Question about HP Pavilion ze4420us Notebook

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Harddrive Anyone know what harddrive I can put in this computer? I'm trying to fix it for a friend but I cannot find what type of harddrive to put it in. Whats the difference between an ATA-6 and a Serial ATA drive? Never dealt with a laptop before.

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Re: Harddrive

There are different hard drive technologies (ATA, SATA, SCSI), so it is important to get the same type when replacing a hard drive. Product information on this device can be found here: According to this doc, this system came with a 40GB E-IDE (or ATA) drive. This is a pretty standard drive, and you should be able to buy one at most consumer electronics stores. Many notebook drives can be found here: Searching for HP Pavilion will give more specific results for your desired model. This one site lists all the possible hard drive upgrades for your model:

Posted on Oct 10, 2006

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Re: Harddrive

You are best putting in the same speed hard drive as came out, ATA 6 has a faster transfer rate 100mbps as opposed to ata/ultra ata being around 66mbps, these are readilly available although more expensive than a regular desktop HDD.

Posted on Oct 10, 2006

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Garth, those two solutions were just Suggested solutions. Look at the dates.
FixYa offers suggested solutions to;
A) Let the poster know their problem has been received, and is in the 'que'.
B) Try to post a suggested solution, in the idea it has merit with the stated problem.

A) Suggest lay a soft static free cloth on the table, you are working on.
Turn the laptop over bottom side up, and Battery Compartment facing away from you; on the table.

B) Remove the battery. (AC adapter { Charger } should have been disconnected already)

C) The large panel going across the laptop, in front of you; is the Harddrive/Ram Memory Compartment.

Remove the single screw that holds it on.
Raise the Harddrive/Ram Memory Compartment panel, up on the same side as the screw.

BE aware that there are tabs on the panel, on your side, that go into the Base Enclosure. (Bottom Cover)

C) Remove the Harddrive. It's on the left.
The harddrive is in a Harddrive Caddy. A sheet metal holder. There are 4 screws to remove from the 'ears' of the Harddrive caddy.

There should be a silk 'strap'. Use it to slide the Harddrive to the Left, or also stated as slide towards the outside of the laptop.

CAREFULLY raise the harddrive from the Left side, at a tilted position. (Where it plugs in, is the Front. The opposite side, or left side; is the Rear. Raise the Rear side)

Harddrives are measured across their width.
A 2-1/2 inches in width harddrive is used for a laptop. (2.5)
A 3-1/2 inches in width harddrive is used for a desktop computer.

The type is SATA.
You need a 2.5 SATA external enclosure.

One example,

Another example,

Also, this laptop is new enough to be returned to the factory, IMHO.
If a 'certain' company does not want to honor fixing it, let me know.

In the US we have the State Attorney Generals Office, of each state. Contact the Consumer Division, and get a Complaint form.
I also know England, and Australia have a similar entity too.

For additional questions please post in a Comment.

Nov 24, 2012 | ASUS PC Laptops

1 Answer

My Satellite A205-S5804 crashed and will not boot up in Window. I suspect that the hard drive is shot, however, how do I know for sure. It makes a tick tick tick sound, pause, then tick tick tick again,...

How can you know for sure? Install the laptops harddrive into an economical external enclosure.
The external enclosure has a USB cable, that you just plug into any available USB port on a working computer.

THAT, is how you will know for sure.

A harddrives physical size is measured across it's Width.
Laptop harddrives are 2.5 inches across in width. (2 and a half inches)
(Desktop harddrives are 3.5 inches across in width)

Could you use a software program to check the harddrive out?
Not in this case.
You are not even getting to the Boot Record on the harddrive. The basic Windows files needed to start Windows.

The laptop harddrive in your Toshiba Satellite A205 series of Notebook PC, is a SATA harddrive.
Uses the SATA technology. (Serial ATA,

(Storage - Hard Drive - 120GB- Serial ATA - 150 - 5400RPM
{120GB capacity - SATA - Spindle speed can go UP TO 5400Revolutions per Minute }

One example out of many for a 2.5 SATA external enclosure,

$20 plus shipping, and tax.

This is assuming you wish to TRY to retrieve valuable information off of the harddrive.
I am Not posting that it Will. Yes, it is a gamble.
{You can also install a working laptop harddrive though, and use it for an external harddrive}

If using an external enclosure does Not solve the problem of retrieving info, then a professional service that performs this, will have to be used.
They will take the Platters out as a last resort, and insert them into a unit that resembles an open harddrive. (One method)

Let me explain basic harddrive construction, so you know what I mean by the term Platters.
I will also explain the ticking noises you hear.

Basic Harddrive Construction:

A harddrive has a metal case. Resembles two rectangular metal cake pans, put together.
Opening to opening.
The harddrive case has a special filter. This is under the label that states Do Not Block.
The filter regulates the atmosphere, essentially, inside the harddrive.

Inside the harddrive case are Platters. They resemble a CD or DVD disk. Usually made of metal, or glass.
There may be from 3 to 6 Platters. Perhaps more.
The Top surface, and the Bottom surface of Each Platter is coated with a magnetic medium.
(Ferrous substance)

The magnetic medium is arranged by the Write portion of the Read/Write Head.
Arranged in a pattern of 0's and 1's.
0 being OFF, 1 being ON.
This is converted so the computer can use it.

The Platters have a cylindrical Spindle going up through the middle of them. The Spindle is spun by a Spindle Motor.

There is a Read/Write Head on the Top, and Bottom of EACH Platter.
The name implies exactly what the Read/Write Head does.
The Read portion of the head, when activated, reads what is on the Platter.
The Write portion, when activated, writes to the Platter. (Arranges the magnetic medium on the Platter)

Each TWO Read/Write Heads are mounted on an Actuator Arm. The Actuator Arm is moved by an Actuator Motor.
The Actuator Arm moves the Read/Write Heads across the Platter to the inside (Towards the Spindle), and back to the outside of the Platter.

[When in full operation, the Actuator Arm can move back, and forth, at Hundreds of Times a Second]

The Read/Write Heads are mounted at a distance above the Platter, and below the Platter, that is VERY small.
Approximately .0003
(3 Ten-Thousandths of an Inch. In comparison the diameter of an average human hair is .003
Three-Thousandths thick.
This is 1/10th the thickness of an average human hair )

From moving so fast back, and forth across the Platters, a cushion of air is created in-between the Read/Write Heads, and the Platters.

IF, the Read/Write Heads become too close, they can wipe information off of the Platter.
(Wipe some of the magnetic medium off. This is known as a Head Crash)

The above mechanism is installed into the harddrive's case, in a Clean Room.
A room that is 99.9 percent dust free.
(Technicians who build harddrives must wear a special suit, (Almost looks like an astronaut suit), and go through a special Air Corridor, before entering the work area.

If the harddrive's case is opened, AND not in a clean room, the 'life expectancy' of the harddrive is down to a few hours, or LESS.
Right now the Actuator Arm is lightly slamming the Read/Write Heads into the Spindle.

On the bottom of the sealed harddrives case, is a small circuit board. (Printed Circuit Board)
This circuit board could be bad.
The only way to check without specialized test equipment, is to use a known to be good circuit board.
The same type of circuit board.
Means it should come from the same manufacturer, and model of harddrive.

Do they sell just the circuit board? Not to my knowledge.
It would have to come from another harddrive that is just alike.

More on the basic construction of Harddrive. (Proper name is Hard Disk),

For additional questions please post in a Comment.


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