Hard drives-can the specs of a h/d be changed?

  dagwoood 01:43 14 May 2004

I've just had a new h/d installed. I wanted a 40GB h/d that ran at 7200rpm and was at least ATA100 rated.

The shop that I use for all my pc needs said they would install one as per the above required specs, for a good price, so I've had one installed.

Now, my problem is that when I've got my pc home and installed all my software, I didn't see any appreciable difference in performance when I would have expected to have seen an improvement, as my old h/d was a dated 10GB Seagate drive.

I've gone into sys.info.for the model(and to double check I've taken the cover off my pc case and visually inspected the drive)and got the model no.for the drive.

Turns out it's a western digital WD450AA. I've gone to the site for the specs.of this drive and it turns out that it's rated at ATA66 max and has a spindle speed of 5400rpm.

As I've said, I use this shop for all my pc stuff and they've never steered me wrong with anything and if I've ever had a problem they're always too happy to help.

So, is it possible to change the specs of a hard drive(i.e.could my new h/d have been changed to be rated as a ATA100 h/d with a 7200rpm speed)? If, as I think, you cannot do this, in view of my previous history with this shop, I'm surprised they've installed a drive that wasn't to my specification.

I need to know if the specs can be changed, so if my new h/d is as per the official specs, I'm going to go back and ask why I've got a drive that's not what I asked for.

Any advice appreciated, dagwoood.

  pc moron 02:12 14 May 2004

Based on click here
it's not what you asked for and there's no way the spec can be changed software- as far as I'm aware.

  pc moron 02:23 14 May 2004

Just type in the model number (WD450AA) and click Go- the direct link won't work for some reason.

"changed software" should be "changed by software" in my previous post.

  dagwoood 02:23 14 May 2004

pc moron, good morning.

The link you posted is the place I found the specs for my drive from.

As you thought,I didn't think the specs could be changed by s/w. I don't know whether a h/d could be reconfigured by making some h/w changes to them.

Thanks for the input, dagwoood.

  dagwoood 02:27 14 May 2004

The complete model number showing on the drive is:


Don't know whether the last 6 digits/letters make a differance with regards to it's specs or whether they're a code for something.

  pc moron 02:31 14 May 2004

From the specs page it's a 40 pin IDE drive- which means ATA66 5400rpm tops.

As far as I'm aware, all the ATA100 7200rpm drives require an 80 pin cable.

  dagwoood 02:47 14 May 2004

pc moron, thank you for that.


  Djohn 03:14 14 May 2004

I agree with pc moron. If you ask for a replacement to the specification you require then look for a spin speed of 7200 RPM. ATA 100 or 133 and with 8 meg. of cache.

This will show an appreciable difference to your old drive if an 80 strand cable is fitted. the IDE cable is only a couple of pound. j.

  €dstowe 06:03 14 May 2004

It seems to me that this discussion is academic. You asked your supplier for a certain minimum specification and they hoodwinked you and supplied different to your requirements. It is they that should be sorting this out, not you attempting to alter things that are inalterable.

ATA 66 drives are old hat and not common nowadays. I can only think that my use of "hoodwinked" is very near the truth - the supplier was palming off old stock on to you, hoping you wouldn't notice.

  dagwoood 12:31 14 May 2004

Just to update everyone on what's happening, I've been back to the shop and explained the situation to them. They were very apologetic and they're replacing the h/d on Monday.

It seems to be a genuine error not of their making but, according to them, it's a problem with their supplier who has supplied the h/d(the drive packaging has the wrong specs on it).

The guy in the shop seemed truthful, if not, he deserves an Oscar!

As I've said, they have been really good in the past and very helpful.

Taken Djohn's advice and told them the replacement drive has got to have a 8mb buffer(which they've said wont cost me more than £10 to do).

Thanks to everyone for the advice/info.

Cheers, dagwoood.

  dagwoood 23:21 18 May 2004

Further to the postings last week, here's how things panned out.

I took my pc to the shop yesterday morning and left it with them to install the h/d.

When I went back to collect it in the afternoon, they told me they couldn't install a drive with an 8mb buffer as their supplier only carried in stock drives over 80GB that had 8mb buffers. So they'd installed an ATA/133 drive at no extra cost to me!!(It's a Maxtor DiamondMax Plus8).

(You wouldn't believe how much quicker my system is now. I didn't realise how serverely my older drive was impacting on my systems performance).

Thanks again for everyones input, dagwoood.

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