Replacement HD for desktop PC

  Kitchen Foyle 15:30 12 Aug 2014

I have a 10 year old Evesham Dominator desktop computer which has the following basic specification:

AMD Athlon 3500+ processor - 3Gb DDR RAM - 200Gb Western Digital SATA hard drive - Leadtek nVIDIA GeForce 6800 graphics card - nVIDIA nForce 3 Ultra chipset based K8N Neo2 motherboard - XP Home SP3 OS

I'm about to do a complete reinstallation of the XP OS for which I have all the relevant original discs for the OS and drivers. And because the system is now getting on in years I'm thinking it might not be a bad idea to replace the SATA drive with a digital, possibly larger, drive at the same time. Incidentally, I am aware of the end of XP security updates but am hopeful the historical updates will still be available for a while yet.

After seeking advice at a local computer store I was told by a 'technician' who looked about 12 years old that it was unlikely a new solid state hard drive replacement would be successful because, as he put it, 'the new drive would probably have problems recognising XP'.

I came away feeling dubious about this response as I've always considered a hard drive to be a blank repository, ready to accept whatever might be put onto it without discrimination - or am I mistaken in that assumption?

Anyway, what I'd like to know it this:

a) Would there really be a problem replacing the existing SATA drive with a modern, solid state drive on my system?

b) If it is an acceptable thing to do, will I need a different connecting 'kit' in order to fit it or would the existing SATA connection be suitable?

c) After fitting a shiny new hard drive, would the system recognise the OS and driver software put into the disc drive - in other words, what will happen when I turn the computer on after fitting the new HD? Will I simply be able to reinstall my OS and drivers via the disc drive in order to execute a successful reinstallation?

d) Just thought I'd ask this. Given that the original, albeit ageing, WD SATA hard drive hasn't missed a beat for the past 10 years and is still working well, is there any justification for taking the view that, if it aint broke, don't fix it?

Apologies for the long winded post - but any guidance and advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, everyone!


  spuds 16:07 12 Aug 2014

"if it aint broke, don't fix it?"

Might be the best advice, if the 'aged' computer in its present state as served you well, and done the things you have required.

You seem to have plenty of ram there, so a slight upgrade to the hard-drive would not go amiss, but all that would depend on whether you think its worth spending money, and would stick with the SATA drives.

Installing the O/S and drivers on a new HD, shouldn't be a problem. If you know how to reformat.

  lotvic 16:09 12 Aug 2014

some info: ClickHere Why do I need AHCI with a SSD Drive, ACHI enabled (either in the bios or a driver download)

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:37 12 Aug 2014

Its not worth the cost of fitting an SSD drive into a 10 yr old XP machine as you would see little benifit for such a high cost also XP does not have the correct tools to use the SDD correctly (no TRIM control).

A larger SATA drive would be OK, but remember XP CD cannot see SATA so you would need load SATA drivers at the F6 prompt prior to installing XP the normal method is to slipstream the SATA drivers with the XP installation disk on to a new CD. you could also make a full unattended install CD the same way.

Have a look at Nlite

  Kitchen Foyle 23:51 13 Aug 2014

Many thanks to spuds, lotvic and Fruit Bat for their advice.

I don't claim to understand the finer points of the more technical guidance on offer here. But what it does is make me more apprehensive than, perhaps, I was about shelling out for a new SSD drive only to find I have a major headache getting the thing to work.

Put that together with spuds' agreement with my suggestion of sticking with the devil you know - and Fruit Bat's opinion that the expense of a new drive would be prohibitive on such an old system and I'm thinking of leaving well enough alone and simply doing a fresh OS installation.

Anyway, thanks again, everyone - I very much appreciate your input.


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