Re: hard drive upgrade in a sony vaio laptop

Re: hard drive upgrade in a sony vaio laptop


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Posted by Henry on January 31, 2002 at 12:15:41:

In Reply to: hard drive upgrade in a sony vaio laptop posted by Daryl Czapliki on January 31, 2002 at 09:27:13:

: I'm thinking of upgrading my laptop hardrive, but not sure how to even get it apart. I have built and changed drives on desktop, but nothing with laptops. I heard some machines have screws under the keys. Is there any place that has the steps in doing this. Or can anyone give me any advice. Also there is proably no way to get the information from your current drive to the new drive like on a desktop, unless you backup on cdr. ANy advice or help would be appreciated.

: thanks


Laptops are typically "more proprietary" than desktops in the ways they are assembled. Inspect your laptop carefullyefore you start tearing into it - it MAY NOT be necessary to open it up (preferable). Maybe get someone else to look at it, too. Look for compartments, latches, corrugated areas, etc that suggest something concealed or removable - maybe a hatch on the underside held on by a screw or two. Explore carefully and gently. Method of battery removal could suggest what to look for.

1. Find out the maximum HDD your laptop supports before you buy anything; you may be surprised at how small it is. Ask your Sony dealer's Tech Support or PHONE Sony Tech Support.
2. Anything helpful in your Manual (my non-Sony manual has a DIY upgrade chapter with sketches)? If no manual, get one.
3. Can you find a maintenance manual (next time consider a maker who posts maintenance manuals on a web site)?
4. My HDD is mounted (with screws) in a little tray (caddy) with external latches; the caddy slides in and out of the end of the laptop. I can change HDDs in 2 seconds (with the power OFF!). Your HDD will most likely be in a caddy that adapts the standard notebook 44 pin IDE connector to the proprietary connector inside the laptop case and holds the HDD securely in the laptop.
5. Generally, you can install a thinner HDD (say 9.5mm instead of 12.7) but usually not a thicker one. You may need shims to get the apacing right and you may need to drill holes in the caddy to match the new HDD.
6. Laptops typically support smaller HDD than desktops for the period when they were made (limited expansion capacity); BIOS updates to increase HDD capacity support often do not exist - alternative is an expensive custom BIOS.
7. Drive overlays are sometimes suggested to "overcome" BIOS limits. READ about some of the data recovery problems when your laptop fails and you need to read the files on a desktop PC (Commonly you can read the overlay drive OR non-overlay drives but NOT BOTH at the same time.):
http://www.wdc.com/support/faqs/software/ezdrive.asp#lba
and:
http://www.maxtor.com/Maxtorhome.htm [Select Product Support, Desktop (ATA) Drives then Technical Procedures] Find Doc 24003, 24019, 24020.
KNOW before you go.
8. Consider a PCMCIA HDD or SSFDC such as Smart Media or Compact Flash Reader and cards - removable "floppy" up to about 0.5 GB (pricey tho).
9. Consider an external HDD such as Backpack or similar. I think your BIOS must support the HDD size regardless of the interface (parallel, PCMCIA or USB) - verify BIOS support before you buy anything (can you try it at the store or their shop??).
10. Consider getting a shop to install the new HDD - with the understanding that the laptop MUST use the full capacity WITHOUT drive overlay.

Hope this helps,
Henry



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