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Questions about adding a new drive

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October 26, 2009 6:56:34 PM

I am adding a new drive and want to know if this simple process will work - or if not what I need to do.

OS: Vista
Currently I have Seagate 160 GB drive with 2 partitions as follows:
C - 100.07 GB - OS and applications
D - 19.53GB - data
Unallocated - 29.45GB
Adding a new Seagate 1TB drive and want to make 4 partitions:
C - 150 GB - OS and applications
D - 200 GB - Data
E - 400 GB - Video & Music
F - 150 GB - Clone of drive C (backup)
Unallocated - 100 GB

I would like to use the Seagate DiskWizard which has pretty simple but limited directions. There are written for ATA drives. It provides simple directions for partitioning and cloning the drives and at the end states that if you want to boot from the new drive just switch the master and slave connections on the drive cable.

I will use numbers to make it easy to reference the questions.

1). With SATA, do I instead need to just switch the mobo connections for the two drives?
2). If so, will having four paritions on the new drive vs. 2 on the old create any problems with drive letters or otherwise?
3). Do I need to make any changes in BIOS?

4). Does it matter which mobo SATA slots are used for what?
No instructions were provided in the mobo manual.
I currently have the following connections (Gigabyte P35 - DSL3 mobo has 4 connectors numbered as shown)
0 - Card reader SATA connector
1 - empty
4 - HD
5 - DVD writer

5). If it does matter - can I simply change the exisitng connectors or does that mess up the drive letter assignements in Vista or require changing out any drivers?

I also have a card reader installed which assigns drive letters E to the Optical Drive and F, G, H, and I to the card reader slots.
6). Will the system automatically on reboot reassign these later letters than the hard drives or do I need to do something like temporarly disconnecting the drives to facilitate that?

7). I want to keep my OS on the old drive as a backup - as a bootable drive but not with a multi-boot option that I need to select from each time I start the system. Once I have switched the drives - do I need to change some bios settings or do something to facilitate that?

I understand that I can also use Vista to format and partition the new drive and maybe copy the old drive to it. I also have Nero 8 which I can use to make an optical copy of the old drives. If there is a easier simply process I don't mind using it either. DiskWizard seems to be powerful software but the instructions are not very good - they are written to address a lot of different options and don't have a simple straightforward set of instructions for this specific process.

All help will be greatly appreciated.

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a c 359 G Storage
October 26, 2009 9:15:56 PM

First, go to the Seagate website and look for two free downloads:
1. The latest version of Disk Wizard, unless you have that latest version already. INSTALL it on your current C: drive.
2. The manual for it. You're right, the software is very powerful, but I find the manual helps figure it out.

Now, I gather that your system has:
160 GB drive on SATA4 is your boot drive called C:
D: drive is a second Partition on the 160 GB unit
Nothing is connected to SATA1
DVD writer on SATA5 called E:
Card reader on SATA0 called drives F: through I:

For this process you can use Disk Wizard to make clones of your existing Partitions on the old drive and to make new ones on it. However, you are heading towards a clash of drive letters, so I suggest the following sequence:

1. Disconnect the card reader and leave it disconnected until the end. My plan here is that, once everything else is set up, you will reconnect it and it will use new drive letters. BUT how does your system deal with that reader? Via a driver, perhaps? If that's the case, you might be best to start with it installed and go into Device Manager to Remove this device (and its driver). Then you shut down and disconnect it, and on rebooting you won't have it.

2. Your plan is to have one of your new Partitions be E:, which is now the DVD drive. This can be done, but you must realize that some of your icon shortcuts and configuration files presume that E: is where to find the DVD drive. If you change its name, you'll have to correct any of those that you find. To start this, use Device Manager also to Remove this device.

3. Before rebooting, disconnect both the card reader and the DVD drive, but leave them installed in their mounting slots. Mount the new drive and connect it to the SATA0 port, leaving the old drive on the SATA4 port. Right now these two are the only drives attached. When you boot hold down "Del" to go directly into BIOS Setup. Check that the BIOS sees both drives, and set its Boot Priority to the old drive on SATA4 only, no other choice. Save and Exit to boot.

4. Use Disk Wizard to clone your C: drive to a new Primary Partition on the new unit; tell it to make this a bootable Partition and set its size manually to 150 GB, not the default size of the old C: drive. Make very sure you set the SOURCE drive to your old unit's C: drive, and the DESTINATION to be the new unit: anything on the DESTINATION Drive will be wiped out, so you do NOT want that to be your old drive!

5. Reboot. Go directly into BIOS Setup again and change the Boot Priority so it boots from the new C: drive you just created on the new HDD unit attached to SATA0. Save and Exit, and it should boot from that new drive and show you that unit as C:, size 150 GB, plus a D: drive of 100 GB and an E: drive of 19.5 GB. You need to change these latter two to make room for your plans at the end. Time for planning. You said you want to have C:, D:, E: and F: all as Partitions on the new HDD. Then you will have the DVD drive as G:. right? Then will come the four card reader slots, H:, I:, J: and K:. And finally you will have the original old drive's two Partitions (they were C: and D: as L: and M:. So, go into Windows Disk Manager now. Look in the lower right pane, and remember it is scrollable to see all your devices. You should be able to RIGHT-click on any drive in the lower right pane of Disk Manager and assign it a name not currently in use. So change the old boot Partition, now called D:, to L:, and change E: to M:. You should now have C:, L: and M: drives. Exit back out of Disk Manager and reboot to establish this structure.

6. Running in Windows again, run Disk Wizard again to clone the old small data partition, now recognized as the M: drive and as the second Partition on that smaller 160 GB SATA unit to a new Partition on the new HDD unit, making it NOT bootable (it's just for data) and making its size 200 GB. When this is finished it should be labeled D: by Windows. If not, use Disk Manager to assign it that name you want, then reboot.

7. Now is the time to use Disk Wizard (OR Windows Disk Manager) to create your one new data Partition. It should be NOT bootable and of size 400 GB.

8. Reboot and ensure that last drive has the name you want, E:. Now you want to make ANOTHER clone of your old C: drive, right? Use Disk Wizard for this, make it a bootable clone and set its size to 150 GB as you wish. As SOURCE you can use either the original source on your old drive, or the new C: you already cloned on the new drive. I suspect using the old drive as the source would be better to avoid forcing the new drive's heads to thrash about wildly.

9. Reboot and check. You should now have a bootable C: drive of 150 GB, a D: data drive of 200 GB with all your old data, an empty E: drive 400 GB for data, and an F: drive of 150 GB that contains a second clone of your old boot drive. In addition, you should have an L: drive that is your old boot drive, and an M: drive that is your old data drive. All good? OK, now to get the DVD drive back in play.

10. Shut down and disconnect your old 160 GB drive. That will keep it out of the way while we do the next steps, and then we'll reconnect it later. Connect the DVD drive to SATA1, close up and reboot directly into the BIOS Setup screens. Verify that it shows one HDD plus the DVD drive present. Set your Boor Priority sequence to the DVD drive first, the HDD on SATA0 second, and no other option. Save and Exit. When Windows boots up it should detect the new hardware, install its drivers, and assign it a letter. If it is NOT the letter you planned (G: ), go into disk Manager and fix that.

11. Shut down. Reconnect the card reader. I suggest put it on SATA4 (why do you not seem to have SATA2 and SATA3?), close up and reboot. When Windows loads it should detect this new hardware and install its drivers. Now check what letters it assigned to those slots - are they H:. I:, J: and K: as planned? If yes, we're all good. If not, you will need to use Disk Manager (or maybe the card reader software tools) to set those.

12. Final step will be to reconnect the old 160 GB drive. Shut down and reconnect it to the remaining SATA port, then close up and reboot. Check that it is being recognized and used as the L: and M: drives. You should now have access to all of your drives.

Note that in the BIOS you NEVER set it to try to boot from anything other than your DVD drive and your new drive on SATA0. It will never try to boot from the old drive (now called L: ). BUT if you had to, you COULD go into the BIOS Setup screens on a reboot and set the Boot Sequence to use EITHER the bootable F: Partition you created, OR the old L: Partition on the old drive. Both of them should contain bootable "drives". HOWEVER, each would have a trouble because they have copies of their own versions of the Registry with the wrong letter names for all those drive units. Plus, if you did that, when you boot from a drive it will probably try to make itself the C: drive, causing all sorts of confusion. If you want to tackle this issue so you actually can boot and run from these two drives, you will have to boot into each and adjust all its drive names until it is happy.

Good luck!
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October 28, 2009 4:20:05 AM

EUREKA! WE HAVE LIFTOFF! THE EAGLE HAS LANDED! (How's that for mixed metaphors?)

Just expressing my glee at completing the project - and I could not have done it without your detailed directions. Thank you. I truly appreciate all the time you devoted to writing them.

I did run into some difficulties, and some simplefications.

The first small issue was that my 1 TB drive only had 931.5 MB of space to allocate. Not a biggie - I doubt I will use it all in anyway.

The bigger difficulty was that DiskWizard would only copy the entire drive, not individual partitions. So it wanted to copy the C & D drives at the same time, which would in itself not have been a problem except that it wanted to place the entire then unallocated block of 580 MB between the two drives - at least that is what their diagram showed and I assume that mapped the physcial drive. I guess it makes sense as it is then easy to allocate the contiguous space to either drive, however I was concerned that it would place my D drive on the slower interior space on trhe drive. Also I did not want the to be E and F drives in between the two - a little anal I guess. But I tried finding a way to initially copy only the C drive both in the software and instructions to no avail.

So decided to see if I could use Vista Disk Management to set up the new drive with the intent of using other software to then copy the drive. However I could not figure out how I would then change the drive letter of the new drive to C - Disk Management would not permit changing. Luckily I learned this by only testing what happened when I tried to change it (with no intent to complete the operation - just to see what happened when I clicked on C to change it - before initializing the new drive. So I swallowed my analness (yuck - how is that for a mixed metaphor, too?) and went back and used DiskWizard - which other than that small problem was easy, effective, and quick. So now I believe that on the physical drive the layout goes C - E - F - D, but off course they show up in alphabetical order on Windows Explorer. And, except for all the lost time, doing the two together was easier than doing them one at a time.

With the two new drives set up, I took a moment to run a quick performance test using PCPitStop. One reason for adding the new drive was the poor performance of my old one. When I built the system a year ago, I installed a new but older model Seagate 160 GB drive - 7200.7. While it did not measure up to the new ones on straight read and write tests, it did outperform most new ones on the Workstation I/O benchmark, which I thought to be the best overall measure of performance for general applications. Back then THG and others did seem to run test on drives with real application benchmarks like they do now. Anyway, the PCPitStop test showed only 24 MB/s performance. I got a little higher in some SiSandra tests - but it was still very low. I was not sure if this was because of the model, a defective drive, or being installed on the third SATA connector. Anyway, I am happy to report the new drive scored 95 MB/s on the same test. I will test it further later.


Another simplification was that I wanted the remaining drives to have the order - Optical, old drives C & D, and then the 4 drives associated with the card reader, rather then the two old drives last. So after I renamed the old drives and set up the two other partitions for the new ones, using Disk Management, only the optical drive had to be added before the new old drive numbers. So I did not disconnect the old drives but just went ahead and reinstalled the optical drive and it picked up the correct letter - G. Then I only had to reintall the card reader and everything was hunky dory.

Also I have not copied the new C drive to its backup location on the new drive - it was just easier to use Disk Management to set up the new drive and I will copy it over later with other software.

Just FYI - The card reader is connected to the mobo by 2 usb cables and the SATA line (for the eSATA port). In Device Manager, it shows up under Hard Drives as four separate drives - as USB devices. The SATA does not show up anywhere, I presume because no device was attached to it.

You had asked what happened to SATA channels 2 and 3. Beats me. In the BIOS, it shows up as IDE channels 0 to 3. The 0,1, 3 and 4 I reported before is how it is listed in the mobo manual.

I appreciate your comments about not being able to boot directly to the old drive or the partition on the new drive, I knew it would present issues. Hopefully I will be able to simply clone it back to drive C, even if I have to put it temporarily in another system to do that. And now I cannot boot to the last partition on the new drive anyway, as I learned that only 3 primary drives (bootable) are allowed on a drive. Since it was the last I installed I had to make it an unbootable logical drive. I guess I could have gone back and removed the old drive - or simply changed the partition space and how I used it - but I decided it was not worth the effort. Afterall, I have owned 6 PCs for over 20 years and never had a major issue with the OS that could not be fixed with a repair.

Again, I thank you for all your help.
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a c 359 G Storage
October 28, 2009 3:06:40 PM

Yay for you! Glad you got it working as you wish.
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