Upgrading my Hard drive

By Frankwhoa ·
Hi, I am a complete rookie to IT so my question is this, I am upgrading my Compaq Presario laptop RAM from 1 GB to 2 GB. I am also upgrading the Hard drive from 120GB 5400 rpm to 250 GB 7200 rpm. Aside from how to unscrew and pop in the components (which I can do) What else will I have to do? I know nothing but have managed to read a little bit here and there about installing a new OS (Windows 7??) and something about BIOS? Please help.
Any and all information will be greatly appreciated.


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Sounds like you're on the right track

by Mycah Mason In reply to Upgrading my Hard drive

Upgrading the RAM on a laptop is pretty simple. Usually the most difficult part of upgrading a laptop is figuring out how to get to everything inside, but it sounds like you've go that figured out. So, assuming that you have the correct RAM to upgrade your laptop, all you need to do is swap out or add the new RAM. You MIGHT get a prompt at first boot up after changing amount of RAM, but that's just a "warning" screen to let you know. On my HP you just press F1 to continue (but no need to do anything in BIOS).

Hard Drive:
You will of course need to install the OS on the new drive. However, it sounds like your concern is more about the hardware. So, you will just need to replace the old drive with a new one. Your new HD will probably need to be set to "Master" (it might already be set that way). This can be done by moving a small two-pin jumper to two specific pins on the HD (refer to the manual or the label on the HD to know how to set the jumper for master).

That should be it. As long as you understand that you need to install the operating system on it etc. and that you have a way to get all your files off the old HD.

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Installing OS

by Frankwhoa In reply to Sounds like you're on the ...

Thanks for the reply. I didnt know about the jumper... great. About the OS install, No OS disks came with my computer when I bought it, all I have is a restore disk somewhere around here (for WinXP Pro)... Should I just buy Win 7 and start from there with the new HD and if so, do I just pop in the disk and thats it? I'm having a hard time finding any information about this.

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Hard Drive

by Mycah Mason In reply to Installing OS

One point of clarification: If it is a SATA (serial ATA) drive there are not pins and jumpers to worry about.

Your restore disk "should" be all you need to install the OS. It should be the XP disk, just branded by the manufacturer.

Installing the OS it not too difficult, it's mostly just follow the steps through the wizard. However, this may be the part where BIOS settings come into play. If you put the CD/DVD into the drive and boot your PC it should give you the option to boot from disk (just watch the screen prompt). Otherwise if it boots into Windows you will need to change your BIOS settings to allow you to boot from the CD/DVD. It's not hard to do this either, you just need to press f8, f11 or something (depends on the PC manufacturer) to access BIOS settings. Then in the area that says something like "Boot options" make sure that the CD/DVD drive is listed first, then you will be able to boot from the XP CD/DVD.

After that the installation options will start. You will need to create a partition (go with the default size setting) and format the partition (NTFS), so look for that option. From there, choose to install XP on the partition you created and formatted and go through the XP install wizard.

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by Frankwhoa In reply to Upgrading my Hard drive
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You Bet

by Mycah Mason In reply to Thanks

Good luck, hope all goes well.

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Upgrade or full version

by Frankwhoa In reply to You Bet

Ok, so now I have 2 options: 1) buy an upgrade Win7 (at a student discount of $99) and use my XP Pro OS disk to verify my upgrade eligibility or
2) Buy the expensive full version and clean install with it only.

I was told in my other thread that an "upgrade" may have holes in it that would require "Microsoft making a patch for"??

Does that make any sense?

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No patches

by Jacky Howe In reply to Upgrade or full version

Unsupported Upgrade Scenarios

? Upgrades to Windows 7 from the following operating systems are not supported:
? Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows XP, Windows Vista? RTM, Windows Vista Starter, Windows 7 M3, Windows 7 Beta, Windows 7 RC, or Windows 7 IDS
? Windows NT? Server 4.0, Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server? 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2
? Cross-architecture in-place upgrades (for example, x86 to x64) are not supported.
? Cross-language in-place upgrades (for example, en-us to de-de) are not supported.
? Cross-SKU upgrades (for example, Windows 7 N to Windows 7 K) are not supported.
? Upgrades from Windows Vista to Windows N, Windows K, Windows KN, or Windows E are not supported.
? Cross-build type in-place upgrades (for example, fre to chk) are not supported.
? Pre-release in-place upgrades across milestones (for example, Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 RTM) are not supported.

Windows 7 Upgrade Paths


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Upgrade is a full version. BUT!

by 1bn0 In reply to Upgrade or full version

I can't find the reference but check the "upgrade" bfore you buy. It may be eligble to upgrade from XP to WInodws 7 as a student but it will NOT upgrade your installation and keep your programs and data intact.

It will do a complkete wipe and install of the system

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by Mycah Mason In reply to Upgrade is a full version ...

There are two different views of "upgrade"

1) Upgrade in terms of what you pay.
2) Upgrade in terms of how the OS is installed.

So, with XP, although you cannot "upgrade" to Win7, that just means that you will not be able to perform an OS upgrade that preserves all of your programs and settings etc. However, as far as the "upgrade" pricing goes, you should be able to purchase the "upgrade" instead of the full version.

But, it is true that the "upgrade" will have to be a clean install of the OS; nothing from your XP install will be preserved.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING BACKED UP. (Not yelling, just emphasizing.)

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Upgrade ver

by Frankwhoa In reply to Upgrade is a full version ...

Ok, good. Im not worried about preserving any existing data because its a brand new blank hard drive so I should be ok with the upgrade version...

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