12.5mm laptop hard disks not fitting a lot of laptops

My room mate asked me to upgrade his Toshiba Satellite laptop.   Its already quite new and very high spec with 6Gb of memory, Win7-64 and a Bluray drive.   It has 320Gb of disk space which is no longer big enough.   I think he bought it at the end of 2009, since then bigger disks have appeared for laptops.

Being a bit behind in physical form factor and capacity that hard drives in laptops and the heavier USB external drives, only in the last year you can now get 750 Gigabyte and 1 Terabyte disks for laptops.  Trouble is, that these drives are in the fatter 12.5mm format as opposed to 9mm disks in most laptops.   Various Dells and Toshibas in recent years have the hard disk underneath rather than a sideways mounted module which is better.

Picture shown: The battery is an extra large capacity, so the ‘foot’ raises it off the ground a bit.   A) Original 9mm high Hitachi 320Gb disk.   B) New Toshiba branded 12.5mm 1Tb disk. C) The trapdoor panel that will not fit.

Here is the problem:  the 12.5mm 1Tb drive simply does not fit in side this Toshiba.   If I fit it in loosely, gingerly turn it the right way up and power up and put the Toshiba in the BIOS mode, the disk is seen by the computer as you can see from the picture.   To be honest, its only the panel that snaps on the bottom that will not fit closed.   Its not mine, so cutting any bits off is totally out, it does look like only a few small discrete tabs on the hard disk door would need to be removed.   Nor is any bits hanging out a desirable option.   It does very very almost fit.

I bought the Toshiba 1TB 2.5″ hard disk from popular IT retailer DABS, they told me they will not accept it back as I bought it around mid December so I am stuck with it.   This is a bit unfair as they didn’t specify its a taller 12.5mm unit on their web site.

Some Google searches shows there is plenty of compatibility issues with some Dells, HPs and Apple Macbooks.   These drives won’t fit in a Playstation 3 either.

Please Toshiba, (and Dell, HP, Acer, Sony, Apple too)  can you provide some simple info in a chart of which models can use these newer cheap large disks?   All I can say is, do some thorough research if you are tempted by a big hard drive upgrades for your laptop.

Its strange that Toshiba make computers, and make parts, (hard disks, LCD panels, DVD drives)  used in other brand laptops, but my own 2006 model Toshiba Equium A100 has a Panasonic made DVD drive and a Western Digital made hard disk!!

Update:   DABS’ customer service manager let me return it with a 10% handling fee.   I have found a 9mm high 750Gb Seagate 2.5″ drive, so I am going to use this.

One comment on “12.5mm laptop hard disks not fitting a lot of laptops

  1. Pingback: RealTime - Questions: "Why does my new Toshiba laptop come with no discs?"

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