A question(s) on laptop harddrives [Archive] - Glock Talk

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IH8Q8
06-16-2007, 01:51
A friend of mine and I are upgrading our harddrives in our laptops. Unlike me, he jumped in and ordered the biggest he could find, after we agreed that Hitachi Travelstar's were what we wanted to go with. He purchased an ATA150 drive in 160gb, but his computer's interface is ATA-6. Oops.

First question; what is the difference in the drives? I don't suppose they are compatible, are they?


I did some research and found that mine is ATA-6 first (marked ATA/IDE, had to do dome lookin'), and then started shopping. My computer is a 1st generation Dell XPS (9100), and still pretty durn fast, and I would like to keep it that way. Therefor, I want to stick with the 7200rpm drives as was installed in my machine. Hitachi only makes drives in 7200rpm up to 100gb, and that's a little smaller than what I had in mind.

The reason for going with the Hitachi is the fact that these two drives have been bulletproof in the rough environments we have used them in (Kuwait and Iraq for the last two years, my machine being three years old).

Second question; keeping the 7200rpm speed in mind, is there another brand's drives that anyone has had good luck with? I've had good luck with Seagate's Barracuda drives in my desktops, but have no experience with their laptop counterparts. I have had bad luck with WD's Caviar drives, so didn't consider them at all. Please chime in with your opinion, and specific models if you wish. I'm looking for large capacity, say bigger than 120gb.

Thanks, all!

Fred

Blitzer
06-16-2007, 02:21
Best of luck.

HAVOC
06-16-2007, 02:31
Originally posted by IH8Q8
A friend of mine and I are upgrading our harddrives in our laptops. Unlike me, he jumped in and ordered the biggest he could find, after we agreed that Hitachi Travelstar's were what we wanted to go with. He purchased an ATA150 drive in 160gb, but his computer's interface is ATA-6. Oops.

First question; what is the difference in the drives? I don't suppose they are compatible, are they?


I did some research and found that mine is ATA-6 first (marked ATA/IDE, had to do dome lookin'), and then started shopping. My computer is a 1st generation Dell XPS (9100), and still pretty durn fast, and I would like to keep it that way. Therefor, I want to stick with the 7200rpm drives as was installed in my machine. Hitachi only makes drives in 7200rpm up to 100gb, and that's a little smaller than what I had in mind.

The reason for going with the Hitachi is the fact that these two drives have been bulletproof in the rough environments we have used them in (Kuwait and Iraq for the last two years, my machine being three years old).

Second question; keeping the 7200rpm speed in mind, is there another brand's drives that anyone has had good luck with? I've had good luck with Seagate's Barracuda drives in my desktops, but have no experience with their laptop counterparts. I have had bad luck with WD's Caviar drives, so didn't consider them at all. Please chime in with your opinion, and specific models if you wish. I'm looking for large capacity, say bigger than 120gb.

Thanks, all!

Fred

ATA-6 and SATA can be converted back and forth, but not in the limited space of a laptop. He can return it or make an external drive from it. Or maybe buy a new laptop...

Although, 160 isn't the biggest anymore. Toshiba makes a 200, WD and Samsung make 250s. I wouldn't own another Toshiba drive on a bet. WD laptop drives have proven to be lacking in performance. In general I like Samsung stuff, but I have no experience with their drives, laptop or otherwise.

I've had a few of Seagate drives, and they've had the highest failure percentage of any brand I've used (3 of five failed, with 1 being less than 3 months old, so we'll see).

I've lost a couple Hitachi/IBM laptop drives (don't talk to me about IBM DeathStar desktop drives :steamed: ) but they were all very high mileage. It's my choice in laptop drives by FAR.

Apparently Seagate has a 160GB, 7200RPM drive, but it hasn't filled up the purchasing channels yet. But they seem to show up in places.

My guess is, with your 9100, you have a first get 7k drive, which was limited to 60GB. The design of the new 160GB+ drives make them just as fast at moving data at 5400 as the first gen 7200s. You're not going to lose anything noticable, performance wise, moving to the bigger, slower drive. Avoid the 4200s of course.

HAVOC
06-16-2007, 02:34
Hmmm... Seagate's 160/7200 is SATA only... nevermind.

IH8Q8
06-16-2007, 02:41
Havoc, you are correct, I have the OEM 60gb drive in the 9100.

So, you think that I won't even notice a difference between this 7200 and the current production 5400 drives? Well, I guess it won't matter, as Hitachi only goes up to 100gb in ATA-6 format. I am thinking that will be as big as I go, huh?

Neat thing about this laptop is it has a second hard drive caddy that slides into the CD-Rom bay, so I can still use the OE 60gb drive. I guess I can be satisfied with that!

Thank for the help, fellas. Now, one last question; ghosting the origional drive...Partition Magic 8 has the option. Will that make a perfect, bootable copy for me, so I can slide the 60 out and slide the new on right in?

Thanks again!

Fred

HAVOC
06-16-2007, 02:49
No, you won't notice a performance difference between a 5400/160 and a 7200/60. I didn't.

Hitachi makes (or at least made) an ATA-6 160GB. I'll poke around a little and see what I can find.

I'm a little leary of Partition Magic, in general. Quit using it long before it did imaging. I always used the software that came with Maxtor drives. It was bootable and did a low level copy. If you're using XP Pro Automated System Recovery can do the work for you.

HAVOC
06-16-2007, 03:00
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10005255
http://directron.com/0a28419.html


ATA 7 drives will work fine in an ATA 6 system.

IH8Q8
06-16-2007, 03:24
OK, well that begs the question on the difference in 7 and 6.

Thanks for the link, that looks like a winner!

HAVOC
06-16-2007, 03:28
Originally posted by IH8Q8
OK, well that begs the question on the difference in 7 and 6.

Thanks for the link, that looks like a winner!

Speed bump and a couple underlying features. But when the drive detects the controller doesn't support them, it simply doesn't go there and drops to the best level both ends can manage. The converse is also true when the controller is newer than the drive.

IH8Q8
06-16-2007, 04:22
Ok, last question. Is there a size limit as to what the computer's hard drive controller can recognize?

Again, mine was the Dell Insperon 9100

Buddy's is an Acer Aspire 1642ZWLMi.

Thanks again!

Fred

HAVOC
06-16-2007, 05:17
The 9100 will work fine with the drive. The Acer should, looking at it's specs, but I have no experience.

Windows, however, could have a fit. XP is unhappy with PARTITIONS larger than 137GB. Easiest solution is not to create them bigger than that. It can be worked around if you MUST have the one single partition.

Here's (http://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=3639&prevaction=category&previd=141&prevstart=24) a place to get the D-Bay HDD caddy. I've had really good luck with that company.

IH8Q8
06-16-2007, 05:27
That is exactly the place I got it from. I picked up the one sans lid, as it was in stock, half the price, and I could care less.

So, it's Windows that will not like the hard drive size, huh? What to do about that? My 160gb external drive is working great; is it only an issue on boot drives?

HAVOC
06-16-2007, 05:46
Originally posted by IH8Q8
That is exactly the place I got it from. I picked up the one sans lid, as it was in stock, half the price, and I could care less.

So, it's Windows that will not like the hard drive size, huh? What to do about that? My 160gb external drive is working great; is it only an issue on boot drives?

Like I said, it's not drive size, it's partition size. When you setup the drive for Windows, just keep the PARTITION under 137GB, and you won't have any trouble. Your system may have the patch applied, and it may not make any difference at all.

It's not neccessarily going to kill you. But it might. Just put 2 partitions on the drive (both<137GB) and it won't be a problem.

HAVOC
06-16-2007, 05:59
Here's (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303013) the story, and the fix, if needed.

IH8Q8
06-16-2007, 06:23
That's one heck of an article. Looks like it only applies to SP1, and I have SP2. Therefor I will assume that I am all good. I'll order the drives and find out, huh?

Thanks for all your help, Havoc. You were of great assistance.

Fred

Washington,D.C.
06-16-2007, 08:41
5400 RPM is plenty fast. 4200 RPM is noticeably slower. 7200 RPM drives aren't much faster than 5400 RPM drives and use a lot more power. As far as brand it seems to be hit or miss depending on when it was designed.