I bought a used gateway mt6840 laptop for dirt cheap off of Craiglist. And low and behold 3 weeks later the hard drive crashes. I'm in the process of getting a new hard drive, but, have some questions about the SATA connections. Can I install a hard drive with a SATA3.0 into my laptop. The one that I have in it now is a SATA1.5. I really want to buy the best hard drive possible as to not have to upgrade later. Also, assuming that I don't need the data on my old hard drive, is there anything I will need besides the Gateway system restore disk, or do I need the OS disk??

SATA is backwards compatible...meaning a 1.5 drive will funtion on a 3.0 capable mobo no problem, but the reverse is not necessarily true. The connector is physically the same, but you need to check your mobo manual, or the manufacturers website. Unless your mobo says SATA 3.0 compatable, a SATA 3.0 drive isnt going to work.

how do I know if the interface is 3.0 or 1.5? I dont see it on my mobo, and it doesn't say on the specs in the manual, or even any online stores specs. Are there any good reference sites you can guide me to??

How about your old hard drive does it say which type it is on that?

I've come to find (from a fairly credible source) that SATA means 1.5, if it is 3.0 they say SATA 3.0, I went ahead and ordered a new drive, its all worked out, in fact I'm using the laptop as we speak, so thank everyone for the support.