Hard drive's breaking after one year.

Discussion in 'Toshiba' started by rubymusic1, May 8, 2016.

  1. rubymusic1

    rubymusic1

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    Every time I've had a Toshiba laptop, the hard drive has broken within at least 18 months. Is this a common fault with Toshiba laptops in general? I'm intrigued to know if this has happened to others as well as myself. I've now stopped using Toshiba laptops as it's just gotten silly over time! Currently using a macbook and an Acer laptop which have thankfully held out much better.
     
    rubymusic1, May 8, 2016
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  2. rubymusic1

    IBMPC8088

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    I haven't kept Toshiba laptops for a while now. Worked on many, but decided not to own any after errors and overheating issues with the motherboards, dvd drives, and hard drive controllers on many of them. It isn't always the hard drives (sometimes it is, but not usually) but the heat generated by the laptop and the controller or another issue on the board sending a short or other issue toward the drive that shouldn't go that way.

    Acer used to be really bad with overheating and (for a brief period of time) were using substandard or used parts in new systems), which prompted me not to own one of those, either. In recent years, they've cleaned up their act a lot and have been much better on that than they used to be, and I can say that I actually do own an Acer now after they've changed and began to verify the parts going on to the new systems off of the assembly line differently than they did before.

    Acer and Toshiba both offer a good amount of power in hardware to the user for a lesser price than some of their competition, but there are times they are still plagued with the older issues based on the design or your luck with the model you get.

    To avoid magnetic drive heating issues and data loss, here again you can fix some of those problems if you're able to switch to an SSD. The SSDs don't draw as much power or generate as much heat since they don't have to run a DC motor, and even if the system normally would run hotter, it'll run cooler without having the magnetic drive on there.

    A netbook I have that has a GPU overheating issue (I just have to replace thermal grease and a few other minor things) is able to run without overheating at all now that I switched out the magnetic drive and put a small 120gb SSD on there. I haven't gotten around to putting the cooling agent on there, but I noticed that even without it, that problem went away and the drive was no longer a heat issue after switching it out. The heat from your CPU and other devices may still be there, but the hard drive is significant enough to affect system temperature and make or break whether the system shuts down on you or not to protect itself physically. (You can change this on some laptops in the BIOS, but it's set to a safe temperature by default and I don't normally suggest that anyone change that even if they can unless they have to).

    Typically if you don't have an optical drive or a magnetic drive on your system, it will run slightly cooler for you than normal, and your hard drive should last you at least a few years then.

    If for some reason it turns out that you can't change out the hard drive if it is physically embedded and the design prohibits changing it without taking the system apart (newer designs), then another option may be to underclock the laptop through software (overclocking can be risky, but underclocking it almost never is) so that you can reduce the amount of heat it produces if you're just using it for basic office work or everyday tasks. Configuring power mode of the laptop itself after the system has booted can help at times, too.

    Most of the drives I've had issues with or lost over the years were either from impact or heat issues. Very seldom anything else.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
    IBMPC8088, May 8, 2016
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  3. rubymusic1

    rubymusic1

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    That's very interesting actually! Did once have a cooling fan go on a Toshiba, but for some reason never put the hard drive failures down to heat otherwise.

    Forgot to mention that my most recent Toshiba also has USB ports which stopped working, but I've never looked into what caused that. That hadn't failed on any of my others, but it was all the USB ports on both sides which failed.
     
    rubymusic1, May 10, 2016
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  4. rubymusic1

    IBMPC8088

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    Once the cooling fan goes out, the GPU, CPU, and hard drive aren't far from doing the same if the temp isn't cool enough for them to run safely. One thing you can do if you really need to use the laptop as a desktop at home or an office is to get a box fan and place it right up near the air vent for the laptop. The fan draws air from the outside with the cooling fan from there, and if you can produce the same air or cooler from the outside, the system won't reach a critical temperature to where it has to shut off (and the laptop will be able to continue at or near a suitable temperature for the hardware to continue safely). The best way is usually to replace the fan if that's happening to you or make sure you have enough thermal grease to keep things cool where you need it to be, but there's an alternative you can try without ever removing the case or anything from your laptop.

    If you have a system that shuts down when you use the graphics card too much or run too many programs at once, it's usually the heat sensor that does that, but you can monitor the temperature with a program and keep it on screen at the upper right hand corner of the screen or on the taskbar to see exactly what the temp is before it shuts down. You can compare that to the normal operating temp if you leave it to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes, if you go to the bios and can see the current running temperature (normal temp if the system is just turned on). By putting the box fan up against it then, you can see in real time how much of a temperature drop you can get. If you have that bios display, you can see exactly how much cooler you can get it, and whether or not positioning it closer to the air vent makes it any cooler even by a few degrees. You can try this with the same temperature monitoring program that you'd use with Windows too if the bios doesn't have that. It'll work, but the bios would be more accurate to see an exact temp whereas the windows one gives the temp while the computer and background processes are running already.

    (So an alternative to using an SSD to keep it cooler is to try this, or to use both to keep it as cool as possible)

    The usb ports (if lucky) could be a driver issue, but it could be a problem with the root hub or electrical short if hardware based. If you are able to use a live linux CD to boot from and see that the usb drives and devices are recognized or work on it, then it's just a software or driver issue with windows and you lucked out there. If the usb ports aren't working even then, there may be one last place to check. The bios of some laptops and desktops support turning on and off usb ports as well as configuring how they respond (legacy, whether to use 2.0 or 3.0, extra options). If the usb ports were turned off there, that is another lucky fix if that was the issue. If neither of those two are it, then replacing the usb port circuit or the motherboard (if you really have to) are still an option. Most people might get a new laptop at that point, which I understand their decision, but I usually try to fix that if that's the issue rather than replacing a system or the motherboard if I can avoid it.
     
    IBMPC8088, May 12, 2016
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  5. rubymusic1

    AngelicDevilTel

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    Its very interesting that I found this thread because the same thing happened to me with the Toshiba I currently have
    11 months into owning this laptop the hard drive failed, I forgot the error it was giving me but I had to call Toshiba and at first they told me my warranty was up but then they ended up taking it back and fixing it. I get the computer back and it doesn't charge, so I had to send it back to Toshiba.

    I got it back the second time ad it was good for another 11 months when the system recovery completely wiped my hard drive, this time I KNEW my warranty was up and the whole reason I was doing a system recovery was because windows was being buggy so I decided to install Ubuntu. No real major problems since.

    I still won't be getting a Toshiba after this one though.
     
    AngelicDevilTel, Aug 7, 2016
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  6. rubymusic1

    Corzhens

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    Hmm, maybe you have to try installing a new hard drive and do away with the built-in. I really cannot say if it is the laptop but if it is then the hard drive will not last that long. My question is this - how many Toshiba laptops did you have? And did those breakdowns occurred in normal operation? A laptop is susceptible to shock when it is accidentally dropped or when an object falls on it. That impact of an accident can break the hard drive.
     
    Corzhens, Aug 9, 2016
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  7. rubymusic1

    cluckeyo

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    I never got any good use out of my Seagate external harddrive. It was so slow and just one problem after another. I now rely Google drive. I keep everything loaded up there and there is no need for a back-up drive. That Seagate drive was very disappointing!!
     
    cluckeyo, Aug 9, 2016
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  8. rubymusic1

    MissExtra

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    This is exactly what happened to me! I've had three Toshiba laptops, the last of them died about two weeks ago. They just stop booting and start showing errors and it happens so fast it's ridiculous.

    I bought two of them (one was a gift) but I went with the cheaper laptops to save money. Now, though, I think I would've been better off with a more expensive brand because having to replace the thing more than once would've covered the cost of a laptop that might have been sturdier.

    Just before the last one went, the heat melted and busted out the grating over the spot it expelled heat and held the fan. I have no idea how to fix this thing but I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this. I'm definitely not purchasing another!
     
    MissExtra, Oct 9, 2016
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