Hard disk upgrade question for old laptop

December 7, 2010 at 09:29:35
Specs: Windows XP
Hello,
Does anyone know, can I put a 250 GB hard drive in an old laptop, when IBM says the highest offered drive is 160 GB?

I'm looking at a Western Digital WD2500BEKT to replace a Seagate 120GB ST9120822AS. Any thoughts? Is there a motherboard capacity issue?

Thanks,
Eric


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#1
December 7, 2010 at 10:13:20
If it can handle 160gb, it can handle 1tb hard drive.

We can not fight new wars with old weapons, let him who desires piece prepare for war - PROPHET.


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#2
December 7, 2010 at 10:19:27
Hi Kuwese,

So am I to understand that there is not a "motherboard compatibilty issue" as suggested by Western Digital?


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#3
December 7, 2010 at 10:58:48
Yes there's no motherboard compatibility issue. Used to be a bios limitation with very old pc.

We can not fight new wars with old weapons, let him who desires piece prepare for war - PROPHET.


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Related Solutions

#4
December 7, 2010 at 11:45:29
Thanks, that's very helpful!

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#5
December 7, 2010 at 15:18:16
The trigger point on 48bitLBA is 120gb. If the motherboard can handle any drive larger than 120gb it can handle every drive with suitable interface currently available on the market.
http://www.48bitlba.com/

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#6
December 7, 2010 at 19:45:34
Richard,

Wow, that's the nutshell-- 48 bit LBA. I'm almost glad I needed a new hard disk and ran into this jumble of superstition just to learn about that! Great. Again, very informative. New disk is on the way.

Eric


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#7
December 7, 2010 at 21:04:03
Kuwese and Richard,

Read this on the 48bitLBA site:
"If you are doing a new install of Windows XP you need to make sure the installation CD is labeled "Including Service Pack 1". If your Windows XP install CD is prior to Service Pack 1, you can still utilize the full capacity of your 48-bit LBA drive by upgrading to SP1 after Windows XP is installed then using a 3rd party partition tool like PowerQuest Partition Magic to expand the partition created by Windows install to full capacity."

Any comments? How can I repartition the disk and what will it look like before and after? I don't have the original OS disks, just an old XP disk without SP1 on it. I'm also weighing getting more source OS disks from Lenovo.

Eric


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#8
December 7, 2010 at 21:30:19
What make and model of laptop do you have?
It may have an IDE or a SATA hard drive - if it's IDE, the max size of new drive you can buy is 250 or 320 gb the last time I checked - you can get much larger SATA hard drives.


"The trigger point on 48bitLBA is..." 137gb. manufacturer's size, = 128gb in the operating system "....If the motherboard can handle any drive larger than...." 137gb manufacturer's size"....it can handle every drive with suitable interface currently available on the market."

Hard drive manufacturer's always rate the size of the drive the decimal way - e.g. 1,000,000,000 bytes per gb. (one billion bytes).

Operating systems, and most mboard bioses, always see the size of the drive the binary way - e.g. 1,024 bytes per kb rather than 1,000 bytes per kb, 1,024 kb per mb, 1,024 mb per gb, 1,024 gb per tetrabyte
1,073,741,824 bytes per binary gb.

137gb manufacturer's size is very close to 128gb binary size.

"a "motherboard compatibilty issue" "

There used to be a problem with using larger laptop hard drive sizes larger than 137gb above a certain size due to the additional current (amperage) they required - that was what some laptops that support 48 bit LBA could not handle, not the size of the drive. More recent and new larger laptop hard drive sizes larger than 137gb use less current than previously, so they can be used on any laptop that has a chipset and bios that supports 48bit LBA.
If you installed an older hard drive model larger than 137gb that does draw more current on a laptop that doesn't support that, you will have problems.
.......

Regular Microsoft XP CDs have SP2 or SP3 printed on them if they have those updates included. All the regular Microsoft XP CDs that have SP1 updates included that I've seen DO NOT have SP1 printed on the CD, but the volume labels - the labels you see for the CD in Windows - for CDs with SP1 updates included are different from those with no SP updates at all - you can search using that volume label to determine whether it has SP1 updates or not.

XP re-installation CDs that come with brand name computers usually have SP2 or SP3 printed on them if they have those updates and they may have SP1 printed on them if they include those.

If your XP CD has no SP updates at all, you can make yourself a "slipstreamed" CD (preferably a CD-R) that has had the SP3 updates integrated into the original contents of your CD, and use that to install Windows by booting from it, along with using the original Product Key.
......

"....then using a 3rd party partition tool like PowerQuest Partition Magic ...."

Partition Magic is NOT freeware, you must use the last versions of it - 8.0 or 8.x - for drives > 137gb, and it's relatively ancient. It is difficult to use with and not recommended for Vista and Windows 7, and if you have problems, the Symantec web site has very little support for it, it no longer makes it's version of it (Symantec bought out PowerQuest in about 2002), and what support it has you have to dig for.
If you want to go that route, I recommend the freeware Easeus Partition Master Home Edition.
......

If your present Windows installation is working fine, and you merely need a larger drive, or if you don't want to fuss with installing Windows from scratch and having to update Windows and having to reload programs you want to use, etc., you can use free software available on the larger hard drive's or original drive's brand name's web site to copy the entire contents of your present drive to the larger drive. You would also need a USB connected external drive enclosure for the larger hard drive ($25 or less and up), or another type of adapter to connect the larger hard drive to the laptop while you're doing that. You could install the original drive in the external enclosure after you swap hard drives, or use another type of adapter with it, and use it as a backup or storage drive.


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#9
December 8, 2010 at 00:56:32
Forgive me for not using the exact 48bit LBA measurement. When I've been buying drives, any drive I've looked at larger than 120gb was 160 or more which is above the 48bitLBA limit. I've never seen a drive any size between.

I would follow Tubes advice to create your own slipstreamed XP Install disk with SP3 incorporated. Then you will have no issues installing XP onto a new large drive, and you will not need any additional hardware nor will you need to take any of the risks associated with re-sizing partitions.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#10
December 8, 2010 at 07:41:03
"When I've been buying drives, any drive I've looked at larger than 120gb was 160.."

Yes, that's been the case for a long time now. There may have been drive sizes closer to 137gb in the past that have been discontinued.


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#11
December 8, 2010 at 15:25:38
Hi All,

My computer project is on a Lenovo 3000 N100 / 0768 DKU.

I have lost the original "product install disks" with the OS, though I made System restore disks with the Lenovo software and settings on them. It won't let me create another original OS install set, having allegedly done it once already.

Is it possible to make another slipstreamed XP install disk with the Service packs included?

Thanks again folks!
Eric


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#12
December 9, 2010 at 09:22:33
"My computer project is on a Lenovo 3000 N100 / 0768 DKU."

If that's the subject laptop you want to get a larger hard drive for , it was made in 2009 - why on earth would you call it "old" ??
Are you a youngster ?

It definitely requires you install a SATA hard drive. You can definitely install any size of new hard drive.

See the last part of response 8 ! That's the least time consuming way of installing your data on a larger hard drive by far !

"I have lost the original "product install disks" with the OS"

You probably never have had those. When you have the program on your computer to make Recovery disks, you probably did not get Recovery disks with the new computer, but you may have gotten disks for other things.

"It won't let me create another original OS install set......"

Most brand name systems only allow you to make the Recovery disk or disk set with their built in program that can do that ONCE.
I searched on the web and found how to re-reset that on a HP system, but I found nothing about how to do that on a Lenovo system - the HP info would not be applicable.

Surely if this computer is less than two years old, you should be able to find the Recovery disk or disk set you have already made !

One Recovery disk probably has data contents nearly identical to that on a regular XP CD - an XP re-installation CD - although you may have burned it to a DVD. That one has a huge \I386 folder on it. (\I386 - the I is a capital letter i )

The Recovery disks probably have a volume label that shows up in Windows when they are in a drive that they can be identified with.

Your Recovery disks(s) would definitely already have SP3 updates integrated into the XP data. You may also have a Drivers and Applications disk or disks or similar as well

See the last part of response 8 ! That's the least time consuming way of installing your data on a larger hard drive by far !
...........

If you still can't find the Recovery disk(s) you made

Phone this number to see if you can get Recovery disks

United States English

1-800-426-7378
24 hours/day
7 days/week

Or if you're not in the US, see this page:
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/s...

NOTE that if you CAN get the Recovery disks, they're probably far cheaper to buy including shipping than buying just an OEM XP CD, the cheapest type of XP CD to buy, or in Lenovo's case they may even be free !
........

Using the Recovery disks to re-install the original software is VERY SHORT SIGHTED (or to put it impolitely, DUMB) if your Windows installation is working fine, other than you may not have enough free space left on the C partition (in the latter case, you simply delete or un-install what you no longer want, or copy to elsewhere data you want to keep but seldom use, delete the original files AND empty the Recycle Bin to free up enough drive space so you can install and run the program that can copy the entire drive contents).
When you have only one hard drive with one usable partition, you will LOSE ALL of the critical and security Windows Updates, personal settings, program installations, and personal files that you have added to the C partition, unless you copy what you don't want to lose to elsewhere BEFORE you use the Recovery disks.
In this case, you will still have files on the original drive you could copy, if you install the drive in an external enclosure or use some other adapter to connect it to your laptop, but that's only a small part of what you would need to do.
.............

If your Windows installation not longer works properly,
- the FIRST thing you should do is to copy the personal data you do not want to lose to elsewhere - e.g. at least your personal documents, pictures, email if you keep that on the computer, etc. .
If Windows will not load properly, you can boot the computer from something such as a Linux CD, and be able to do that.

- then you could use the Recovery disks, or you could use a regular OEM XP CD of the same version, Home or Pro, as your Windows installation, you already have or can borrow from someone else - the CD must have "For Distribution with a new PC only." printed on it in order for you be able to use the OEM Product Key that's on the official Microsoft label on the outside of your computer case .
(If you downgraded your operating system from Vista, then you need to determine the XP Product Key Windows is presently using BEFORE you re-install Windows and copy that down - e.g. search on the web for Keyfinder, made by Jellybean whatever software.)

If whatever OEM XP CD you can use does not have at least SP1updates integrated into it (see the info I supplied above) , then you can make a "slipstreamed" CD
- a CD-R is most likely to be compatible with nearly all optical drives
- the procedure to integrate the SP3 updates into the the original CDs contents and to make the bootable "slipstreamed" XP CD is on the web in many places
- you need a burning program that has a module that is capable of making a bootable Windows CD.
Burning programs that are free versions often cannot do that, unless, possibly, they can do that but only for one optical drive brand or one model of a brand.
It's likely any third party Lenovo supplied burning program you may already have on the Windows installtion won't be able to do that.
E.g. Nero must have the Nero Burning Rom module.
I have used Nero Burning Rom 6.x and 7.x myself.
Those versions have a bug, though - you must re-enable a setting before you burn or the resulting CD will not be bootable. I can supply info about using those.
You can also integrate the SATA controller drivers you need for your mboard while you're making the "slipstreamed" CD, there are directions for how to do that on the web too, however, I've never done that myself.

Whether you use the Recovery disks, or use a regular OEM XP CD, or a "slipstreamed" CD that does not have the SATA controller drivers you need integrated into it, if the bios Setup has the SATA cntrollers in a SATA mode, the initial files loaded from the CD cannot find SATA drives, because the CD does not have built in SATA controller drivers.

The easiest way to get around that is to go into the bios Setup and set the SATA controllers to an IDE compatible mode of some sort, Save bios settings, then the XP CD contents will recognize SATA drives as IDE compatible drives.

XP doesn't have the drivers built in for most things that first came out after XP was first released, circa 2001, and it doesn't have some of the drivers built in for things made before that.

Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.

Load the main chipset drivers first.

If your Recovery disks include (a) disk(s) to install drivers, install drivers from it (those) .

If they don't, or if you used a regular OEM XP CD or a "slipstreamed" CD, install at least the drivers for your devices found here:

Downloads and drivers
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/s...

Notebooks...
Lenovo N100
768
DKU
Windows XP

Then you would need to install the
- critical and security Windows Updates
- programs you want to use that did not come with Windows
- a newer version if IE or another internet browser - XP comes with IE 6 but many web site no longer work properly with that, or that version can't be used on their web site
- other things you commonly need - at least the latest Adobe Flash version, an Adobe Acrobat Reader version; possibly a newer version of Windows Media Player, Adobe Shockwave Player, etc., etc.
........

Users Guides and Manuals
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/s...

Notebooks...
Lenovo N100
768
DKU
Windows XP


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#13
December 9, 2010 at 20:25:45
Wow Tubes.

Yes I'm young, thanks. I can barely remember Kennedy.

I'm not sure what is causing my computer slowdown, for a while I was surprised to find that one possible reason for its non-responsiveness was a full disk, but the behavior continued after I started backing up and deleting big rafts of old files. So, I'm left to wonder, because it continues. My plan has historically been to rebuild computers after they get sluggish, and I'm still leaning toward that. I've done it before, but your post illuminates a great deal about the intricacies of the process.

Since your post I'm going to redouble my efforts to find the recovery disks that I was nudged into burning when it was new (three years, I would swear), and failing that, to consider ordering a new set from IBM, but expect them to want $50 for them...

Hey, something just occurred to me: There's an option to "restore to factory settings" I've seen somewhere. Perhaps I could do that (after backing up data) and then migrate the info to the new disk? I'm not afraid of reinstalling all the bloatware I need, I just want to get it back on the highway. I'm also browsing some recovery options I just found.

Can't tomorrow, though, cause I have to work.

Tubes, Thank you so much for your time. You've been more than generous. I'll keep you posted.

Eric


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#14
December 10, 2010 at 18:39:31
You're welcome to use our help.

"...the behavior continued after I started backing up and deleting big rafts of old files."

Did you empty the Recycle Bin too ?
The files aren't actually gone until you do that too.
As long as there are files in the Recycle bin, the drive space the files were on can't be used for any other data.

Lots of things can slow down Windows.
E.g. Certain programs can slow down Windows a lot more than others.
E.g.
- Some anti-malware software is well known to slow down Windows more than other anti-malware software. Which anti-malware software (anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-trojan, anti-rootkit etc.) are you using ?
- Some anti-malware software scans your whole C drive once a day in the background - that usually takes at least a half hour to run if not longer, and while it's running it slows down everything in Windows. Most people do not need to scan the whole C drive that often - myself, I only do that when I notice something suspicious, but I don't go anywhere dangerous..
- Don't use "Share my media" in Windows Media Player 10 or 11 (that's off by default but some people enable it), or the add-on Windows Search (Windows Desktop Search) - there's something wrong with them - they both slow down everything in Windows.

"...consider ordering a new set from IBM, but expect them to want $50 for them..."

I found some posts that said they got the disks for free for a Thinkpad, though they may have had to pay for shipping.
A new OEM XP CD with SP3 updates costs around $100 or more. You can buy an OEM Windows 7 Home Premium DVD for a similar price, but you would have to probably buy more ram as well - it requires about twice as much ram to do the same things, although Windows 7 can be easily tweaked to run as fast as it can on your hardware by using a feature built into Windows . Laptops usually have two ram slots, two modules. You often need to replace both with larger capacity ones.

"....I was nudged into burning when it was new (three years, I would swear)..."

The manual is dated March (or May ?) 2009. It may not be the first edition of the manual but your computer probably wouldn't be any older than about a year before that date.

"Hey, something just occurred to me: There's an option to "restore to factory settings" I've seen somewhere. Perhaps I could do that (after backing up data) and then migrate the info to the new disk?"

That depends on where the data is that it is loading is coming from. All brand name computers have at least two partitions on the original hard drive software installation - the smaller second one is often hidden from you seeing it in Windows. The data necessary to reload the first partition you see as C may or may not be on the second partition on the hard drive - these days it often isn't - the second partition is used for something else.
The Recovery disks usually have all the data needed to load both of the brand name partitions on your original, or a new, hard drive with the original brand name software installation. If the first one is merely a slightly modified XP CD, then the drivers and applications are on the other disk(s).


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