Great big doorstop. FAIL.
December 6, 2008 6:58 PM   Subscribe

Backing up an HP laptop for the ignorant. Halp?

My wife's laptop recently bit the big one and to replace it we bought an HP dv6700. We didn't even think about it until days after purchase that it was strange that the power jack is located on the right side of the laptop rather than the back like the old one. In our current setup, the power outlet is to the left of the laptop, so the power cable has to come around the cpu and make a sharp turn to plug in.

Needless to say, in less than 3 months this has ruined the jack. Now just sitting still it cycles back and forth from charging to battery power at random. You can wiggle the plug slightly and see the charging light flash on and off. I got on the HP website yesterday and chatted with a 'specialist' (eye-roll) and she told me they would fix the jack under warranty. But of course I have to mail it to them and we'll be without cpu for a good solid week. Do I have much other recourse when this is such an OBVIOUS design flaw? Despite the 'specialist's' assurances, I know this problem will repeat itself. (unless of course I make drastic changes to my setup which will be a major inconvenience)

Next, we have the newest version of Word on the laptop. She bought it online, downloaded it and the code to make it work. Now she's used the code too many times (due to all these cpu problems within the last few months) and she had to go through hell just to get it on the new laptop. If we send the laptop to HP repair, I just know they'll reformat it. Can Word be backed up somehow? For that matter, can all the programs be backed up, settings and all? We went through a lot of blood, sweat, tears and arguments to get this thing set like we want it and the idea of doing it again makes me nauseous. Halp? Thanks ya'll.

Oh, I was savvy enough to create a shared folder between the laptop and our desktop if that helps.
posted by CwgrlUp to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

You could just remove the hard disk drive before sending it for repair. Presumably HP can test that a power socket works with a multimeter, without having to boot as OS. Or they can boot an OS from the CD.
posted by orthogonality at 7:16 PM on December 6, 2008

What you need is disk cloning software, which will allow you to make a copy of the entire drive and restore it if the drive is formatted.
posted by ssg at 7:46 PM on December 6, 2008

Response by poster: Which one? Preferrably free and as simple as possible.
posted by CwgrlUp at 9:37 PM on December 6, 2008

And I think you can find Acronis True Image 7 for free download. Not sure how easy it is to use, having only used the newest version Acronis True Image 11 I believe. It's really easy to use. Just backup the image to an external or alternate internal hard drive like odinsdream said.

Also, I wouldn't recommend not sending in the hard drive. When I tried that with a customer's machine, HP sent it back to us and said that they couldn't work on it without all the parts. So we wasted about a week having to send it a second time.
posted by meta87 at 12:43 AM on December 7, 2008

1. Buy a laptop drive the same size or larger than the one currently in your laptop.
2. Buy a drive enclosure for the new laptop drive
3. Using Acronis, clone your existing laptop hard drive to the new external one.
4. Send laptop away for repair.

The worst that will happen that way is that you will end up with a backup of your working setup that you don't need. If your machine comes back reformatted, simply swap the drives around, give it a few days to make sure that it's all working fine and then do the whole cloning thing again to make sure you have a fresh backup.

If you have the space on that shared folder, copy all of the documents from the laptop to it (belt and braces is always a good approach when dealing with your data).
posted by mandal at 2:08 AM on December 7, 2008

Response by poster: Don't let them BS you and tell you that you absolutely have to send the computer in with the hard drive. We took it out before we sent the computer in and everything was fine.
posted by CwgrlUp at 7:35 PM on December 21, 2008

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