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I own an HP a1211n whose harddrive recently passed away, RIP.

I want to buy it a new hard drive but I'm not sure which will be compatible. I know it needs to be a SATA, but I don't know what further I need to look for.

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Downvoter, care to come out and explain? – CodyBugstein Feb 15 '13 at 5:06
Perhaps someone doesn't like queries that are "simple" by their standards. :/ I cancelled out the downvote for you. – Karan Feb 15 '13 at 16:26
@Karan Thank you. I know it wasn't the most sophisticated question, but I couldnt find a clear answer anywhere, and I made sure to use words that will help people in the same situation find this answer. – CodyBugstein Feb 15 '13 at 18:43
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Pretty much any desktop 3.5" SATA drive should be fine. SATA 3 Gbps and SATA 6 Gbps are both backwards compatible, so even newer drives should work without any problems.

Note: If you're going to reinstall XP on an Advanced Format drive, you'll need to align partitions since XP isn't AF–aware. See your drive's documentation for details (generally they'll provide a recommended utility for this).

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FYI 2.5" SATA is compatible also, just need mounting brackets. – Keltari Feb 10 '13 at 17:22
@Keltari: True, but didn't want to complicate things further. A simple desktop drive should suffice as a drop–in replacement. – Karan Feb 10 '13 at 17:31
yes, but if he has a spare 2.5" drive, then he doesnt need to buy a new disk. – Keltari Feb 10 '13 at 19:57
@Keltari Thanks, but I don't have an old 2.5 anyway. Good to know though – CodyBugstein Feb 15 '13 at 5:07
@Karan If you're still there, can you tell with certainty if this hard drive will work with my HP a1211n? – CodyBugstein Mar 15 '13 at 2:34

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