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Laptop hard drive upgrade question

by smleeth / April 12, 2008 7:38 AM PDT

I have a Dell 9300 laptop and it's time to upgrade the hard drive. However, there's a problem. I purchased the laptop about 2 years ago and evidently at the time SATA drives weren't very popular in laptops, my computer has an ATA drive. The kicker is that I paid quite a premium to jump to a 7200RPM drive at the time, though it was only 80GB. Now I'm ready to upgrade and I am finding that it's virtually impossible to find a 2.5" 7200RPM drive that's not SATA, and I think the biggest I've found that will work is 100GB.

I need to know if I will really notice a difference or lose performance if I go to a good 5400RPM drive? I'm currently eyeing the Western Digital WD2500BEVE Scorpio 250GB drive (ATA-100, 5400, 8MB). Another thing, what is the difference between ATA-6 and ATA-100 and are they interchangeable? If I can't jump to a significantly larger drive without losing performance I'm going to scrap the project and simply add an external drive.

Dumb question of the there such a thing as an SATA adapter of some type or does one simply have to go to an entirely new motherboard?

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No such thing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 12, 2008 7:42 AM PDT

So I won't write further about that. But I find ATA IDE drives galore at and

Where you at?

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by smleeth / April 12, 2008 7:50 AM PDT
In reply to: No such thing.

I know there are an abundance of ATA drives for laptops out there. My question is in regards to the loss of performance going from an older 2.5" 80GB 7200RPM drive to a new 250GB 5400RPM drive. I'm also wondering if there are any others out there who've been in similar situations and have been able to track down larger ATA 7200RPM drives for laptops.

I'm in Manhattan, KS so I'm pretty much stuck with ordering online if I want any kind of selection.

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That's been discussed.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 12, 2008 7:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Clarification
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Thank you
by smleeth / April 12, 2008 8:17 AM PDT
In reply to: That's been discussed.

That site was helpful but it has now left me with another question. Is there a limit to just how big of a hard drive a motherboard will see? Someone posted on that site that a Dell 9300 won't recognize a 200GB drive.

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Frankly I would not exceed 127GB
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 12, 2008 8:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank you

It has to do with your supplied OS, the 48bit lba issue and more. Light reading at

Dell has to answer the max size question and will if you call.

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Thanks Bob
by smleeth / April 12, 2008 8:24 AM PDT

I'll look into it further. If you're at all familiar with Dell customer "service" than you'll understand that calling them is the very last thing on earth I want to do...

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We never hesitate.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 12, 2008 8:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks Bob

But we have our IT staffer at work do it. With some hundred something laptops by them I wonder if they feel like answering the phone quicker?

But your post is on the light side. For instance if only the detail of which OS you have on the restore CDs could I in good conscious suggest going past 127GB. Hope you understand.

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by smleeth / April 14, 2008 4:03 PM PDT
In reply to: We never hesitate.

I am running Windows XP Media Center Edition 2002, Service Pack 2.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 14, 2008 10:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Gotcha

If this laptop is less than about 8 years old I'd go with over 127GB drives.

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by smleeth / April 15, 2008 3:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Then's only about 2.5 years old. I appreciate all of your knowledge!

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