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So I've figured out the problem with my laptop not starting up is the hard drive (since I can boot from a USB drive).

I've been looking on to find a replacement, how do I know it's compatible? I've got an HP Pavilion dv2000. (As a side note, I've had nothing but troubles with this laptop. Sadly, it's not covered by a warranty anymore, but it hasn't worked in more than a year.)

How can I be sure I'm buying the right hard drive? I'm looking for a cheap drive, meaning not too many gb. The computer won't be used to store much, so there's not much use in extra drive space. Also, would I be able to buy a cheap SSD (by cheap, I mean less gb so the overall cost is low, I know they're expensive pieces of hardware). Or does the computer have to be built to use SSD drives?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Any hard drive is fine as long as it got Sata interface and the 2.5" notebook hdd size. It can be SSD, HDD, whatever you want. Even 7200rpm if that is what you need. (I'd only worry if you choose a 1.5 or 2TB big HDD (IF THERE IS ONE for laptops. I don't know.) .. But that's it.)

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A 7200rpm drive might run too hot for some laptops, I don't know if this would be an issue here. And some newer SATA drives don't work with older firmware (e.g. some SATA-2 drives don't work or require a jumper or a BIOS upgrade in SATA-1 machines); again I don't know if this would be an issue on this model. But mostly, as long as it's SATA and 2.5", it'll work. – Gilles Aug 3 '10 at 21:53
So is it better to get a 5400? Can you tell the speed difference? This laptop has had an overheating problem in the past. (Using it for 10 minutes after it turns on and only internet browsing or writing documents will cause it to get extremely hot). – Matthew Aug 3 '10 at 22:20
Yepp, there is a difference in speed. However, if you really had heating issues, stay with the 5400 RPM one. Sorry that I didn't mention these (didn't know I should). – Shiki Aug 3 '10 at 22:48

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