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Thread: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

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    Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    A friend has asked me to have have a look at a laptop he was given and if I could a new HDD in for him as the previous owner took the original HDD out before giving it to him.

    After a quick look at the laptop I told him he needed an IDE 2.5 inch HDD. So he ordered one and brought it over for me it fit.

    Trouble I'm having is that the new HDD does not fit into the laptop. I'm a little behind these days with all the tech stuff but can someone please have a look at these pics and tell me where I am going wrong?

    Is this an IDE interface?


    I take it this is a normal IDE HDD? I'm not sure what the extra 4 pins on the end are for.


    As you can see, the HDD won't fit into the laptop, at least not if it's plugged in.


    Does anyone know what sort of drive I need or is there a certain make that need?

    Thanks for any help
    Last edited by Trash Man; 26-04-2009 at 02:03 PM.

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    Have you tried just flipping the drive over and pluggin it in that way?

    so the green PCB of the drive is facing the drive cover.

    edit the block of four pins at the side is for master/slave/cable select jumpers. Unlike with desktop drives, only a tiny fraction of drives are going to be used in configurations where they are no the master drive, so they don't usually come with jumpers. At least I've never seen a 2.5" IDE drive with jumpers.



    The RPS is interesting, I didn't know about that, could be useful when using it inside a USB case on systems that struggle to supply the full 500mA on one port.

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    Have you tried just flipping the drive over and pluggin it in that way?

    so the green PCB of the drive is facing the drive cover.
    Yea, I tried that with no luck. I was not holding my breath but I gave it a try anyway.

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    It does look like it should fit that way going by those photos.

    Might just need some wiggling? With the drive the other way round, whats stopping it from going in?

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    It does fit in upside down but then the drive does not work, or at least it's now showing up in the bios.

    If the drive is up the right way it still fits in but the pins don't match up with the holes in the connector. In the 3rd picture you can see how much drive goes over the space if the pins are lined up correctly.

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    What laptop is it?

    Physically, having the drive upside down is correct. The fact it isn't recognised in the BIOS is another issue. The original drive would have been the same physical configuration as that one, the only difference is it may have had a custom firmware on the drive making it work with that laptop. If that is the case, I suspect you are sod out of luck as fa as getting another drive to work in there. But hopefully not.

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    Ah, so it's supposed to go in upside down Not sure on what laptop is it at the moment, there are no logo's on it at all. I'll boot it up again in a sec and take a look at what the post screen says.

    Thanks for the help

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    That makes it even stranger if it is a generic no-name laptop. I would have suspected something weird with drive firmwares if it was something like a Sony, Compaq, HP, etc. But not that.

    You sure the drive isn't dead? do you have another system, a 2.5" usb case or a 2.5"->3.5" adapter you can use it with?

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    Hi Trashman,

    Now you have the drive fitted, when you turn the laptop on does it power up the HDD?

    If it does and it still not recognised in BIOS, it could be attributed to the BIOS itself not recognising a larger drive than what was fitted!

    although I see you only have an 80Gb HDD as a replacement I would not have thought the BIOS as the issue but it does depend on how old it is and who the manufacturer of the laptop is.

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    That makes it even stranger if it is a generic no-name laptop. I would have suspected something weird with drive firmwares if it was something like a Sony, Compaq, HP, etc. But not that.

    You sure the drive isn't dead? do you have another system, a 2.5" usb case or a 2.5"->3.5" adapter you can use it with?

    I've got no where on the brand, there is nothing on the top of the laptop at all, no model numbers, nothing There is a model number of 600L on the bottom but googling that brings up way to much stuff and nothing relevant that I have found yet.

    I have no way of testing the drive, my laptop is SATA and I don't have an adaptor to try it in my main computer. The HDD is brand new from Scan, but I guess it could still be a DOA.

    Hi Trashman,

    Now you have the drive fitted, when you turn the laptop on does it power up the HDD?

    If it does and it still not recognised in BIOS, it could be attributed to the BIOS itself not recognising a larger drive than what was fitted!

    although I see you only have an 80Gb HDD as a replacement I would not have thought the BIOS as the issue but it does depend on how old it is and who the manufacturer of the laptop is.

    Sorry for being thick again How do I tell if the HDD is powering up when I have the laptop turn on?

    I think an 80gb should be ok, I have asked my friend what size was in there before and it was also an 80gb.

    Thanks again for the help

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    Hi again,

    I am guessing you dont have too many tools at your disposal for fault finding!

    I would try this method to see if its at least spinning up.
    As its not being recognised in BIOS the only way without a more extensive toolkit I would try is to place the laptop on its side (so you can turn on the laptop as well as see the HDD) open the lid of the laptop to about 45 degrees so that it should sit nicely and avoid an accident knocking it over.

    Now when you start the laptop place your ear close to the HDD to see if it spins up! If its too quiet you could use a pencil or something similar to place against the base of the drive and put your ear to the other end and you should be able to detect vibration.

    I realise this is very fiddily, but you really need to have a few more items in your tool kit to be able to test such items really, that being said this will not confirm the drive working only that its spinning up.

    sorry I cant be more helpful

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    Thanks for the reply

    I'll try listening/the pencil trick later to see if I can hear anything from the HDD.

    I've got boxes and boxes of computer bits hanging about and 3 half built systems here but nothing for laptops, I don't usually fix them for people but it's a good friend of mine. My laptop still has another 2 and half years onsite warranty on it so I have never had to worry about troubleshooting them.

    I've managed to talk my brother into letting me use one of his laptops to try the HDD in but I won't get a chance to try it until Tuesday at the earliest. I'll let you know how I get on.

    Thanks again

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    After trying the HDD in the original laptop, another laptop and a 2.5-3.5 adaptor, I'm 100% sure the drive is dead. So it's an RMA job.

    Just thought I would updated the thread for those that helped at the time

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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    What were the original symptoms? Are you sure it is the drive that is dead, and not the controller in the laptop? If you can get an ide/usb converter you can test both the o0ld and new drives in a USB port on another computer.

    Edit - just re-read the original post - no original disk - but that doesn't mean that you should rule out a defective controller in the laptop. (Might be why the previous owner sold it without! )
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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Are you sure it is the drive that is dead, and not the controller in the laptop?
    After trying the HDD in the original laptop, another laptop and a 2.5-3.5 adaptor, I'm 100% sure the drive is dead.
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    Re: Need help with fitting a new HDD in a laptop.

    On reflection, maybe it is a dead hdd!


    (Thanks Tak-Tak (I'd better start revving up my folding machines!))
    Last edited by peterb; 15-05-2009 at 11:13 PM.
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