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A sata 3 SSD on a sata 2 PC will slow down slightly to sata 2 speeds, and vice versa. But this is usually acceptable since any current model SSD is much much faster than a normal hard drive so even installing a slower model SSD will be a big improvement. Its analogous to a porsche 911 and a volkswagen beetle. The 911 is faster than the beetle but both are much faster than horses.
your laptop has a normal hard drive. Most SSD's except apple SSD's are the same size and have the same connectors so 99% of the time it will work. you can see pictures of the SSD and compare it with your current hard drive
Price actually depends on where you make your purchases, do some research to locate the best price and yes you can upgrade your hard drive and memory, I am unsure of the type of memory your laptop needs however the hard drive you need is a 2.5 inch sata drive
- is the BIOS set to boot from the hard drive ? - have u changed any drive setting in BIOS (sata mode, pata mode ...) - try to boot with a linux live cd, or with the vista dvd and see if they can see the drive ... if thay can, than most probably a reinstall of the OS would fix the problem, if not , check the BIOS settings, also make sure that the drive is properly fixed in it;s place, if posible test it on another laptop to be sure if it;s causing the probems or not ...