Installing a hard drive

29 Dec 2003
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United Kingdom
I have two PCs exactly the same models - Compaq prosignia.

I want to take the hard drive from one a install it in the spare bay of the other - to double my drive capacity.

Can I do this? Is it just case of disconnecting and taking it out of one and then installing it in the other.

Will I have to reformat the additional disk once it is installed in the other PC.

Do I have to do nay partitioning.

Sorry for the number of questions. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks
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personally i do not like compaq, but this is how its done:(works on any desktop*, (* never tried it on a mac, sleaves too tight)

remove HD at the back there is a set of jumper pins (6 or eight) they will be marked

SL (slave)

CS (cable select)

MA (master)

not necesarily in that order

Open receiving pc, you need to find the ide cable (flat grey one) if it has a "spare" plug you should set the jumper to SL

if there is no spare plug you have 2 choices

1) get new ide cable with 3 plugs

2) hope your pc has 2 ide "sockets"

if your pc does have 2 ide sockets (similar plug to that first ide cable is plugged into on mobo)

then you can take the hd AND ide cable from giving pc and plug it strait into 2nd ide socket (no need to move jumper, since it was set as master in giving pc)

you then find a spare power cable and plug that into the hd

fingers crossed and switch on


obviously do this with pc switched off, but plugged in (earth still connected)
mobo is motherboard, which is the pcb that everything connects to
power cable is yellow, red and two blacks (not in that order)
all cables / plugs will only fit one way so if it doesnt fit its wrong cable / plug or wrong way round, NEVER force any cable / plug

when you switch on go to "my computer" ( i assume winblows o/s) there you will now see drive D, you can and should format this new drive

as i said at the start, i do not like compaq, some have "built in" software that stops it seeing a 2nd hd, dont know why, they just do (but not all)

hd is secured by small screws in its side,

I take no responceability (spelt wrong i know) for your error

you may also (just for the "fun of it") consider building a pc from scratch, it is very rewarding, but to be honest parts will cost as much as new pc, but none the less it is still rewarding to diy.

you can get all parts from Police Constable world or Joe Maplin (hi de hi) or computer fair, as i also said all parts only go in one way (unless you it it with a ammer)
My brother once described the act of assembling PCs very well... "They are just like expensive big-boys Lego" :LOL:

OK, now here is what you want to do. First off, turn off the PC at the socket. Some people say to leave the power cord plugged in (for earthing), some say not to. I would say DO. But I stress, TURN OFF AT THE SOCKET! Then remove the PC case. To install a hard-drive you may need to have access to both sides. Depends on the design of the case.

1) Look inside your PC and find the ribbon cables that connect the hard-drive(s) and CD-drive(s) to the motherboard. Each cable should have two connectors on it. Find a spare connector on one of these cables. Also find a spare power connector (4 pin female connector, identical to the ones plugged into your existing drives)

2) Look on the back of your "spare" hard-drive. You will see a set of "jumpers" (sets of pins with little metal and plastic connectors connecting two pins together at a time). Somewhere on the hard-drive (usually on the label) there will be a diagram demonstrating the jumper configuration for Slave and Master.

Move the jumper so you are in "Slave" mode on that hard-disc. Do not change any other jumpers.

3) Slide the hard-disc into it's mounting location. If you need to fit it into a "big" (5.25") drive bay, you can buy an adaptor bracket for about £3 in Maplin or elsewhere. If you fit it in a "small" bay, it slides straight in there.

4) BEFORE you fasten the drive in place with screws, connect the power and ribbon cable. The ribbon cable should only fit one direction only so if it doesn't go, CHECK IT'S ORIENTATION!

5) Screw the hard-drive into position. Not too tight with those screws, don't want to chew up the threads. But tight enough they won't come undone in a hurry.

Now when you power up, Windows should recognise the drive immediately. No partition required, no "mounting" required.

Your best bet is to format it, this way you get rid of ALL the chuff that is already on it. But you don't have to. At a minimum you need to delete the "Windows" and "Program Files" directories.

Good luck! :D
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Damn, Breezer types quicker!

What he said. With the exception that now Compaq are owned by HP, they make pretty decent PCs.

I use them at work (in fact, it is called an "HP Compaq", Compaq being the model name). They have the footprint about as big as an A4 sheet, they are virtually silent with all fans on, and they only turn the fans on when they need to anyway. Makes for very pleasant working compared to the beast I use at home. But that will all change very soon when I get the passively cooled PSU I ordered a few weeks back... I am getting one of the first 6 of this model in Europe. Get in! :LOL:

Cooling .. suites you sir !! ..... not really. ;)
that is just silly, every one knows pc's are for cooking eggs

Watercooling is, ermm, cool. But you still have the noise of pumps and fans blowing air over rads on some set-ups. I really want a silent computer, but without going the low-power Via processor route. No pictures of the quiet PC yet, it isn't finished (I can still hear it). But, I have this heatsink:


It is absolutely massive. About 500g of copper, so heavy that it exceeds the maximum mass allowed by AMD or Intel by lots (you have to remove it before transporting the computer, it will damage the mobo otherwise!). And it has a big 92mm diameter fan blowing on it so slowly that you can't hear it.

My stupid cheap noisy PSU offends my ears, so I am currently waiting for my new toy:


I am assured it is only a week away. Of course, after I have installed that I will be annoyed by being able to hear my HDDs spinning... :LOL:
I've come across some Compaqs that dont have a keyed IDE cable which you simply reverse plug the connector into the slave drive for it to be accepted as a slave drive.
The old IBM was great with the 'plug in' hd bay ... guess that type of hd still around ?
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