Replacing Notebook Hard Drive

How hard is it to select and replace a notebook hard drive? Let's say I had a Dell E1405 notebook. Let's also say I wanted a 7200RPM, high-performance drive for disk-intensive number crunching.

How would I select a drive? How do I know that the drive will work with the notebook?

I see Hitachi's E7K100 drives. Are they my best bet for a *fast* performance HD? I also have an HP Pavilion notebook with a sluggish FUJITSU MHT2060AT (ATA-100, 4200 RPM, 2MB) HDD that I would want to upgrade.
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  1. There are 2 kids of notebook hard drives:
    EIDE, Parallel ATA, ATA-(# any number here) are the same thing
    SATA is a different interface.

    Your DELL is probably a SATA drive.
    You need to get a 2.5" SATA interface 7,200 rpm drive from say ZipZoomFly or something.

    Make sure that it won't void the warranty or anything like that. With the old hard drive you can get an external 2.5" notebook case for it, and have a nice little portable drive.

    As far as your other computer, that is most likely a EIDE or ATA drive, which makes sense because if it wasn't, you could use your hard drive out if the DELL and save a buck. Since that is not how the world works, you can deduce that it is EIDE. :)

    You are also going to need an cloning tool like Ghost or Acronis. That way you can mirror the hard drive you have onto the new one in about 15 minutes and be up and running no problem w/o having to reinstall all your programs and settings.

    Interesting here though is that at no time did the end user call DELL or HP because they probably wouldn't know, or the hold time is longer than humanly bearable. Kids, the moral of the story here..." well, you get the point.
  2. Mark,
    I appreciate your help and skills ("You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills... "). Obviously, I wouldn't contact either Dell or HP. The only times I've ever done that is if I need warranty parts. They really know less than nothing. They would have to learn a few things to know nothing. (That's negative knowledge for those in Rio Linda).
  3. I upgraded the HD in my NB to the Hitachi 7K100, it smokes. If your are running less than 1gig of ram it will make a huge difference too. Do Not Mix and Match RAM, Use Identical pairs for best performance.

    If your dell has a resore cd/dvd you can use it. Otherwise you will need to use some cloneing software. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL OF YOUR DRIVES BURNED ON CD, if you deside to do a clean install. That way any problems want be transfered to your new drive.

    If you are use Symantic AV or FW software. Do a clean install and do not install it/them. Use Comodo, Avira AV free programs you will see a tremendous speed boost. Symantic are system resources HOGS.
  4. Well, just an update...

    I upgraded my HP Pavilion zd7140us' hard drive from the 4200RPM unit that came with it to the Hitachi E7K100 (80GB) running at 7200RPM. Installation was a snap, literally. Very easy. I did choose to reinstall my OS and various files.

    Following are some 4200RPM vs. 7200RPM timings:

    Time from start to password screen: 4200RPM: 57 seconds. 7200RPM: 27 seconds.

    Program 1: 4200RPM: 1 hour 54 minutes 7200RPM: 1 hour 3 minutes
    Program 2: 4200RPM: 3 hours 4 minutes 7200RPM: 2 hour 31 minutes

    I suspected that the 4200RPM was a big player in this system's lackluster performance. I was obviously right. I'm very glad that I upgraded my HD.
  5. I haven't figured out how the 4200 rpm drives save power. It has to work 2-3 times as hard as 7200 model. And there is only 10% difference in the power consuption. Productivity is greatly increased, a 100% min gain for a 10% power hit (HD).

    I will never buy a LT with a 4200 or 5400 rpm drive agian.
  6. It does sound counterintuitive, doesn't it? I would guess that it has something to do with the energy required to power up the drive for a search vs. the duration of running time.
  7. I don't think that comes into play. I think the 4200 are fast enough to stream video, so the over all run time will be greater. But for the majority of us it's counter productivity. If you are low on ram, 512 or less the drive gets alot of activity being used as Virtual memory and swap files. This is were most of the wait times come from too. If you are less the 1g of ram, bump it up and you will see another boost in performace.
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