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Old 03 July 2009, 03:25   #1
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Laptop Hard Drive Upgrade

I have a Dell Inspiron laptop that is a couple of years old...very pleased with it apart from the hard drive is almost full. As most of it is OS or Music that can't be deleted I now need to think about a hard drive upgrade. That seems to the best value way forward as far as I can see. The rest of the machine is fine.

There's videos on You Tube (of US origin) for 'Hard Drve Upgrade Kits' that make it look straight forward and simple but there seems a paucity of such kits available in the UK. The 'upgrade kit' here is a new hard drive in a case that connects to the old hard drive via usb...software then allows you to dump all (OS, files, the lot) on the old to the new drive and then you swop the new drive into the laptop. Easy peasy. Yeah.

Anyone got any thoughts/recommendations/experiences to share please?
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Old 03 July 2009, 05:42   #2
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Your easiest solution is to dump your least used, but most bulky folders onto an external USB drive and just carry it with you. You can get loads that are really small, and you wont know its in your bag Try contacting Dell and see what they advise for kits ?

OR .. and I've been thinking about this one .. use an online repository for all your photos or music like flickr, and free up space that way, you can archive anything to a net storage vault, I havnt investigated which are best, since I settled with a network storage volume in my house instead Obviously good net access is vital for this route

heres an example
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Old 03 July 2009, 06:05   #3
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All of the music I have, and it's pushing on towards 40Gb now, is on the laptop hard drive and backed up in BT Digital Vault. It's also on the iPod too, of course. The logic is...iPod to listen to, laptop to 'manage' the files, BT Digital Vault to safely store it all. Three locations is overkill, I know, but it's akin to boats with tubes, lifejackets, lifebouys, rescue lines, etc. After all, 40Gb of downloaded music is...a fair bit of money.

I've played with external hard drives but the beauty of a laptop is that it's compact and portable. If I start throwing in external hard drives on top of the - for me - obligatory man-sized mouse (I hate laptop touch pads) and charging cables, it starts to become more messy. I guess I thought that a big internal hard drive (250Gb?)would allow me to go to sleep on the issue for a couple of years as wherever the laptop goes, the folders and files go.

Unless, there's a body of persuaion otherwise
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Old 03 July 2009, 09:17   #4
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We get asked to do this all the time.

Buy a new drive - make sure you get the right type - most new ones are SATA - your may be IDE or PATA as some people call them.

You need a desktop computer and an old version of Norton Ghost. You but an external USB adapter for about 20 which can then be used for backups later.

Image the disk to the desktop - then connect the new disk up and - voila - you have all your files mirrored onto the new bigger drive.

New versions of Ghgost are useless and you can't do this!!!
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Old 03 July 2009, 15:33   #5
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Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
We get asked to do this all the time.

Buy a new drive - make sure you get the right type - most new ones are SATA - your may be IDE or PATA as some people call them.

You need a desktop computer and an old version of Norton Ghost. You but an external USB adapter for about 20 which can then be used for backups later.

Image the disk to the desktop - then connect the new disk up and - voila - you have all your files mirrored onto the new bigger drive.

New versions of Ghgost are useless and you can't do this!!!
When you've come off the wine, can you clear up a few bits of grammer and tell us what you really meant I think I get it ! so can you easily get a Dell HD for an old Dell case then ?
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Old 03 July 2009, 15:59   #6
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Did this a year or two ago on a Dell Inspiron 8200. The hard drive is a standard 4200rpm 2.5 inch drive. I bought the adaptor case which you fit the new hard drive into and then slide it into the accessory slot on the laptop, where the floppy drive or second battery normally resides. Then use Norton Ghost to copy everything accross and make the new disk bootable. Finally take the old original disk out of the side of the lappy and pop the new disk in its place.

Took a couple of goes to get Ghost to behave itself, but eventually succeded in upgrading from a 20Gb to 80Gb for modest cost.
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Old 03 July 2009, 16:00   #7
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You don't need a Dell hard disk - they don't make them!!! Any 2.5" ide drive will fit but check the capacity - some very old computers won't see drives over a certain size but doubt it's the case here.

You will find that the disk usually has some sort of cradle or housing attached to it - just remove and attach to the new drive and it will fit.

Whoops beat me to it Erin!!!
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Old 03 July 2009, 16:08   #8
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Well thats good news chaps.. what you are saying to us less pc literate types is that in the same way an ordinary hdd conforms to a standard size to fit in a PC case so do the ones for Lap tops ??
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Old 03 July 2009, 16:11   #9
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Well thats good news chaps.. what you are saying to us less pc literate types is that in the same way an ordinary hdd conforms to a standard size to fit in a PC case so do the ones for Lap tops ??
Indeed so!!!

There was a desktop that used Laptop disks - the good old Amiga - but there was room for a normal disk and they were a lot cheaper - I fondly remember splicing a 40 wire ribbon to a 44 wire - looked like a platefull of worms but worked a treat!!!
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Old 03 July 2009, 16:54   #10
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Well I'm glad this forum isnt just for boats .. because thats a new one on me Codders / Erin I hope this thread inspires plenty,.. including you Leapy
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Old 05 July 2009, 03:18   #11
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Did this a year or two ago on a Dell Inspiron 8200. The hard drive is a standard 4200rpm 2.5 inch drive. I bought the adaptor case which you fit the new hard drive into and then slide it into the accessory slot on the laptop, where the floppy drive or second battery normally resides. Then use Norton Ghost to copy everything accross and make the new disk bootable. Finally take the old original disk out of the side of the lappy and pop the new disk in its place.
Or as Codders implies, you can do it all on a desktop if you have a drive with enough spare capacity to take the Ghost disk image (or your laptop doesn't have a second bay).
1. Take drive out of laptop, may need to remove from carrier
2. Connect to desktop using USB -> 2.5" hard drive adaptor (there's also ones you can connect directly to disk controller card)
3. Save image to desktop drive (after checking you have enough space)
4. Connect new drive
5. Ghost the image back onto the new drive
6. Install new disk in carrier

I was going to do this with an old laptop of mine but unfiortunately the drive died beforehand. However, the laptop did take the disk upgrade with no trouble.

Don't know what the BT Digital Vault is like in terms of restore but the external USB drive is a good option for quick local backup/restore even if you don't cart it around.
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Old 05 July 2009, 09:17   #12
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The problem is getting the right version of Ghost - the last one I saw was designed for idiots - you could back up files etc but it was all done under windows - no DOS based interface for cloning drives or anything. Why take a great product and ruin it???
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