PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/ssd in a laptop


QUESTION: I have a Toshiba L655-S5096 laptop. The serial number is ZA035104W. I have just updated all drivers and bios.  I am running widows 7 ultimate.  Currently I have a 120 gig ssd working just fine.  I bought a samsung 840 EVO 500 gig ssd.  When I installed it the laptop would not recognize any hdd/ssd.  I formated the drive on another computer and tried again.  The laptop still showed there was no hdd/ssd installed.  What is the storage limitation of this laptop when using an ssd?  When I search online for upgrades for this unit I see 500 gig ssd and even greater.  Why wont it recognize the samsung 550 gig I bought?  My desktop sees it just fine. I am fairly computer literate and have been building my own computer systems for years. This is the first laptop I have owned and although it's older should work fine for a while.  I just want to max out it's potential.

Thank you for any assistance.


ANSWER: When you say it doesn't recognize it, what error message are you receiving? Is this drive being connected in addition to the 120GB drive that contains Windows? Or is it meant to replace that drive? How was it formatted/partitioned in the other machine? Have you gone into the system's BIOS and enabled the drive (or otherwise confirmed the port it's connected to isn't set to "none" or "disabled" or similar)?


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QUESTION: The 500 gig is meant to replace the 120 gig.  It was formatted on a desktop running the same operating system at the default settings.  With the 500 gig ssd installed, the bios shows no sdd/hdd installed at all. There is nothing in the bios to enable.  It shows nothing at all for any ssd/hdd under that heading. What byte size should I format an ssd at?  Default size shows 4096, should it be 512 or what?

With the 500GB drive connected, can you access or detect it with bootable utilities from something like UBCD? Have you ensured the drive is receiving power and that the connecting cables are not damaged? Do you have another large-capacity drive (500GB or greater) that you can temporarily connect to the Toshiba to test with? It may be that the Toshiba's BIOS can't recognize very large disks (and without a BIOS update from Toshiba this would not be fixable), but it may be that there's an incompatibility between the Samsung and the system, assuming this isn't a connectivity/configuration problem. If bootable utilities have no luck, and if the system can recognize another large drive, I would suggest returning the Samsung for replacement, and if that fails returning it and trying another model. If the system fails with another large drive, the issue is likely on the Toshiba, and you are probably best leaving it with be with the 120GB drive that's presently working. Alternatively you may try contacting Toshiba to inquire about a BIOS update to address that issue.

As far as the formatting - there is no need to format the drive on another system; when you re-install Windows it will have to format and partition the drive at that time. Windows will select correct settings at that point. The default formatting settings within Windows would also work, and the Windows installer will likely allow you to install "on top of" the formatted partition you created. However generally speaking I wouldn't suggest that - just let it reformat and install to ensure there's no issues there.


PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.


I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

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