So here's the deal: It so happens that I need to reformat my computer (Toshiba Satellite L305), to install windows and then install ubuntu. I figure I should also upgrade my hard drive, since 160GBs isn't enough for me with dual booting. I'm wondering how I know which hard drives will work.

As far as I know, it needs to be 2.5" since thats the standard for laptops. I don't know what other factors influence which hard drives I can use. I did some research and got a lot of stats on my computer, but the most info I have on my hard drive is:

160GB (5400 RPM); Serial ATA hard disk drive

Is there a specific GB/s stat that I need to get? Would this one work?

I heard that if you get a higher RPM drive it will make the computer run hotter, and I've already had overheating issues on this computer. Do the RPM's make a difference? How about physical location of screws and whatnot? IS this standardized or do I need some specific info?

Thanks in advance for any help.

2 Answers 2


Any serial ATA drive with 2.5" should work. If you have problems with overheating there is probably dust in your laptop.

In your position i would consider to open the laptop and get rid of that dust. In most cases of overheating hardware there is a fleece of dust right before the cooling fins where the hot air is blown out of the computer. I have opened several laptops and removed that myself. If you have at least opened some normal computers and felt comfortable doing that it should be no problem to open a laptop.

The only problem could be, that you will have to loosen about 20 screws with different sizes. Therefore you might consider to have some duct tape at hand. On the tape you could fix the screws. If you place them on the tape like they have been in the laptop it will be easier to put the right ones back.

A quick google search just gave me this site: link here you can see how to disassemble the laptop. If that site has not enough information try to google for service manual or repair manual together with filetype:pdf this gives you this link (Complete repair manual).

What you should have at hand are a good screw driver, some cooling paste for the cpu a vacuum cleaner and a brush to get rid of dust.

  • Thanks. Yea the dust was the problem in the past. Blowing it out with canned air has always fixed it. I just didn't want to introduce more heat since i've read it can be a problem and I've already had issues. I've also swapped out lots of hard drives on desktops, so I don't think that should be a problem. I'm just worried about buying something that doesn't fit or that cases some other weird issue like the interface being the wrong speed or some other thing I don't know about. Thanks :)
    – Andy Groff
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 9:09
  • Wish I could upvote this more than once for the link to the repair manual site! Many thanks!
    – dgw
    Commented Sep 5, 2011 at 18:47

Screws should be standardized. Drive sould work, and yes, higher RPM will run slightly hotter. But most 2.5" drives run at 5400 RPM.

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