Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Help, ran out of hard drive space Part I

Laptop, hard drive, Norton Ghost, replacement hard drive, backup

With all of the music, videos, and pictures we save these days it is very easy to run out of hard drive space very quickly. Especially on a laptop, due to the fact that it’s not possible to add a secondary hard drive in to a laptop.

First off always make sure you do have a backup of those important files. I can not stress this enough, make backups on DVD’s or CD if nothing else purchase an external usb hard drive for 100$ and copy the stuff you know you want to keep.

This will show you how to replace a hard drive in a laptop with out having to reinstall the operating system (XP home in this case), and the applications that you have installed. I understand you have your computer set up the way you want it all you need is more space on the current drive. That is what this will attempt to show you.

**** Disclaimer: This is how I have replaced hard drives in the past. I make no recommendations, warranties, or guarantees to the software or the method of doing this to your computer. Proceed at your own risk. Remember I suggested you backup everything you want on separate media. If you are not comfortable with any part of what is presented here. Contact a Certified Technician and have them do it for you. ****

My wife has been complaining about running out of space on her HP Pavilion zt3000. This is a good laptop, utilizing Intel’s Centrino Pentium M processor, a 60GB hard drive, originally came with 512MB memory upgraded to 1GB, 15.4 widescreen display. Like I said it’s a good machine a bit bulky for my tastes but works great for her, and is really durable the girls have dropped it several times. A glass of water has been dumped in to the keyboard. And it is still running strong (mind you I have had to disassemble it and put it back together a couple of times to keep it running).

Items you will need:

I am using Norton Ghost ver. 14.0 for this example, there are tons of other programs out there that will assist you in imaging a hard drive. Some of them require utilizing them out of the operating system, booting from a live CD in the case of Linux. And other software vendors offer various programs. I have used a very old version of Ghost before but could not get it to recognize the USB ports or the adapter in this case. Do a little time researching what is best for you but I have included a link to Amazon for the version they are selling. (if this article helps you and you want to buy Norton if you click though on the banner it is the same price but you will be buying from my associate id and this will help me continue to keep this blog updated.)

Cheap tool kit


A small kit like this can be found at any mom and pop computer store, or even at a giant like MicroCenter. Don’t spend a ton of money on this 10$ bucks can get you the small screw drivers needed to complete most disassembly and assembly on most laptops.

New Hard Drive and a way to connect it to your Laptop:

hdd usb2ide

For the hard drive I went to CraigsList. Did a search in the computer stuff, someone was selling Laptop hard drives IDE 120GB for about 30$ each much cheaper than going to my local store. The USB adapter I have had for a while now but originally was purchased from MicroCenter for 15$ this is a neat little item. It will adapt full size IDE drives (including hard drives, CD drives, and DVD drives too), as well as laptop IDE drives, and SATA drives all to USB 2.0.

The computer and the hard drive attached.

hdd to computer

Now you have every thing hooked up, (the hard drive and the adapter are keyed so the pins will only fit in one way. Its almost fool proof)

Continued On to Part II (as soon as I get it typed up)


Great post and I have to highlight that it is very important that you have an exact copy of your hard drive before you attempt to replace hard drives, well for that matter, anyone should have a backup. ... to learn more about backup and migration hard drives come by and visit my blog. Specially this popular post

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