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Advice on upgrading a Toshiba Portege a100 HDD


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#1
sere83

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Hi there,

I am helping a friend upgrade their laptop. It is an old toshiba portege A100 1.4ghz Pentium M, 256 ram, 40gb HDD. Full spec/info >>>

Toshiba Portege A100

It will soon have an extra 1gb ram + the 256mb stick. The question is though relating to the HDD. The current drive is a 2.5 inch 4200rpm pata/IDE drive.

Ideally I would like to put in a standard 120gb or 160gb 5400 rpm hard drive (as they are common, cheap and easy to get hold of), however someone at the toshiba support forum mentioned that the bios may not support sizes above 80gb. I did notice there is a bios update available from 2007, although there is no changelog so it is unclear what the update includes.

In turn, my question is...will I be able to upgrade the 40gb 4200rpm drive to a 120/160gb 5400rpm drive without problems? (I will be performing a clean Xp2 pro install on the new drive). Also if this is possible should I stick to a PATA/IDE drive rather than a SATA?

Also will a 5400 rpm drive upgrade have a large effect on battery life or be likely to cause heat issues?

Any help appreciated...

Edited by sere83, 20 February 2010 - 10:38 AM.

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#2
Neil Jones

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I see no reason why it shouldn't see a 120Gb at least. There is every chance it could baulk at a 160Gb because the limits in question on the BIOS across the years, without going into too much technical detail, are 504Mb, 2.1Gb, 8.4Gb, 32Gb and 137Gb, with the "next" one being 2.2Tb (terabytes, or 2,200 Gigabytes). Therefore in theory if it can see a 40Gb now there is no reason why it will not see a 120Gb.

You will have to use a PATA drive. There's no real difference between 4200rpm and 5400rpm, aside from the fact the latter spins more but realistically it's an old laptop anyway with all due respect so it's never going to fly.
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#3
sere83

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Many thanks for your reply. Yeah the speed is not an issue, just need to get it back up and running and get some more disk space, it will be used for basic work and media playback, nothing to strenuous.

I will update to the latest bios from 2007 before the upgrade. I have also come across a post by someone who appears to have the same a100 portege model and also appears to have upgraded to a 160gb disk >>>

http://forum.lowyat.net/topic/1200782

Would you say this was enough evidence for me to believe that a 160gb will also work?

Edited by sere83, 20 February 2010 - 07:41 PM.

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#4
Neil Jones

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Try it.
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#5
sere83

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hehe yes I would like to, but the computer is not mine so I don't want to tell the person to buy a new 160gb drive and then install it and find out it does not work.
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