Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am getting a second hard drive for my hp pavilion a1630n. The hard drive that came with it is: 250 GB SATA, 7200 rpm (WD WD Caviar SE, 8mb cache). What do I need to know to find a good second drive for this notebook? Should I look at RAID? SATA?... I am not sure the difference between the two.

share|improve this question
SuperUser doesn't do shopping recommendations, but I edited your question to cover the general-knowledge portions. – Joel Coehoorn Dec 17 '10 at 21:20
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Any Drive should really work for your desktop situation if you are just using it for basic file storage.

I would suggest a Western Digital. You can get a terabyte HDD for about $100 bucks now

share|improve this answer
Is there any worry to put such a large (1TB) hard drive onto an older computer like this? I know it's just storage, but I'm sure it takes more memory and juice to sift through a hard drive that big. Is that right? – picxelplay Dec 17 '10 at 22:01
It's not a problem. A larger drive doesn't take more power or memory. The power used by a hard drive is not proportional to its capacity. The storage on drives is getting denser so they are not physically larger/heavier and don't require more power to operate. – shf301 Dec 18 '10 at 14:53

You don't buy a RAID hard drive. You use a SATA, SAS, or SSD hard drive with a RAID controller to create a RAID volume (logical drive). I didn't find specs right away for your computer, but most off-the-shelf desktop models don't support RAID. Even if they did, you typically need matched disks to make it work as expected. As a novice user, I would avoid RAID.

What I would look for (if you can afford it) is a good SSD drive or a Momentus XT (hybrid) if you can't (with an adapter so it will fit in your desktop). Remember that a bad SSD is much worse than a traditional SATA drive, so don't be fooled by the cheapies out there as you're looking. The hybrid option gives near-SSD performance with traditional drive capacities and pricing.

share|improve this answer
Here are the specs from, except that I have a Nvidia Geforce 8800 GTS video card, and 4gb of ram. I don't need anything fancy, just a good solid hard drive. Is that Momentus XT a good fit? Any other suggestions? – picxelplay Dec 17 '10 at 21:36
Also, It's not a notebook. It's a desktop. – picxelplay Dec 17 '10 at 21:37

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.