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What can I do to upgrade this laptop.  Especially the hard drive.

Posted on 2006-07-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I've got an IBM T42.  Here is a picture of the system now.  I have upgraded the RAM.  But that is the only thing I've touched.  I'm now addicted to upgrading my hardware in the endless quest for more speed and capacity to run video editing software.

Operating System               System Model
Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 (build 2600)               IBM 23734WU ThinkPad T42
System Serial Number: L3RNG6L
Enclosure Type: Notebook
Processor a               Main Circuit Board b
600 megahertz Intel Pentium M
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
2048 kilobyte secondary memory cache               Board: IBM 23734WU
Serial Number: J1ZPU55700Y
Bus Clock: 400 megahertz
BIOS: IBM 1RETDJWW (3.15 ) 03/29/2005
Drives               Memory Modules c,d
35.06 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
10.60 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

HL-DT-ST RW/DVD GCC-4242N [CD-ROM drive]

TOSHIBA MK4026GAX [Hard drive] (40.01 GB) -- drive 0, s/n 55HT4886T, rev PA107E, SMART Status: Healthy               2048 Megabytes Installed Memory
        Local Drive Volumes
c: (NTFS on drive 0)       35.06 GB       10.60 GB free
        Network Drives
        None detected
Users (mouse over user name for details)               Printers
local user accounts      last logon
 Administrator       7/7/2005 12:43:07 AM       (admin)
 Altec user       1/28/2005 2:00:53 AM       (admin)
local system accounts
 ASPNET       never       
 Guest       never       
 HelpAssistant       never       
 SUPPORT_388945a0       never       
ALTECNT domain logons
 ABPowell             (admin)

DISABLED Marks a disabled account;   LOCKED OUT Marks a locked account
HP DeskJet 930C/932C/935C       on LPT1:
Controllers               Display
Standard floppy disk controller
Intel(R) 82801DBM Ultra ATA Storage Controller - 24CA
Primary IDE Channel [Controller]
Secondary IDE Channel [Controller]               ATI MOBILITY RADEON 7500 [Display adapter]
Default Monitor
IBM 1024x768 [Monitor] (14.9"vis)
PNP ThinkPad TV [Monitor] (August 1999)
Samsung 760/V/780 TFT [Monitor] (17.1"vis, s/n HCLT202561, February 2002)
Bus Adapters               Multimedia
Intel(r) 82801DB/DBM USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller - 24CD
Intel(r) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C2
Intel(r) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C4
Intel(r) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C7               SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio
Communications               Other Devices
IBM Integrated 56K Modem
Sierra Wireless AirCard 555 Modem

Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery
IBM ThinkPad Fast Infrared Port
Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
IBM ThinkPad UltraNav Pointing Device [Mouse]
Sierra Wireless AirCard 555 PC Card Parent
Generic USB Hub
USB Root Hub (4x)

Anyway, I bought this HD a while back but have not installed it yet.  Wondering if this is the best option.  I can still get an RMA for it so it's not a big deal.  Also, for changing HD's in a laptop.  I'm assuming making an image on an external HD is the safest way to make the change.  However, this is my work Laptop provided by the company so I don't have the OS disc.  I can probably get it.  Do I need that or can I boot the external HD and reinstall the image to the new HD.

Anyway here is the HD I am considering:

Question by:abpowell
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Author Comment

ID: 17123564
I think I may like this one better.

Why doesn't WD make a 7200 RPB HD for laptops?

Also, my cache now is 16 MB, the new ones are 8MB.  What difference will I see there.  Isn't more cache supposed to be better?
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

tim_qui earned 400 total points
ID: 17123670
The 7200 rpm HDD will make a noticeable difference.

Take a look at this guide;
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

Gary Case earned 1600 total points
ID: 17124617
"... I'm now addicted to upgrading my hardware in the endless quest for more speed and capacity ..." ==> Welcome to the club :-)   [keep checkbook handy --> over the years I've spent well over six digits on this stuff !!]

Upgrading from 5400rpm to 7200rpm will make a nice difference in the "feel" of the laptop.  The cache difference is much less signficant, so don't be concerned about that.   Either of the drives you've listed will be fine.

Be sure you create a set of Rescue and Recovery CD's from your laptop before you remove the old hard drive -- otherwise you'll have to purchase a Recovery CD from Lenovo.

IBM uses a special recovery partition on most Thinkpads (using a hardware device to do so, so it's not even "visible" to partition management software).   If you have a blue "Access IBM" button, yours is one of these.   But as long as you create the recovery CDs, you should have no problem recovering to a new hard drive.   You could also simply image the system to an external drive;  then restore it to the new drive -- but then you wouldn't have the "Access IBM" capability  (I presume that if you use their Rescue & Recovery CD's you will still have that capability).

HOWEVER ... if the ONLY reason you're doing this upgrade is to gain a bit of hard drive speed, you may want to just buy a large external drive and gain not only better hard drive speed; but also much more space (320GB or more for the same price as the drives you've listed above).   Your system has USB v2.0 ports, so you would get very good performance with this alternative.

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Author Comment

ID: 17124838
It's part speed, part space.  I keep getting emails that are bigger and bigger.  I have to detach all large files to keep under the 100 mb limit we have for storing e-mails.  I use an external HD when I am in the office but I don't want to have to tote that thing around too.  

However, the external HD I have now is only a 60 gig WD passport.  Can that even be considered a HD or is that just a "mass storage device"?  Also, are you saying that if I change that to something bigger I could get more speed (and storage) without changing anything else.  How so?  Just leave OS and other job related essential programs on internal HD and move everything else to external?  

I may just do both.  And add some led lights and a disco ball to my docking station.  :)  

And I do have the blue button.
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Gary Case
ID: 17125000
LED lights and a disco ball are reported to provide substantial performance gains -- but I haven't actually tried them :-)

... a WD passport is hard drive, but it's based on a 5400rpm notebook drive, so it's appreciably slower than a 7200rpm 3.5" drive (transfer rate is more than double on a 3.5" 7200 rpm drive).   Since you have a USB v2 port, you can transfer data to/from the external drive at 480Mb/s, so you'd notice a very nice gain with a 3.5" external drive (it will also be much faster than a 7200rpm notebook drive).

... but you WILL notice an improvement with a 7200rpm internal drive as well.  Simple math:  7200/5400 = 1.33 time as fast :-)


Expert Comment

ID: 17129730
The faster the hard drive and the more cache, the better, size is good in my opinion, but if you are not going to update, you're not going to see a huge difference, except for price!

Author Comment

ID: 17130691
What do you mean by update laks?

Expert Comment

ID: 17132333
You can say that and upgrade is going UP and an update is updating something, for me, it is almost the same thing.  Sorta.
I mean I use the two interchangeably.  You're upgrading and updating your system.  If you get something new, bigger, better, faster, it's an upgrade.  "scrore!"  If you update your house, you might be putting an addition onto it.  I don't know if there is a house part to "upgrade" but if you have 1 and add 1 more, then that's often thought of as upgrading.  You have a laptop with 128MB RAM you can upgrade to 128MB+ to get 256MB total, as an upgrade.  You could say that you updated your system to perform faster.
Yes, I am NOT Webster from the dictionary, and this English degree is probably not showing off, however I am not going to go all out and make this grammitcally correct just to try to get my point across.  (said playfully).

I hope I wasn't confusing.  I was annoyed that EVERYONE seemed to answer the question before "I" did, but I wanted to offer a fix, wherever I could.
I hope I added a bit of assurance, that many people said the same thing.

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