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What Type Hard Drive Do I Buy?

By katy24 ยท 15 replies
Jan 31, 2005
  1. I have a compaq presario 5352 with a 8.46GB hard drive. The drive was partitioned into 2 sections. A third of the drive was used for a backup utility. The computer just seems slo....I have used a compaq tool and removed that partition to allow me more room. (knowing full well this only leaves me with the restore discs) My computer still seems sluggish. From information I have found online through compaq, one drive that could replace this is 5400rpm and 40GB. They want over 200 bucks for that drive....can't I buy one cheaper than that? I can't seem to obtain much more information on the current drive? A belarc readout says there is an intel 82801b bus master IDE controller. do you keep the same rpm speed? Are there other things that have to match what I now have?? Do I need to take a peek at the current drive and see if more information is on it?
    What more do I need to know and what would you all recommend for this computer? I have more belarc specifics if they are needed
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You do not want a 5400rpm drive and you don't need to buy something for outrageously high price from HP.

    Go buy the cheapest new IDE (non-SATA) drive from a computer store and it will be twice as fast as your current hard drive.

    That said, most likely your speed problems are not caused by the hard disk. You should consider things like disabling unneeded programs, defragmenting the hard disk, buying more RAM..
  3. Paul

    Paul TS Rookie Posts: 58

    As for storage space i dont know what you are after 40/80/120 ?.You will have to decide.Just replace it with a 7200rpm seagate/western digital ide drive,make sure it has 8 cache not the older 2 cache,shops are trying to push the old stock of 2 cache drives out the door to newbies.I dont know where you are located but should be around $60 -80 for a nice size drive.See your local pc shop.
  4. katy24

    katy24 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17


    Thanks for all information. the ram on this computer was 64mg and I updated it to what my book said was the maximum of 258 quite some time ago. I routinely run my utilities, scan disc, disc cleanup, defrag. I keep the outlook dbx files cleaned out...I delete cookies and temp files...I keep the histories files cleaned....I don't think my problem is with too many programs running. In misconfig I have only 5 things checked on the startup tab. I also run spybot and ad-aware. I have ran hijackthis and posted the results to a site that analyzes them...was told it looked great. When I check to see what is running in the background, it is usually like 7-10 things? They will generally be what I am using. Upon rebooting my resources are usually in the lower 90's....after leaving my computer on for 2-3 days they will have fallen to the 70's. If I do a lot of work with pictures they drop off and I have to reboot, but I think this is probably normal? Maybe some of the slowness on the internet us simply my isp, which is dial up and I know it's slow as a snail.
    I don't get into the registry, so possibly it could need a cleaning? I am afraid to mess with it. Will it slow things down? Is there a trustworthy program to clean it with?
    Maybe I am just too impatient? It just doesn't seem like my windows pop open like they used to? :suspiciou
    I will take you-alls advice and go talk to them at the computer shop...if you think of anything else I should know, post it. I enjoy reading and trying to learn all I can
    thanks again
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    The hard drive will definitely make a big difference. But $200 for a 40GB is an outrageous price gouge. :) They don't even really sell 40GB now because 80GB are less than $50 in some stores.

    Something else to consider, while I know for a fact the hard drive isn't making things faster, is you might have other problems.. Such as sofwtware issues slowing your commputer down. This is a notorious side-effect of viruses and spyware.

    Those older Compaqs usually use Quantum Bigfoots, which are really, really slow drives, but extremely cheap to make (at the time).

    If your computer can accept 40GB drives, then it will most likely take any drive up to 120GB without any problems. It doesn't have to be SATA, so purchasing an IDE drive will be fine. There's no reason to add a SATA controller in my opinion, because the PCI bus is going to be about the same speed as the integrated IDE channel.

    Your computer should be able to accept any brand, but I currently prefer Seagate and Samsung for reliability. Maxtor and Western Digital and probably the two biggest manufacturers, but I think something gets lost when your company gets too big. I'm working on my 3rd under-warranty replacement for a Maxtor 250GB. This is probably the 3rd Maxtor drive that I have OWNED that has had to be sent back for failure - I've seen countless others in customer systems go bad. Same thing with Western Digital. Everytime it dies in the first month of service, and I have other simliar stories with other Maxtor drives to share if you'd like :)

    For price, 80GB is probably going to be the best way to go.
  6. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    can the machine run 133mhz HDD check this
    you need a new machine Ill bet when you first got it is seemed pretty fast
    you have out grown the pc
  7. katy24

    katy24 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17


    thanks for your input.....I do realize that software can be responsible for this behavior. the only new thing I have put on this computer is the software for an optical mouse (and it IS giving me fits) I do have a virus scanner and it is up to date and I scan all mail attachments if I am going to open them.
    I am considering just running a total restore.....I will then have to replace certain things, but the worst is all the 'updating'.
    and horror stories on the hard drives??? Well in the first 2 years I owned this computer, I had the hard drive replaced TWICE....fortunately, I have kept an extended warranty. (a year ago, I got my monitor replaced when it died) I have searched through all those papers on the repairs and can find nothing that mentions any specifics on the hard drive except the size. the specs from when I bought the computer say it is an UltraDMA hard drive, whatever that means....I am currently taking lessons on hard drives LOL
    thanks again! :) katy

    what will I need to know to find out if it will run 133mhz?
    y 'processor' is Intel Celeron 433 megahertz? Does it have anything to do with that?? I can see I need more lessons :)

    and yeah, I probably should just have a new one.....but this one is like one of the kids at this point I know all it's strong and weak points....I can run it blindfolded...LOL
  8. Paul

    Paul TS Rookie Posts: 58

    Do As rick mentioned buy a Wd or seaGate,stay away from maxtor if you can they are having the worst troubles as i speak,This happened after the deal closing with Quantam,(Owned by maxtor)Quantam where excellent hard drives much better made than maxtor brand if you did not know.And please don't buy a Fujitsu Hard Drive you are asking for trouble,Die very early.
  9. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    No, it's not normal. Sounds to me like a memory leak somewhere (ie. a program doesn't free the memory it reserves, so less and less is available for the system).
    Good. Messing with it often causes just more problems.
    Well, in theory registry bloat can cause some things to slow down (as it takes more time to modify the registry), but I don't have empirical evidence about this.

    There are some optimizing / tweaking guides for various Windows versions here.
  10. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    Hi again katy24
    study your motherboard
    heres a quicky for ya your sytem may be like this
    cpu speed 400 mhz,, front side bus speed 100 mhz,,memory speed 100 mhz
    ,,pci (ide) controller speed 60 or 100mhz maybe 133mhz
    hard drive speed 100mhz at 5200rpm
    heres the deal where your concerned
    if your using less than 256 memory ,you need more
    if the pci (ide) bus speed is 60 or 100 mhz you should not use a 133mhz eide hard drive ,most of the hard drives are backwards compatable ,but your motherboard just may not handle it and you can damaged board and or the hard drive.
    Good Luck
  11. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    That is just wrong.
  12. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    where did i go wrong?
    could be you can't put a 133 on a 100 or 66mhz system
    if you got a card you can,
    is it the pci controller speeds?
    I give up tell me
  13. katy24

    katy24 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17


    I am getting quite a lesson here......so where or how do I find all this information about my computer?? I have dug through papers that came with it and information that is ON it, but I don't see the specific things you are talking about anywhere??
    I did put more RAM in.....it's now 256 which my book says is the max I could go to. and I do know it was 100mhz I know the processor is as I said....433....... On a paper from when my hard drive was replaced there are these......installed memory 62mb, base memory 639KB, AT extended memory 15360KB LIM expanded memory none. (this was way back, before I upped the ram...and I haven't a clue what those things mean :confused: )
    If there are ways I can find more information about my computer to pass on to you just let me know. I am reading your comments with interest.
  14. patio

    patio TS Guru Posts: 482

    I would highly recommend Everest...it will tell you everything you need to know about your machine....

    patio. :cool:
  15. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    FSB or PU has absolutely nothing to do with ATA or hard drives..
    IDE controller speeds are measured in megabytes per second. And you got the numbers all wrong.. ATA100 for example uses a 25MHz signal.
    Hard drive speeds measured in MHz? WTF?
    Leaving the MHz business aside, all IDE hard drives are backward compatible. You can take a shining brand new ATA133 drive and run it at ATA33 speeds with no problems whatsoever. ATA voltage levels and pin assignments are always the same and you cannot damage anything by plugging wrong things to wrong places. You can even force the plugs backwards and there will be no damage.
  16. outlook

    outlook TS Rookie

    Users are sure to find in corrupted dbx and outlook express repairs tool, simple yet versatile, to solve potential problems and stay in control of damaged dbx files in the safe folder.
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