Which Hard Drive

August 2, 2009 at 14:24:27
Specs: WinXP, 1.80GHz
I have a Maxtor 30GB 5200 RPM ATA133 3.5" Hard Drive and it's of course out dated. I need to upgrade to a bigger hard drive but don't know which one to get for a good price. 80GB to 120GB should be alright for me. I have a Gateway PC with Intel Pentium 4 180GHz and 512MB RAM. Does anyone have any suggestions? Also do I need to upgrade my RAM as well? Thanks!

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August 2, 2009 at 17:30:37
How much cash are you planning to throw at the upgrade?

You may be up against the 48 bit LBA barrier on the hard drive. In that case 120GB would be the largest you could install without a controller card.

There may be a BIOS update to allow the use of a larger hard drive. Finding a 120GB might be tough.

If you use a USB external for your personal files you probably could get by with the 30GB. I wouldn't spend much on that rig.

Go to crucial.com and use their online scan to determine what kind and how much RAM you can install.

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August 2, 2009 at 22:36:59
Thanks! I'm going to try Newegg.com to see what they have. I'm looking to spend about $100 or less. Any suggestions they may have to offer?

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August 3, 2009 at 07:06:35
I suggest you get an External USB drive. Any capacity you like should work just fine. Doesn't matter if it is IDE or SATA.

The only caveate is you should be running SP3 for best compatibility.

I recommend you get a 3.5" drive which requires an AC power connection. That type of enclosure is more reliable.

Buying a separate enclosure and drive and assembling it yourself is more expensive than an assembled unit. That said, there are some benefits to going that way.

If a pre-assembled unit dies on you under warranty there is no way to recover data without voiding the warranty. If you assemble your own, each component is warrantied separately so you can remove the drive without warranty issues.

The best enclosures have a cooling fan in them. Heat is the enemy of external drives.

Don't look at an external drive as an upgrade. Look at it as peripheral hardware that will be used on a future computer.

I currently prefer Western Digital hard drives. The 500GB seem to be the sweet spot on cost.

Remember, you should be regularly backing up your personal data. That means TWO copies of personal data in two different locations.

Newegg also has a memory configurator.

Links below are for a drive and enclosure.



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