Viewpad 1000 HDD Failing


Active Member
Guys, I came home today to find my Viewpad had performed a memory dump.

A reboot later, everything seemed fine, but about an hour later it happened again, accompanied by lots of unpleasant clicking.

The HDD's failing, I can get it to boot to windows if I'm lucky, but usually nothing.

I removed the HDD and it appears that I can boot from the network. Does anyone know how to pull this off? I have an XPPro disk that I can install on this machine (either from the CD, or I can install it to one of my network HDDs and install t from there.

The HDD that was installed in the Viewpad was a Fujitsu MHR2020AT, 20GB, 4200RPM HDD. The cheapest identical replacement I've found is $71. Do you think it would be worthwhile to go for a 5400 or 7200RPM HDD instead,or do you think I'll have some heat/power issues (The viewpad runs hot as it is!).

So here are the options I have after I get a replacement drive:
  • 1. Reinstall Windows over the network
    2. Buy a docking station for $100+ and reinstall from CD
    3. Restore an image (backup) of the old system using the network or CD as above. (If I can find an old image)
    4. Install the old and new HDDs on one of my desktops and attempt to copy the image of the old to the new
I'd really like to do the net install, can anyone talk me through it?
if it's just a regular install, I would put the HD into a regular system, install XP on it, then remove those certain registry keys which forces XP to redetect all hardware the next time it boots, so it should work right away. If you are talking about the bios supporting booting from network, it's rather complicated, not something I would recommend at all as it requirs you to install server software etc. I would stick with the 4200RPM drive, they don't generate that kind of heat, and it sounds like the viewpad was designed with that in mind (eventho many people say the 7200rpm doesn't run much hotter).
Thanks E,

After shopping around and educating myself about 2.5" HDD's, I decided to NOT go with the Fujitsu that was already installed due to all the places with good prices either being out - or selling used "pulled out of a Mac and cleaned" drives.

I went to my favorite on line PC store,, and ordered a Seagate 20GB 5400 RPM drive (that's supposed to have the same heat & power characteristics as a 4200 RPM drive - and it's darn close by comparing it and the Fujitsu's specs side-by-side). I also ordered a 2.5" USB 2.0 external hard drive case. figure this will save me the pain of having to open one of my desktops and use one of the laptop to desktop drive adapters (The kits were ~$10, and the USB drive kit was $30).

Here's what I ordered:

Directron's just down the street (in Houston), so I usually get stuff from them the next day, so I'll have the long weekend to get things going!

Thanks for the advice.
I have ordered many items from Directron before too, nice to know you are that close in case I run into trouble ;) Looks like a good deal, good luck.
Ouch, the last off-HDD backup I performed was 18 August. I've done ALOT to my MainLobby scenes since then, so I'll have some work to do!

I had been using a hidden sector of the Viewpad's HDD for my backups - using Acronis True Image - so I could restore an image during a reboot if something got messed-up, but that doesn't do you any good when the whole HDD dies.

There's still a chance I can at least get to the directories on the old HDD once I toss it into the USB case - the HDD may be a little more reliable when it's just "storage" versus being the actual boot device/system disk. If I can recover my Cinemar directories, I'll be one happy camper.

I read somewhere, once, that if you put a failing HDD in the freezer, that it will be resurrected for a short period thereafter, anyone ever try this?

Mmm, Daddy, can I have that shiny Ice Cream ;)

Good to know that I'm not imagining things.

Best case, I'll be able to just completely image the old HDD to the new one - simplest and most effective. If not, I'm sure I can at least recover my data.

E, Thanks again!
After some fumbling around I now have my entire old drive transferred o the new one.

Freezing the old HDD did wonders for it. After a night on ice, it worked like it never had a problem (although S.M.A.R.T. said it was about to go!). I installed the old drive into the USB case, and imaged it to one of my desktops. I then tried to move the image to the new HDD, but kept getting FAT corruption errors. After going back and forth with both HDDs and getting the same error, I realized there must be something wrong with the interface.

I then reinstalled the old drive into the Viewpad and plugged the new one in via USB 1.1. I then performed a direct disk close using Acronis True image. A reboot and 4 hours later (USB 1.1 is slow) I had a successful clone. The new drive worked without any problems.

This is the second time I've had USB issues with that particular desktop (used as my HS server, running on an Abit NF7-S mobo) - the first problem being with my zwave USB interface that was fixed by placing a powered hub between the interface and mobo. Anyway, Abit/Nvidia probably needs to work on their chip set drivers.

Here are a few things I learned from this:
1. Backup frequently, you may not be as lucky as I was
2. USB 1.1 is Slowwwwww
3. A ViewSonic Viewpad 1000 Will not recognize a drive formatted with NTFS that s connected to its motherboard (but will via USB/Net)
4. A Viewpad runs hot no matter how you modify it (see below)*
5. Abit/Nvidia have some issues with their chip set drivers (at least for USB 2.0)

** About the mod - Having dealt with the issue of the fan on my Viewpad running more often than I like, I decided to help the machine run cooler. Since I had it open, I pulled the heat-sink-fan (HSF) assembly off. removed the thermal tape that was factory installed, cleaned all the residue off and replaced it with some Arctic Silver and reassembled. The results were the fan running just as often as before (although, perhaps the processor is running a little cooler - just pushing more heat to the HSF assembly - which triggers the fan)
glad to hear you got your data back, try to find out if you still have warranty on that drive, I did with my 3year old IBM, and ended up getting a replacement drive for it.