I have a Dell Inspiron 700m which I really like, but it doesn't have enough room in the hard drive to do all the stuff I want to (store music, burn DVD's etc....) ****I know almost nothing about computers.... Would it be possible for me to buy a new higher capacity hard drive and swap it into my old Dell laptop?
1. Is it something a person who doesn't work with computers can actually do?
2. Are there certain shapes, sizes, connections etc that will "fit" where my old hard drive currently resides?
Yes it is definately possible to replace the hard drive of your laptop. The first thing to do is to check the type of drive it is. Is it a PATA drive (will have a 40 pin connection)? From what I can find it online, it most likely is a PATA drive. When shopping for a new drive you want a PATA 2.5" inch laptop drive eg.
If you want to be able to have all the musiv, movies etc with then you'll need to do a swap of the drives, otherwise you could just buy a large external drive (worth having any way to do regular backups!)
To swap the drives, the easiest way I know of is to create a drive image using software such as norton ghost and then copy everything back as that will ensure you don't spend hours re-installing everything. However to do this you will need a form of storage large enough to allow you to "ghost" the drive. eg. said external drive!
If you buy a new hard drive to go in the inspiron, I would suggest also buying an USB external drive case that will accept PATA drives. This will allow you to format your new hard drive before swapping the drives.
Assuming you have formatted the new drive in advance...