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Ok I got it to work, but it's intermittent. I pulled the drive out, switched the type of HDD in the BIOS from AHCI to IDE. Then I re-installed the drive. This got me past BIOS. Then I go into BIOS, reset it to AHCI, and the drive works perfectly. I'm using it now to post this.
However here's the weird thing. If I shut down my machine, I have the same problem again, sometimes. Twice today I've shut down the machine and it's come back with no problem, twice it's repeated the same error I had before. That means to fix it, I have to open the laptop, remove the SSD, reset BIOS to IDE, let it boot, reset BIOS again to AHCI, then reinstall the drive and it works.
Any ideas to stabilize this now? How odd.
I apologize ahead of time, as I am not super techy.
HD: Seagate Barracuda 3TB SATA-600, part # ST3000DM001
Memory - 4GB kit (2GB x 2) 200-pin SODIMM, part # CT2K2G2S800M
I like to play around with my computer in a way that's not exactly easy on hard drives.
Basically, I compile a lot of applications from source code. I know that this is rough on mechanical hard drives from experience, because I go through hard drives once every 2-3 years on systems where I do this.
Also, I tend to reinstall my operating system(s) every few months or so in order to experiment/test various configurations. That's also rough on the hard drive because it involves reformatting/reinstalling stuff.
I'm getting ready to replace the HDD I just wore out in my Linux machine. I like the speed of SSDs (I run them in my Gaming systems without issue), but I don't know if an SSD could hold up to the way I use my "programming" computer.
Basically, I'm wondering if it's a better idea to buy cheap HDDs and run them into the ground to avoid wearing out an SSD within 6 months (which I've heard happens with write-intensive operations), or whether an SSD would survive in that environment for about the same 2-3 years as my hard drives.
Most people have only tested the drives under normal scenarios with Windows and gaming. My situation is a little different, though.
Any advice/experience that might be relevant?