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I have a laptop and its hard drive is dying.

Are there only certain types and models of hard drive that would be compatible with my laptop?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

As a general rule of thumb, you only need to match physical size and the data connector, and perhaps the speed.

Size: Most laptop harddrives are 2.5" drives, while most desktop drives are 3.5" drives. For your laptop, I'm pretty sure it's a 2.5" drive.

Connector: Most laptops these days come with a SATA connector, and it looks like that is the connector your laptop uses. Older laptops might use an IDE connector, but that has been mostly phased out from what I've seen.

Speed: Most laptop drives operate at 5400RPM to save battery power and to reduce heat, while their desktop counterparts operate at 7200RPM. Your laptop takes a 5400RPM drive, except for the 200GB model which uses a 4200RPM drive.

You should be good with any drive that matches these options (2.5", SATA connector, 5400RPM). You can find the user manual for your laptop at this address.

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You don't need to match the drive speed. As long as it's the same or smaller form factor and has the same connector. You can stick a 1.8" SSD in there if you want, though it'll be bit loose inside. –  Mircea Chirea Oct 6 '10 at 1:57

I agree with the answers about a SATA drive, however speaking from personal experience. I replaced the a 4300rpm drive on a 3 year old laptop with a 7200rpm disk (in 2007) and the speed increase was very very noticeable while the effect on battery performance was negligible. This increase in speed was a major reason for extending the life of my 2003 built laptop to 2010.

I would recommend that you get the highest rpm drive you can get for for you laptop for this reason.

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Any 2.5" hard drive will do. However, do take care to install one with same RPM as original one because of potential heating issues.

I checked service manual for it and it says that you should be looking for SATA hard drive at 5400 rpm.

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HDD barely generate heat compared to the CPU or GPU. The heat output of a single 2.5" is negligible. –  Mircea Chirea Oct 6 '10 at 1:58

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