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Upgrading HDD on ThinkPad T61p

by on ‎11-27-2010 08:06 AM (10,235 Views)



I currently have T61p Thinkpad with a 100G 7200 rpm hard drive.  I'm considering upgrading to a 500G 7200 rpm serial ATA 3.0Gb/s HD.  This particular HD did not list when I searched for compatible hard drives on the Lenovo web site, but the 500G 5400 rpm hard drive did.  I called Lenovo support, gave them my model/type and serial, they thought the 500G 7200 rpm would work.  They did not recommend going over 500G.  I will probably also replace 1 of the 2 – 1G memory cards with a 2G card for a total of 3G of memory.  I'm using the Windows Vista Home Edition that came installed on the T61p.


I've been reading posts in this forum, and it looks as if there may be a couple of ways to clone the current HD to the new, after replacing the 100G with the 500G in the HD slot:


1.  Install the 100G in a serial ATA Hard Drive Bay Adapter (which I think I may have, but not sure) and then use a utility like Acronis Ture Image to copy the 100G to the 500G and then resize the partition to use all 500G.  I do not have an external USB CD drive if Acronis requires this, but am thinking of getting a HD enclosure for the 100G to use as a backup.


2.  Use the Thinkvantage Rescue & Recovery utility to create rescue media or backup CDs/DVDs from the 100G and then swap in the 500G and restore.  I want to keep the rescue/hidden partition, so the blue Thinkvantage button will continue to work with the new hard drive, as well as being able to boot into Rescue & Recovery.  I have already used Thinkvantage Rescue & Recovery utilities to create recovery disks and backups about 2 years ago, will it let me create another set?


I've read in some posts that I may have to change the security setting on hidden partition for the copy in option 1 above to work?


Given my setup, would it be better to use R & R (if it lets me create another set of recovery media) to back and restore from CD/DVD, or better to use some utility to clone the old HD to the new HD.  And if utility, is Acronis to best, or is there another one better?




Most SATA I & II drives should work - the 7200 rpm models should perform better than the 5400 rpm models.  Different model drives may have slight differences in power use and heat generated.   SATA II drives will transfer at SATA I data rates using the Lenovo BIOS.   Members in the community have reported successfully using a 500GB 7200RPM hard disk drive in a T61, as well as 640GB aand 750GB 5400 rrpm HDD in a T61p without problems.


You might want to consider using an external USB adapter like one of these to attach the original 100GB 7200RPM hard disk drive to the T61p.  This would leave the DVD±RW disc drive free for running the disk cloning software.


There are multiple opinions / recommendations on how to transfer the data - Here are several that seem reasonable:


ThinkVantage R & R


The Thinkvantage Rescue & Recovery can be used to make a product recovery disc -  these will restore to factory state then make a backup of your HDD. The backup will make the new HDD the same as the old HDD. You only get to make one set of factory recovery media (to restore to as-shipped state) but you can make as many backups as you like.


Migrating the R&R way will give you the bootable rescue partition, but it will only contain the R&R utility (with all its handy capabilities) but will not include the factory restore image. 


Acronis & Ghost


Third party disk imaging utilities can also be used - refer to instructions provided with those products for detail. 


If you plan to clone a ThinkPad drive, the target (new) drive must be inserted in the TP as primary drive, the source (old) drive can be in the ultrabay or an usb caddy using a cloning software running from cd.  Note: When using Ghost you must set the IB switch in order to capture all the boot sectors.

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I have a T60 wide screen running Vista Ultimate that came with it.  Last summer while traveling I got in a jam installing a Vista update.  Fortunately I was in a town that had a Lenovo dealer and he was able to bring it up in safe mode to install each of the updates.  At the time I realized that while I had my data backed up I don't have all the software nor reliable access to the internet like I do at home.


Last week I dropped by my local PC (Lenovo dealer) store to see what options I have for creating a clone of my  C: drive.  I will be gone this summer for 2+ months so if I don't have a solution Murphy will strike for sure.


A store employee saw my Lenovo and said.  Rather than a clone of the hard drive he suggested a USB drive so I could at power-on hit F12 and select the USB.   I had bought Norton Ghost 12.0 when I purchased the T60... And I read this article on the forum....  so I thought I was set.


I bought an external Western Digital Passport 500GB.  I used Ghost 12.0 to do what they call "Copy Disk" setting the partition active....   but not copy the MBR (Master Boot Record).  BIOS does not recognize the drive...  we then tried doing "Copy Disk" again this time making the USB drive active with a copy of the MBR from the internal HD.   Again F12 at power-on the USB drive is not listed... Nor in BIOS setup.  A person I know use to work for PC Company so I called and he has an R-series running XP...  he had a couple system backups so we tried those...   both of them were recognized when we did F12 at power-on.


I talked to a service support manager and he said as far as he knows all he can do is clone to a 2nd internal.. He indicated that due to Rescue and Recovery technology he has to use a Windows CD after the clone to do some magic...  he was not familiar particulars of Ghost nor "IB switch" per your note in this forum.


Ghost support basically said Copy Disk utility does not support external USB drives...  however says the T60 does support booting from USB HD...  USB HD is listed with a "-" in front of it as option in T60 BIOS setup...  and I have seen that BIOS does recognize a SATA in an external enclosure as bootable. 


Sorry to be so long winded.  Just do not want to waste any of your time if I can avoid it.  Thanks for any guidence and/or reference pointers you can provide.