Dell Mini 12 Forum for discussion on the discontinued Dell Inspiron Mini 12.

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javajosh javajosh is offline
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Default Can you use a SATA HDD or does it have to be PATA on a Mini 12? - 10-10-2012, 11:33 PM

I read on the spec page that the Mini 12 has a PATA HDD. Can I replace it with a SATA drive?

I was looking at using a Western Digital Bare Drives 1 TB AV-25 SATA II 5400 RPM 16 MB. I got the idea from reading that some other guys replaced their drives with a 750 and were thinking about a 1TB drive. So I figure why not.

If this is the wrong drive can someone direct me to the correct one?

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Dell_Abhishek_B Dell_Abhishek_B is offline
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Default 10-11-2012, 12:51 PM

Hi Javajosh,

The Dell product group team has tested the Dell Mini 12 with 40,60 and 80 GB PATA hard drives. There could have been two ways to upgrade the hard drive:
1. Using a caddy and installing it in place of the optical drive: This wont be possible as this system doesnt have any internal optical drive.
2. Using a PATA to SATA convertor : This will not be possible as there is not enough space inside the system to connect a SATA hard drive with a connector.

If you want to store more data, the only option you have is to use an external hard drive with the USB port.

Hope this helps. Please reply for any further issues.

Thanks and regards
Abhishek B
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javajosh javajosh is offline
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Default 10-11-2012, 03:02 PM

That is what I have been wondering about.

So just to be clear, how are all the other guys on this forum upgrading to larger SATA drives? If I do a search on 'HDD upgrade' there is a bunch of talk on how to do it. For instance, rrfranczak3 has a 750 GB SATA drive. He even has it in a 10, which is small then the 12 (I guess that is common sense). So how is it that he has room in a smaller unit. My only thought is that everyone else has a newer unit then mine and they all came with SATA instead of PATA.

Also, please understand that I don't need to do any upgrades. I just figured if I could I would. I am going to wipe XP and install LXDE, so I can use it in it's current hardware configuration.

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rrfranczak3 rrfranczak3 is offline
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Cool 10-12-2012, 12:30 PM

@javajosh, I believe that a PATA is the same as an IDE drive, I have an HP ZD8000 laptop (my main system) with a 3.6ghz processor and 2gb RAM (this thing is a monster work horse, 17in etc, but it weighs a ton, almost 10lbs) and it also uses an IDE/PATA drive, the largest I can find for it is a WD 320gb because the manufactures are not developing new IDE drives any longer (at least for 2.5 drives which is what laptops and Minis use) so my only choice is an external drive and with an external I can get like 3 terabytes but I really prefer internal drives, 1st of all they are faster as where I cant use the new 3.0 USB speed because this laptop has got 5 usb's on it but they are all 2.0, my 2 servers are just for storage (about 4 terabyte total)

BTW: yes I do have a WD 750gb SATA drive in my Mini 10, and I have also wanted a 1 terabyte drive but WD (Western Digital) 1 terabyte drives are 12.5mm thick where the Mini can only house a 9.5mm thick drive, BUT recently WD has introduced a NEW 1 terabyte drive which IS 9.5mm and will fit perfectly into my Mini 10, I am upgrading to this 1 terabyte drive in the near future (Newegg has it for about $100-$120 USD), so after all is said and done I will have a 1 terabyte Mini with a rare 2GB of RAM and a Mini that is maxed out with every option Dell has for it (6 cell battery,TV Tuner,bluetooth, HD 1366x768 screen,wireless b/g/n...etc) all in about 2lbs which I think is awesome.....Good Luck

PS. Check in to the new Dell XPS 10 or Dell XPS 12, they look very awesome, just not too sure about the ARM processor in them, but look like very cool tablet/laptops.....they have a removable touch screen which instantly turns them in to a tablet and reportedly runs for about 20hrs on a single charge (with a 2nd battery installed in it)


Dell Mini 10 (Obsidian Black 1010), 2gb RAM, 1.66ghz 533mhz FSB (Z530) processor, A10 BIOS, 1 Terabyte (1000 GB) WD Scorpio Blue Hard Drive (5400rpm), Intel GMA 500 Integrated Graphics, TV Tuner, Bluetooth 2.1 module with EDR, 1.3mp Camera, 1366x768 HD Screen, Wireless 1510 b/g/n mini card, 6 cell (56WHr) Battery, 4gb SDHC, 64gb Flashdrive, Targus Netbook Chillpad, Targus Sport Case, Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (500gb)/Windows 8.1 (500gb) (Dual Boot)

iPad 4 (64gb) w/Retina,Targus Versavu Case

Last edited by rrfranczak3; 10-12-2012 at 12:46 PM.
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javajosh javajosh is offline
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Default 10-12-2012, 03:07 PM

Thanks for the reply.

So do you have a SATA connector in your Mini 10? If not how did you get a SATA drive to work?

The Dell XPS 10 or 12 sounds cool. Though I am not looking at buying anything new at this point just re-purposing my wife's old Mini 12 as a spare and lightweight for personal travel.

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deadhead deadhead is offline
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Default 12-29-2012, 11:05 PM

Hi @javajosh, the mini12 use a pata/ide drive but in the peculiar form factor of 1,8' instead of the usual 2,5' hdd and with a IDE-ZIF 40pin interface.

so you can upgrade to any other kind of disk you like, also SSD ie. but you have to take care of the size (1.8) and of the interface (ide ZIF 40pin).

Have you then reinstalled that laptop? Have you had any kind of problem installing lxde on it? Which distro have you choosed?

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balboni20 balboni20 is offline
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Default 10-08-2013, 06:00 AM

You need an adapter
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acarwile acarwile is offline
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Default 09-20-2015, 05:25 AM

I just posted a similar question on, but in my case I have a Dell Mini 12 without the hard drive. I've opened it up to see what I'm dealing with. I can't post a link over to the question (I'm brand new but you can find it if you search on for the question title:
"How to replace hard drive and switch drive cable in a Dell Mini 12"

That post includes a link to the service guide (pdf) for this model. It also contains a photo of the inside of the unit showing the IDE PATA cable and the space where the hard drive rests in the unit.

Thanks for the info already in this thread, and any more to be added.
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hdd upgrade, mini 12, pata, sata

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