sony vaio pcg-fx310

February 19, 2009 at 11:35:43
Specs: Windows XP
I want to upgrade the harddrive in my vaio pcg-fx310. What is the maximum capacity i can install.
I talked to sony and they said it cannot be upgrade,but i know that is a crock of $#&*

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February 19, 2009 at 13:20:21
Considering how old that thing is I suggest NOT getting anything larger than 120GB.

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February 19, 2009 at 14:05:58
iwas looking to install a 80 or 100gb

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February 19, 2009 at 14:09:24
Sony support is pretty good, so chances are they're right. You can probably use a hard drive larger than the max. originally available for the model, but you may not be able to get one from Sony, and in any case your mboard main chipset probably is incapable of recognizing a drive larger than 137gb manufacturer's size = 128gb in your bios.

What operating system are you using, and/or want to upgrade to?
Your computer may not meet the minimum requirements for Vista even with everything upgraded to the max.

- the graphics adapter is probably built into the mboard and is not removable, so you cannot upgrade that.
- the cpu may be soldered into the mboard, not in a socket, and in that case it is not removable, or it is in a socket and removable but you may already have the max. cpu the mboard can support installed.

- you MAY be able to increase the total amount of ram installed, but if you have two modules now, you may have to replace both of them in order to get the max amount of ram.

See response 5 in this for some places where you can find out what will work in your mboard for sure:

You can improve the graphics if you don't mind using an external monitor, or add a TV tuner, or add video capture capabilty, or add a USB 2.0 controller card, etc.
See response 1 in this:

or you can add a better wired or wireless network adapter card (PCMCIA in your case), etc.

You cannot make upgrade the capabilities of the the mboard to make it capable of more than the maximum it is already capable of.
- you cannot make it capable of recognizing hard drives larger than 137gb manufacturer's size = 128gb in your bios and in Windows if the main chipset cannot support that, even if you flash the bios to a newer or the latest available version (at best, any hard drive larger than 128gb will be seen as 128gb by the bios), but you can use what's generically called a software "dynamic overlay" that will allow you to get around that (available free on thedrive manufacturer's web site), or you can get PCMCIA drive controller cards that support using larger directly connected external drives, or you can use an external hard drive of any size connected by USB or firewire, if XP has Sp1 or later updates installed.
- you can't upgrade the max UDMA mode for hard or optical drives the mboard main chipset will support. If you get a hard drive controller PCMCIA card, I know from experience a drive connected to a modern drive controller will be recognized regardless of what size it is, but the drive often cannot run any faster than the mboard's main chipset will let it when the mboard has an older main chipset.
- you can't upgrade the USB 1.0 or USB 1.1 the mboard main chipset supports to make it support USB 2.0, but you can get PCMCIA USB 2.0 controller cards.

If you use an external drive, if you want to be able to boot an operating ststem from it, your bios must support booting from it in your boot order settings. E.g. you must be able to select SCSI for a PCMCIA drive controller card, or USB or firewire or removable drive for a USB or firewire connected external drive.

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February 19, 2009 at 14:27:49
I just want to upgrade the harddrive for more storage space. It already has 384mb of ram.Going to 512 won't gain me much.Iwas thinking of upgrading the processor, but from what you tell me that is not possible. As far as graphics, thats the least of my concerns. I just want to know what capacity of harddrive I can install, and a recomendation on a reliable brand.

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February 19, 2009 at 15:21:16
"Iwas thinking of upgrading the processor, but from what you tell me that is not possible."

I said that MIGHT be your case. If the cpu is in a socket and you can install a faster one, that's a possibility, but you would have to find the right used cpu at a reasonable price - your laptop is probably worth no more than $150 or so currently - how much are you willing to spend?

If the cpu is in a socket, it is common for brand name system builders to use the same mboard with different cpus for a group of models, the only real difference being the cpu speed, and/or sometimes the type of cpu (e.g. Celeron or Pentium), and perhaps the amount of ram and/or optional hardware features or hard drive size originally installed. You may be able to determine which model group your model is in by searching on the Sony site - if there is a higher model number in the same group, you often see in it's specs that it uses a faster cpu - that cpu you can probably install in your mboard for sure, but you must find the right one.

"I just want to know what capacity of harddrive I can install, and a recomendation on a reliable brand."

The mboard probably supports no larger than 137gb = 128gb drives in your bios. As I said above, you can use larger ones if you choose other methods.
The warranty period of all new laptop drives I've looked at is the same, 3 years, so no difference there. If you don't mind spending a bit more for a given size, one that runs at a faster rpm will yield you slightly better performance. Seagate and Hitachi are probably the ones with the best reputation for laptop drives, Seagate has better customer support and probably the best web site; Toshiba are good too; Fujitsu has a poor customer support reputation.
Look on major web sites such as newegg or tigerdirect, or just search using something such as: pcg-fx310 hard drive.

If you search using: pcg-fx310 dvd burner drive, or similar, or use the Sony part number of the one you have if you can determine that to search with, you MIGHT be able to find a NEW modern DVD combo drive (burns and reads both CDs and DVDs) that is a clone and is a reasonable price that can be installed in your laptop.

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February 19, 2009 at 16:00:46
Sony does not have service manual downloads available, but there are places on the web that have them, or copies of them, to download, or CDs, for a reasonable fee.

I got a download of one for a FX120 for less than $5 about a week ago but his site does not list your model.

Service manual here - the same manual for FX310, 340, 370, 390 - the mboard is probably the same - FX390 may have the fastest cpu

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February 19, 2009 at 19:44:48
"I just want to know what capacity of harddrive I can install, and a recomendation on a reliable brand"

As Tubes wrte: "your mboard main chipset probably is incapable of recognizing a drive larger than 137gb manufacturer's size = 128gb in your bios"

That's why I recommended a 120GB HDD as the max size. I didn't get into the "why", but an old laptop like that most likely does NOT support 48-bit LBA, therefore the max is as Tubes mentioned. Just play it safe & consider 120GB to be the max & you'll have no problem.

I posted a link to a 120GB Seagate ATA-6 Notebook HDD in response 1.

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