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Second Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by AndrewSchofield, 6 Apr 2011.

  1. AndrewSchofield

    AndrewSchofield

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    We've got a pc with a 32Gb hard drive which only has about 1Gb of free space. This PC is running very slowly and I'm thinking that the lack of free hard drive space may be causing this. I've got an old PC with a 40 Gb HDD in it that I don't use any more so I wondered about putting the HDD from that in this PC.

    How easy is this to do? and where do I start?
     
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  3. turanafon

    turanafon

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  4. AndrewSchofield

    AndrewSchofield

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    thanks - i had already googled the method and it does seem easy. The methods tend to assume you're installing a new hard drive though - if I do install this old one - does it matter that it already has an OS and other stuff installed on it? Do i need to do anything differently in this situation?

    As you say, I might look at buying a new, much bigger one, but for a short term fix I may install the old 40Gb one. Or will that cause issues? Is there any reason why i should install the 40Gb one AND a new bigger one?

    Cheers.
     
  5. AndrewSchofield

    AndrewSchofield

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    Will I be able to just install a new Sata drive as a slave/secondary drive to my existing IDE drive? I don't want to have to reinstall the OS etc.. just want more storage space for the short term.
     
  6. Richard C

    Richard C

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    The 40 gig IDE HDD should slot in no problem but I’m guessing if you’re running such low capacity hard drives, your PC is a probably few years old! Before you rush out & buy a nice, & now cheap 1TB HDD, check that you motherboard is actually capable of running it. SATA 2 is virtually all you can get now apart from 2nd hand drives but even if your motherboard is SATA 1 compatible it may not run SATA 2 drives. I’ve just built a new box because I needed increased storage capacity & my previous box (itself only 3 years old) was not compatible with SATA 2. In fact the more I dug, the worse it got & due to various incompatibility issues with the new motherboard & Win 7 OS, I could use virtually none of the previous hardware I had apart for the SATA 1 drives it had.
     
  7. AndrewSchofield

    AndrewSchofield

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    Richard,

    Yes, you are correct, the PC is probably 6 years old - it has had some level of upgrading in that time (RAM, new Graphics card etc..) but the motherboard and HDDs are the original ones. I had concluded that the PC will need replacing before too long and so I think i'll try and stick the 40Gb in and if that works, it may just delay how soon i have to replace it.

    By the sound of it, buying a new HDD will just create problems and get more involved than i really want to at the moment.

    No doubt i'll be back on here when the HDD install goes wrong!!
     
  8. Richard C

    Richard C

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    Although SATA has been around over 10 years, it didn’t really become commonly available in home PC’s until around 2005/6. As I said, my previous box dated from around 07 & had an early but reasonably upmarket (at the time) SATA 1 motherboard which, due to an onboard chipset, later turned out to be totally incompatible with SATA 2 & I had to dump the lot; well not literally as it’s now my spare box. I would say the chances of your 6 year old mobo being compatible with SATA are most likely zero.

    Assuming your mobo has 2 IDE slots & you have 2 cables fitted; if you have a cd/dvd drive as the slave on your primary IDE cable, slot the 40gb drive into either the master or slave drive connection on your secondary IDE cable (depending if you have other devices). Check the jumpers on the back end of the hdd first later mobos will set the drives automatically if the jumpers are set to “cable select” but set the jumpers to “slave” just in case (there will be a little diagram telling you which is which) or you may not see the drive & the PC may not even boot.

    I don’t know what OS you’re running but systems from XP onwards really need at least 20Gb to function & more like 50Gb once you start loading software; I partition my OS drives at 100Gb but I have a total of capacity of around 2Tb over 4 hdd’s It sounds like your up for a new PC & there are some excellent, cheap pre-built boxes & bundles available on-line now (forget PC world etc.) if you don’t want anything special & you can tailor what you buy to your needs & anything you can re-use (monitor/keyboard/mouse etc). I always have & still do build my own boxes but you don’t really save that much any more. I do it more to keep up with the technology than anything else, it stops me getting too rusty but everything moves so quickly now & every one I build usually presents its own little problems which require a little digging to sort out.
     
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  10. AndrewSchofield

    AndrewSchofield

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    Richard,

    Second drive installed on my lunch break today, easy! - all seems to be ok up to now!! Started doubting myself that i'd done the jumpers right when i pressed the on button, but I should learn to have faith in myself!

    Don't worry - I always think twice about even walking past PC World let alone going inside! I have previously used a local independant computer shop to build PCs to the spec I want but I might ask a friend of mine who is in the IT field if he'll build me one, then i can give him a budget and I know he'll sort me out with a decent spec - trouble is he's not easy to get hold of!!

    Its running XP, so when i've finished clearing out the rubbish and moving things about i'll have a 32Gb with the OS and other programs on (leaving about 23Gb free) and then a 40Gb drive with my files on, leaving about 24Gb free. Will see how things go prior to getting a new one sorted.

    I'm always a little unsure of upgrading to a new OS - i'm so used to XP now I just don't know if I can be bothered with moving to Windows 7 - am I worrying about nothing? I always stick with the motto - "If it aint broke, don't fix it".
     
  11. Richard C

    Richard C

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    Great stuff, that was quick, glad it worked out. ;)

    I’ve got copies of all the Win OS from Win 95 & even have a copy of Windows 3 which lives on about a dozen 3 ½” floppy disks. I used to have a copy of the original MS DOS (1985) which lived on a 5 ½” floppy; you had to load the OS into RAM first & then run whichever software you wanted to use from a second 5 ½” floppy; awesome, should have kept it, it may have been worth a fortune in years to come!

    They were mostly good progressions but notable failures for me were Windows ME & Vista. The big advances IMO were Win 2000 (based on the original Windows NT) & Win XP Pro which I still considered the best up until now. I’m running with Win 7 64 bit which I seem to be getting along with OK but as it won’t run some of the software I still use, I tend to switch back to XP a fair bit. I have a dual Win 7/XP boot system on my new box as well as XP/Vista on my old one. I still can’t get on with Vista that well but whenever use XP, I wonder if Win 7 is really any better. It’s ahead on internet use though & the way things are going we are going to have to make the switch sooner or later!
     
  12. Chippychap

    Chippychap

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    You could always try Linux, which is free. ;)
     
  13. ajrobb

    ajrobb

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    With a second HDD, you might want to move the swap to the second disk. Do that fairly soon to get it at the beginning of the disk where it is faster.

    With regard to Windows XP software, I use the Oracle/Sun free VirtualBox to run XP virtual machine. ClearType on LCD screens was the reason I finally moved from Windows 2000 to XP. I used to have an expensive PC that ran WinME beautifully (including ClearType and ZIP-folders) but couldn't run XP - no third-party device drivers was the key to success with WinME.
     
  14. AndrewSchofield

    AndrewSchofield

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    "swap" ?? What's that then?
     
  15. ajrobb

    ajrobb

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    If you have much less than 2GB of RAM, your computer will use the swap file to hold information when it needs more memory space like when starting a new application. If the swap file is on the same disk as the application (i.e. C), that disk has to work hard to write old data to swap and read new data from the application files.

    In Windows XP click Start then right-click My Computer and select Properties

    This should open the System Properties window, select the Advanced tab then click on Settings in Performance

    This should open the Performance Options window, select the Advanced tab then click on Change in Virtual Memory

    This should open the Virtual Memory window showing a list of drives (C and D in your case). Down the bottom of the window you will see a Recommended Size. Click on D and then select Custom size and enter the recommended size into the Initial size field. Then click OK to close the Virtual Memory window then OK to close Performance Options. At this point you can reboot.

    Repeat the above operations to get back to the Virtual Memory window. This time select C and set the Maximum size field to 0MB.

    To reclaim extra space on your C drive it is worth clicking Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Cleanup

    This will scan the disks then open the Disk Cleanup window. Other than "Compress old files" it may be worth selecting most options. Personally, I never use System Restore so I go to the More options tab and click Clean up... in System Restore then click Yes in the pop-up window to delete all but the most recent restore point. Finally click OK in the Disk Cleanup window.
     
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