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The BIOS in the ACER determines the maximum size of the hard drive it can support. Check the laptop's specification to see the max size you can install in this model laptop. It appears that the max size your laptop can support is 140 Gb (unformatted). 137Gb formatted.
I suggest you install a hard drive up to 140 Gb capacity in your laptop and place the 320 Gb hard drive in an USB hard drive adapter case and when you attach this hard drive to the USB port in your ACER laptop then you will be able to get the full 320 Gb capacity after you delete the partition and create a 320 Gb partition and format the hard drive.
This laptop supports Parallel connection for hard drive. Most PATA or Parallel ATA hard drives can only support up to 320Gb. There are some PATA hard drives up to 500gb. To answer your question, there is no problem on how huge the size of the hard drive. Just make sure you get a PATA hard drive. :)
Any ATA/IDE 2.5 inch hard drive will do for your laptop. Unfortunately the ATA models have been replaced with SATA hard drives, so it will be difficult to get a new hard drive. Also, expect to pay more per-gigabyte for the old ATA models in comparison to the standard SATA drives.
The specs show an 80 GB hard drive. Probably ATA (you can tell by looking at the end of the drive--if it has a bunch of pins on it, it's ATA. If there are only two connectors, it's a SATA. You can probably go to 150 GB or so. Don't go too large or you'll be bound to have problems. Mostly there are 120 GB and larger drives out there now. They don't make 80 GB any more.
I'm guessing you may have locked the DVD region. If you right-click on the device in Device Manager and click the Region tab, does it say 0 changes available? Acer won't fix this, and claim you have to replace the drive. Can't find a firmware flash for this drive online, will post back here if successful!
What size drive is in it now? The user manual should tell you what size drive it can use. If you are not sure, the best thing to do is to go back with the same size. The brand does not matter. Is your hard drive IDE or SATA? What is the model of your laptop?