The hard drive on my Lenovo had died. It would not even pass the BIOS level hardware test during the tablet's startup. I had an external case for EIDE drives which I had used in the past when my drive on my laptop at home died and I brought it in to see if the drive was at all salvageable. I did not remember having anything on it which had not been backed up, but wanted to be sure.

    Of course the drive was not EIDE, so my case did not work. It was a SATA drive (for those non-hardware folks, EIDE uses a wide cable to connect the drive to the computer, SATA uses a narrow cable. Among other benefits, the wide cables were actually starting to restrict the airflow inside computer cases causing heating problems. The SATA cables do not block the airflow) and would not fit. Gary came by and pointed out the obvious - I could connect the drive to my desktop Dell. I powered the Dell down, disconnected the power and cable to the CD player and plugged in the drive from the tablet.

    For some reason, I started thinking "This is like Star Trek - I'm re-routing the thing to bypass the other thing." Anyway, it worked, and the Dell booted. Windows 2008 immediately wanted to run scandisk on the drive (which was just sticking out of the case - there was no where to bolt it). 118 errors later, it reported it had fixed the drive. I powered the machine down and reconnected the drive to the Lenovo. Now the BIOS would allow the machine to boot, but Windows XP would not load due to some missing DLLs. I copied them over from another machine I had at a command prompt, and lo and behold, the Lenovo started! It wanted to run scandisk as well, and found about 25 more errors, including 4 bad sectors.

    At least it started, though. While we have a pretty good budget for hardware, I don't want to keep spending it on replacement hardware - I would much rather "move forward" and get newer devices rather than replacing old. I'll keep this thing until it really dies, which, honestly, could be any minute. I don't have too much faith in the hard drive at this point. I already keep it backed up so I won't lose more than one day's worth of work when it dies.

    One thing that was pretty interesting was the "shock resistance" the Lenovo uses for its hard drive. Their television commercials make a point of saying the drive can survive a fall from a few feet. When I pulled the drive out it had a pair of rubber sleeves on each side of it to provide shock absorption. Here's the photo:

    clip_image001

    Notice the pull tab on the drive as well. That is simply a nice touch and makes it very easy to remove. Lenovo really puts its attention into little details like this. I just wish this one particular machine was better and not such a lemon.

    Another thing I noticed was the drive is a 100MBB drive, but was only formatted to hold 80GB. The paperwork which came with the machine also said 80GB, and my first thought was Lenovo devotes 20% of the space to its backup system. I looked at the drive with Windows Server 2008 and saw about 10GB of unpartitioned space, so I have no idea what is going on. I resized the partitions to take advantage of the extra space, but since the drive is giving me problems, I don't expect any real benefits.

    In fact, I've already gotten one "No Disk Error" since re-assembling the tablet. Oh well.

    Questions, comments, concerns and criticism always welcome,

    John