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I have an old Dell Dimension V400. The fitted hard drive is an 8 gig ata33.I would like to fit a more up to date one but I an not sure about compatibility. Are any of the currently available drives able to be fitted in as a replacement? I am currently running Windows XP if it makes any difference.
On a system of some age, there is usually a limit imposed by the BIOS of the maximum capacity that can be used. On your system that is quite likely to be 32GB.
Manufacturers usually supply software (available from their web site), that can fool the BIOS into accepting higher capacity drives.
OR you can get a plug-in card for a modest cost, that has a supplementary BIOS that allows higher capacities.
You will need an ATA/IDE drive, and NOT a SATA drive.
The ATA33 refers to the maximum transfer rate of the interface. Current drives are usually 100 or 133MHz rather than 33 - this will normally cause no problems. You may even find that the higher speeds can be used, as long as you have an 80-wire IDE cable (80 wires required for speeds higher than 33) - that depends on your motherboard.
Also current drive spin at 7200rpm - you current one is likely to be 5400rpm. This is no issue at all - but of course a faster one will perk up system performance.
In your shoes I would be tempted to buy an 80 or 120GB drive (which depends on price as much as anything), also an 80-wire cable, and get the manfacturers fitting software - Seagate is pretty good for making sure you can get the correct software.
I would also make it the main drive (the fitting software will help you copy over the current setup as well), and use the older drive as a backup for your work.
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