I have a Inspiron 6000 with the original Fujitsu 40 GB hard drive. I’m rapidly running out of memory space, even with all my photos/music/video moved to an external drive, and would like to replace the hard drive. An external hard drive is not my preferred solution as any new application I want to load will eat up the remaining internal hard drive space.
I’m getting conflicting information on what size internal hard-drive will fit. Inputting my Service Tag number states the WD 160GB (Scorpio 160GB ATA-100 8MB 5400RPM Mobile Hard Drive) is compatible which I will get to later. However Customer Service is stating that 120GB is the largest I can use. Can someone explain what this 120GB size restriction is? The 160GB fits fine into the hard drive tray in my laptop, so I don’t see it as a physical size issue.
Secondly when I got the WD 160GB hard drive (PATA pins) and the Apricorn Universal EZ Upgrade kit I ran into problems. While I was able to clone my original hard drive to the WD hard drive and could see the WD hard drive connected externally, when it came time to swapping the hard drives the pins were different. The WD hard drive connected internally was not recognized by my laptop. I could not use my old Fujitsu hard drive in the Apricorn kit as it was not SATA or PATA pins. I sent everything back to Dell. Now I have seen that there may be something called a pin adapter I should have also swapped. This step is not mentioned in any Dell manual, online or otherwise. What is a pin adapter? Is it attached to the Fujitsu hard drive when I remove it from my laptop? Is the Fujitsu hard drive really a PATA hard drive with the pin adapter attached?
The BIOS does have a 120G limit on drive size, since it does not support the INT13 feature.
The blade adapter pulls straight off the drive and goes on the pins on the new drive the same way.
It is not mentioned because service and replacement drives are usually shipped already mounted in the carrier.
Thanks for the speedy reply and clarifying everything. I have one follow-up question. Because the BIOS limits my hard drive space to 120GB does that mean if I get (again) the WD 160GB hard drive, I could only use 120 GB of space or is it not at all compatible?
The 80 GB hard drive being offered by Dell is really too small for my needs. Thanks again.
You can use the full capacity of the drive, since Windows will report that. However, the data on the drive is as secure as your Windows install - without BIOS support, if Windows won't load, you will lose everything on the drive, so keep current backups.