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Upgrading the hard drive in HP2133 mini-note (with photos) | HP Mini Note PC Blog


Upgrading the HP2133 mini-note hard drive (with photos)

Upgrading the drive in the HP2133 mini-note is straight forward, as long as you have a steady hand and the right tools at your disposal. I took some photos of the internals of my mini-note during the upgrade from the 4gig SSD that comes with the base model, to a 120gig Western Digital drive. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you will need and the steps involved.

What you’ll need:

- A very small philips (crosshead) screwdriver
- A small torx head driver (or you can use a very small slotted screw driver)
- A pair of pliers
- A notebook SATA drive (i used a Western Digital Scorpio drive)

All the tools can be obtained from your local hardware store. I bought my hard drive from newegg.

How long will it take:

About 15-30 minutes (it took me about 20 minutes once I located the correct tools for the job).


- Remove the battery
- Remove the three philips screws located behind the battery
- Gently lift up the keyboard to access both the memory slot and the hard drive enclosure
- Position the keyboard where you can easily access the drive enclosure (I placed it at the front of the mini-note - see photos)
- Remove the two philips screws holding the drive enclosure (on the left hand side)
- Remove the torx head screw holding the drive enclosure (on the right hand side)
- Gently lift up the drive enclosure, and disconnect the SATA cable

- Unscrew the factory drive from the enclose and replace it with your new drive

(To complete this step you may need to carefully bend back several tabs on the drive enclosure, the 4 Gig SSD that comes with the base model is smaller than a regular note book SATA drive)

- Re-install the drive in the mini-note (I suggest you insert the torx head screw first, as I dropped it a couple of times in to the machine and had to take out the two philips screws more times than I would like)
- I suggest that you don’t screw the unit back together until your sure that your new drive is functional

When you power the machine back up, you should hit F10 to look at the ROM (BIOS) setup to make sure your drive has been recognized.

After installing the drive, I loaded Windows XP Home on to the mini-note, and I’m so happy I did after my experiencing with SUSE!


HP2133 Mini-note

The mini-note after carefully lifting up the keyboard

HP2133 Mini-note drive enclosure

The drive enclosure inside the mini-note

HP2133 Mini-note drive removed

The mini-note drive bay, with the drive enclosure removed
HP2133 Mini-note drive comparison

The original 4gig SSD drive (left) and the Western Digital 120gig SATA drive (right)

HP2133 mini-note 4gig SSD

Close up of the 4gig SSD that comes with the mini-note

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32 Responses to “Upgrading the HP2133 mini-note hard drive (with photos)”

  1. 1 lee

    Very nice write up, I added it to the mininote wiki incase as it might help someone else out;

  2. 2 ShinyPlastic

    Nice write-up. I posted about the hard drive upgrade how-to over at ShinyPlastic:

  3. 3 Joe

    You had/have 30 days to return your Mini to HP and swap it for the larger hard drive and more memory version.

  4. 4 Mateo

    Is it just me or does it look like you could solder some more memory onto the solid state drive?

  5. 5 Mike Cane

    I don’t understand how you did that. The SSD is PATA, the hard drive is SATA. Are you saying there’s one connector that will accommodate either SSD or HD?

  6. 6 chris

    Mike - thanks for the comment, the included 4 gigabyte SSD card (and the mini-note connector) is definitely SATA not PATA, so it’s plug-and-play to switch this out with a 2.5 inch SATA drive.

  7. 7 chris

    Mateo - probably, but that would need a steadier hand than mine. The memory on the board is SAMSUNG804, Part K9GAG0BU0M-PCB0. I found a link to the specification on SAMSUNG’s web site if that is useful to you.

  8. 8 Paul Maillet

    Will a 2.5 SATA300 Drive work? I was thinking of getting a SEAGATE MOMENTUS 120GB 7200RPm (# ST9120823AS) drive to replace my 5400RPM drive.

  9. 9 Ryan Potter

    Wondering if its possible to switch the existing ssd harddrive out for a larger one, rather than a 5400 rpm or 7200 one?

  10. 10 mrehs

    How did you install Windows XP after you have replaced the drive? Just press F10 after HDD installation?
    Do all HDD’s bought individually already have windows XP or any other operating systems in the new HDD already?

    I was thinking of buying a new laptop notebook or netbook, but didn’t know what to buy, either the Acer Aspire One or Mini Note? If I can do this with the Mini Note,like swapping SSD to a bigger HDD or maybe in the future I can swap with a much desirable large SSD, then I might consider buying it.

    I heard the processor in the Mini Note is not as good as the Intel Atom N270 is this true? What Pros and Cons do the Mini Note have and how about the Acer Aspire One?

  11. 11 Matt

    I see one major step lacking here. Unless the drive bracket has been changed but from the pictures it appear to not have been.

    I just attempted this procedure. Major problem is this, the holes on the 4gig SSD have less distance between them than a standard 2.5″ drive. Adding something worse is that the studs protrude on the inside making the 2.5″ hard drive not fit correctly in the MiniNote.

    My only guess now is to try to drill out the studs or dremel them out. Did you guys leave this step out or am I missing something? It Appears from the Picture that my drive bracket is the same as yours. Please Advise


  12. 12 Chris

    Hey Matt - I had to make some minor modifications to the drive enclosure, but it was just to bend back a couple of tabs back (which I mentioned in the write-up). I wonder if they have changed the enclosure since my original post. Cheers, Chris.

  13. 13 Matt T.

    Re: HD Enclosure Incompatibility
    I had the same issue the other Matt had… I attempted to swap out the SSD on my mini-note with a Toshiba 2.5″ 5400 RPM HD a few weeks ago but could not get the new HD to fit in the enclosure. The 2.5″ Toshiba HD was considerably larger (longer) than the SSD’s circuit board, and only 2 of 4 holes lined up (the other two were off by at least 3/8″). As I recall it would not physically fit within the confines of the given enclosure, regardless of whether or not the holes lined up. I was wondering if the enclosures that HP ships with their other models (that come with standard spinning drives) are different than the enclosures they use for their solid-state drives. Any further information would be appreciated.

    Matt T.

  14. 14 Eran

    Has anyone solved the enclosure issue? I have hit on the same thing.

  15. 15 Peter

    I bought the linux version and like you was not keen on SUSE but rather than XP I used and external CD to install Ubuntu 8.10 and that runs like a dream without the need for all the MS protetction programs.

  16. 16 Carlos

    Hi everybody!

    I want to change the HDD of my mini, in order to have Windows XP on it. I want to keep the original HDD the original Vista (somewhere else, not in my computer). How can i Install it? Can I run the installation program from an external USB CD unit? Or should I format and copy the installation files in the HDD from other computer? Which kind of formatting is ideal? I have alredy increased the RAM.

    Thank you!

  17. 17 Eddie

    For those having issues with the enclosure sizes…

    From what I’ve read some of the older HP mini’s used a 1.8″ drive as opposed to the more standard 2.5″ in order to reduce the size/weight of certain models. My HP 1034NR netbook uses the 1.8 inch so I’m pretty much SOL on upgrading to a HDD. C’est la vie I guess.

  18. 18 Neal

    My wife bought me the HP2133 in early 2009. I just upgraded my HP2133 to an 80Gb Solid State Drive (SSD), Windows 7 Home Premium. I’ve got 2Gb of RAM. This upgraded changed the HP2133 from boarderline unusable and annoyingly slow to a great little computer. I highly recommend the SSD upgrade (which takes about 30 minutes and steady hands), and definitely avoid running Windows Vista on the little HP2133. Windows 7 seems to be much better from a perfomance perspective.

  19. 19 ken

    Neal - I have been looking up information about replacing the original HDD with an SSD. I have also taken the laptop apart and exposed the HDD. It is fairly simple. What is a little confusing is the requirements of the SSD - does it take a standard 2.5 inch SSD or 1.8 inch SSD? Does the existing HDD bracket (with 3 screw configuration) slide out and get reused? Love to hear more details on your installation.

    I have been running this 2133 from day one with XP sp3 and 2GB of RAM. it has been a great little machine. You can also cook an egg on the bottom of it if you are hungry but apart from that, it is a decent, super light machine. I don;t play video on this machine. I usually outsource it to my ipod touch.

    Great Site! Very informative.

  20. 20 nand

    harddisk canectors

  21. 21 qxinfinity

    I found a hp mini 110-1125nr for about $100 us dollars. down side is it has a 16Gig SSD. If I could take it and and slap a 250Gig HHD in without making bracket changes would be great. Can this be done?

    last nut not least. Is 2Gb ram really the max this hp mini 110-1125 can handle. I want to use 4Gb.

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