First time hard drive upgrade. Questions.

  Cybermaxx 11:26 20 May 2006

I want to swap my current 60GB Seagate (5400RPM, 1MB cache) IDE HD fro soemthing better. While I do have a spare HD bay, I was thinking it might be betetr to just replace it and have just the one HD installed.


1) Could I just install a new HD, copy the contents of my old HD onto it, set the new one as master, and uninstall/remove he old one? Would Windows etc. work as before if I did that? I was thinking that if I did that, I could keep the old HD, with all the data already on it, as a back-up.

2) Which brand to go for? Possibilities:- Maxtor, Seagate, Hitachi, Samsung.

3) Is there much difference between ATA 100 and ATA 133? My motherboard supports both.

4) Any possible problems with installing a larger hard drive? I'm hoping to get a 160GB HD. Cache size? 8 or 16MB?


  Freddog™ 11:28 20 May 2006

I've never done it but you could get some software off the web that clones the HDD. I think that'd work. You can get free trials so I think it'd be free too.

  citadel 13:00 20 May 2006

I upgraded my hard drive a retail boxed seagate. It came with software that copied everything over from my old drive in one go. I then set the new drive to master and all was ok. My new drive is 7200 spin with 8mb cache and is quieter than my old one.

  Cybermaxx 13:07 20 May 2006

Cheers, Citadel. That's cheered me up. I can get a retail (in a huge box!) Seagate 160GB 8MB cache HD today. What did you do with your old HD? Did you keep it installed or take it out?

  Taff™ 13:13 20 May 2006

Why take it out? What would you do with it? If you are running out of storage space on the old drive use it as a data slave drive for music for example or simply as a backup drive.

  citadel 13:15 20 May 2006

I just unplugged it and left it in. The seagate also lets you print out instructions for reference.

  Cybermaxx 13:27 20 May 2006

Taff. Will having two hard drives slow down my PC? Also, I'm thinking about my power supply. I have a nVidia 6800GT installed, which uses a molex connector for extra power. My power supply has six molex connectors, three to a cable. At the moment one cable connects the HD, DVD ROM, and CD/RW. The other cable has one molex connector plugged into the 6800GT. The 6800GT's manual recommends it having a cable of it's own (I think!).

Does that make sesne?!

  Cybermaxx 13:28 20 May 2006

What about the cache size, anyway? What difference does that make?

  citadel 13:41 20 May 2006

In my case I wanted all my stuff on the new faster drive and there is ample room to install games etc.

  ed-0 13:41 20 May 2006

The larger the cache size, the better.

An ATA 133 drive has the potential to transfer data from the hard drive at 133Mbps. This is only avaialble from the onboard cache. When this has been emptied, it slows to normal transfer rate, around 33 to 45 Mbps. So the larger the cache, the faster the initial burst in speed in seeking info off the hard drive.

Good post from citadel, re the retail boxed drive. Just make sure your motherboards bios will take the larger drive.

  Cybermaxx 13:48 20 May 2006

Righto. I was just going to go to PC World, tbh, and I don't think they have any 16MB HDs on sale there. :-( Still, going from a 1MB ATA 100, to an 8MB ATA 133 might be useful, eh?

How do I find out whether or not my BIOS can accept the larger drive?

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