Seeking laptop hardware fault advice

I have an HP pavilion laptop. I bought it in july when my nearly six year old desk top finally gave up the ghost.

Last night I tried starting up and I got an error message “no bootable device detected” I shut down and tried to restart. I went into bios and tried the hard drive self test. It wouldn’t run and after sitting for 15 or 20 minutes it said “hard drive failed”

Ok fine. I removed the hard drive and re-seated it. Still no worky.

I sent an email to HP customer support and they told me to do what I had done already and said I definitely have a hardware issue and they need to see it. Problem is my warranty only covers me inside the US and I now live in Australia. The cheapest shipping I’ve found to the us is $160us. I’d have to send it to my parents, then HP would pick it up “at no cost to me” and then they’d ship it back to my parents and then the parents would have to send it back to AU. At $160 us. The whole thing would probably take at least three weeks but more realistically 4-6 weeks.

I’ve checked the price of the hard drive here in Australia, it’s $320aud. The same part in the US is $195US. I’m tempted buy it from HP USA, send it to my parents and have my parents send it to me. I’ll just put it in myself.

So all that and here’s my question, how do I know for sure that the problem is the HDD? Is there anything else I can test to make sure a new HDD will fix the issue. I should also mention that I can boot to windows via a boot disk but the machine is unable to recognize the HDD.

Should I take the machine to a repair shop and let them diagnose the issue or should I just eat the $320 and 4-6 weeks and send the whole thing to America?

Help me hivemind you’re my only hope.

edit: A cursory search of HDD’s on line has shown me I can buy the equivalent from newegg for $104US. Is there any reason I shouldn’t do that?

There’s a slim chance it’s not the HD, but it’s almost certainly the culprit. I’d go ahead and order a new one. If it turns out you didn’t need it, well, order a USB enclosure for it and use it as an external drive :)

Thanks Talisker. I’ve sent my HD back to America to be replaced and meanwhile have ordered one here in Australia because I just can’t be without a computer for 4-6 weeks. I’ll try to put one in a housing and use it as a back up. Though I just found out that HP uses a proprietary connector for their hard drives and finding a housing is going to be difficult.

I’ve learned several painful lessons after purchasing a laptop. I always had desktops and most of them had been built by friends.

The “proprietary connector” is almost always a little piece that fits over the standard connector. If you haven’t sent your HD away to HP yet, you should be able to just yank the adapter piece off the hard drive you’re sending in and you’ll be good as gold.

Otherwise, you can probably order one online – I have no idea how much they cost, but it shouldn’t be too much.

There’s your problem right there.

Uh, what size is that HDD? A new 500GB SATA 2.5" drive here is ~$AU100-$AU150 depending on the model. That price is from Brisbane. (

If your warranty is useless, then there’s no point in buying an official part since opening the case probably voids your warranty anyway. Too late now, I suppose. Also, yeah, you’ll find that local prices don’t really reflect the exchange rate since nobody expects it to be this good forever, and you’ll also find that HP gouge like fucking anything on spares. a new Dell laptop battery is ~$AU80, equivalent HP battery? $AU220.

Oh, and yeah. Sending the HDD back means that you can’t grab the connector and housing off the old one, which makes things a lot harder.

-Snarkily krise madsen

Why don’t you respectfully go to some other thread?

Yeah I thought that too. This one is built into the drive. I found a connector that HP sells that converts standard drives to their connector but not the other way around.

Yeah I know, umart is only a short bike ride from my house. The problem is the special connector that I need costs $100 bringing the cost right back up. And using an after market HD actually does void my warranty. Opening the case strangely does not. It says right in the service manual that the HD is customer accessible.

You need to decide if you care about the warranty. Are you coming back to the US soon? If not, I’d forget about the warranty and just buy a HD from Newegg.

Yeah sorry about that. I know I shouldn’t have but it was just too damn tempting. I do hope this all works out for you.

You’re too nice mate. It’s the internet, have fun insulting faceless strangers :)

Couldn’t they just take the one off your bad drive, put it on one of theirs, and test? I’ve never met a “special connector” that isn’t -very- removable. HDD’s are a high failure part and are usually very serviceable.

I think you’ve narrowed it down quite well, but give that shop a ring and describe the situation, “hey, I just need you to verify this for me, I have no spares.” Mention there is a six pack of beer in it for someone if that helps.

Thanks for the advice. Obviously I’m not a computer expert. I’ve been given poor information and on further investigation my HD connector looks just like any other SATA connector I can see on GIS. My laptop isn’t one that needs the “special” thingo.

I’ll stop by the shop after work since they are open late tonight.

No sweat Major, none of us are experts either. Maybe if someone here works directly for Intel designing chips and subsystems I might give them that title but we’re all in the same boat.

Good luck with the shop. Like I said, you’ve done the majority of the service work here. Don’t let them charge you for what you’ve already done. If they want to steer you toward a replacement part, sure, that’s understandable. But try to keep any advice or help you get wrapped up within a half hour and thank them for any advice or assistance. It’s worth a shot.

Well, I’m in a particularly good mood these days (for no apparent reason), and I kinda feel sorry for him being stuck with a shit laptop. Hopefully he won’t make that mistake next time.

EDIT: “Him” being you, of course. Here’s to me not paying attention to whom I’m responding to.

Just wanted to say thanks for the advice in this thread. I bought a new 500 gig 7200 rpm HD for half the price that HP wanted to charge me. I also sent the borked one to the states so HP can warranty it. When the new HP one shows up I’ll put it in an enclosure and have a backup.

Aside from one moment of panic when I got a bootmgr missing error while trying to boot from the DVD drive. It only took me a day to get my laptop back up to speed. Even with my internet connection slowed.