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How Do I Know If A Hard Drive Is Compatible With My Laptop?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:55 pm
by bob123
I have a Dell Inspiron 5000 (about 5 yrs old). I want to upgrade the Hard Drive to 30GB because I only have 6GB, which is useless. I can't buy the Dell Drive (made by IBM) because I am in Argentina, and it takes months for hardware to get here and importation costs make it impossible. I would end up paying $600 or so for the drive, which retails for $140.

There are other drives available here, so, my question is, can I put another Hard Drive in my Inspiron and how do I know if it is compatible? Neither Dell, nor the manufacturer sites give you info on compatibility. The only specs of the IBM drive that is designed for my Dell are 32GB (that is the max I can put in my computer) 12.5mm/2.5. I don't know what the 2.5 is, I thought maybe inches. (Dell part #81JWY and I5K).

One drive I was looking at here is a Hitachi 5400. I have no other specs because that was all that was on the website. Anyway, I can call the company and ask for more specs. What do I need to know? Obviously the size of the drive should be the same. Apart from that is there a speed or some other specs that I need to know for compatibility?

Any help would be most appreciated. You have (I assume) no idea what a hassle it is getting computer parts in Argentina! Plus forget about returning anything if you make a mistake (so please be right).


PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:10 am
by code65536
There are basically two types of hard drives (well, 3 if you count micro). 3.25 inch and 2.5 inch. Just buy any 2.5 inch hard drive, and it'll work in a laptop. 3.25 inch drives are for desktops.

Although newegg doesn't ship outside the USA, this should give you an idea of what 2.5 inch drives are like (and what the market prices for them are in US dollars)... ... 380&DEPA=1

Here's your info

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 7:25 pm
by navio
Dear friend,

I've had Inspiron 5000 for many years liked it a lot just recently gave it to my dad - and replaced many hard drives in it (actually I kept "swaping" them but you don't have to think about that right now).
As far as the size of the drive is concerned - you're mistaken - As long as you have the latest BIOS for it from Dell (you can still very easily download it from their website, choose the "floppy" version copy it to a floppy and with that floppy in the drive reboot the computer and let it update the BIOS - the instructions are right there anyway) - Inspiron 5000 was manufactured AFTER the 32GB limitation. So with the latest BIOS and Win2k or Win XP (and yes - XP will run on Inspiron 5000 (even without the video driver from Dell - though it's not a bad idea to download it) your Hard drive limitation is around 130GB. Trust me - I had in mine 40GB as well as 60GB HD with the full capacity. The only think you have to make sure is to get 2.5in HD (otherwise called also "laptop/notebook Hard drives). In Inspiron 5000 you can actually use 9.5mm as well as the older 12.5mm Hard drives - that's just in case you come across one for a good price (majority if not all new laptop drives - most new laptops are thinner and won't accept - physically - the old style (thicker) laptop drives). By-the-way: the link "code65536" sent you could give you a pretty good idea what you're looking for. The one you mentioned "Hitachi 5400" means only that it's a "5400 RPM drive" - you certainly will get extra performance from that even in Inspiron 5000 (as opposed to more common 4200 RPM drive).
When you're looking at the computer the hard drive is in the left corner held buy one screw you get to when you flip it upside-down. Carefully pull the whole tray out. The actual hard disk is held to the tray by 2 or 4 screws - (all these laptop drives have screw holes exactly in the same places, don't worry) - it should be pretty obvious and if it's not you probably shouldn't be doing this to begin with. The connector at the end (which is how it actually communicates with the laptop - that you just have to pull off of the old drive and attach it to the new drive, make sure you do it correctly - it's going to be off-center (some pins are open). Just do it exactly the same way. Then slide it carefully back into computer. Boot it into BIOS (via "F2") and make sure, that you have Boot order set to CD/DVD (whatever you have there as the "optical drive") as first (#1). Put Windows CD into drive , start it again and Windows will do the rest for you.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

navio (July 17, 2005)

Thanks Guys!!!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 9:29 pm
by bob123
Thank you both for your answers!

And navio, WOW =D> , that was an answer. I have been trying for sooo long to get an answer to that question. All you get out of Dell is that the max capacity is 32GB, and I went back and forth with them for weeks, sending mails and chats. That is the maximum capacity they tested with the machine, and there is no way they will ever tell you it is capable of more. So that is so useful to get such a complete answer. I guess I will try to get as large a drive as my pocketbook can afford. I'll go for 80GB, but it could be a bit steep, especially in Argentina. Even 30GB would be a huge jump from the 6GB I have now, but I'd like a bit more.

One more small question. As far as the speed, the older drives were 4,200rpm. Now you see more 5,400. There are also 7,200, but I doubt I can get my hands on one. If I could, would my machine be able to handle that speed?

Even if you don't get around to answering that, thank you both sooooo much [-o< for your answers!!!!

Take care!

Re: Thanks Guys!!!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 9:47 pm
by Ian
bob123 wrote:One more small question. As far as the speed, the older drives were 4,200rpm. Now you see more 5,400. There are also 7,200, but I doubt I can get my hands on one. If I could, would my machine be able to handle that speed?

Most likely, it could handle the speed. What it might have problems with is the heat. I have not tried any of the 7200 rpm laptop drives, but the 5400 rpm ones do get hot. I had one in my old Latitude D600. It was located under the palm rest and things got a little toastie.

Thanks Ian

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:28 pm
by bob123
OK, I'll stick to 5,400.

Besides, I have been looking into the prices in Argentina and they are at least 2-3x what they are in the US, so I really doubt I could get a 7,200 drive. I am looking at $230 for 80GB at least. It sucks, but there really is no alternative down here, with the importation taxes, etc.

Thanks for the answer!