ATA-7 to replace ATA-6?
April 17, 2008 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Can an ATA-7 hard drive be used as a replacement for an ATA-6 hard drive?

My laptop's current hard drive is a 60GB ATA-6 (PATA) 1.8" hard drive. I would like to replace it with a 120GB hard drive, but the only 1.8" 120GB drive I can find is ATA-7. I just want to be sure that this will be backwards compatible. The computer is a Dell Latitude X1 if it matters.

Bonus question: before I order the new drive and pry open my computer, does anyone know whether the PATA connector on 1.8" drives is the same size as on 2.5" drives? I want to know if I can use a 2.5" enclosure temporarily while I clone my old drive onto the new one.
posted by stopgap to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Yes, ATA-7 vs. ATA-6 is fine. ATA is both forwards and backwards compatible.

However, the connectors for 1.8" drives are unstandard and differ greatly. Some have low-profile ZIF connectors, some have the same type of connector as 2.5" drives, and, judging from this forum thread, it looks like your X1 has something else. I would be very careful about making sure that your new hard drive has this type of connector. It looks like you're going to have a hard time finding one.
posted by zsazsa at 10:11 AM on April 17, 2008

It looks like this adapter will let you plug your old hard drive into a 2.5" enclosure.
posted by zsazsa at 10:15 AM on April 17, 2008

dell is really good about providing service manuals online. you may want to open the laptop up - it looks like the hard drive in the unit's pretty easy to get to, being just under the keyboard - and see what kind of connector is on it. you may even want to search for the existing drive's model number on the googles to see if you can find a data sheet on it, which may tell you what kind of connection is on it. (or, you may be able to tell if it's a Dell-specific drive or not.)
posted by mrg at 3:03 PM on April 17, 2008

Do not use the linked thread as any kind of reference... there are standard connectors, there's not going to be a "dell x1" line of hard drives just for Dell. There may be an adapter between the standard connector on the hard drive and the machine. You need to know whether your drive is SATA or PATA too.
posted by gjc at 8:28 PM on April 17, 2008

Okay, I just opened up my laptop to verify the connector on the drive. It looks like Toshiba has changed from the Low-Insertion-Force connector (a small female 40-pin IDE connection) on my drive to a ZIF on its newer 1.8" PATA drives to save 7mm in length. I can't find specs on any of Samsung's 1.8" drive connectors. Unfortunately, that means my only upgrade option is from 60GB to 80GB, and I don't think that would be worth the hassle. Thanks for the advice, everyone. It looks like that adapter would work perfectly if I were going to do the upgrade. I guess I need to look at a getting a whole new computer now instead.
posted by stopgap at 8:31 AM on April 18, 2008

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