>But one thing I absolutely refuse to do is buy a phone where the manufacturer washes its hands of it
I have an 1st gen iPad and an iPhone 4 that Apple doesn't give me security updates for. I moved to a Nexus 5.
>When there's a new version of iOS, I get it the day it's released.
I have an 1st gen iPad and an iPhone 4 that say otherwise.
Within the weird world of weplicated wetware widgets.
The hard drive is likely bad as you say, especially if it is the original from 2009.
I recommend to use Smart Utility (free trial--will be all you need to verify)
What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.