Oh well, I’ve long had a failing 250GB hard drive (a Western Digital Caviar) in our old Athon XP 3200 system.

Now it has finally given up the ghost. It won’t format and it won’t boot. When I diagnosed it last time, some sectors had failed and it wouldn’t boot properly. Now it looks like those sectors at the beginning of the drive are giving it major headaches. So, the big question, is do you junk a computer or do you upgrade it.

Seems a shame that this computer is perfectly fine and only needs a new hard drive. Since Intel and AMD are in the middle of model changes right now with the new Intel dual core low power about to come out and AMD shifting to the M2 socket, I think we’ll just hold the fort and get a 400GB SATA drive plus a SATA adapter to throw into this machine and get it working.

Looking at Storage Review, things have changed quite a bit. The Western Digital folks have doubled the density of the venerable WD740GB and now have a 150GB version. That’s super attractive for a high performance system.

Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD4000YR is another one to look at. Actually, the desktop version is called the Caviar SE2 and this drive is super fast. Wins all the benchmarks. Don’t get the RE2 by the way, it is designed to be used with a RAID controller and if it begins to fail, it won’t be pretty without one. Essentially, it will give up on error correction way too soon. The 250GB version is just $91 according to “Pricegrabber”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/p__Western_Digital_Caviar_SE16_250GB_Hard_Drive,__9047985 and the OEM version comes with a three year warranty while the 400GB drive is “$182”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/p__Western_Digital_Caviar_SE16_400GB_Hard_Drive,__10027461 and good if you don’t have that much space in your machine, but is about 1/3 more per gigabyte than the 250GB version.

To get this working on our old ASUS A7N8X-X, you need a “$25” SATA to IDE adapter, so it plugs into the motherboard properly. It got a good review and “Pricegrabber”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=3152857/search=sata+ide+adapter has it.

I’m Rich & Co.

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