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Amilo A7600 HDD upgrade

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Amilo A7600 HDD upgrade

Postby Marcvs » Tue May 05, 2009 10:13 pm

This article is for those who might still be using Amilo A7600 (CY-26) with an original hard drive, thinking about upgrading. It is meant as definitive advice on that HDD upgrade.

If you want to buy a new HDD for your aging Amilo A7600, buy a 120GB disk and keep your life.

If you require more disk space than that, buy an external HDD that connects through IEEE1384, known as FireWire. Be sure to buy one that does not rely on the FireWire connection for its power, since the small “i.Link” connector on your Amilo cannot supply it.

There is only very small performance penalty on the FireWire connection in comparison to the internal IDE; say you will get 34 MB/s instead of 38, at almost no CPU utilization (only a few percent).

Why not to put a bigger HDD inside your Amilo CY26:

No matter what, there is only one way to make a bigger hard disk perform at DMA-5 instead of slow PIO: to install the dreadful Ali IDE driver version 4.008. No Windows XP Service Pack or other techniques described on the Internet will do; only this driver.
However, it has serious drawbacks. First of all, those recommending this driver failed to notice that their new and fast HDD is that fast only up till the 128GB limit; above that, it falls back to PIO. If you buy, say, a 250GB drive (which is really only 232GB), you’re going to end up with 104 gigs of disk space accessible at meagre 3–4 MB/s at 100% CPU utilization; not much fun.

Another drawback of this driver: It fails to stop the HDD properly at Windows shutdown; that results in an emergency shutdown of the HDD; something of which hard drives are built to withstand only several tens of thousands of times. (There is a workaround—to have the BIOS ask for password, and to restart the computer instead of shutting it down; then to switch it off manually instead of typing in the password.)

The use of this driver is also dangerous. The only clean way of installing it is through its own Setup; and the only safe way of uninstalling it is through Add/Remove Programs. If you ever try to mess with this driver in the Device Manager, first say goodbye to your Windows installation. If you want to witness System Restore telling you it cannot restore your system, mess with this driver in the Device Manager. If you want to see your Windows boot into the blue screen, even after a repair installation, mess with this driver a bit more in the Device Manager.

I hope this will find at least one person whom it still can help.
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