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Laptop - What Determines Max Hdd Drive Size?


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#1 Godwulfe

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 09:23 AM

I have a Gateway M320 laptop (4 years old) that is a workhorse, but I'd like to upsize the HDD.
Intel Pentium M (735), 1.7Ghz, Phoenix BIOS, Intel 855PM chipset

The Tech support page said that the largest supported size was 80GB, which I've already upgraded to. I'd like to go bigger, but I'm not sure where this restriction comes from. Motherboard, processer, chipset?
I found a web retailer that has an upgrade guide for specific models and it shows a 120 and a 160GB HDD as compatible.

If it won't work that fine, I'd just like to know if there's a limiting factor and if so, what is it?

Thanks in advance.

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:46 AM

Without looking up the specifics yet, you might have to update/flash the BIOS for a larger drive
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#3 Godwulfe

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 11:38 AM

How difficult/involved is that? As I said, the comp is a workhorse and the larger HDD isn't so much necessary as just wanted, so if there's a chance of doing something detrimental that's irreversible then it's probably not worth it?

#4 Sterling14

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 11:53 AM

If you're looking for a performance boost, then getting a bigger hard drive won't help unless your current one is really full. I ran my old computer that had an 80gb hard drive for months with only a couple gigabytes left of storage, and it didn't seem to go any slower.

Now if you need more storage, it might just be easier looking into getting an external hard drive. They are getting pretty cheap as of lately, and I don't think you would face the same issue of your computer not detecting all the storage, I may be wrong though.
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#5 Godwulfe

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 02:45 PM

Sterling,
Thanks, but it's not really for a performance boost, and I already have 3 USB drives. That's really what I'm after - eliminating the need for extra drives (or at least 1). I'd like more internal storage so I could grab-n-go without always having to remember my drives.
So, if my BIOS can't handle a larger drive it's really no big deal. Just simply a matter of convenience, and curiosity as to why the limit.
Thanks again.

#6 garmanma

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 03:27 PM

curiosity as to why the limit.


Try to remember when that computer was made. 80 gigs was HUGE. It's just the way the BIOS was written back then

Edited by garmanma, 04 August 2008 - 03:28 PM.

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#7 Godwulfe

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 04:30 PM

Let me re-phrase that - curious as to WHAT was causing the limit:
processor, BIOS, chipset, motherboard, ?,?,?

As I said, not really a big deal if I can't go bigger. I just had some conflicting info and was looking for clarification. And if the fix was simple than maybe it would be worth it. Flashing the BIOS doesn't sound like a risk I want to take with a perfectly serviceable computer though.

#8 garmanma

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 06:35 PM

The BIOS
http://www.wimsbios.com/index.jsp
http://burks.brighton.ac.uk/burks/pcinfo/h..._sg/bios_sg.htm

Edited by garmanma, 04 August 2008 - 06:38 PM.

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