Upgrading laptop hard disk - few questions!

Good day all! Brand new to this forum, came here to get some help about upgrading my laptop's hard disk. I have a lesser known brand laptop (Portable One UXM520) which came with a 60gig Hitachi drive, 7200RPM, 1.5gb/s. The machine has become my primary computer, and 60gig just ain't cutting it anymore.

My goal is to upgrade to a higher capacity drive but remain at 7200RPM. I don't need anything fancy, just something reliable. As such, I've landed at Newegg, and discovered that I can get a 320gb drive at 7200RPM for around $100. My intention is to also buy an external enclosure which will facilitate copying my current drive onto it, and will then serve to house my existing 60gb drive after I've made the swap.

After doing some research, I have the following concerns before I purchase the equipment...

1. Should I be more worried about heat with a larger capacity drive? My machine gets pretty warm as it is, so I don't want to increase that much.

2. My SATA controller is an Intel 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7-M Family). Will that be able to handle a drive that is designed for 3.0gb/s? I'm curious because my current drive is only 1.5gb/s, but the ones I'm looking at are all 3.0. Let me emphasize, I'm not looking for that increase, I just want them to be compatible.

3. My choices seem to be Western Digital and Seagate, unless I shop elsewhere. Is there any reason to avoid any/both of these? Is either brand typically better? Any other brands I should strongly consider?

Western Digital


Appreciate any other tips, thanks!
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  1. You should be fine with a 3gb/s drive. They are backwards compatible with the 1.5gb/s interface.

    I wouldn't worry about additional heat. If anything, the newer drive will have features to keep it cooler than the original.

    WD and Seagate both make decent drives, so pick the one with the best price for what you get. Warranty and features are good to base your decision on. I personally tend to favor WD though.

    How do you plan on copying your drive over? It's not as simple as copy/paste. You'll either have to ghost it to the new drive (using Ghost or another similar app), or install the OS on to the new drive and copy your data over from the 60gb external. You can't copy/paste the OS, boot-sector, MFT, and other important things.
  2. Thanks for the tips - I haven't fully decided how I'm going to proceed with that yet, but I'm aware that it's not a copy/paste issue. I am leaning towards using the open source ghost application whose name I forget, or ghosting in one way or another because I'm afraid I'll lose some pertinent data/software/other, and my computer seems pretty stable at this point in time. But, not 100% on that yet.

    Are there any issues with BIOS having to be configured or anything?
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