What hard drive do I need, SATA or PATA?

Want to upgrade your hard drive but don't know what type of drive you have?

Don't worry, finding out what drive you have is pretty easy if you know where to look. Simply compare your notebook hard drive with one of the images below. In general, notebooks dated after 2002 have SATA (Serial ATA drives), while those that are older may have a PATA (Parallel ATA drive) or SATA drive. For those notebooks sporting a SATA hard drive, you also have the option of upgrading to a Solid State Drive (SSD).

SATA Hard Drives

5400 RPM | 7200 RPM

Solid State Drives

PATA Hard Drives

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  • Standard Serial ATA Drive
  • Most popular notebook drive since 2002
  • Upgrade from a 5400 RPM drive to a 7200 RPM drive
    to experience better performance
  • Capacities 160GB - 750GB

  • Increase your notebook's speed with a high
    performance SSD
  • SATA interface enables you to upgrade your notebook from a SATA hard drive to SSD drive seamlessly
  • Fast data processing speeds

  • Standard Parallel ATA Drive
  • Found in older notebooks, prior to 2000
  • Must replace with another PATA hard drive - SSDs are not compatible
  • Capacities 160GB - 250GB

If your hard drive does not look like any of these pictures....

Notebook hard drives often include a ‘caddie’ which may make the drive look significantly different than the images above. The caddies are usually simple to remove (2-4 screws) from the drive and reuse. If necessary remove the caddie from the drive to help identify which drive is required.