Xps16 Hard Drive Failure And Dell Design Defect : Excess Heat And Vulnerable Hd Destroy Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by Excelsior, Oct 29, 2009.

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  1. Excelsior

    Excelsior Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have a five month old Studio XPS16 that was loaded at the time of purchase, including the 500GB 7200 RPM hard drive. Well, without warning, it failed yesterday taking a substantial amount of my work with it! I spoke to experts at a leading data recovery service. Seems likely the data is NOT recoverable. Here's what we surmised transpired: Often times, closing the lid of the laptop would not put it to sleep. Rather it stayed on, generating substantial heat. The screen would be radiating on top of the hard drive. The hard drive sits below the left palm rest and is mounted from the bottom of the machine. The only thing between the hard drive and the outside world is a 0.04" perforated aluminum under tray. With a 1.2 pound, 9 cell battery, which hangs off the back, the laptop weighs approximately 6.8 pounds. If one lifts the laptop with the screen open, e.g., to move to another section of a table, etc. by holding the laptop by the palm rests with four fingers beneath the palmrest (and on the panel below the hard drive, it is possible for that panel to flex and for pressure to be transferred directly to the hard drive. The relatively delicate hard drive, spinning at 7200 rpms or roughly 150 miles per hour(!) doesn't like heat and doesn't like pressure. Both together are a recipe for disaster! Heat makes metal expand. Pressure squeezes parts together. This is critical given the fact that the writing head hovers about the platter with a gap measured in tens of nanometers (or 394000'ths (+/- 1/394000) of an inch)! The heat expansion and pressure can cause the 7200 RPM platter to "crash" into the writing head. This scores a part of the surface, but worse, creates dusty debris. This debris will then ultimately destroy the drive! I learned all this the hard way! Has anyone else yet had a HD fail on this forum?

    We put a thin film of red dye on the HD and then put the lid on. Then proceeded to hold the laptop. Removed the lid and found the red dye on the lid, indicating the definite contact. Pics attached.
     
  2. nobb

    nobb Notebook Consultant

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    The Studio XPS series has a magnesium frame and the hard drive area feels pretty solid to me. Have you actually taken any temperature readings to see if the drive actually gets that hot? Ive left my Studio XPS 13 with the lid closed running overnight many times and the hard drive never gets over 40C. I dont really see any design defect in this laptop and Im not entirely convinced in your claim. Hard drives can fail randomly at any time, regardless of what system it's in.

    With the old Inspiron 6400 series I had however, there was definitely a flaw in that they placed the hard drive right next to the video card, so the drive would regularly get up to 60C or hotter.
     
  3. dratwister

    dratwister Notebook Enthusiast

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    now that's a lot of scientific words and calculations @-)...
    For default, closing lid won't make SXPS to sleep mode. You have to change its power plan to make SXPS sleep.
    Still waiting for your attached pics.

    P.S: you'd loaded your SXPS at the time of purchase?? 5 months??
     
  4. nomoredell

    nomoredell Notebook Deity

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    nice story bro
     
  5. chewyeong90

    chewyeong90 Notebook Evangelist

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    Once upon a time, your XPS16 hdd failed. Story ends.
     
  6. Excelsior

    Excelsior Notebook Enthusiast

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    Have you looked under the HD on the bottom of the laptop? 0.40" is anything but thick. Magnesium is lighter than aluminum but it is not as strong as aluminum. Moreover, much of the XPS is plastic. I've not put a temp reader on it but it felt higher than 40 c or 104 F.
     
  7. Excelsior

    Excelsior Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yes, it is set to go to sleep when lid closes. 70% of the time it does so. A good number of times it fails to do so and the laptop gets very hot.

    Pics too large and wouldn't upload. Will resize and then re-upload.

    Yes, when purchased, every optional upgrade except BlueRay.
     
  8. Excelsior

    Excelsior Notebook Enthusiast

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    That is nonsense to me. If it's a few years old ok. But 5 months and a premium system? That's horse poop! GM, Ford and Chrysler only wish only could dream of having such customers. Major systems shouldn't just fail. Would we accept such failures if they occurred mid-flight on airplanes? 5 month old HD shouldn't just fail.
     
  9. PlasmaBomb

    PlasmaBomb Notebook Consultant

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    Your math regarding the HDD is wrong.

    Pics?

    Also if a HDD is going to fail it is likely to happen within the first year, after that you should get 3-5 years more before its age starts to tell and the risk of failing increases.
     
  10. ViperGTS

    ViperGTS Notebook Evangelist

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    Nice story and quite a stretch of imagination.
     
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