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Ugh! Is This True? Ata-100/ 7200rpm Drive Incompatible With My Model?


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#1 webfreebies

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 07:29 AM

Hi!

Recently I was thinking about upgrading the hard drive of a 5 year old Compaq Presario 5bw130. Because I'm absolutely clueless about hardware and upgrading in general, I've been doing tons of research trying to find out whether I could, in fact, upgrade it.

Upon research I came across a post that claimed that I wouldn't be able to add a 7200rpm/ATA-100 drive in my computer at all, because of the "BIOS" not being able to deal with it. The tech guy saying this claimed it had something to do with the motherboard and processor (Celeron, instead of Pentium). One of the models he lists as not being able to be upgraded is my model.

What I'm asking is if this sounds right to you? Is it true? Am I stuck with only ATA-66/ 5400rpm drives?

Here are some specs (courtesy of Belarc):

MAIN BOARD
Board: Compaq 0588h
Bus Clock: 66 megahertz
BIOS: Compaq 686C3 04/18/2001

DRIVE
QUANTUM FIREBALLlct15 15 [Hard drive] (15.02 GB) -- drive 0, s/n 612014142619, rev A01.0F00, SMART Status: Healthy

I know, you're probably asking, "Well, why don't you just go to the official site and ask them?" This is because HP's site is the most frustrating and least user friendly of them all. The information is very generalized, more like a "how to" site of how to upgrade and troubleshoot BASIC PC problems without giving you any specifics. Customer service was a nightmare. I sent a very SPECIFIC email asking this very same question. Instead I got a form letter response directing me to find an "HP seller." It didn't even answer my question!

So, once again, is it true that this computer is pretty much a "goner" in terms of upgrading the hard drive? I know it's an old machine, but I don't want to just ditch it for the sake of hard drive space! :thumbsup:

Thanks. :huh:
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#2 Enthusiast

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 07:49 AM

Here are the instructions for replacing the hard drive which include how to get a restore cd if you do not have one so you can restore the operating system on the new drive.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/documen...ocname=bph03429

Did this system come with Windows XP?

Does the motherboard have Sata connectors?

#3 webfreebies

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 09:38 AM

Here are the instructions for replacing the hard drive which include how to get a restore cd if you do not have one so you can restore the operating system on the new drive.


???

This doesn't even come CLOSE to what I'm asking!! I know all about that. (I did research, remember? ;-)) The issue has to do with the following:

I REPEAT: Does anyone know whether what this guy says in this post on another forum is correct? I'm trying to get a second opinion. Because if it turns out he is correct, then it's pointless to upgrade my computer, because the upgrade would cost as much as a new one.

I'm sorry, but I'll have to quote him, because the anchor link doesn't seem to be working:

What I have learned from the numbers you gave me is that if it is a Celeron, you cannot use and ATA 100/ 7200 RPM drive. The BIOS will not permit it, and cannot be upgraded.

The number 686C3 fits four different Compaq computers: Presario 5BW220, Presario 5BW130, yours, and PC 7588.

All four have many reports posted online that no user was able to use an ATA 100 drive which is what a 7200 is.

If your computer is a Celeron, you are out of luck.

If you have the Pentium model, there is still a chance by installing the latest two BIOS upgrades listed on the www.hp.com site for the computer model number posted on the back of your Compaq.



And since you asked, this is a Windows 98 PC. I have no idea whether the mobo has SATA connectors, but I listed it just in case someone might know any information like that.

Thanks once again.

Edited by webfreebies, 06 October 2006 - 09:46 AM.

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#4 Enthusiast

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 11:55 PM

What is it that you are trying to accomplish by doing this?

If you have a relatively small Celeron processor you will not gain much if any speed by going to a 7200rpm drive vs the drive you know will work even if the mb could be made to support it.

You might look into a pci extension card that incorporates a controller that might do it but it would be hardly worth the effort and probably would not have W98 drivers available.

Be aware that you could purchase a new computer with far more capability than your present one for $400 or less.
Example:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...;sku=E400-C6415

Edited by Enthusiast, 07 October 2006 - 12:00 AM.


#5 legoman786

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 01:03 AM

Upgrading the HD or CD drive is a no-no. The reason being is that systems that old use 40-cable IDE cables. The newer HDs and Optical drives use 80-cable cables. Yes, they both have 40 pins, but the cable count is doubled for the higher transfer speeds, and thats why a new HD and the mobo in that comp are not compatible. I've done this mistake countless times and I know this for a fact. The only way you can upgrade the HD is if you find a bigger sized 40-cable count HD.

Hope I helped.

EDIT: 5 year old systems used the 80-count cables. Check to see if there are less thicker wires, or more thinner wires. If it is the 80 count, then any HD will work, but the BIOS will limit the transfer speeds to what it can handle.

Edited by legoman786, 07 October 2006 - 01:05 AM.

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#6 webfreebies

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 07:05 AM

What is it that you are trying to accomplish by doing this?

If you have a relatively small Celeron processor you will not gain much if any speed by going to a 7200rpm drive vs the drive you know will work even if the mb could be made to support it.


What I'm trying to do is save money. It has nothing to do with speed. From the window shopping I was doing, it looks like the 5400rpm drives are being sold for almost 2-3x the money of a 7200 one. They also tend to be more limited in terms of GB. The most I've seen a 5400 drive be sold with is maybe 20GB tops (which will be something like twice the price of a 7200 of 80GB). I've seen a few go up in the three digit range, but the pricing for them is through the roof.

BTW, since you mentioned it, I was also thinking about upgrading the 667Mhz processor, which my specs claim is upgradeable (just for the sake of tweaking). I'm also aware that there are "budget" computers I could buy that have better specs. But the thing is all I really need is more hard drive space, not a "better" machine. I'm perfectly fine with my machine in its current state. :thumbsup:
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#7 webfreebies

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 07:19 AM

Hope I helped.


You DID-- a lot. :thumbsup: I will check for the 80-count cables.

This is why I like to go to forums-- people are just more informative. Every so-called "techie article" I've come across likes to gloss over details like this. Even the HP site happily glosses over this stuff and just tells you, "Meh-- just buy a hard drive, pop it in, and you're good to go!" They don't really go into details about cables and pins and compatibility. That's because HP wants you to go crawling on your hands and knees for info, so that it can give you a form response and redirect you to an "HP seller" that will "help you" instead.

At any rate, I guess I will have to look into buying a new computer. It ticks me off, because all I really need is more hard drive space. It seems ridiculous that manufacturers have literally created the scenario where I have to buy a new computer just for the sake of hard drive space. I know the computer is considered "old", but I'm sorry, five years is not a long enough time to make it impossible to upgrade. :huh:
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#8 Enthusiast

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 09:21 AM

It isn't impossible - it's just not cost effective.

When you can buy an entire, far more advanced system for not much more than the upgrades (or possibly less if you change the processor and a few other components and maybe some more ram), and you get XP in addition as part of the deal when you get a new one, it just becomes cost prohibitive.

You will also run into a size problem recognizing larger drives with W98 and even XP before SP2.

A five year old computer is just obsolete and while you can use it until it drops it isn't worth upgrading.

By the way, the 80 wire ide cables come with retail hard drives.

See Windows 98 & Large Hard Drives

http://www.hexff.com/w98_hd.php

Edited by Enthusiast, 07 October 2006 - 09:28 AM.


#9 usasma

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 07:16 PM

Just my 2 - but does the system have USB ports? If so, you can use a USB drive with almost any interface. You'll probably be limited to USB 1.1 - but it's better than nothing!

Your system seems to have the older ATA-66 mHz drive controllers. If you try to use a newer drive, make sure that it's backwards compatible with this controller (most newer IDE drives are ATA-100 or ATA-133).

If this computer suits your needs, then it would be a waste of money just to buy a new one for this purpose. Investigate the possibilities of getting something (like a controller card or a USB card) that will allow you to access a bigger drive.

Also, I believe that you can bypass the 64 gB limit by partitioning the drive into multiple partitions - each being less than 64 gB in size.

Edited by usasma, 11 October 2006 - 07:16 PM.

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