Storage, Drives & Media

Last reply by 12-04-2015 Unsolved
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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Inspiron N5010 Hard drive replacement

I bought Dell Inspiron N5010 couple of years ago and I am getting bad file segments error. Chkdsk tries to fix it by moving/deleting index files. Although I am getting repetative freeze up on the computer with hard drive busy signal on. It looks like it's time to replace the hard drive. Can you guys suggest which hard drive to buy in terms of connectors/size etc so there is no mis match when I try to install it. Also advise on which brand to buy.


Replies (20)
4 Germanium

Hi wolfy234,

You can run a diagnostic test on your computer to ensure the functionality of hard drive by following the steps below:

  • Please restart the system.
  • As soon as you see the blue Dell logo, start tapping the ‘F12’ key which is at the top of the keyboard.

Note: If you wait too long and the Microsoft Windows appears, then continue to wait until you see the Windows desktop. Now shutdown your computer and try again.

  • After you tap ‘F12’ key, a new window would appear in front of you. Use the 'Down' arrow key to highlight the option “Diagnostics”
  • Hit Enter to initiate diagnostics and make a note of error code if any. 

Inspiron N5010 / 15R system uses SATA II hard drives and is offered by Dell with a configuration of 5400 rpm and 7200 rpm drives. The hard drive capacities are as follows:

Hard drives
Size (GB)Speed (rpm)
160 GB 5400 RPM
250 GB 5400RPM
320GB 5400/7200 RPM
500GB 5400/7200 RPM
640GB 5400 RPM

If the system is under warranty, you can private message me the service tag of computer for hard drive replacement. I have added you as a friend. Please accept my friend request by clicking on my name highlighted in blue and then click on “Friends” tab at the top and then click on “Request to Review” and finally click on “Accept” button.

I am sending you a private message as well. Click on “Inbox” to respond to the message and provide system’s Service Tag and contact details so I may access your system records and check for further course of action. You could also click on Start Conversation to send a private message. 

Please reply with information. 

Thanks and regards,
DELL-Chinmay S

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

So I guess I need to buy the Sata II drive, anything else I need to make sure before purchasing as far as pin connector/size?

10 Diamond

Hi Wolfy234,

Laptop SATA drives are pretty standard.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Is it ok to buy a bare drive? Is it possible to set up/test the drive (install OS etc) before I put it in the laptop to make sure everything is ok with it? I am leaning towards buying a SATA 7200 rpm drive, i dont know if compared to original 5400 rpm sata drive i would see any performance difference. Original drive was samsung but looks like was made by seagate. Any advise on which company to avoid etc?


2 Bronze
2 Bronze

I also see 2 different sizes for laptop drives, 2.5 inches and 3.5 inches. I am guessing i need 2.5 inch

10 Diamond

Yes, 2.5" drives are for laptops. The 3.5" drives are for desktops.

10 Diamond

Sorry, missed your first question.

You cannot set up a drive without the drive installed in the laptop. If you want to test the drive, install it, and boot your laptop with a diagnostic CD or flash drive to do so.

There will be a slight performance improvement with a 7200 rpm drive. Some people claim the fast drives drain the battery more quickly but I think this is an urban legend.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

 thanks for your help so far. Last question I have is is there a way this hard drive can be fixed? Reformat would help? This is a samsung drive and now seagate owns it, i ran the seagate dos tools and the long test ran but did not fix any bad sectors (at the end of the test it found 24 errors and told me that it's a 3rd party drive, contact the manufacturer). Usually the Seagate dos tool can fix the errors. 


7 Plutonium

Also you can install a Solid State Hard Drive such as a Crucial M4 or an Intel Solid State Drive.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

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