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How much???

I often feel that the bike industry rips us off for a lot of our riding kit and accessories. For example a fluorescent waistcoat is about £4 plus VAT from a safety equipment supplier. By the time it’s been packaged up for motorcycle use, I’ve seen them for £20 or £25!

But the computer industry is not immune either. My Sharp MM1100 superlight laptop hard disk started making the click of death recently, and some weeks ago failed to reboot, hence my purchase of the Dell Mini 9 I’ve written about a fortnight or so ago.

I managed to find online a disassembly article for the Sharp and having looked at it thought it might be worth trying to get hold of a new hard disk and fit it.

So I did a bit of searching and came up blank – the disk has been out of production for some time, and it used an unusual pin configuration which means that swapping in another current 1.8″ HD isn’t an option.

A bit more digging with the specific part number, and I found two suppliers in the UK. One emailed back and said they hadn’t had time to change their stock lists (!), and the other offered me a refurbished disk, with a link to the quote.

Gordon Bennett! £110 for the disk, £45 for delivery and VAT on top of the lot, making a grand total of £179.40. £110 is daft enough for a refurbished 20Gb, but £45 delivery? What are they sending it in – a diamond encrusted box?

Anyway, loath to throw away an otherwise decent bit of kit, I went back to the laptop, rebooted 15 or 20 times and finally got the recovery menu up. After several false starts, I managed to get XP reinstalled from the recovery partition and running. On the off-chance that’ll it’ll help prevent the disk errors, I have turned off hibernation and the page file, and installed the working files I need on a compact flash card. It’ll do for showing the videos to the trainees.

Just on the off-chance someone has a functional disk surplus to requirements, it’s a Hitachi DK-14FA-20 20.0GB 1.8″ ATA/100!

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