You know… I wonder lately why newer laptops roll out with all the bells and whistles but the manufacturers hide the harddrives so inconspicuously. You would have to remove the whole front or bottom of the laptop to get to the harddrive. What reason? I don’t know! No wait, I do know!!! They want you to bring it in for repair and or services and charge you an arm and a leg for labor!

Before, they had harddrives conspicuously hidden on the side of the laptop or on the bottom with a plastic/metal cover shroud over it. That was easy to access and easy to upgrade harddrives at will. Not now-a-days. The reason why I bring this topic up is because harddrives are prone to failure within many years of service and sometimes they just die at a very early stage during their service… What the hell do you do if you have harddrive failure? Opps, got to take it in because I can’t get to it or I migh void my warranty… How long does warranty process these repairs? Weeks! When do you need your lapper? You want it NOW dammit: not three weeks later!

If you are like me, whom restore their systems quite often… Why? Well it only takes 5-8minutes to restore my system with Norton Ghost… Does lappers allow you to do this efficiently? NO. Why? Because they come pre-installed with some type of operating system (XP or Vista for example) and all these systems that are pre-installed, will only restore to one partition… Here is a typical harddrive setup for lappers:

If you take a look at the above photo, you see that you only have one partition in lappers… I like to have two partitions; one for your operating system and the other to make backups of that operating system. The reason is because sometimes your lapper decides to slow down and or act flaky and instead of losing everything with the restore disk (newer lappers don’t come with restore CDs dammit), you can restore it from the Norton Ghost (Ghost) file. Do you see that EISA partition? I call it the ghost partition because you can’t see it. That partition is the restore partition and it is required for the system to operate (some manufacturers).

The way I setup my partition is this: You need two partitions (excluding the EISA partition), one 30Gig and the rest the second partition for full system backups. In order to do this, you are required to take out the harddrive to first backup the system using Ghost. Then make the two partitions, then do the restore. The logic behind this is because the lapper comes with the pre-installed operating system with all drivers; you can’t use the restore disk to install a new operating system on the 30Gig partition because the OEM restore disk won’t allow it. You can do this without removing the harddrive by reinstalling everything and that requires a new operating system to be purchased.

If you have a lapper, I highly recommend this type of partition setup for efficiency. Nothing beats a system restore that can be done in less than 15minutes. Norton Ghost is a life saver! Harddrive failure, virus, wacky systems etc- all pay tribute to a quick system restore. If you don’t have Ghost, you obviously are quite brave!

FYI: Sony & Toshiba Lappers do not require the EISA partition. IBM Lenovo 2005–? requires the EISA partition. I know this because I have had to do it with dozens of lappers for friends and family. My newest trail was with a Dell Vistro. I gave up because I wasn’t going to take the lapper apart to get to the harddrive… The harddrive is hidden somewhere within the shell. Not worth taking the risk of voiding the warranty!