Hitachi Travelstar® 2.5” Hard Drive Notebook PC Upgrade Kit

By at 23 February, 2006, 2:02 pm

Reviews from the PMA
February 23, 2006

Hardware

Product: Hitachi Travelstar® 2.5” Hard Drive Notebook PC Upgrade Kit
Summary: Easy to use, good value choice to upgrade your notebook computer’s hard drive.

I currently use a Dell Inspiron 8600 which had a huge (at the time I bought it) 40GB hard drive. Of course, today I sit with a rapidly filling hard drive and wondering what to do. I purchased the Upgrade Kit from Hitachi to replace my existing 40GB drive (which is also a Hitachi) with a 60GB drive. I was intrigued by this upgrade kit as it included an enclosure to turn the old hard drive into an external drive.

The kit comes packaged in a red and white box which contained the 60GB hard drive, the external enclosure, a detailed, printed installation guide which also included a CD-Rom containing Apricorn’s Ez Gig II cloning and image creation software. Also included was a USB 2.0 cable, a PS2 auxiliary power cable and an external power adapter. All of these items were secured in separate sections of the box and well padded.

The installation guide takes you step by step through the upgrade process starting with the installation of the new drive in the external enclosure. It then instructs you on configuring your notebook to boot from the CD drive and connecting the external enclosure containing the new drive.

Upon boot, the Apricorn Ez Gig II utility starts and runs separately from your Operating System. Following the instructions in the installation guide, it is simply a matter of a few mouse clicks and the disk cloning process begins. The time remaining indicator started with 45 minutes remaining and it finished pretty much in 45 minutes. The installation guide then advises you to power down your notebook disconnect the external enclosure and remove the new hard drive from it. You then remove your old hard drive from your notebook computer and install the new drive.

To test whether everything was still working, I booted from the old drive and then shut the system down. Removing the old drive and installing the new drive (after removing it from the enclosure) was a straightforward task. I then started the boot process and the system came up without any issues or problems.

Overall, I was very happy with the upgrade kit and the ease of the upgrade itself. The external enclosure is not anything special: it is a 2 part plastic case, but it is sufficient for using as an external storage device using your old drive. Hitachi points out in the installation guide that the poser of the USB connection should be sufficient for operating the external drive, but recommends that you use the auxiliary power cable or external power adapter when doing the upgrade. There is a switch on the back to select either DC or PC for the power source. This makes sense as you want to minimize any problems that could occur during the upgrade process. You should be able to use the Ex Gig II software to create a disk image as a backup and save it to your old drive in the external enclosure. I also accessed the external drive after changing the switch to use the PC across the USB cable for power which worked. Total time from start to finish was approximately 1 hour.

The Good: Easy to follow instructions, nice feature set.

The Bad: Plastic external enclosure, only 5400 RPM

PMA Score (Max Score Possible is 20)

5 Ease of Use
4 Quality of Materials
5 Feature Set
4 Value for Cost
18 Total Score

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Comments
Millie Wood May 10, 2010

if you are going to use third party USB cables, makes sure that they have the RU or UL mark for best performance..”

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