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IBM ThinkPad T41: Upgrading RAM and HDD - pictures 6 August 2007
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I now have pictures of the existing HDD and the RAM slot. A few days ago, I wrote about upgrading my laptop. Now that I know what hardware is already in there, it may help in deciding what new hardware will work best.

Getting access
laptop bottom

The back of the laptop is pretty simple. The annotated photograph below will shows the screws to loosen to get access to both the HDD and the RAM.

I would follow the instructions supplied on the IBM/Lenovo website. But all it takes is a screwdriver and a fine touch to pull it out.

The HDD
HDD

This is the HDD as attached to the mounting bracket. It is a 30GB 4200RPM IDE drive. I would like to replace it with a larger faster HDD. This will take up more battery power, but faster disk access will speed things up. I want a larger HDD as right now. I'm running out of space. The laptop dual boots Windows XP Pro and FreeBSD 6.2. That doesn't leave much left:

[dan@laptop:~] $ df -h
Filesystem     Size    Used   Avail Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/ad0s2a    496M    141M    315M    31%    /
devfs          1.0K    1.0K      0B   100%    /dev
/dev/ad0s2e    496M    1.1M    455M     0%    /tmp
/dev/ad0s2f     15G     13G    680M    95%    /usr
/dev/ad0s2d    1.2G    413M    715M    37%    /var
[dan@laptop:~] $

Out of a 15GB partition, I wind up with about 700MB left over on /usr.

The RAM
RAM

When I opened the RAM access panel, I found there was no RAM at all. In a way, that's a good thing. It means all the RAM is on the motherboard and any new RAM I add will be additional, not replacement. It's a shame to have RAM sitting around on the shelf. :)

My laptop regularly runs Apache, PHP, PostgreSQL, and X.org. 256MB of RAM really isn't much to run all that. So I'm looking at upgrading by buying either another 500MB or 1GB. Either would make a big difference.

What is your recommendation?

I don't always know much about hardware. I'd like to move to an 80GB or 100GB HDD, and 7200RPM. Getting another 1GB of RAM would help with the bigger FreshPorts queries.

I found some Kingston RAM which I think is the same as that offered by IBM but for nearly $50 less.

What RAM would you recommend? What HDD?


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