I’m a bit late updating everyone, but I got home last Saturday night. First thing Sunday evening, I opened up my new laptop. Excitement ensued.
I noticed soon after booting up that I only had one hard drive showing up in Windows. This was bad because there were two (confirmed by visual inspection) hard drives in the computer. I initialized and formatted the drive, but no new drives showed up in Windows Explorer. After I rebooted the computer, the hard drive appeared uninitialized and unformatted. I popped in SpinRite and started it running on both drives in my computer and went to bed. Late the next night, it completed. I hurriedly tried formatting the hard drive again, but with the same results.
On Tuesday, I started chatting with HP tech support. I ended up going through four different reps. The first one thought that I had NTFS permission issues that were preventing me from accessing the drive (completely wrong). The second one appeared to be on the right track, but I lost my connection, causing the chat to end prematurely. The third rep had me use a Seagate utility to format the drive, but that proved unfruitful.
Before I started chatting with the fourth rep, I decided to jump into the BIOS to see if anything in there might give me an idea. I happened to run across a diagnostics tab that gave me the option to run diagnostics on both of my hard drives and the memory. I ran the diagnostic on my troublesome drive, and less than a minute later got the message Error #10003- Replace hard drive. Excited, I started my fourth and final chat with HP support. I immediately told the rep that I had gotten the message and he immediately started ordering me a new hard drive.
The hard drive showed up Thursday, and I immediately put it in my laptop and booted up. I looked in disk management only to find that this hard drive did not show up at all. I powered down the laptop and looked at the hard drive again. I noticed that the new hard drive appeared to be a few millimeters shorter, causing the contacts on the hard drive to not reach the contacts on the motherboard. This was relatively easy to fix since HP places a proprietary adapter on hard drives. All I had to do was back the adapter off a few millimeters and put the hard drive back in. I booted back up and Windows saw the hard drive. It all works great now, and it didn’t cost me a penny.
At this point, my only outstanding issue is getting Guitar Hero III working. When I try to run it after installing it, I get an error message about not being able to load a security module. Even after applying the v1.1 patch, the error persisted. I tried using a no-DVD crack, which allowed me to start the game. Unfortunately, the game would crash while playing, which made it unplayable. I can’t seem to find a fix on the web, so I’ll be contacting Aspyr soon about this.
I am happy to report that Portal runs just fine now and looks very beautiful. I’ll get around to playing HL2:Ep2 and TF2 later. Also, my brother bought The Orange Box today, so as soon as he gets a graphics card for the family computer (currently using integrated graphics), we can go head-to-head in TF2.