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Thread: Purchasing a Second Hard Drive?

  1. #1
    SeK612's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +10BT Rep +10
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    I'm planning on getting a second hard drive if possible, but I'm keen to do a bit of research before hand to clear a few things up.

    Mostly my fears are due to the size of the second hard drive and whether it'll be possible to attach it to my existing system. At the moment I have a 120GB drive and would be looking to spend around £60-£80 which seems to be enough to get a 200GB-250GB drive. Would attaching a drive live this as a slave to the existing drive work o.k. My machine is a few years old now and I have heard of problems with physical limits restricting the amount of hard disk space that can be used with older machines (possibly related to motherboards?).

    Also general information about manufactures and drive types would be welcome. At the moment I'd be going for a IDE drive, as that seems to be the most common (and cheapest) type compared to others. I'd also go for a Hitachi drive as I understand they bought out IBM's hard drive manufacturing business and my existing drive is a IBM (plus I've heard things about some of the other manufactures, such as Maxtor drives being pretty noisy). Are these reasonable assumptions to make a purchase on.

    Finally would now be a good time to get a new hard drive. I've noticed that the high end of drives sold by companies seems to have shifted from 350GB - 400GB to 500 GB whilst I've been looking. This is probably just the normal advances in technology, but there’s no chance that waiting a while longer before buying would reap massive benefits is there?

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    Gripper's Avatar Dexter's Apprentice.
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    I'm no expert,but as far as I know slaving a bigger hard drive should cause you no problems,the only probs I 've had were with SATA.
    Get one with a 8mb cache as opposed to 2,help speed things up.
    You say your machines a couple of years old,so power supply may cause problems,what's yours.
    Be a good idea to post your specs up.

    All spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in my post's are intentional.

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeK612
    I'm planning on getting a second hard drive if possible, but I'm keen to do a bit of research before hand to clear a few things up.
    An excellent idea.

    Mostly my fears are due to the size of the second hard drive and whether it'll be possible to attach it to my existing system. At the moment I have a 120GB drive and would be looking to spend around £60-£80 which seems to be enough to get a 200GB-250GB drive. Would attaching a drive live this as a slave to the existing drive work o.k. My machine is a few years old now and I have heard of problems with physical limits restricting the amount of hard disk space that can be used with older machines (possibly related to motherboards?).
    Assuming you have space in the tower to actually mount the new drive, installing it as a slave should pose no problems. There are limitations (which are software, not hardware) related to addressable size that are OS dependant, but I'm not very knowedgable about older OSs, so you'll need help from someone else on that.

    Also general information about manufactures and drive types would be welcome. At the moment I'd be going for a IDE drive, as that seems to be the most common (and cheapest) type compared to others. I'd also go for a Hitachi drive as I understand they bought out IBM's hard drive manufacturing business and my existing drive is a IBM (plus I've heard things about some of the other manufactures, such as Maxtor drives being pretty noisy). Are these reasonable assumptions to make a purchase on.
    I would recommend a Seagate drive.
    In my experience they are quiet and reliable and also sport a five year warranty.


    Finally would now be a good time to get a new hard drive. I've noticed that the high end of drives sold by companies seems to have shifted from 350GB - 400GB to 500 GB whilst I've been looking. This is probably just the normal advances in technology, but there’s no chance that waiting a while longer before buying would reap massive benefits is there?
    There is never a "good time" to buy anything PC related.
    Technology advances so fast and prices change so strangely that you could spend eternity waiting for the "perfect deal".
    Just get what you want when you can and live with the fact that it will be obsolete tomorrow and you'll be screwed.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    lynx's Avatar .
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    There's a small chance that if your hardware is old enough it will not be able to cope with drives above 137GB, but that problem usually only applies to the boot drive. However, you will need at least (I think) Win2k plus SP4 or XP plus SP1 to use the full capacity. NT4, Win9x or ME are incapable of using drives of this size.
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    SeK612's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +10BT Rep +10
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    Specs are:

    An AMD Athlon XP Processor (not sure of model, computer has it as 1.11 GHz)
    512 MB Ram
    Geforce MX 460 graphics card
    120GB Hard Disk Drive
    Gigabyte Motherboard (though not sure of model).

    Software wise I'm running XP Pro SP2

    A few more questions.

    Firstly interfaces. Some are ATA 100 others are ATA 133. Does it make much difference which of the two is used?

    Secondly Maxtors drive seems to be the cheapest and has a bigger cache (16MB instead of 8MB). Will this make a big difference (Presumably having a bigger cache will increase the speed of the disk?).

    Lastly as above Seagate does have a 5 year warranty compare to the three offered by the rest. They're also the more expensive (with a 200GB being priced around the same as the 250GB drives by the others). Is it worth paying extra and losing out on space for the longer warranty.

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    Virtualbody1234's Avatar Forum Star BT Rep: +2
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    All good questions.

    I recommend that you get and IDE Seagate drive. Preferably new. With a used one you risk buying someone else's troubles.

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtualbody1234
    With a used one you risk buying someone else's troubles.
    Or somebody else's porn.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    Gripper's Avatar Dexter's Apprentice.
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    ata 133 run faster

    All spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in my post's are intentional.

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    can I curse? FUCK!
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    I think the ata 66/100/133 means 66/100/133GB transfer speeds and the S-ATA's go at 150GB.. or did I get the units wrong?

  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    Virtualbody1234's Avatar Forum Star BT Rep: +2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiranai_Baka
    I think the ata 66/100/133 means 66/100/133GB transfer speeds and the S-ATA's go at 150GB.. or did I get the units wrong?
    It's in MBps. (Mega Bytes per second).

    But that's the theoretical maximum bandwidth of the interface type. It doesn't mean that the drive speed is that fast.

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