Installing internal hard drive - power supply?

  Jeecie 21:53 10 Feb 2007

My question is… will my Power Supply Unit (PSU) cope? And, how can I tell before I do all the hard work of opening up my tower-case? Is there some software or a free application I can use to tell me? Will I need a new PSU?

Originally my machine (which is quite old it's just over 6 years - has a GA-6VX7-4X Motherboard, 733 MHz Pentium 3 Processor, 768 MB of RAM and I am running Windows XP Home Edition SP2 with all the updates made regularly) came with: 1x 20 GB IDE HDD (now a slave), a 56K dial PCI modem card, a PCI - Soundblaster Sound-card, and a GeForce2 Graphics card is in the AGP slot (but cannot remember!!).

Over the years I have added on: 1x 80 GB IDE HDD (the master), 1x USB PCI expansion card, 1x CD-Burner drive.

So, I am a wee bit concerned that I’ll add-in the network card & the new, 3rd 80GB HDD (slave) … then I turn on the PC & something will fry loosing my data or burning out components!

Plus… separate question re: adding in a 3rd HDD… do I need 1x IDE cable running from master-to-first slave, then first-slave to second-slave (i.e. a single cable that has plugs along it’s length that connects all 3-drives together) please? Or do I need some kind of adapter connecting first-slave to the second-slave? And what “wording” would I need to use when searching online shops for this kind of cable (as I just know that using “buy IDE cable” is gonna through up millions of hits!!)

Thanks in advance for your help :)

  Jeecie 21:55 10 Feb 2007

Sorry I missed this off of the beginning of my thread...

I bought an 80GB internal IDE drive off of eBay ages ago (January 2006 to be exact!), and as I’ve just purchased a new PCI Network card I thought I might as well install them both at the same time.

(I was typing it in WORD to check spelling & missed this paragrapgh when I cut & pasted.)

  Jeecie 21:57 10 Feb 2007

P.S. As well as CD-burner drive, I forgot to mention the machine is running a DVD-ROM drive too (so that will naturally drain on PSU too).

  the-george 21:59 10 Feb 2007

Try this
click here

  Stuartli 22:00 10 Feb 2007

I used to have the same Gigabyte GA-6VX7-4X board - I used it with an Enermax PSU which came with an ATX case I bought in 1998.

When the graphics card packed up I bought an nVidia replacement and found that occasionally there were streaks of colour on the display. The manual stated that a 300w minimum, preferably 350w, PSU was needed.

Investigation revealed that the Enermax was only a 100w model, yet its quality had enabled it to power quite a loaded up system without complaints to that point.

A new 500w PSU from an e-Bay supplier put things to right and the Enermax is still on standby in case of being required as a temporary replacement.

  the-george 22:04 10 Feb 2007

You should have 2 IDE sockets on the motherboard. One will have your current master/slave drives, the other your CDRW drive.
You cannot link up three drives on one cable so the third drive will go on the same cable as your CDRW. Just make sure that you have the master/slave setup correctly. Usually the master is at the end of the cable and the slave in the middle. I doesn't really matter which drive is the master except on the one where you have your operating system located and that has to be a master.

  Stuartli 22:07 10 Feb 2007

If you are interested in the 1GB PentiumIII CPU with fan which I used on the Gigabyte, e-mail me your address via the yellow envelope and I'll stick them in the post.

  the-george 22:07 10 Feb 2007

Just read the PS about the DVD ROM. I would suggest that there are two easy options. First ditch one of the Cd RW or DVD drives or if this is not acceptable get an external case USB hard drive( probably cost about £15). This will also solve your power problem as it will have its own power supply.

  Jeecie 22:17 10 Feb 2007

Thanks The-George that link click here for Journey Systems Power Supply Calculator is just the ticket it reckons I need around 276 watts of power. So, when I open up the PC casing tomorrow I'll check out the wattage on the existing PSU (otherwise I think I might follow Stuartli's lead and install a new PSU... I'm sure my brother said he had a 400W PSU going spare in his house somewhere... maybe I can persuade him to part with it!).

Re: IDE sockets on motherboard... the Gigabyte manufacturers website click here says "2 x Ultra DMA 33/66 Bus Master IDE ports on board". I seem to remember that one of these ports is connected to my DVD-ROM drive, and that the DVD is set as master - and this is connected to my CD-Burner (slave). The 2nd (and last) IDE port on my motherboard is connected to my existing 80GB HDD (master) which in turn is connected to the existing 20gb HDD (slave)... so does this mean I need some sort of adapter in order to get more IDE ports... and then I can install my 3rd HDD (my new 80gb drive) please?

  Jeecie 22:22 10 Feb 2007

Everyone must be typing at the same time!
The-George I just read your post Re: External USB case... as I was typing my thanks for the link to "Journey Systems Power Supply Calculator"
Hmmm... external case of the HDD is nice idea (esp. re: my power supply problem), but I was trying to save desk space - I have a tiny home desk & too much junk crammed on top & around the tower + table already... I must promise my other half to spring clean soon ;)

  Jeecie 22:30 10 Feb 2007

Quote "If you are interested in the 1GB PentiumIII CPU with fan which I used on the Gigabyte, e-mail me your address via the yellow envelope and I'll stick them in the post." unquote... that's v. generous of you! I presume as you used to run the same Gigabyte GA-6VX7-4X motherboard that the mobo can support a 1GB CPU (I cannot tell from the Gigabyte webpage click here what the max. CPU speed it supports is!)

P.S. I've not delved into the world of upgrading CPUs before! (I am nervous re: destroying the CPU chip and/or the mobo!... plus I've never even gone anywhere near updating my BIOS!). Would I need some kind of heat conducting mounting glue thingey too (you can tell how little I know of that topic!)

Stuartli... not to sound ungrateful.. but you you not make yourself some dosh & sell it on eBay? Otherwise I might take you up on your kind offer... and be swayed into taking a step into the dark-side of the force & attempt my first CPU ugrade! (I bet adding in new CD-drives will seem a doddle by comparison he he he...)

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