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What do I need to consider when purchasing a new hard drive?

I have an HP Pavilion a305w desktop computer which I bought in 2003. I know from the specs that it is a 3.5" 40 Gb Ultra DMA 5400 rpm hard drive. I'd like to upgrade to a much bigger capacity, like 250 Gb. What variables do I need to consider? Do I need to stick with the 5400 rpm? Certain manufacturers? BIOS or motherboard issues?

Thanks,
Gina

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All items that you have listed.

The OS needs to be able to read the disk. The BIOS with LBA will deal with the drive size.
Upgrade the BIOS if you are not sure.

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Thank you. More info and questions.

In reply to: All items that you have listed.

Thank you for your response. What is LBA? Should I upgrade the BIOS in advance or after installing a new HD? Another question: I see some used HDs for sale on eBay. Is it safe to consider these? If so, what should I watch out for to ensure I won't be infected with viruses?
Thanks,
Gina

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One more thing...

In reply to: Thank you. More info and questions.

The OS is Windows XP SP2.

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