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Adding Second Internal Hard Drive


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#1 OscarG

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 10:53 AM

My desktop PC has an almost full hard drive, so I (a relative novice) would like to have a go at putting in a second internal hard drive.

Have done quite a bit of research and come up with a couple of possibilities, but just want to ask for advice and check that I'm not doing anything silly.

What I would like to know, is, does the specification of my PC have any bearing on what internal HD I should choose? Also, is there a limit to (or ideal) what capacity I can go up to?

Hard drives I'm wondering about are :-

500GB Western Digital Caviar Green 3.5" Hard Disk Drive
SATA II
5400-7200rpm
32MB Cache

640GB Western Digital Caviar Black 3.5" Hard Disk Drive
SATA II
7200rpm
32MB Cache

500GB Samsung Spinpoint F3 Hard Disk Drive
SATA II
7200rpm
16MB Cache


Specification of my PC (The motherboard supports SATAII 3.0Gb/s with RAID 0,1)

ELITEGROUP COMPUTER SYSTEM CO.,LTD.
System Model: NFORCE6M-A
BIOS Version: Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG

Operating System
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Service Pack: 2.0

Memory (RAM)
Capacity: 2 GB

Processor
AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4000+
Version: x86 Family 15 Model 107 Stepping 1
Speed: 2109 MHz
AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4000+
Version: x86 Family 15 Model 107 Stepping 1
Speed: 2109 MHz

Local Disk
Total Capacity: 189.91 GB
Sum of Hard Disks: (C: )
Used: 176.87 GB
Free: 13.03 GB

I would be really grateful for advice and/or reassurance before I go ahead and buy.
Thanks

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#2 tg1911

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 11:36 AM

What I would like to know, is, does the specification of my PC have any bearing on what internal HD I should choose?

Yes.
SATA, or PATA?
You answered that:

(The motherboard supports SATAII 3.0Gb/s with RAID 0,1)

The only other considerations are manufacturer, and size.

For the manufacturers, I've had good luck with Seagate, and WD (Western Digital).
I can't comment on Samsung, as I've never used their drives.

For the size, that depends on what you use your computer for.
For basic photos, music, and backups, a 500-640GB drive should be good for a while.
If you do a lot of video editing, I would recommend a 1TB drive, minimum.
Videos can eat up harddrive space, a lot faster than you would think. :thumbsup:

Also, is there a limit to (or ideal) what capacity I can go up to?

You can use whatever size you want.

If the drive is only going to be used for storage, you can go with the "external" route, since speed of access to the information, wouldn't be that big of a concern.
If you decide to go external, it's usually cheaper to by the drive, and an external enclosure, than it is to purchase a manufactured external harddrive.

Another thing to consider, if you go the external route.
If your computer has eSATA ports, opt for an eSATA enclosure.
You'll have faster transfer rates, than using USB.
I've been using a couple of these enclosures for a while, and haven't had any problems with them, yet:
Rosewill RX35-AT-SC SLV 3.5" Silver USB2.0 & eSATA External Enclosure - Retail
They have both USB, and eSATA connections.
Putting together an external enclosure, takes a screwdriver, and about 20 minutes. :flowers:
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#3 OscarG

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 04:08 PM

Many thanks for your quick reply and advice which is much appreciated.

I have just bought an External HD (Western Digital) for backing up which I haven't installed yet, so will go for an Internal HD as well.

A couple of things I'd like to ask you:-

With the drives I've mentioned, one is 7200rpm and another is 5400-7200 rpm. Can you explain exactly what difference this will have i.e. difference between variable and fixed speed?

How do I find out whether I have eSATA ports?

And one last thing - I would like to transfer my son's entire folders over to the new internal HD (as he is the hungriest user in terms of storage ie iTunes music/videos etc). Is there a recognised way of doing this?

I appreciate your help - hope you don't mind these extra queries!

#4 Sneakycyber

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 05:24 PM

The speeds 7200 and 5400 RPM etc. refers to platter speed ( how fast the platters inside the drive spin) 7200 is a popular speed. The platter speed will effect the drive access time and the overall power consumption of the drive. Variable speed drives slow down and speed up in relation to the demand of the drive, the higher the demand the faster the drive will spin to decrease access times. The drive will spin slower when its not in use. ESATA (or external SATA) is more a function of the computer case rather then the motherboard. As long as the case has the port you can connect any of the available motherboard SATA connections to the external port. As for moving your sons information off the main HDD to the secondary just drag and drop using windows explorer. Also thing if your not currently using a SATA drive you will need the drivers for your motherboard, these are usually dependent on your raid driver so when looking for the driver you will look for either SATA or Raid driver. Lastly you may have to enable SATA support in your bios (if your not currently using SATA), sometimes its default setting is IDE emulation mode (which is fine just a bit slower).

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#5 OscarG

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:23 AM

Thanks for your advice and explanations, I am slowly gaining more knowledge of computers! You've been extremely helpful - based on what you have said, which type of drive would you advise, variable or fixed speed? Are there any pros or cons?

#6 Sneakycyber

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 10:41 AM

Aside from saving energy I am not sure of the pro's and con's of a variable speed drive I have never owned one. :thumbsup:

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#7 cotesy

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 06:35 PM

I would just go with a new SATA hard drive, the Samsung Drives are fine and come from the server generation so proving to be reliable. You will need the Hard Drive, a SATA cable and possibly a SATA power supply cable to connect to the standard power supply connectors within your case.

The board you have will not need SATA drivers, just plug it all in, power up. Go to Windows Management Console (Right Click on My Computer and select MANAGE) - Go to Disk Management. Look for your new hard drive, click on it to Initialize it. This has to be done before it can be formatted.

Your files by the way will need to be Cut and Pasted to new folders as Drag and Drop between drives only makes Copies and will not clear your original drive. You didn't say if you were on XP or Vista/7. In XP, If the files are in the My Documents folder, right click on My Documents, It will load a dialog on the Target Tab, change the drive letter at the beginning of the string in the Target box to the new drive letter once its installed and it will move all your files in My Documents for you ;)

#8 Sneakycyber

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 08:50 PM

If you right click and drag the file to the new directory it ASKS you if you want it copied or moved :flowers: . As for the SATA drivers if there not needed then why are they offered on the ECS website :thumbsup:

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#9 cotesy

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 03:40 AM

Some board providers put them on their site just in case the standard windows ones dont work. I've put together quite a few machines using this particular board before and never had a problem, its a budget board but fairly up to date as it offers the 24 pin power connector, only has one IDE socket and no Floppy header.

The other giveaway would be to check the BIOS once the drive is plugged in, although some show as IDE even on a SATA connection.

#10 Sneakycyber

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 01:21 PM

Thank you for the clarification. :thumbsup: I must admit I don't use ECS boards very often (only once actually).

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#11 OscarG

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:18 PM

Thanks for your reply/advice.

Apologies though, as afraid I am lost where you say "It will load a dialog on the Target Tab etc"

Your files by the way will need to be Cut and Pasted to new folders as Drag and Drop between drives only makes Copies and will not clear your original drive. You didn't say if you were on XP or Vista/7. In XP, If the files are in the My Documents folder, right click on My Documents, It will load a dialog on the Target Tab, change the drive letter at the beginning of the string in the Target box to the new drive letter once its installed and it will move all your files in My Documents for you ;)


I'm on XP - when I right click on My Documents, I have options - open, explore, search etc - I'm not sure where the Target Tab is. Could you advise please? Sorry to be so ignorant!

#12 cotesy

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 06:05 PM

Sorry, missed a step. Right Click on My Documents - Select Properties

The next Dialog has the Target Tab.
Change the drive letter at the start of the address string to the new drive letter and press enter - it will ask if you wish to move all your files - select yes - and it will do it all for you :thumbsup:

Cheers

#13 OscarG

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 07:09 AM

Sorry not got back before but have been away. Thanks for the clarification and all the advice from everyone - am just waiting for the drive to come in the post.

Many thanks again




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