IBM Thinkpad T-40 HDD Upgrade

I want to upgrade my IBM T-40 Thinkpad from a current 40GB HDD to something at least twice the size or larger. Almost every bit of the literature I've read about T-40s indicates that they can only handle up to 80GB HDDs. Any truth to that?

Also, the current HDD is ATA (IDE); is it possible for me to switch to an SATA HDD when I upgrade the HDD or am I stuck with ATA?

And, last question; the current HDD runs at 4800RPM. Will a 7500RPM HDD be compatible?

Bottom line: I want to upgrade my IBM T-40 Thinkpad HDD from a 40GB ASA 4800RPM type to an 80GB (or more) SATA 7500RPM type. Possible? Any potential problems? Compatibility issues?

Am sure the "geeks" will know I'm a babe in the woods with this stuff... :-)

Thanx Tons in Advance

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  1. To help us out, where did you find such "literature"? :)
  2. r_manic said:
    To help us out, where did you find such "literature"? :)

    Dear "r"
    The "literature I refer to are a variety of sites I was directed to by Google when I performed a search for "IBM T40 HDD Upgrade." As I recall most it was "historical" stuff; recaps of the T40's history. But, in several articles of that type they all made mention of how IBM only offered up to 80GB on their HDDs for the T-40. Being completely in the dark about most stuff "cyber," I figured there must be some limitation for T40's with respect to their HDDs. Perhaps the processor can't handle anything more than an 80GB HDD? Again, you're talking to someone who needs the 1st grade version of any explanation.
    Ultimately, what I'd like to do is upgrade to a 250GB HDD that runs at 7500 (or faster) RPM and uses SATA technolgy instead of ASA (which I have now with my current 40GB HDD). Yet, again, I have no clue as to whether or not I can upgrade to a drive that runs faster or one that supports SATA. Will the other components of my system accept those differences?


  3. Best answer
    You are correct that 80gb is the max they shipped with, but that doesn't always mean that they can't support a larger drive. However in a laptop you're generally limited to the type of drive (IDE or SATA) it was built for since there isn't room for an adapter to really fit. There is an exception however, in that there is an adapter to use a sata drive in your ultrabay, though it doesn't officially support the T40 people have reported that it does work. (see ) As far as the computer supporting a drive goes RPM does not matter, it improves seek time a bit, but doesn't affect the way the computer uses it.
  4. I've just installed a new Western Digital WD 250GB 2.5 IDE in my T40 a few nights ago, I went the clean install route of xp pro, T40 drivers and then burn a full (IBM) recovery to both the new drive and an external usb drive, with no problems at all.
  5. Agnew-
    Thank you for the info. GREAT help!
  6. Kiren-
    Thanks so much for all the's a GREAT help. Now, I've just gotta decide whether it's actually worth it to spend $300-$400 upgrading this T-40 or simply buying a new laptop.

    Thanks Again!
  7. For my money though I've stuck with the 80GB and put excess data on the cloud or my NAS.

    The T40 isn't even worth that much ($400).

    For $400 you are about $250 away from a well equipped Y550 and $300 from on sale Asus, Samsung, Dell with mid level graphics (ATI 3650 or better, 210M or better).
  8. i have an IBM thinpad R52

    how do i change the ide connection inside it for a sata, where is the thing and what do i need to do to change it on the m'board?
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