Use a Compact Flash Card As an IDE Laptop Hard Drive

Introduction: Use a Compact Flash Card As an IDE Laptop Hard Drive

Old computers are nice to have for retro games and stuff, but the hard drives are slow, noisy and unreliable. Thankfully, for under $30, we can upgrade it to a fast, reliable and quiet Compact Flash card.

Step 1: Tools and Parts



ESD grounding wristband


Compact Flash card

CF-IDE adapter

Step 2: Grounding

Put on the ESD grounding wristband and clip it to a grounded metal object. Simple enough.

Step 3: HDD Swap

Remove the hard drive from your laptop. On my old Toshiba T2155CDS it did not even need any tools. Once the old HDD is out, install the Compact Flash card into the IDE adapter and install the IDE adapter. Close up your laptop.

Step 4: Install the OS

Choose a nice operating system for your computer. I used Windows 95 as my laptop is from 1995. WARNING: Disable virtual memory if using Windows! Otherwise the lifespan of the Compact Flash card will be greatly reduced.

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    3 years ago on Step 4

    I tried this in an Acer laptop from 2009, but had no joy, as the BIOS in my computer did not recognise the CF card. This idea seems to have a better chance of working with really old computers. I had more success with an IDE to SD card adapter, which was recognised by the BIOS.


    5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing :)