and greatest to drive the slightly older stuff to
    rock bottom prices.

    This brings me to another point I wanted to make. Buying this way allows
    you another luxury. As when you buy cheap and it doesn't work out so
    good, you don't lose a lot either. But if it works out really great it
    is time to get a second backup machine.

    Here is what I wanted to talk about. Almost nobody will tell you that
    you need backups. And I am not going to tell you differently as they are
    indeed nice to have (I have tons myself). But what nobody tells you is
    what good is a backup if your hardware fails.

    Here is where two same model comes to play. Use the second one or store
    it away, it doesn't matter (although using it from time to time is
    really helpful). As so many people worry about if the hard drive fails
    so we need backups.

    While that is true, that is only the hard drive. Lots of things can fail
    with a computer besides a hard drive. For me, that is the least of my
    worries. Let's say something else goes. Say if the power supply, the
    motherboard, etc. goes? Now what? You have a perfectly good hard drive,
    but the computer is useless.

    Most people pull the data off of the drive and go from there. That is
    very time consuming if you ask me. Why not just throw the hard drive in
    the same clone of the original? Now you are back and up running in a few
    minutes or even seconds. ;-)

    --
    Bill
    Alienware M9700 ('06 era) - Thunderbird v3
    AMD ML-44 2.41GHz - 2GB - Windows XP SP3
    BillW50, Aug 30, 2011
    #6
  7. On 8/30/2011 5:22 PM, powrwrap wrote:
    >
    > Christopher, I don't want to spend that kind of money on a 9 year old
    > computer. I'm looking to get a XPS Studio sometime next spring.
    >


    it seems that you are being penny wise and pound foolish. are you
    saying that you would rather pay $25 for a used mystery pata drive from
    ebay that is completely worthless once you discard this machine, or $40
    for a refurbished maxtor/wd for $40, and then invest your time in
    loading the operating system et al rather than get a fast new large
    capacity sata drive with 2 year warranty that you can move to a new
    system when you get one for just $60? that doesn't seem very smart.
    Christopher Muto, Aug 30, 2011
    #7
  8. powrwrap

    RnR Guest

    On Tue, 30 Aug 2011 14:22:15 -0700 (PDT), powrwrap <>
    wrote:

    >Olfart, I've got a portable 1 TB USB drive for backups.
    >
    >Christopher, I don't want to spend that kind of money on a 9 year old
    >computer. I'm looking to get a XPS Studio sometime next spring.
    >
    >RnR, Yeah, I'm scared of buying used hard drives.
    >
    >I guess the consensus is to avoid a used hard drive. Thanks for the
    >responses.
    >



    If you're sure you will buy a new one in the Spring, if it were me,
    I'd resist not buying anything till then. Or if I did, I might
    consider an external usb drive so you could use it for the old or new
    system. Of course this might cost more than $70 but if you could use
    it toward the new system, then it's not really a waste of money.
    Whatever, I'd still avoid a used drive unless you know who owned it.
    RnR, Aug 31, 2011
    #8
  9. powrwrap

    Ben Myers Guest

    On Aug 30, 1:17 pm, powrwrap <> wrote:
    > I had a Western Digital 250GB IDE hard drive go belly up on me
    > recently. I was able to salvage almost all of the content and it's now
    > been removed from my Dim 4550. I grew accustomed to having extra
    > storage space and am thinking of getting another hard drive. The
    > problem is that new replacements are around $70 and I can't find new
    > ones outside of Western Digital. Refurbished Maxtors and WD's are
    > around $35-$40.
    >
    > However, used ones can be found on ebay for around $20-$25. Kind of
    > leery about buying a used one, though. Would you buy a used hard drive?


    I'm missing some context. The first and most important question is
    whether your 4550 is your primary computer or a backup. If it's the
    primary computer, make the investment in a new drive to improve the
    odds that there will not be another drive failure. If it's one or
    more of your secondary computers, replace it with a newer model
    supporting SATA drives. (If you are within 50 miles of Boston,
    contact me offline. I have some nice Dells recently retired by
    corporate America. Not expensive.)

    A used drive can be fine as long as it has no bad sectors. If it has
    bad sectors, it makes a good paperweight. There are several
    utilities, both DOS and Windows-based, to read out the SMART data from
    a drive, telling you if it has had bad sectors replaced or if there
    are any pending bad sector replacements.

    If a seller guarantees that the drive has no bad sectors, then it may
    serve you well until you replace the computer. Problem is that decent
    capacity (250GB and up) new IDE drives are now hard to find and
    expensive as you have found.

    I have done a few repairs lately involving failing hard drives. The
    value of the data and the expense of data recovery often far outweigh
    the cost of the replacement drive itself, for example a home computer
    with thousands of photos and thousands of songs, over 16GB in all, I
    repaired recently. Yeah, the guy was happy with the repaired computer
    with all his data (and copies of the data on flash sticks), something
    a Staples tech said could not be done.

    So the real questions to answer here are how valuable is the data that
    will be kept on a repaired 4550 and what are the consequences if all
    or part of the data is lost forever? ... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Aug 31, 2011
    #9
  10. powrwrap

    Bob_Villa Guest

    On Aug 31, 8:19 am, Ben Myers <> wrote:
    The
    > value of the data and the expense of data recovery often far outweigh
    > the cost of the replacement drive itself, for example a home computer
    > with thousands of photos and thousands of songs, over 16GB in all, I
    > repaired recently.  Yeah, the guy was happy with the repaired computer
    > with all his data (and copies of the data on flash sticks), something
    > a Staples tech said could not be done.
    >
    > So the real questions to answer here are how valuable is the data that
    > will be kept on a repaired 4550 and what are the consequences if all
    > or part of the data is lost forever?  ... Ben Myers


    Not to demean Ben's abilities here...but "usually" Windows gets hosed
    and "often" you can retrieve data by putting the drive in an external
    USB enclosure or adapter. My $.02
    Bob_Villa, Aug 31, 2011
    #10
  11. powrwrap

    RnR Guest

    On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 06:39:41 -0500, "RnR" <> wrote:

    >On Tue, 30 Aug 2011 14:22:15 -0700 (PDT), powrwrap <>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>Olfart, I've got a portable 1 TB USB drive for backups.
    >>
    >>Christopher, I don't want to spend that kind of money on a 9 year old
    >>computer. I'm looking to get a XPS Studio sometime next spring.
    >>
    >>RnR, Yeah, I'm scared of buying used hard drives.
    >>
    >>I guess the consensus is to avoid a used hard drive. Thanks for the
    >>responses.
    >>

    >
    >
    >If you're sure you will buy a new one in the Spring, if it were me,
    >I'd resist not buying anything till then. Or if I did, I might


    Sorry... meant to say "I'd resist buying.... ".

    >consider an external usb drive so you could use it for the old or new
    >system. Of course this might cost more than $70 but if you could use
    >it toward the new system, then it's not really a waste of money.
    >Whatever, I'd still avoid a used drive unless you know who owned it.
    RnR, Aug 31, 2011
    #11
  12. powrwrap

    powrwrap Guest

    I should have provided more information with regards to my situation.
    To clarify:

    Christopher: If I were to buy a hard drive for my Dim 4550, it would
    be as a secondary drive. My original Maxtor 40 GB drive is still
    working fine (and almost full.). I wouldn't need to load an operating
    system onto any drive I bought for my 4550. Your advice is perfect had
    I needed a primary drive.

    RnR: I do have an external USB drive. I bought it just after my WD 250
    GB puked.

    Ben: The 4550 is my primary computer. My family has a Dim 4600 which I
    use to copy important files onto as backups. Also, my 4550's C: drive
    has been cloned to my external USB drive. Thanks for the offer of a
    used computer, that's real nice of you.

    So I have backup options, but I got used to having the convenience of
    a 250 GB drive inside my 4550.

    Bottom Line: I guess I'll skip buying a secondary drive for this
    computer. I'll use the external USB as needed for photos, music, home
    videos, etc.
    powrwrap, Aug 31, 2011
    #12
  13. On 8/31/2011 2:47 PM, powrwrap wrote:
    > I should have provided more information with regards to my situation.
    > To clarify:
    >
    > Christopher: If I were to buy a hard drive for my Dim 4550, it would
    > be as a secondary drive. My original Maxtor 40 GB drive is still
    > working fine (and almost full.). I wouldn't need to load an operating
    > system onto any drive I bought for my 4550. Your advice is perfect had
    > I needed a primary drive.
    >
    > RnR: I do have an external USB drive. I bought it just after my WD 250
    > GB puked.
    >
    > Ben: The 4550 is my primary computer. My family has a Dim 4600 which I
    > use to copy important files onto as backups. Also, my 4550's C: drive
    > has been cloned to my external USB drive. Thanks for the offer of a
    > used computer, that's real nice of you.
    >
    > So I have backup options, but I got used to having the convenience of
    > a 250 GB drive inside my 4550.
    >
    > Bottom Line: I guess I'll skip buying a secondary drive for this
    > computer. I'll use the external USB as needed for photos, music, home
    > videos, etc.
    >


    as secondary storage then i would suggest a $10 usb2 expansion card for
    the 4550 and using external usb drive. external usb drives are very
    cheap today and have a usable life beyond the 4550.
    Christopher Muto, Aug 31, 2011
    #13
  14. powrwrap

    BillW50 Guest

    On 8/31/2011 8:19 AM, Ben Myers wrote:
    > ... I have some nice Dells recently retired by
    > corporate America. Not expensive.)


    I too see a lot of laptops that were recently taken off of lease. And it
    is still a surprise to me the wide range of shape these things are found
    in. As some of them were heavily abused. Some were robbed of any good
    parts. And some look like they were just taken out of the box brand new
    just last week. Do you also find the same?

    --
    Bill
    Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Thunderbird v3.0
    Centrino Core2 Duo 2GHz - 1.5GB - Windows 7
    BillW50, Sep 1, 2011
    #14
  15. powrwrap

    Ben Myers Guest

    On Sep 1, 12:41 pm, BillW50 <> wrote:
    > On 8/31/2011 8:19 AM, Ben Myers wrote:
    >
    > > ... I have some nice Dells recently retired by
    > > corporate America.  Not expensive.)

    >
    > I too see a lot of laptops that were recently taken off of lease. And it
    > is still a surprise to me the wide range of shape these things are found
    > in. As some of them were heavily abused. Some were robbed of any good
    > parts. And some look like they were just taken out of the box brand new
    > just last week. Do you also find the same?
    >
    > --
    > Bill
    > Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Thunderbird v3.0
    > Centrino Core2 Duo 2GHz - 1.5GB - Windows 7


    Yes. It all depends on who is in charge of the computer disposal
    process and what sorts of standards are in place and followed re. the
    care and feeding of corporate-owned laptops... Ben
    Ben Myers, Sep 1, 2011
    #15
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