18 March 2007

More computer woes

I wasted an entire evening trying to revive my HP laptop with a new hard drive. I'm more convinced than ever that it is a pile of junk.

I tried a clean install of Windows XP with the Windows recovery CD (which was an OPTION at $10 when it should've been standard) - to no avail; the CD refused to recognize my new hard drive. Normally, it should be giving me an option to partition and format the drive so that Windows can be installed; not here.

Just to be sure that I had a good hard drive, I ran diagnostics using the computer's BIOS and full-recovery DVDs - they came back fine. I used all other options at my disposal, but the only route seems to be the full-recovery DVDs, which restore not only Windows but all the other junk from the factory. The problem is, the software for burning the full-recovery DVDs never worked, and I couldn't make the last disc of the 4 DVDs required.

I also tried to boot with a Windows Vista DVD, but since it was an upgrade version, it wanted me to install XP first.

A search through HP and Microsoft's support sections led me nowhere. The only possible cause may be that I may need a third-party driver to get the hard drive recognized, but I am using a standard SATA hard drive, and shouldn't need one. And if I did need one, I have no way of loading it into the system, as USB drives don't work in Windows setup.

It looks like I have a $2,000 mistake in my hands, just out of warranty and completely unusable. Even if I had warranty, I don't look forward to hours of talking to Indian techs who keep asking me the same basic questions 6-7 times. I will try to return the hard drive tomorrow, and wait for my Mac to arrive. I am well aware of the high reliability and the absence of hardware conflicts in Macs, so this should hopefully be my last brush with PC woes, at least at home. (Work will continue to run on PCs.)