Harddrive Upgrade

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  • More capacity
  • Quieter drives
  • Faster drives
  • To replace a malfunctioning drive


  1. Buy the upgrade
  2. Buy a USB enclosure ~10USD
  3. Mount upgrade in the USB enclosure
  4. Boot with a liveCD such as Knoppix or Ubuntu's LiveCD

Normally your hard drive would be /dev/hda and your external USB hard drive upgrade should be /dev/sda. Check with `dmesg` if this is the case. There is several different irksome ways to migrate your data to the upgrade. I've performed the `cat` method:

cat /dev/hda > /dev/sda

This can take as much as an entire day to perform, depending on the size of your original hard drive. You can work out how long it takes if you know the USB throughput.

And then resize the partition with the tool `parted`. This takes far less time thankfully, 30 minutes in my case.

Now the tricky part, taking your hard drive out and replacing it with the upgrade.

  1. Shutdown the machine, disconnect from the mains and take out the battery.
  2. Take the upgrade out the USB enclosure. In my case my upgrade got stuck in the USB enclosure. Be wary of these types of awful situations!
  3. With a good Philips screw driver remove the hard drive. Refer to IBM's documentation how to do this. My tips are to have the lid open when performing this. The hard drive is mounted typically just above your audio jacks - though this depends on your model. Again, check IBM's documentation - there's also step by step instructions available.
  4. The side panel covering on the hard drive mount clips off and now mounting the new upgrade should be straight forward.
  5. You need to put the b(l)ack panel back on the mount, otherwise it is very difficult to get the hard drive out of Thinkpad's enclosure.
  6. Once the swap is complete you should be able to boot into your new hard drive. Thinkpads typically automagically detect the hard drive so, that's it!