is hard drive replacement a nightmare?

  john the scone 12:05 12 Mar 2008

got my system in jan 02. have upgraded the memory and graphics card with no problems. my hard disk is only 40gb and i'm constantly having to delete stuff off. i also think it might be on its way out. i've backed every thing up on an external drive but am looking to replace the old drive. is it easy enough? do i just install i new drive and insert my recovery disks to load eveything onto the new drive or am i facing a minefield involving the bios and set up? i think its the older ide type drive and there are lots of cables insde around the drive so i'm worried about accessibility. any advice much appreciated regarding choice, compatibility and install difficulty. thanks

  Arc hie 12:12 12 Mar 2008

Yes it is easy to install a harddrive.
Make sure your new one is set to Master, it will tell you how to do this on the harddrive, and just plug the cables into it, make sure the BIOS is set to boot from CD.DVD, put in your Windows disc and reboot, it will then install windows onto your new drive (make sure you do a full format while installing windows).
I would set the old 40gig to Slave, it will tell you how to do this on the drive.
This will then become D:/ drive
It should detect them automatically, if not go into the bios by hitting the DELETE button on your keyboard, and select Autodetect drives.

  Totally-braindead 12:15 12 Mar 2008

It depends what you backed up with.

If you used something like Acronis True Image it copies the operating system as well as anything else and swapping them over would be rather easy. If however you used something else which didn't copy the operating system and everything else then you would have to do a clean install of windows before you did anything else.

  Gongoozler 12:15 12 Mar 2008

What makes you think your old drive is on the way out? By far the easiest way to add capacity would be to fit a new drive as slave and use that to store all your saved files. Alternatively if you buy a Seagate drive, you can use the Seagate Disk Wizard to transfer all the contents of your old drive to the new one. This will leave the old installation intact just in case something goes wrong. Accessibility isn't usually a serious problem as long as you are careful. Get some sticky labels and mark where the cables came from as you remove them. See if this video helps click here;2;fpid;10005;o;0;id;59230105

  Gongoozler 12:16 12 Mar 2008

Sorry, the link got broken - try this one click here

  keef66 13:10 12 Mar 2008

It's a doddle. If you just want a bigger hard drive with all the stuff you've got now, use either the HDD manufacturer's software, or something like Acronis True Image, to clone the contents of your old disk onto the new one. Then set the new one as master, and you can either remove the old one or set it up as slave for extra storage space (you can format it from Windows in disc management)

I just replaced a nearly full 80 gig HDD with a 250 gig one, which is now therefore only a third full!
The old disk I have taken out and it's sitting collecting dust rather than consuming power and generating unneccessary heat.

  john the scone 15:09 12 Mar 2008

thanks for the replies, some useful info there. think i will just install another drive and copy the old contents over. but how do i go about making sure the new drive is compatible with the old mobo . is there some site where they scan your system and suggest a product like with memory and graphics cards?

  keef66 15:53 12 Mar 2008

If your pc has a 40 gb hard drive then it's almost certainly old enough to be using IDE connectors, so as long as you buy a hard drive with an IDE connector you'll be OK (the newer connectors are called SATA)

Have a quick peek inside the case; if the hdd is connecetd to a wide, flat ribbon cable, then it's IDE

  Gongoozler 16:06 12 Mar 2008

The maximum size will depend on your motherboard. You should have no problems with an 80G drive, and you can probably get away with 160G. Above that you could well find life gets complicated. Have a look at these click here

  john the scone 17:23 12 Mar 2008

thanks for that. it is using ide connectors. and will go for 80gb to be safe as not sure what my mobo can handle.

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