New HD for 2HD System

I haven't been able to find any similar questions on this forum so I'm hoping someone can answer this. I currently have two HDs on my Dell 400SC. A 40G WD and a 200G Seagate. Both are IDE (and NTFS) and I use the 40 as my primary drive. I want to install a 640G SATA drive as my new primary drive (copying over my files onto it) and replace the 40G drive. I have no problem using these as separate primary/slave drives (one is really just a storage unit) and don't need a RAID set-up as I don't game and increasing speed doesn't matter to me.

How do I go about doing this? I'm running Windows XP Pro and have the install disk available if necessary. Thanks, I appreciate any help. (FYI, I'm not as computer savvy as a lot of users in here, so just go ahead and assume I'm an idiot and be basic when offering any advice.)
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  1. Really what I would do is copy any files from the 40GB to the 200GB harddrive. Then open up the case and put the new harddrive in. Then I would install XP on this new drive using the disc. During the installation I would partition the disk allowing about 30GB for the first partition and then the remainder for the second. Then finish installation by installing xp to the 30gb partition. I would then reinstall all the programs that I might need, again on the 30gb partition and then move all the files on the 200gb drive to the larger partition on the 640gb drive. I would then remove both ide drives and use on the 640 unless you need the space.

    Alternatively you could make an image of the 40gb drive and then just image the new drive, but that's not would I would do especially if you've never reinstalled xp before. You'll be very suprised at how much faster it is after a reinstall.

    Also the point of RAID a lot of the time is data redundancy rather than speed. And it isn't just gamers that use it.
  2. I'm sorry, but seeing as you have two IDE drives instead of two SATA drives, it leads me to believe that your Dell motherboard doesn't have SATA ports. Additionally, SATA drives don't need to be configured as slave and master. It would be best to reconfigure the other IDE drives while installing the new drive (if it's compatible) to both be slave, to avoid conflicts with the SATA drive. Again, I don't think your computer is compatible with SATA, you may have to purchase a SATA to IDE converter - they're pretty cheap I think.
  3. Actually it has two SATA ports. I have looked and verified this. However, I only have two available slots for installing the HDs so I'd like to get rid of the 40G and just go with the 640G SATA as my main/primary drive and the 200G IDE as my slave or back-up/storage drive (I hate giving up the extra space as I already have it and would like to store some videos of my kids on it). Is that doable (mixing the SATA and IDE)?

    I was planning on following the advice in the previous post for transferring the data from the 40G. But would I need a partitioning program/disk? If so, any recommendations? Thanks for any replies.
  4. mmichaelk said:
    Actually it has two SATA ports. I have looked and verified this. However, I only have two available slots for installing the HDs so I'd like to get rid of the 40G and just go with the 640G SATA as my main/primary drive and the 200G IDE as my slave or back-up/storage drive (I hate giving up the extra space as I already have it and would like to store some videos of my kids on it). Is that doable (mixing the SATA and IDE)?

    I was planning on following the advice in the previous post for transferring the data from the 40G. But would I need a partitioning program/disk? If so, any recommendations? Thanks for any replies.

    Yes, it is doable. Again, just remember to set the jumpers of the IDE to slave to avoid conflicts. I'll let "jsrudd" answer your other question - I really don't know.
  5. No specific answers here really but If your orginal computer came with a 40gig hopefully it will support a 640gig hard drive.

    There are alot of ways to approach your problem.


    at the minimum you will need an sata to ide converter,

    disconnect the 200gig drive.. clone/copy the 40gig drive to the new hdd..(hooked up in place of the 200gig drive) most new retail harddrives come with software to do this. - determine at this stage if you want one 640gig partition or several.


    remove the 40gig drive.. change the jumper on the ide converter to master hook it up in place of the 40gig drive

    reconnect the 200gig drive. and cross your fingers it boots


    if possible you may want to just return the sata harddrive and buy an ide harddrive
  6. why not get a 5.25 to 3.5 bay converter for hdd's and have all three?
  7. Let's clarify something first, then offer a suggestion for your original task.

    Master and Slave are settings required on IDE drives that share the same port / cable. Each IDE controller channel can handle two drives on one cable, but they just need to be identified separately. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with SATA systems, nor does it relate directly to the boot C: drive.

    In your case you plan to have, when finished, a 200 GB IDE drive (continuing to use it for the data it already holds) on the only IDE channel, and a 640 GB SATA drive on a SATA port that will be your boot drive. Even though you have connection ports for another IDE drive and another SATA drive, you don't have mounting slots for them so you will be limited to the first two.To get there you will end up with the only drive on the IDE channel as its Master (the channel MUST have a Master). But you need to do some transferring first, so we'll get there later.

    The 40 GB currently is your boot drive. It is almost impossible for you to "copy" all its info onto the new SATA drive and get it all without utilities. Fortunately, almost all drive makers know their customers face this issue every day and provide good tools for this task for free. Good price, good policies! I know that Seagate provides Disk Wizard, and I've used it several times. I am sure WD also has a similar set of tools, and I presume several other makers do. What they can do, in sequence, is:
    (A) Partition and format the new drive so it's ready for data. In these steps they help you choose how big to make the Partition(s), whether or not it is the Boot Partition, and what File System to use.
    (B) Copy absolutely everything from old drive to the new one so that you have a complete copy of your OS and applications, with all their drivers and settings, and you just boot and run from it. In doing all this, it can ignore the fact that the old drive was small, and make the new drive as big as you want (up to the drive's size limit).

    You need to be aware of the issue of large hard drives, formally called "48-bit LBA Support". All SATA devices have this included, so the possible issue is your OS. Win XP in all flavors did NOT have 48-bit LBA support in the initial release, and hence were limited to hard drive volumes no more than 137,000,000,000 bytes or, as M$ calls that, 128 GB. Service Pack 1 and all subsequent updates to XP added 48-bit LBA support so you can get past this limit (I understand the new limit is into the petabyte region, so don't worry yet!) So, check your OS version in Windows Help ... About. If you do not have a Service Pack installed, you MUST do this before going further. We're up to SP3 by now and most people figure it's pretty well bug-free, so download and install that on your original hard disk before proceeding.

    Next you need the migration tools. If they did not come on a CD with your new hard disk (the OEM version are just plain HDD's, whereas the "Retail Version" has the tools cd and a few hardware bits), just go to your HDD manufacturer's website and look around in the downloads section for them. You can download for free. Be aware: most of these tools are restricted to setting up only on a new HDD made by that tool's supplier. Seagate does not care whose old disk you have, but they will only give you their tool to set up a Seagate-made new HDD, etc. So go to the right website.

    Next you should run the downloaded file and INSTALL that tool on your existing hard disk. If you do this and then run the tool, it can find out from the Windows already installed that it DOES contain 48-bit LBA support and will handle a huge hard disk. But if it is "installed" and run from a CD (that is an option) it cannot find this out and it will refuse to make a hard disk Partition over the 128 GB limit.

    With this preparation done, you can hook up your new SATA drive. Your option: remove the older 200 GB unit to make space in the slots, and put the SATA drive there for now. Eventually you'll re-install the 200 GB. Alternatively, just hook up the SATA with cables and sit it outside the case while you do the remaining preparation, then swap new SATA for old 40 GB IDE at the end. When you boot up you probably should go into BIOS Setup and make sure your system is set to use the new SATA drive. Many are set by default with the SATA controller ports Disabled, and you need to change that. Then you need to set how the SATA drive is handled. The trick here is to recognize that Win XP does not have built-in drivers for SATA devices - only for IDE. So lots of newer BIOS's offer an option to Emulate IDE on the SATA drive. This makes the BIOS handle the SATA drive itself and pretend to Windows that the drive is IDE, and Windows is happy to work with the new "IDE" drive. Its' the best option. You do NOT want to choose RAID, and you probably do not want to use AHCI either. If your BIOS cannot do this emulation and only treats the new drive as a native SATA device, you will have to find and use the procedure for loading a SATA driver on every boot from the new drive. There are some other options, too. But I'm not really familiar with them, so I'll proceed assuming you can set up IDE emulation in BIOS.

    So you finish booting and are running in Windows. It will know nothing yet about the new SATA drive because it is completely blank. You run the Disk Wizard (if your tools are from Seagate - if not, whatever tools you did get) and look carefully through all the menus to find and set some things. First one is to designate the Source Drive - your old C: at 40 GB - and the Destination Drive - your new 640 GB unit. MAKE SURE YOU GET THIS RIGHT because whatever is on the Destination Drive will be destroyed! You need to specify that it should create a Primary Partition and what its size should be. You may want to use the entire HDD space as one volume, but you can make a smaller Partition and come back later to make a new Partition in the left-over Unallocated Space. You want to have the new Partition marked as Bootable. You will have a choice of File System to use, so make it NTFS for a large disk. When you have it all set up you let it run and it does everything for you.

    When that is finished, you shut down. Disconnect the old 40 GB. Change the jumper settings on the 200 GB unit to Master, (or Master with No Slave, if that's an option) and re-connect it to the END connector on the ribbon cable. Boot up into BIOS Setup and look for where you specify the Boot Priority or Order. Make sure the new 640 GB unit is the boot disk and there should be no reference to the old 40 GB unit. Save those settings and finish the reboot. If all goes well you will find yourself looking at a Windows system with a C: drive of about 595 GB total space and a D: drive that is the original 200 GB unit.

    Bonne chance!
  8. Thank you very much for the very detailed walk-through. I'm planning on attempting your recommendation this weekend. Just as an FYI, I do have SP3 installed on this already and I'm assuming it has 48-bit LBA support as I am currently running the 200G Seagate in it. BTW, I'm planning on putting a Caviar Black in for the 640G drive.

    Also I was planning on doing a new install of the Windows XP Pro (and then add SP3 again). I have most of the installation disks for the programs I'm running and have saved a lot of the photo files, etc. already to the 200G drive. Thought I would start out fresh. Good idea or no?

    Thanks again for all your help.
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