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Larger HDD for Laptop

Posted on 2003-02-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a Toshiba Satellite Pro 4200 Laptop. It has a 6gb HHD, I run several music programs on it along with the usual desktop programs, and I have ended up with only 560mb left. The HDD is simply not big enough so I want to buy a new one, what I don't know is what to get? I want around 20gb min, can I just buy any 20gb 2.5" laptop HDD or do I have to get one specific to my model. And then would I need to change BIOS settings? which also I wouldn't have a clue how to do.

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Question by:wheest
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12 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:sntsfn
ID: 8018486
i've purchased larger hdd for laptops not specific to the model, but it would always help. if you have USB you can get an external drive for music and other "stuff"
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by:rid
ID: 8019666
Many laptops have BIOS set to autodetect hard drive. If you can get hold of a larger drive that fits physically, it will be up to the BIOS if it will be detected. The ones I've tried upgrading have autodetected fine, but you may run into a size limit at 8G or something, depending on BIOS age. You should be able to use whatever size is detected, even if drive actually is larger.

Regards
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:oldgreyguy
ID: 8020015
Your Toshiba will accept larger drives... but to SNTSFN's suggestion.... I agree... an external, hooked to the USB port would allow you all the storage you need, without the hassle of reinstalling everything for more space

http://www.wdc.com/products/usb120gb.asp

http://www.usbgear.com/

http://www.everythingusb.com/


the WD solution is very nice for laptops

bill

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by:magarity
ID: 8021829
The physical size is the most important thing once you determine whether Toshiba supports large size disks for this model.

2.5 inch drives come in varying heights.  7, 8, 9, and 12 millimeters are the typical sizes.  Obviously, if the laptop's space for a hard drive is only 7mm tall, you can't put a 12mm disk there.  So in the advanced section of the user's manual should be a list of specifications.  See if it lists the size of the drive.  If not, there should be a model number.  You can look on Toshiba's website for the size specs of the drive there.
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by:ezlife
ID: 8022352
Wonders if the laptop accepts two hardrives? Cause if not you're gonna have to reload all those programs to your new hardrive along with windows operating system. Just a thought.
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by:magarity
ID: 8023380
OK, I had a chance to dig around Toshiba's website and found that this series of Satellites uses the 9.5mm height disks.  So all you need to do is make sure that's the size of the new disk (that's also the most common of the four standard sizes).  The capacity consideration is much less important because you can always use the free utility, called BIOS translation software, with computers that have problems with large capacities.
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Author Comment

by:wheest
ID: 8023940
I'm not too worried about having to re-install everything, one of the programs alone takes up 1.5gb so I only have a few programs along with Windows XP to fill it up. I had considered an external, but I am very portable so I'd prefer not to have to carry it around along with the laptop.

Magarity, how do I use the BIOS translation software? I assume that it will update my BIOS to accept a larger HDD, where could I find it?
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magarity earned 200 total points
ID: 8024016
"Magarity, how do I use the BIOS translation software?"

If you get the retail hard drive pack, it might come on an included floppy drive.  Otherwise, all the manufacturers have this kind of program available for free download.  Whether your system even needs it remains to be seen.  Again, it is no big deal.

"I assume that it will update my BIOS to accept a larger HDD, where could I find it?"

It isn't a BIOS update, but it accomplishes the same affect.

I don't know about UK prices; that page says it doesn't include tax and it is a hefty premium over the 97$US that same capacity sells for here.  Otherwise, that unit is the correct physical size.

The potential for a problem with BIOSes and large drives occurs at the 32GB level so this 30GB almost certainly is just plug and go for your system.
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Author Comment

by:wheest
ID: 8024104
Sorry, I forgot to mention I do live in the UK. And your right we really do have to pay more in britain. (Which Sucks!)

Thankyou all of course!

Points go to Magarity.

Thanks!!
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Author Comment

by:wheest
ID: 8024112
Day 1: Question asked.
Day 2: Problem Solved.

Brilliant!!
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Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 8024240
In the highly unlikely case you need it, here is Hitachi's link for thier BIOS translation software which they call DiskManager2000:
http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#diskmgr2k

Note that they mention XP and 2000 are unlikely to need it and one of your comments mentions installing XP.  So do not download and use this software unless it becomes apparent that you definitely need it.
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