[lug] Laptop hard drives
aaron.crane at pobox.com
Sat Nov 25 20:49:16 MST 2000
Chris Riddoch <socket at peakpeak.com> writes:
> The hard drive I've got is a Toshiba MK1301MAV, 1.3 gigs, "Slimline 12mm"
> and 2.5 inches long. 2633c, 16h, 63s. A lot of the hard drives I'm
> finding are either slightly larger, or slightly smaller. 12.5 and 12.7mm
> are common, as is 9.5mm. What's the likelihood of being screwed if I go
> with a slightly different size?
The best thing to do is to open the machine up and look at how you'll be
fitting the new drive. My experience is that laptops usually have a
metal-shielded plastic cage into which you fasten the drive itself. Then
the only major issue is whether the drive will physically fit into the cage.
(I suppose it would be possible for a drive to fit physically without
leaving enough clearance for adequate airflow, but I think that would be
According to www.toshiba.com, your existing drive _is_ 12.7mm, so drives of
that size won't be a problem. I would also expect 9.5mm drives to be fine,
as extra clearance at the top of the cage isn't usually a problem. However,
you should have a look at the cage first to see how the drive is fastened
By the way, I got a 20GB Toshiba 2016GAP drive recently. It's a 9.5mm drive
(replacing a 12.5mm IBM in a cage with clearance for drives up to about
17mm), and it seems to serve my needs well enough. I've also heard good
reports about the IBM Travelstar drives.
> The other thing, what're the chances I'll have bios issues with hard
> drives of particular sizes? I remember the 8 gig limit for booting a
> kernel, and I'm worried about needing a bios updates.
It's possible that you'd need a bios update if you wanted to run some other
operating system, but, if you stick to Linux, you should be fine with a
small (30MB is ample) /boot partition right at the start of the disk. You
might find that the bios insists on calling your huge drive an 8GB one, but
in my experience (an old desktop with a much newer 20GB drive) this isn't an
> What's my safest bet, when looking for a hard drive to replace one that's
> going to die any week now? (Just before finals, whee.)
That's nothing. ;-) The laptop drive holding four months of work on my
dissertation died ten days before the deadline. Thankfully, my backups
prevented me losing even a single byte.
Aaron Crane <aaron.crane at pobox.com> <URL:http://pobox.com/~aaronc/>
More information about the LUG