Laptop Hard Drives and Power Savings

I've recently been replacing various dead hard drives in computers around the house, and then it came to my laptop hard drive.

This is a 500gb WD average 2.5 laptop HDD. The drive is getting onld now, the laptop is nearing 4 years old, so it was getting errors as expected.

It wasn't until I looked at the S.M.A.R.T errors with a tool (e.g. StableBit Drive Scanner)

laptop power saving kills hard drives

Now I never used the major/harsh power savings that windows has, it was always the normal / power hungry settings I used.

And I'm one of those people who gets really annoying at power leads destroying the power jack from the lead pulling on the port for ages. I also don't use it on a bed or 'soft furnishings' 'cause it gets hot, and spinning things can't ever be too great being moved around all the time. 

The warning appears to indicate that the excessive power savings on a general use laptop has worn out the harddrive within a few years. Here is a similar age HDD from my desktop pc:

Normal HDD Smart Data

This hard drive has had next to none on power savings as my desktop is usually on maximum performance settings.

The stats on this one are all pretty good, with no S.M.A.R.T warnings.

I did try to check 2 other old laptops I had, both HDD's had already died in these (6+ years old these ones)

At some point soon i'll get around to testing some other laptop drives that still work to check the S.M.A.R.T status to see how common it is.


Anyone else experienced these issues?

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AMD R9 BSOD / Black Screen

I recently purchased an AMD R9 290 and like many people I suffered the black screens and BSOD's after install.

AMD R9 290


After much digging and reading the tons of other people that experienced the same issue, I then completely removed the driver with the Guru3D Display Driver Uninstaller. I allowed it to restart my PC, I was then presented with a Windows logon screen, already further than various attempts before.

The next step was installing the latest Beta driver from AMD http://support.amd.com/en-us/download

The important part of installing this was to Only install the driver. Nothing else, no AMD video, not HDMI (because I use DVI, I guess it would be okay if you're using HDMI), and especially not installing Catalyst Control Center (CCC). Various installs of this on fresh copy of windows regularly seemed to result in CCC crashing when installing first time. 

With the driver installed, and hopefully not a black screen, restart Windows. At this point it should be okay to re-run the installer with CCC enabled.

One of the other things that may be relevant to the BSOD issue is the layout of power pins.

There's an 8 pin connector on an R9 290 and a 6 Pin. I simply used a 6 and a 6+2 pin connector from my PSU and assumed all would be fine, but apparently not. The adapter cable supplied with my card was not a 6 to 8, but a 6 to 7 pin adapter. See below image:

This seemed to solve the BSOD and the buggy BIOS I was getting on POST. By buggy BIOS, I mean tearing, slight unresponsiveness, and an overall generally slow POST.

Hopefully this can help someone else out there get thier card working without an RMA.

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