Acer entered the world of laptop computers in 1997 when it purchased Texas Instruments' mobile PC division.

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Hard drive failure what to do now?

Acer Extensa 5420 wont turn on and for a few days its been crashing and turning off it slightly got better today and died i did not catch any error messages and hdd light red indicating problem,this is the oringinal 160 gb hhd from when purchased in 2009

Should i get a new hard drive

Can i use ssd instead

As this computer is over six years old is there anything else that will make it last another six

Thanks in advance

Happy easter everyone march 27 2016


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If you still can, copy your data to a USB HDD or similar before your HDD finally dies, (unless it is already too late) so that at least you will have saved your data.

If your laptop is still running Vista as the OS, unfortunately Microsoft will not support Vista with updates past 11th April, 2017. So lasting another 6 years using that OS may be questionable as to whether it will cope with the future software demands that may be placed on it.

The specifications for your laptop, show that you have a IDE controller for your HDD, so while it is possible to replace the HDD with an SSD (you have to get an IDE type SSD or an interface for a sata drive) you will not gain anything speed wise, due to the limitations of the controller. You may gain on the fact that there are no moving parts in the SSD but IDE HDD drives should be very cheap to find and since your last one lasted 7 years, it may be easier to stay with the type that you have.

You can also increase the RAM in your laptop, only up to 4GB though, which again, may be on the low side for future software requirements.

You could try extending the life of your laptop, since you need a new HDD, by investigating the various Linux OSs available. A lot of them are free. Installing one of them as a new OS on a new HDD in your laptop will certainly extend its' life. Just 'Google' free Linux distros'. Upgrading from Vista to another Microsoft OS will cost you and may not work anyway as there are no Acer drivers for your particular model laptop if you want to upgrade it to either Win 7, 8.1 or Win 10. The 'lite' versions of some Linux OSs also have very small system requirements necessary for them to function efficiently.

This is just one link, if you decide to go this way there are a lot more.

Hopefully this information is enough to get you started as to what you want to do.

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Thanks jayeff helped alot


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