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What kind of hard drive to buy for an Acer Aspire 5742Z Series Laptop?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by phoisheaven, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. phoisheaven

    phoisheaven Private E-2

    So my hard drive is messed up. SMART Status says "Failure Imminent," about 500 or so reallocated sectors.

    I ran Hiren's Boot CD 15.1, did WD Diagnostic, wouldn't even write zeroes, gave me an error, so I guess it's time to replace the drive.

    I would like to buy a Seagate drive if possible, instead of Western Digital. And I will probably buy from Tigerdirect.ca

    What kind of drive do I need? I'm kind of confused with the terms, SATA, SDD, etc.

    The drive in the laptop now is Model # ATA WDC WD5000BEVT-22A0RT0
    ATA Connection
    5400 RPM
    500 GB

  2. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Super Extraordinaire

    You need an ATA or IDE laptop hard drive (2.5") Do not buy anything that says SATA nor is 3.5" in size.

    There are 49 2.5" drives but not all are ATA or PATA; avoid SATA.

    Looks like there are 5 drive choices and all are WD.

    You need to look elsewhere if you don't want a Western Digital hard drive.
    If you decide you are stuck with a WD, get the Black. Avoid blue and green because they are more problematic.

    Replacing the hd

    Some sites are showing a SATA hd.
    Acer's support site doesn't show anything useful.

    Before you buy anything determine if it is ATA or SATA. The video is showing a SATA drive.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  3. phoisheaven

    phoisheaven Private E-2

    Thank you for the informative reply!

    I looked on newegg.ca too, and all they have is Western Digital, looks like I'm stuck with that.

    So I guess I should get this one:


    PATA is the same as ATA?

  4. gman863

    gman863 MajorGeek

    PATA, ATA and IDE are all the same type of connection.

    I agree with plodr: Although the WD Black series is more expensive, I'd found they last longer and are more reliable than the Blue series.
  5. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

  6. phoisheaven

    phoisheaven Private E-2

    Yes, I'm pretty sure that's mine. The sticker on the bottom of says: "Aspire 5742Z-" (and then a 4-digit number).

    When I ran dmidecode (I'm using a Linux Live CD right now), under "Memory Device" it shows "Type: DDR3"

    I took a pic of the hard drive, looks like it is a WD Blue:


    What's confusing, is the bottom of the hard drive says SATA:


    In Disk Utility, above my 500GB hard drive, there is a spot showing "SATA Host Adapter."

    I'm confused now haha... Do I get an ATA/IDE or a SATA? The bottom right of the hard drive says "Serial ATA" so I'm guessing it's an ATA, right?

  7. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Super Extraordinaire

    Serial ATA is SATA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA
    In a desktop you could tell by the color and width of the cable connecting it to the motherboard.
    I haven't removed enough laptop drives to know how IDE and SATA differ on the connectors.
  8. phoisheaven

    phoisheaven Private E-2

    I see... So what you're saying is I don't have to avoid SATA drives after all?

    In Disk Utility, in the left-hand column, above my Hard Drive, it says:

    "SATA Host Adapter
    5 Series/3400 Series Chipset 4 port SATA AHCI Controller"

  9. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    PATA Stands for parallel ATA.

    SATA Stands for serial ATA.

    I'll post more later when I get home.
  10. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    PATA/EIDE is the older style. Stands for Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment device. SATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment device which is the more modern format currently in use.

    You actually have two options at this point. You can either:

    1. Get a regular mechanical (platter) drive as you currently have, or
    2. Get a solid state drive (SSD).

    The advantages of solid state drives are that there are no moving parts, much faster data transfer speeds, they consume less power (extends battery life a bit), and run cooler. The disadvantage is storage space, or price per gigabyte. An SSD is more expensive per GB than a mechanical drive. SSDs have come down in price remarkably, and you can get a nice one that has at least a 500 GB/s rated speed for about $80 - $100. Only thing is it will be 120, or 128GB at that price range.

    If you don't need alot of storage space, or would use an external drive than an SSD just might be for you.

    Do you have recovery discs, or would you be able to clone the hard drive?

  11. phoisheaven

    phoisheaven Private E-2

    Ok, gotcha! And yes, I've been reading about the SSD's and sounds like this would be better, especially since it runs cooler.

    How do I know what "version" of SATA my Acer has? i.e. I, II, or III? I can't find this information in Disk Utility. From what I understand, SATA I, II and III are all interchangeable connectors, so I could get any of those, and SATA III is the fastest transfer rate, correct?

    So something like this would be compatible?


    Not sure what the difference is between Crucial M4 and V4 though.

    You mean 500 MB/s, right? The specs on most of them say 500 MB/s or 6 GB/s ?

    Yes, I have Acer recovery discs. I already used a Ubuntu Live CD to boot from, and backed up all my stuff to external drive.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  12. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    Yes, I meant MB/s. Sometimes when you deal in things like this so much, Fruedian slips happen. If I had to wager a guess, I'd say SATAIII because of the DDR3 DIMMS on the motherboard. I honestly can't say I've ever seen a motherboard with DDR3, and SATAII channel in a laptop but I won't say it's impossible.

    I really am not a big fan of Crucial SSDs to be honest with you. For the price, their read speeds are OK, but the write speeds are usually in the crapper. For an extra $20 you can double the size of the drive and have a read/write of 550/500 MB/s from OCZ. In my opinion they really are the leaders in SSD technology. Their hybrid drives still have some bugs in them, but their RevoDrives for the PCIe bus have no equal in the industry.

    Vertex 3: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=91218&CatId=5300


    Vertex 4: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227791

    The Vertex 4 has a bit slower write speed, but it's data compression capability is superior to the Vertex 3.
  13. phoisheaven

    phoisheaven Private E-2

    Nice, they both have great reviews! I think I will go with one of these Vertex SSD's.

    So I ran "dmesg" in the Terminal for Linux and it gave me this:

    ~$ dmesg | grep -i sata | grep 'link up'
    [    6.883903] ata1: SATA link up 3.0 Gbps (SStatus 123 SControl 300)
    [   10.777746] ata2: SATA link up 1.5 Gbps (SStatus 113 SControl 300)
    According to Disk Utility, Port 1 is my HD (Port 2 is my CD/DVD drive).

    So does this mean I am only capable of SATA II? If so, should I still buy an SSD with 6GB/s capability?

    Would there be any benefit to this or should I buy a SATA 3GB/s instead?
  14. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    Since you are SATAII, whatever drive you get will run at half the speed it is rated for under SATAIII.

    This one is specifically SATAII, has a SandForce controller, and it might run a little bit (not much) faster than the Vertex 3/4 drives. You do however sacrifice a bit of storage space, maybe 13GB. Also, you can get a nice price reduction with the $20 mail in rebate. The main benefit of the more modern Vertex 4 is it's ability to better handle compressed data like video. Also if you ever upgrade your laptop, you'd be hemmed in with the SATAII drive. It kind of depends on what you plan to do in the future. In the end, this drive below will be 13GB smaller, and save you at the most $30.


    Either way, the choice is up to you and you won't see what one would call a "noticeable" difference in speed to the eye, just "on paper".
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  15. phoisheaven

    phoisheaven Private E-2

    Great info! Very helpful.

    I think I'm going to go with the Vertex 4, because I will most likely upgrade this machine in the future.

    Thank you so much for your help! I really appreciate it.

    majorgeeks rules!

  16. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    Thanks for the compliments!

  17. abekl

    abekl First Sergeant

    I can vouch for the vertex 4 being great drives. I have the 128 GB drive, and it's flawless, and fast as all get out.
  18. phoisheaven

    phoisheaven Private E-2

    Good to know! I ordered the Vertex 4, can't wait to install it and try it out!

  19. phoisheaven

    phoisheaven Private E-2

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