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New Hard Drive Installation Question

I currently have a very old SATA1 7200rpm 180gb hard drive thats getting a little to full. I bought a SATA 3.0 2tb hard drive the other day and have been racking my brain over whether I should replace the current hard drive or just install it as a second drive.

I do not have my windows disk, so from what I have found, to install it as the only hard drive, I would have to image my current drive (which says it will take up to 149gb and I have no storage device that large).

So my questions are as follows:

1)Can you run a SATA1 hard drive and a SATA 3.0 hard drive in the same rig without issues?

2)Is there another way that I can make the new 2tb drive the primary drive with windows installed on it and then just copy the personal stuff (pictures, music, games, etc) on the 180gb drive over?

3)If I keep the 180gb drive as the primary with windows and use the 2tb as storage, are there any performace issues or anything from having games run off of that instead?

Thanks for the help!
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More about hard drive installation question
  1. Just install the hdd and make partitions if necessary and format it.

    1. you can run sata 1 and 3 without probs

    3. there will be a noticeable difference between the hdd coz sata is faster
  2. Best answer
    For starters, there are three items to clear up in case they worry you, related to how old the system is. First, do NOT worry about whether your machine and its BIOS can handle "large hard drives" - the one you have at 2 TB CAN be used by ALL standard SATA systems. Secondly, since you have been using a drive over 128 GB, I have to assume that the Windows version you are using is at least XP with Service Pack 1, or some later version; hence, your OS can also deal with HDD's of this size. Lastly, since you have a SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) old unit, the mobo controller chip system MAY also be limited to that version of SATA. Now, all versions of SATA are supposed to work together by design. BUT a few of the early mobo chips could not handle SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) and the new SATA 6.0 Gb/s. So, IF your mobo cannot detect that new 2 TB SATA, check the unit's instructions or the maker's website for how to place a jumper on a pin pair to force it to slow down to the original 1.5 Gb/s communication speed. But that's only needed if you have trouble.

    There is a relatively simple way to migrate from old to new HDD unit. Your situation is VERY common - upgrading from an old small HDD to a new much larger one, and making the new one completely take over as the C: drive you boot from.

    The process you use is called cloning the HDD, and the tool you need is a software utility. There are many, often by third-party companies you must pay. But probably you can get a good cloner for free. Several HDD makers will let you download theirs free from their website - this is their inducement for you to buy from THEM. The "trick" is that most of these are customized so that they will make a clone copy TO one of their drives, but not someone else's. They do not care whose old HDD you are abandoning. SO, if you bought a new HDD from WD, get their Acronis True Image WD Edition, and install it on your old C: drive. If you bought from Seagate, get their Disk Wizard. (Both of these appear to be customized versions of a third-party package, Acronis True Image.) For other HDD makers, see if their website has something similar, OR search the web for free ones.

    Cloning means the software will copy absolutely EVERYTHING from your old HDD to the new one and make sure all the key files are exactly where they should be so that you CAN boot and run from the new HDD completely - you do NOT need to keep your old HDD in use. I will offer three hints to help.

    1. When you run the cloning software, first you must specify the Source (older) unit and the Destination (newer) unit. Make SURE you get this right because the DESTINATION unit will be wiped clean - you do NOT want to do that to your old unit!

    2. The ones I've used start out suggesting a group of settings for the job, and ask you to approve. Do NOT say yes! I know that's odd, but why? Because by default many of them will propose that the clone copy to be placed on the new unit will be in a Partition (a chunk of space) the SAME SIZE as your old unit. But I bet you want ALL of your new 2TB unit to be in one large C: drive. So, use the menus of the software to change that setting to use up all the space available on the new unit. For this reason, I REALLY recommend you read the Manual document that comes with the software, so you understand where the menus are. After you have all the settings the way you need, THEN tell it to go ahead. The process will take MANY hours for a 2TB unit, so be patient.

    3. After the cloning process is finished, shut down, disconnect power, and open the case. Disconnect your old HDD. I advise that you then take the data cable (from mobo to HDD) that was plugged into you OLD drive and plug it into the connector on the new drive. In this way your computer will find the new boot device on the same PORT of your mobo as the old one was, and it will work just fine. If you're going to, physically remove the old HDD. Close up , reconnect power, and turn on.

    What should happen is the machine will boot and run and look exactly the way it did before. EXCEPT for one thing: your C: drive now will have huge Free Space!

    I suggest you stash the old HDD in a safe place until you are fully convinced your got all your stuff copied over and you do not need that old small unit as a backup. Then you can decide what to do with it.
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