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Or would I need to make some modifications to the HDD to get it to fit or work with the laptop?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Really depends on the type of connecter your laptop is using. Typically newer Laptops use SATA or m-sata connector so the hard-drives in the i-pod classic cannot directly be used in a laptop as the hard-drive in the ipod classic use a zif-connector (flat ribbon cable type).

Sata (2.5") and M-sata (typical for newer 1.8"):

SATA and M-SATA Connector

Older 1.8" Laptops might use micro-sata or even Zif-connector. With the exception of an zif-connector you probably will need some type of of adapter. But generally speaking you can use the ipod harddrive in a regular laptop depending on you having the right adapter/connection in the laptop.(Example of an adapter)

1.8" micro-sata connector: Micro-sata

1.8" Zif connector: zif-connector found on ipod hard-drives

Possible adapter:

zif to 2.5" ide adapter

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The hard drive I'm looking at is on ebay - 1.8" TOSHIBA MK3008GAL It needs to fit a Dell D420 mini-laptop. I don't even know what type of connector the laptop has, all I know is that it takes 1.8" HDDs. – warsong Aug 6 '12 at 9:27
    
It seems to be PATA "You need a 1.8" PATA drive with a ZIF cable connector on it." en.community.dell.com/support-forums/disk-drives/f/3534/p/… – warsong Aug 6 '12 at 9:37
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I looked up the spec sheet of the dell D420 and it seems that the dell laptop actually uses a toshiba hard-drive with a ZIF-Connector so the 1.8" TOSHIBA MK3008GAL should just fit fine even without the need of an adapter. See: en.community.dell.com/support-forums/disk-drives/f/3534/p/… – Chrisii Aug 6 '12 at 9:48
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@warsong here is the service manual on how to replace the hard-drive and it clearly shows that the d420 has a zif-connector. support.euro.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/latd420/en/sm_en/… – Chrisii Aug 6 '12 at 9:50

If the laptop takes 1.8" drives then yeah. I don't know where you would get one though. Smallest HDD I have seen in a laptop is 2.5"

You could buy some sort of adapter to get it to fit in a conventional laptop drive bay.

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