All of the above.
Come to think of it, I could buy a new hard drive pretty soon. I want to get a decent one though. This is not the type of thing to go cheap on, and I'm thinking seriously about switching to Solid State Drives. I like Corsair, and Seagate, they seem pretty reliable from experience.
Absolutely. With no moving parts, you won't have to worry about things like platter scoring or mechanical arm failure. If your SSD starts to click, you run the heck away.
I really like my Western Digital 240 GB SSD. I got it for $135 a while ago. Take a look at their page.
Just make sure it has drivers for it.
This is a computer built with parts picked off of the shelf, so my windows key is on the case of the installation disc . I have an OEM version of Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit with a license key, and a retail 'Upgrade' for both 32, and 64-bit Home Premium with a key (these are legit btw, I would never pirate a whole OS that seems totally not safe). I'll be using the OEM one, on hopefully a clean drive. This pretty much makes the initial question pointless, but hey, I got it solved.
I'm absolutely happy to hear. Looks like you're sitting pretty!
I know this is even less relevant than anything that's been said before, but most 7th gen Processors don't support Win7 or below. I got myself an i5-7600k Processor and had to resign myself to installing 10. It's been okay so far.
I'll just have to wait a little longer, but this is not super immediate or anything. It's not like this hard drive seems to be failing, so the wait might be worth it.
"Seems to be."
The health of hard drives can be a little bit random. I know someone that was sitting on 1,330 bad sectors and didn't even know it until I checked his drive for the hell of it. He had no idea.
No slowness or anything. I've also seen a single bad sector bring a drive to its knees. It feels uncomfortably random.
edit: I also do still have the motherboard driver disc. It might not be a bad idea to put that iso on a flash drive though, just in case, for whatever weird reason, the optical drive craps out on me.
True, though optical drives are $20.
For SSDs, you want SanDisk. Look at the specs on the Evo Pro. I replaced my dead HDD with one of them, and I love it: It has a very long lifespan, as well. My HDD died abruptly, with absolutely no indication of a failure condition. I agree that they are worthless, which is why I suggest at the very least, backing up your data, and waiting until you can afford to do this properly.
Agreed. Out of curiosity, what brand of drive was it?
Really though, you could buy a basic HDD for the present, install and configure everything, for £30 to £40, and be done; then buy an SSD later, and clone the HDD to it. (If you want to go this route, use a HDD that is smaller than the SSD that you plan to buy in the future, as that makes block cloning easier.)
Yes, this is VERY important. If, that is, you can find a drive that small.
That's the tough part. I always feel awkward buying used or refurbished drives.
A five year old HDD: Do not install a new OS on that. It is a very bad idea. 'Crossing the streams', bad. You are likely to have dead sectors everywhere, and you could end up with an unusable pile of rubbish instead of a viable system; that you have now. Even server/enterprise rated drives aren't rated for > 5 years of use these days, and you are walking a tightrope with the drive motor. If it is a laptop drive, that's even more of a precarious situation.
It's so true. I just had a 2.5" (Laptop) drive literally toast a client ID sticker that was on it because it got so hot. You never really know what drives are bad or not until you get them, and then it's too late. Folks don't just put up new
hard drives on eBay.
Have a look at HDD prices on Amazon. For desktop systems, WD Blue or better drives are affordable, WD Black is probably your most reliable non-commercial drive. Laptop drives, are a gamble at all times.
I've seen the same thing. If you get a WD black drive and it's a bit loud, don't be too shocked. I've seen more WD black drives that were loud
than ones that weren't.
Regarding disc tools: The only thing that I ever use is Parted Magic. It's a 'Live CD' with open source utilities for quite literally any kind of disc operation that you would ever need. I can shove an ISO of the old, distributable for it on a server somewhere if you want it; and you can use UNetbootN (or something similar) to convert it into a USB flash drive bootable device.
also includes PartEd Magic, as well as a panoply of other very useful tools. It's worth having a copy of.