At home I use a Dell Inspiron 5579 with Intel Core i7-8550U and 16 GB RAM. I mainly use the laptop for office work and smaller development projects, for which it is more than adequately dimensioned. Sometime between Christmas and New Year, the pre-installed SupportAssist software reported that the SMART status of the hard disk indicated an imminent failure. SmartAssist displayed some error details and the number of the Dell support hotline. The Dell representative I reached on January 2nd was quite friendly. I could choose to either send the laptop in for a few weeks or receive the required spare parts by mail and do the replacement myself. I decided to do the replacement myself – and on the very next day UPS brought the replacement SSD and a USB stick for the installation of Windows.

Replacing the hard disk

Using the service manual, it was relatively easy to replace the hard disk. The procedure is described in detail and does not take longer than 15 minutes:

Inspiron 5579 with base cover removed

Directly after the replacement I started the laptop and with the function key F12 I started the system diagnosis. The diagnosis was successful.

Windows installation

What I would not have guessed was that installing Windows 10 would be the lengthy part of the repair. After the successful system diagnosis, I plugged in the USB stick sent by Dell and rebooted. The installer offers several options; I decided to restore Windows. This process took a few hours, but ran smoothly overall. An unpleasant surprise was the subsequent installation of the Windows updates.

Laptop with USB stick

The Windows image on the USB stick is outdated. Windows therefore quickly finds a whole series of necessary updates. The first major update to version 1803 fails after a few hours with the error code 0xc1900104. The reason for this error is that no rescue partition is created when installing from the USB stick. When the update is installed, an attempt is made to update the rescue partition, which causes the installation to abort. A workaround is to perform the update using the following link: