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hard drive died, how do i know what is compatible?

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i have a compaq presario SR1030NX desktop ..the old hard drive is 160 gb 7200 rpm ultra dma hard drive. am i limited to the speed or size of the hard drive i buy? Do I need to know any details about the motherboard? How do i find out what type of connection i need for the hard drive?(sata, ide) I forget. I am trying to buy a cheap hard drive. I use a laptop primarily, so the desktop will only be used for backup and downloading music, etc. Thanks for any help!

Edited by flashme18, 17 April 2008 - 06:37 PM.

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The speed, rpm, of the disk does not matter to the system, although if the system is slow, then getting a really fast disk won't help much and will just be a waste of money. Since it sounds like you do not use the system much, going with a cheap disk might be an idea.

You do need to get the right type of disk. I assume that the disk is a EIDE (aka ATA, not SATA) disk.

You might want to check out:


for deals on disks, especially if you are willing to deal with rebates.

The size should not matter since it seems like your machine is newer as it has a disk larger than 127Gb.

As long as the drive type is the same, you should be ok.
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    motto - Just get-er-done

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Your only real limit is the hard drive makers do not make any IDE drives that are larger than 500 Gigs. I think this one would suit you fine.


I find that a lot of files on a single partition and in a single folder can delay the speed quite a lot. I therefore usually make 3 or 4 Partitions on a 300 or larger gig drive and then make multiple folders to hold the files. Otherwise it is easier for me to have multiple specialized computers. I do have a music computer that does nothing else. It is a media server for my whole house.

So far the limit for 48 Bit LBA hard drives is 1 terrabyte.

More than likely your computer is new enough to support a 320 or 500 Gig HD. They have been able to support larger drives since 2003.

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