Has my hard drive crashed?

Episode 1599 (2:17:45)

Greg from Apple Valley, CA
Gateway Laptop

Greg has an old Gateway laptop running Windows 7 where it automatically upgraded to Windows 10. Leo says that's a great thing as Windows 7 will go end of life in January, so you're in good shape. But Greg says his screen went blank and is spinning "diagnosing your PC." Leo says it's clearly crashed. The hard drive probably failed, so the choice is to buy a new computer or spend the money to put in a new hard drive. But that computer is pretty old. A new computer will let you do more than that 10-year-old laptop. But if you're fine with getting a new hard drive and keeping the computer going, then you can get one for about $100 or thereabouts, and you can change it out yourself. He should get an SSD drive for it. 

But you won't be able to get anything back from that old hard drive. If you don't have a backup, then you're pretty much out of luck. You may be able to pay someone to get the data off if the drive is still spinning. But it's 50-50 whether they will do be able to do it. But if it's spinning, there's a good chance.