Question about HP Compaq nc6120 Notebook

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Replace Optical With Hard Drive?

Is it possible to replace the optical drive on the nc6120 with a second hard drive?
I'd like to mimic what I was able to do on a Lenovo with an UltraBay.

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Unfortunately that model does not have a removable optical drive.

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=2483

It mentions the fixed optical drive at the bottom under cons.

Posted on Nov 19, 2009

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IMac will not start up.Question mark in a box comes up.Also will not boot up from start up disc


The operating system on the hard drive is corrupted, or the hard drive is not available. The procedure for starting from the startup disk varies a bit depending on the model of iMac. On the oldest ones (CRT iMac) and some of the early display-on-a-dome models, hold down the "C" key while starting the computer. This will force the computer to bypass the hard drive and boot directly from the startup optical disk. (If the C key doesn't work, restart and follow the option key procedure in the next paragraph.)

On newer Macs, hold down the option key while pressing the power button until you see that the boot loader is running. You should see an icon for at least one drive on the screen, perhaps followed by another. One of these is for the optical drive. It may take several tens of seconds for the optical drive icon to appear, particularly on older iMacs. Use the arrow or tab keys to select that one, then press return to start loading the system on that disk. If you only see the optical drive icon, that confirms there is a problem with the hard drive. Try Disk Utility anyway; if it can find the hard drive, there is some possibility of recovering it, or reformatting and loading from your backup. If the hard drive icon appears in the startup option screen, Disk Utility may be able to repair the problem if it is a file system issue affecting system loading. If a fundamental system file is corrupted, you will likely have to reinstall the OS.

In the worst case, the hard drive has a physical problem. Most of the time this is mechanical (sometimes announced with repeated, regular clicking noises as the drive vainly hunts for its starting position). Rattling noises (like the head has separated from its arm and is bouncing around) are also most unwelcome. Occasionally, the problem is with the controller board on the hard drive. In this case, if you can find another drive of the same model, you can swap controller boards (doing so successfully requires observing electrostatic discharge safety procedures to prevent zapping the drive, and properly identifying and operating the latch mechanism for the ribbon cable connector that connects the board to the drive mechanism). Generally, however, you have to replace the hard drive. Once in a while, the problem is with the cable between the hard drive and the logic board. On the old Macs with IDE drives (40-line ribbon cable connecting both optical drive and hard drive on some, two such cables on other models), there may be a bad connection on one wire because the wire is not properly seated in its two-tined fork inside the connector. To reseat the wires, gently push the cable down right at the connector shell (towards the surface of the connector shell that is pushed onto the pins of the drive or logic board). Do not put a crease bend on the cable there; you're just trying to make sure the wire is in the bottom of its fork. Repeat on the other side of the connector with the end of the cable (use a fingernail to catch the edge of the cable end).

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Desktop motherboards usually have two IDE controller connections, a Primary one and a Secondary one.
The hard drive is attached to the Primary IDE connector and the hard drive has the jumper set to Master and the hard drive is normally connected to the last connector on the IDE data cable. There is a second connector on the same cable and if a optical drive is connected to this cable then the jumper on this optical MUST be set as a Slave drive.
If you connect the second optical on an IDE cable that is connected to the Secondary IDE controller and it is the only drive on this cable then the jumper on the optical drive can be set to either Master or Slave. If there is another drive on this IDE cable the they cannot be set with the same setting.

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I have compaq nx6310, i had issues with the os.once you touch a button it starts open other buttons and pages automatically. i tried restoring the system to earlier dates and the issue reduced. later on it...


Hi das4real! These are the things to consider.
  • Operating system disk - Try to test your Installation CD to other computer. If it doesn't work then you need to replace the disk
  • Optical Drive (CD/DVD Drive) - If Installation disk works then try to clean your Optical drive lens as it may be having a hard time reading the disk. Your Optical drive is working since you're able to format and able to start the installation. Cleaning the drive lens may do the trick.
  • Hard Drive - If Installation CD and Optical drive is clean. Then the last thing you need is to replace the Hard Drive. You Hard Drive might need replacement due to some bad sectors and the installation couldn't write anything on the drive that causes to freeze during installation.
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Go to your BIOS by pressing F2 key and check if Hard drive and Optical drive is detected. Go to boot option and check if the Optical Drive is in the first option and Hard drive second, so that you can RUN OPERATING SYSTEM SETUP form Optical drive if there's no OPERATING SYSTEM INSTALLED.

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Since you are under warranty, I would suggest not trying to do anything yourself if your not sure of your capabilities. Get somebody tech savy to do either one of those options you mentioned. Remove Hard drive, or bad optical drive. Another solution is just back up all your data on a removable drive, and then you can just reinstall the data back when you get the drive back. Depending on how much data you have it shouldnt take long to get back to your settings. It would be a good idea to start backing up anyway if your concerned about losing data and settings since it is almost inevitable eventually in time.

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If reseating doesn't resolve, Replace the HDD and the optical drive should work. (Controller is a serial design and neither drive will function if the other fails)

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