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What's the best way and program to partition a new HDD of 500 Gb?

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October 22, 2009 11:11:42 AM

I just exchanged at the pc shop the first HDD they gave me, that poor performance Samsung HD503 at 500 Gb/s which btw I couldn't find on the producer's site [it's probably made on some boat in China :) )] with a new one Seagate Barracuda ST3500418AS 500 GB/s 7200.12 RPM 16 Mb Buffer which works on my old MB K7Upgrade-880 from Asus Asrock [the MB with problems in recognizing 3 Gb/s transfer rate HDDs].

So now I only need to partition my new HDD and I know how to do it but I would like to find out which is the best solution meaning : best way [in Windows with partition programs or with Disk Managent from Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Storage or in DOS with FD or at Windows Install] and best program to do it so I don't receive partition errors in the future and losing my data[as it happened with Partion Magic, EASEUS Partition Master, Acronis, Paragon and other I've used :( ] and of course how many partitions [I heard that 4 primary partitions are maximum, and I should put C:/Windows partition at the beggining of the HDD and D:/ Games partition after it becausez the info is written from the outside to the inside of the disk].

If you are not so busy, please answer me and I will thank you deeply from my heart :hello: 

PS: Your forum rocks! Keep it that way! Like an old techno song said once [DJ JamX - Keep It That Way]

:bounce:  Let's bounce for the house!

See ya! And don't forget to check that song! It will blow your speakerz! Guarenteed! :whistle:  :sol: 
a b G Storage
October 22, 2009 3:03:23 PM

Use Windows and do a full format.
a b G Storage
October 22, 2009 3:05:15 PM

Put the C partition at the beginning and D afterwards.

I have never had any problems using the Windows utility.
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a c 342 G Storage
October 22, 2009 3:53:09 PM

I am assuming you plan to do a completely fresh installation of Windows to this new HDD from an Install disk. You are right to understand that a blank disk needs to have one or more Partitions created on it, AND to have those Partitions Formatted, before it can be used. Since you appear comfortable using Windows' Disk Manager tools for these, we'll go that route rather than using easy other tools.

The fundamental plan I have here is to make only the first Partition for installation of Windows using the Install disk itself. After Windows is running, you can then use its Disk Manager to create and Format the others.

There is one important point to check before starting, depending on which Windows Install disk you have. IF your disk is for Win XP original version (with NO Service Packs included) or any earlier Windows, you could have a small problem. If you have Win XP with SP1 or later, or any subsequent Windows for installation, skip the rest of this paragraph! The "problem" is simply that original XP did not have "48-bit LBA Support" and hence could not make or use Partitions over 128 GB. So IF you are there, and IF you plan to make your installation C: Partition larger than 128 GB, you have a problem. Otherwise, skip the rest of this paragraph! IF your actually have this problem and need to fix, you have only two choices: get a more recent Windows Install disk version, or use another computer to update your Install disk via the Slipstream process. This process allows you to make your own new Install Disk with all recent updates included.

Next thing to check: HDD mode and driver installation. Windows XP in any version only knows how to use IDE drives without help; Vista or Win 7 both can use native SATA or AHCI, also. So if you're using Vista or Win 7, go into BIOS Setup, make sure the HDD SATA port is Enabled, set its mode to whichever you like (not RAID), and you're good to go. BUT if you are installing XP, you need to make a choice. One option is to set the mode to IDE (or PATA) Emulation; this has the BIOS make the SATA drive appear to Windows to be an older IDE drive and it all works just fine. The other option is to choose to use native SATA or AHCI mode in the BIOS, but this means you will have to be prepared to install a driver for this type of HDD device from a FLOPPY drive. So you need a floppy disk drive, AND you need to prepare a floppy disk containing those required drivers before you start. Early in the Install process there's a prompt to push "F6" if you need to install external drivers, and this is when you install those extra HDD device driver(s) from floppy disk before proceeding with the Install.

OK, so we're not having a problem with the 128 GB limit. Set up your system BIOS screens to use the optical drive as the first boot device, and the HDD as the second, and nothing else for now. Save and Exit. Place your Windows Install Disk in the Optical drive and let it boot to there. Fairly soon you'll see that option screen that lets you push F6 to allow installation of extra device drivers. IF you are installing XP and have prepared a floppy disk to install drivers for native SATA or AHCI mode, this is when to use them. But if you don't have to do this, just ignore and it will proceed to finding your new HDD.

It will offer you some choices for how to create and Format the bootable Primary Partition on this drive. By default it probably will try to use all of the drive, but you have indicated you plan to make several smaller ones. Set the size you want for the C: drive with your OS. (As outlined above, IF you are installing an older Windows you may not be able to make this one over 128 GB, but that may suit you just fine.) Let Windows complete its entire installation. When it's done, go to the Windows Update sites and update everything fully.

NOW you're in a position to use Disk Manager to create your additional Partitions. I suggest they be done one at a time to keep it simple. To start, click on Start and RIGHT-click on "My Computer", then choose "Manage". In the left pane of the resulting window, expand "Storage" if necessary and choose "Disk Management". The lower right-hand pane (scrollable) will show you one block labeled "Disk 0" at about 460 GB. It will contain two main sub-blocks: one that is your functioning C: Partition, and another labeled "Unallocated Space".

This panel also should show you a block for your optical drive. Time for a little planning. What drive letters do you want for your drives? For example, if you want four Partitions on the HDD to be C:, D:, E: and F:, and have the optical drive as G:, now is the time to do that. RIGHT-click on the optical drive's label block that says "CD-ROM 0" or something like it and chose to change its name to the letter you want. This will free up other letters for assignment to the new HDD Partitions.

Back at the block for your HDD, RIGHT-click on the Unallocated Space and choose to Create a new Partition. At this point you may have a helpful Wizard pop up to assist you. You can create either more Primary Partitions (up to 4 total, I believe), or Extended Partitions (I don't know the details of these). A Partition may be bootable or not - for just data use, make it NOT bootable. The details of the second Format operation may be settled here within the Wizard, or may be done as a completely separate operation after the Partition is created. In either case, I suggest you choose the NTFS File System unless you know you need FAT32 for something. A Quick Format establishes all the hidden tracking files required and finishes preparation of this Partition. A Full Format does a Quick and then exhaustively tests the disk for errors, but takes MANY hours to do it. Your option.

Once a new Partition has been Created and Formatted it should have a letter already assigned to it. If it's not the letter you want, RIGHT-click on the block and change it. Exit out of Disk Manager and reboot to check that this new disk shows up in My Computer. Repeat this process to create any other Partitions you want.
October 22, 2009 4:08:14 PM

Paperdoc you sound like a real GOD OF TECHNOLOGY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How can I give you a vote or something?

Okay, thanks! I'll try to do it as you explained for any noob. Finally I hope I'll do it right! As I said before, the problem with my PC is my MB. Yes, when I installed the other S-ATA 1 drive of 160 Gb but with 1,5 Gb/s transfer rate, not as the new one with 3 Gb/s transfer rate, I did press the F6 button during Win XP SP2 installation and I did create a diskette with the necessary drivers loaded from the MB CD. But I never thought I must do the same thing every time I install another S-ATA HDD.

Tomorrow I'll proceed and I'll let you know about the results.

Have a nice day!
a c 342 G Storage
October 22, 2009 4:21:07 PM

HOLD ON!

Your last post says I started from the wrong premise. I assumed you had NO OS installed and were planning a fresh install of XP. Now you say you HAVE XP SP2 already installed on a 160 GB HDD, and this new 500 GB one will be your second drive for data only. Is that right? You also say that the OS already running HAS drivers for native SATA mode installed on it from the Installation process.

My confusion, though, was triggered by your saying, "and I should put C:/Windows partition at the beggining of the HDD and D:/ Games partition after it". Why would you put a C: Windows Partition at the start of this 500 GB drive if you plan to keep using your 160 GB drive as the boot drive?

Clarify for me, please. If you plan to keep the 160 GB unit with Win XP SP2 already installed, and just use the 500 GB new unit for data storage, I'll change some of my advice above. Or, if you plan to Migrate your existing XP SP2 install to the new drive and use it to boot from, re-using the older 160 GB unit for something else, tell us that, and the advice can be adjusted.
October 23, 2009 5:22:52 AM

Well, first of all I have 3 HDDs now: the first one where I have my Win XP SP2 is a 80 GB Western Digital ATA HD [my father's HDD, both of us using the same OS if I succeed in installing my new HDD of 500 GB], a 160 Gb S-ATA 1 Western Digital HDD [my brother's HDD which has Linux Ubuntu installed], and the 3rd drive is the new one of 500 GB S-ATA 2 [which will be only mine for use] - to clarify you better - each of us has its own HDD. My brother has Linux on its own HDD [its partitions Windows doesn't recognize and so he must be left out of our problem here]. The Windows form my father's HDD I'll use it too, but I'll have the 500 GB HDD for my data, separateley from my father:D  Did you understand something???

And after I'll put my new HDD inside the PC, I will install Windows on my father's HDD [because my MB supports only ATA HDD where to put Windows].

Hope I clarified you.

Bye!
October 23, 2009 5:31:51 AM

My HDD configuration would look like this if I install the new 3rd HDD:


1st Drive = Western Digital 80 GB ATA HDD = C:/Windows [me and my father use the same Windows]

= D:/DFI [my father's partition and data]


2nd Drive = Western Digital 160 GB S-ATA 1 HDD = 3 partitions unknown to Windows in My Computer [my brother has Linux Ubuntu installed and data]


3rd Drive = [if my MB recognizes it] Seagate 500 GB S-ATA 2 HDD = I would make 3 partitions E:/ F:/ & G:/ and I will use it only for me [I will use the same Windows from my father's HDD]

Hope that now it's better! :hello: 
a c 342 G Storage
October 23, 2009 2:31:22 PM

Yes, now I understand. As you say, let's leave your brother's 160 GB drive out of the discussion. The machine has an 80 GB drive with Win XP SP2 installed and that will continue to be your boot drive. Your new 500 GB SATA unit will be for data storage only - no booting form this drive - and you will establish some Partitions on it.

First make a decision on how to use a SATA drive. Win XP does not have built-in drivers for SATA so you have two choices. The quick-and-easy one uses a trick the BIOS can provide. Start by installing the new HDD on your machine - mechanical mounting, power and data cable connections. To get into the BIOS Setup screens, reboot your computer and, while it is running through the POST stuff, hold down the "Del" key. You will get a text screen with info about your disks, etc. You probably will not see your new drive here yet. There should be tabs across the top to get to different sections, and you want the Integrated Peripherals, probably. In there you'll find the place to set options for the SATA drive ports. Make sure they are Enabled - usually all done together, not individually - and then look for a mode setting. You usually have up to four choices: IDE (or PATA) Emulation, native SATA, AHCI, or RAID. Do NOT choose RAID - you won't be doing that - but on some boards the SATA and AHCI options are stuck inside one group with RAID. If you choose IDE (or PATA) Emulation, the BIOS will make the real SATA drive appear to Windows as if it were an older IDE drive, and Win XP knows all about those and will be happy to use it. If you make this choice, set it then Save and Exit, and the computer will finish booting into Windows. You still won't see the drive yet in Windows, until we Partition and Format it. On the other hand, if you choose native SATA or AHCI mode, you will need to install drivers for that in Windows.

If you went the IDE emulation mode, skip this paragraph. Loading a driver for native SATA devices into the Windows OS you have running is not too much trouble, and you just might have it done for you. For this you need drivers on a disk somewhere. They might be on your 80 GB disk already with the XP that is installed, they might be available for download from a website, or they might be on a CD that came with your machine of motherboard; it will have device drivers on it somewhere. When you boot with the new drive installed and the BIOS set for native SATA or AHCI mode, you could get lucky: a small window may pop up right after it gets going that says it has detected new hardware installed and is looking for a driver to install, then says it found and installed the driver. If that happens, you're home free. I suggest you reboot and then skip down to Partitioning and Formatting. If that automatic driver installation does not happen, check the manuals and the CD for your motherboard and see if there is a utility that installs drivers from the CD for you. If there is, run that and verify that it installs the SATA or AHCI driver for you, then reboot. If there is no utility, there should drivers that can be installed by Windows itself, and you just need to identify where they are on the disk so you can help Windows find them. In this case, you can use Device Manager for the task. Click Start ... Control Panel ... System and click on the Hardware tab, then the Device Manager button. Expand the Disk Drives item and look for your new drive there. It may have a yellow exclamation mark warning sign by it. RIGHT-click on it and choose Properties. It may say it has a problem you'll have to fix by installing its driver. It might say there is NO problem and this device is working properly. If that's the case. it would appear there is a driver installed somehow, so you can just cancel back out of this and skip down. But if there is a problem, choose the Driver tab and click on the Update Driver button. It will help you. If you know where the driver is (say, on your CD in a particular folder), tell it that. If you don't, let it find one on its own by looking at websites - it probably will look first at Microsoft. Whichever way it works, it should find and install a driver for you. You can exit out of these tools and then reboot.

So, now you have the drive installed and a driver for it installed in Windows. The last steps are to create the Partitions you want, and Format each of them. I suggest you do these one at a time to keep it simple. This was covered in my previous long post in the last four paragraphs, with a small change. This time you have NOT created the first Partition already. So the disk unit will have ONLY Unallocated Space, and your first Partition should be a Primary Partition which is NOT bootable, and of the size you choose. Beyond that, everything else is as I said earlier. With two other HDD units (one maybe invisible to Windows) and one or more optical drives installed, give some preliminary thought to how you will assign letter names to the drives.

Good luck.
October 24, 2009 4:16:51 AM

Paperdoc thank you so much! Today I'll give it a try!

PS: If all people were like you and offering help for free, then the world would be a better place to live! You gave me a precious lesson! Because I'm kind like you: I tried to help anyone who asked my help in every matter they had. That's why I'm glad to see that there are more people like me, even better than me! So 2012 Apocalipse maybe got delayed :D  If not, I'll send an email to the Lord and let Him now He has good people down here in this muddy planet :) 
October 25, 2009 3:35:24 AM

As I expected my socket A MB doesn't see the S-ATA 2 HDD :(  Oh, crap! Not even the Seagate Disk Tools I've downloaded from Seagate web page. And my BIOS is so simple that I ca't change anything in it except BOOT section :(  I installed drivers for S-ATA from my MB installation CD, but still not working. And in DEVICE MANAGER, at SCSI and RAID Controlers section appears with YELLOW MARK: VIA SATA RAID Controller. When I had clicked on Properties, I got this message at DEVICE STATUS:

This device cannot start. (Code 10)

Click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooter for this device.

Someone said I should upgrade my BIOS. My BIOS is 1.0 version 2004 and I can upgrade it to version 1.5 2005. Would this upgrade stuff work?! Can i upgrade it alone or it's too difficult?!

What other solutions I can try?
October 25, 2009 3:46:19 AM

I would try to mount a jumper so I compell the HDD to work at 1,5 Mb/s but on th back of the HDD I've found only 4 pins with this title MOLEX. Can I mount the jumper here? Here is the link to Seagate web page about jumper settings.

http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name...

Please help me cuz I'm getting really desperate. This is my second HDD on S-ATA 2 that doesn't work! I dunno what to do!
October 25, 2009 4:44:28 AM

What pins should I connect with the JUMPER so that I make my Seagate 500 Gb/s S-ATA II 7200.12 Barracuda run at 1,5 Gb/s because on the Seagate web page the back configuration is from right to left and my HDD has a left to right configuration and I am a bit confused about the jumper settings?

Link to Seagate web page (from right to left):

http://www.seagate.com/images/support/en/us/cuda_sata_b...

This is the back configuration of my actual HDD:

(From left to right)

1 = SATA Power Connecter

2 = SATA Interface Connecter

3 = Jumper Block

So how do I set the jumper?
!