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All About Laptop Hard Drives Upgrading

Upgrading, instead of buying a new laptop is a more practical way to save you hundreds of dollars. Understanding the needed specifications and following the easy step by step process will help you find the right materials for the upgrade, at a very low price.

Upgrading your laptop hard drive can be done easily. If your laptop was manufactured last 1997and has 3.0 GB or a bigger hard disk drive, the choices to upgrade it are unlimited.

Laptop hard drive that uses a 9.5 mm hard drive height is an exemption. The exemption pertains to laptops that were manufactured before 1997. The mounting hole patterns of these laptop hard drives are standardized. It has separate screw holes situated 3 inches on the longer side.


Laptop hard drives are not owned by laptop manufacturers. Therefore, laptop hard drives will work with any type of laptop. Almost all laptops have a 2.5" mobile hard disk drive. There are also few ultra-portable laptops that use 1.8" drives.

Four things to consider when buying new hard drives:

1. The Capacity

Not all laptops can take advantage of hard drive capacities that are in excess of 80 GB. This is due to the BIOS or Operating System's limitations. To access the full capacity of an ATA interface hard drive, a minimum OS configuration of Windows XP or Windows 2000 is required.

2. The Speed

Present hard drives are available with the following spindle speeds:

- 4200 RPM - this is the spindle speed found in older laptops. It takes less power to turn the platter at this speed. It has extended battery life.
- 5400 RPM - New 5400 RPM disks gives an improve performance with very little reduction in the life of battery.
- 7200 RPM - It has high performance. However, you need to sacrifice the battery life.

3. The Interface

Many laptop hard disk drives use an ATA interface like:


New laptops are currently set up to use a Serial ATA (SATA) interface. Your laptop can be set with one or the other. ATA and SATA laptop hard drives are not exchangeable.

4. The Buffer

The temporary data storage buffer cache is being used to enhance drive performance. The buffer cache can be checked initially when data is requested from the hard drive. It is a lot faster to retrieve it from the cache as compared to the drive. Many laptop hard drives incorporate 8 MD buffers. Others are limited to only 4 MB while others may offer a 16 MB cache.


Transferring the files, programs and operating system from your old laptop hard drive require new steps to be followed. These are:

1. Use a Desktop Personal Computer

- Removed the old laptop drive
- Connect it to an open ATA or IDE channel on the desktop. Use an adapter.

2. Use a utility like NORTON GHOST to create the image of the drive. Store it on the desktop's hard drive.

3. Desk top must be shut down.

- Removed the old laptop drive
- Install the new laptop drive
- Reboot the desk top
- The image stored on the desktop hard drive is then transferred onto the new drive.

4. Use an external hard drive

Using of an external hard drive and a back-up utility is another method.

5. Others

The Universal EZ Hard Disk Drive Upgrade Kit for All Laptop Computers of Apricorn shortens the task. You can also use the Apricorn EZ Hard Drive Upgrade Kit of your old laptop hard drive as an external hard drive.

It also has a kit for upgrading SATA drives. It is known as the APRICORN EZ Upgrade Universal SATA 480 Mbps USB 2.0 Kit.

Removing and Replacing Laptop Hard Drives

It is necessary to know the procedure in removing and replacing hard drive units. This information must be given by your laptop manufacturer.

Step-by-Step Procedures:

1. Universal EZ HDD Upgrade Kit for All Notebook Computers:

Upgrading your laptop's hard drive fast and easy can be done via EZ Upgrade. It includes:

- External Hi-speed USB 2.0 drive enclosure
- USB Cable
- AC adapter and
- EZ Gig II Data Transfer Utility

These are the things you will need to transfer all your

• applications
• settings
• data and
• OS to a new hard drive

2. Apricorn EZ Upgrade Universal SATA 480 Mbps USB 2.0:

It includes:

- External Hi-speed USB 2.0 drive enclosure for SATA HDD
- Auxiliary power cable
- EZ Gig II Data Transfer Utility

Your old drive can be used as an external storage or back-up device. It also includes all hardware and software needed for upgrading Notebook SATA hard drives.

You can also use old SATA hard drives as an external Hi-speed USB 2.0 back-up tool. It can transfer data through Hi-speed USB 2.0 Self Powered USB enclosure. No AC adapters are needed.