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Hard Drive question

  • Hard Drives
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
May 8, 2009 2:17:51 AM

Hello all, I really dont know alot about hard drives and their setups at all. All I know is I need more space so I bought a 500gb sata western digital HD. My setup right now is just a 80gb sata drive. I really just want to add the new hard drive to my computer without touching the 80gb or moving the OS to the bigger drive. I just want to use the 500gb as storage and installing any games i get to that drive and leaving the OS alone. Is this my best option and what do I have to do to set this up? Ive been out of the game for a while and I use IDE drives, im not sure if theres master/slave settings still or what. Thanks for the help

This is my motherboard if this is needed to know

More about : hard drive question

May 8, 2009 2:37:09 AM

You have two IDE ports on your motherboard right? Anyways if you do then you can install the other 500GB HDD. But you still have to check that the 80GB HDD is still set to master. And then set the 500GB to slave. The manuals ahould explain this clearly.
May 8, 2009 2:54:08 AM

Ok I havent gotten the other drive yet so I havent read the manual. Im trying to get some info before it comes so I can set it up.
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May 8, 2009 4:41:13 AM

Yeah all you need to do is set the primary drive to "master" by moving jumpers to different pins. This is on the back of the drive.
May 8, 2009 8:42:56 AM

HMMMP I may be wrong but I think that all you have to do with sata hdd's is just connect them in,, all WD hdd's come prejumpered to cable select,the system should then see an unformatted hdd,which you then can format as needed,extended partition/logical drives..:) 
a b G Storage
May 8, 2009 9:40:28 AM

master and salve? LOL its a SATA drive

plug it in to a sata port , connect the power [ you may need an adapter cable to convert from a 4 pin molex ] and boot to windows .

In XP right click on my computer > manage > disk management to format the drive .
done .

Vista ? who cares , but probably the same
a b G Storage
May 8, 2009 12:03:24 PM

carson45 said:
Ok I havent gotten the other drive yet so I havent read the manual. Im trying to get some info before it comes so I can set it up.

he was referring to the manual for your motherboard not the manual that will come with the HDD. i don't think a manual comes with a hard drive anyway
a c 464 G Storage
May 11, 2009 6:07:43 PM

So, your existing drive is SATA, and I presume you have more unused SATA ports on the mobo to add more drives. I suggest you stick to SATA, then, and not bother doing IDE. You're probably hooked up to SATA Port 0, so just put the next one on SATA Port 1.

Master and Slave only apply to IDE drives. FYI a single IDE port can handle two devices on one ribbon cable, and it needs to identify those, so you have to set one to Master and one to Slave, or let the system figure it out by using the Cable Select option. Every IDE port in use must have a Master; if there's a second device, it is the Slave.

In your case going the SATA route, NONE of this matters. Every SATA port controls only one device, so you just plug the data and power cables into the drive and mobo ports, and away you go! The only source of confusion here is that some HDD makers put a small set of jumpers pins on the back that remind people of the Master / Slave system. BUT these are used just to force a newer SATAII drive to behave like original SATA if you mount it in an older machine that does not do SATAII. The often come with the jumper installed and you remove it if you have SATAII, but READ the instructions first! Your mobo supports SATAII.

Since you're already using a SATA drive, I must presume your version of OS has the required SATA device drives installed, so it should be able to deal with your new drive just fine.

You do need to be aware of a couple of things before proceeding. First, check the version of your OS. If you have VISTA, don't worry and skip down to the next paragraph. If you have XP, check to be sure you have at least Service Pack 1 installed (2 or 3 are better choices). Original XP with no service pack did not support "48-bit LBA". Without it, you cannot handle a hard drive volume larger than 128 GB. With it, the size limit is huge and not a problem. So if you only have original XP, update to SP3 before going further. If you have Win 2000, similar problem - I think it got "48-bit LBA" support in Service Pack 4, but check that to be sure.

Once a new hard drive is physically mounted in your case and connected with cables, there are two steps necessary to make it usable. They are Partitioning and Formatting. Partitioning means setting up small data tables at the beginning of the disk to specify how many Partitions are on this disk, how big they are, where they start, some details of whether they are bootable or not, etc. Assuming you have large-disk support, you can use your entire 500 GB drive as one volume, or you could choose to set up two or more smaller volumes that each will have its own name and appear to be a separate hard drive. Once that is done, each Partition needs to be Formatted. This creates the Root directory and the secret data table that tracks the allocation of each sector in the drive.

Both of these preparation steps can be done in Disk Manager in Windows XP or VISTA. But often even easier, the HDD manufacturer will give you free software utilities for these tasks. If you buy a "Retail" package it will come with a CD of software that you use for all kinds of stuff. If you just get a bare drive, go to the website of the HDD maker and look around for free downloadable utilities for setting up a new blank hard drive. For example, Seagate has several packages called "Disk Wizard" for this; WD calls theirs "Data Lifeguard" tools. These tools make the whole job a simple matter of making choices in menus, then they do the work for you.

By the way, a HDD with 500,000,000,000 bytes (500 GB) will be seen by Windows as 466 GB (then take off some for overhead) because M$ defines the term "GB" as 1024 x 1024 x 1024 bytes. So when you see your disk size, you did not loose space - they just changed the meaning of the words!