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Dell Inspiron 5100 Concerns with upgrading BIOS, Memory, and Hard Drive

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Dell Inspiron 5100 Concerns with upgrading BIOS, Memory, and Hard Drive

This question has been answered by ejn63

Hi all and thanks for taking a moment to review my concern.

I have a 7 year old Inspiron 5100 all stock.  I wanted to update my Memory and Hard Drive to allot more than I have right now.

Now: 384 mb of RAM and 30 Gig Hard Drive.

I was told by a Chat and Phone Dell Rep I could only go to 1 gig of memory in two banks of 512 each and 100 gigs of Hard Drive.

So I bought the RAM from Dell but looked on Ebay for the Hard Drive and saw Stores selling new Hard Drives sizes of 160 gigs and more.

Wow!  I wanted to get the 160 gig but was told by the Ebay Store Rep  to update the Bios first before installing it.

By the way, my Bios firmware is A06 and I checked on Dell's website and see the most current is A32.

Dell Reps say not to change Bios and not to go over 100 gigs of Hard Drive or the computer's motherboard may get damaged or might not read the Hard Drive past 100 gigs.

Has anyone changed their Bios, RAM, and Hard Drive who would care to give me some clarification?

 

Thanks so much.

Paul.

 

 

Verified Answer
  • The BIOS in this system - no matter what version - will not support a drive over 120G.  That said, you CAN use a larger drive, but:

    It MUST be EIDE (NOT SATA) and

    You SHOULD keep backups -- exceeding BIOS support for a drive CAN and often DOES introduce data integrity problems.

    There are still plenty of 120G and smaller EIDE drives on the market.  For example:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136130

All Replies
  • Hi Paul,

    I'm facing a similar issue with my Inspiron 5100 procured in April 2003. It's got 2 cards of 256 MB each and a 30 GB HDD.

    The laptop has stopped working saying it cannot detect the hard disk and the support guy has informed me that the HDD needs to be replaced.

    Looking at all the posts related to HDD and RAM upgrades for 5100, I'm scared of getting even a 160GB HDD (that's the lowest that I can get currently)

    Did you manage to get your 5100 upgraded with the HDD and RAM? If so, can you please tell me the config that worked for you: -

    BIOS version, RAM and HDD capacity.

    Regards

    Shrikant

  • The BIOS in this system - no matter what version - will not support a drive over 120G.  That said, you CAN use a larger drive, but:

    It MUST be EIDE (NOT SATA) and

    You SHOULD keep backups -- exceeding BIOS support for a drive CAN and often DOES introduce data integrity problems.

    There are still plenty of 120G and smaller EIDE drives on the market.  For example:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136130

  • HI and good morning Shrikant.

     

    Thanks for your reply.

    I have some news which may be helpful.  A few months back, I bought two sticks of 1 gig each of Ram (Total of 2 Gigs) and installed them which work great and very fast.  I also upgraded to a 160 gig hard drive and it works great.  But, before I did that, I had called Dell to help me upgrade my Bios to the latest which I think is A-32. I will look up the two brands I bought and where if you like.  I kept all the receipts.  I also added an internal wireless card and a new battery .  Everything cost$ 200.00  Plus, I looked up on Youtube and found out how to tighten my laptop screen top from being wiggly because I have had mine about the same length of time.  It runs really good!

    Let me know if you would like anything else specific as I know how helpful this board was to me.

    Sincerely Paul

  • Hi Paul, 

    yes please for details on your hard drive and wireless card upgrades!! 

    I've just upgraded to a32 and have ordered 2gb of ram so your post gave me hope! 

    Claire