Installing a new Hard Drive?

I hope I'm not posting in the wrong forums.

I have a system I built on 2007 and I used Windows XP. This is my system specs:

1. Gigabyte Motherboard (can't remember the model name)
2. 4 GB Ram
3. nVidia 8800 GTS 512mb
4. 2 Hard Drives (500mb each - SATA)
5. 1 CD ROM (SATA)

I know there's one SATA slot available in the motherboard (it was 4, and am using 3). But my confusion is I am an old school person and I remember Master/Slave settings and your boot drive must always be Master? I just want to make sure before I make the purchase of how to do it? is it easier than before?

Basically I want to install Windows 7 on my new HD (1,000gb 7200rpm..etc) and I want to install it to my system (is it a bad idea to have 3 HDs; heat problems?).

1. How do I make the motherboard boot from it? (BIOS setting only or Hardware and BIOS?)
2. Can I keep the other Windows HD available just in case I need something? (can I boot that one when I need to?)
3. Anything I should know before I do this upgrade? recommendations? (different solution to upgrading to Windows 7?)


Thanks :)
5 answers Last reply
More about installing hard drive
  1. SATA doesn't use master/slave - only IDE did. You set the boot order in BIOS.
    1) It has to be a bootable drive (OS installed on it etc), and set as first boot in BIOS
    2) Yes
    3) Heat may or may not be an issue - similar to power consumption. Depends on case configuration, air flow, power supply capacity, etc. Maybe take 1 500GB hd and put in an external case, use for backup, if you will now have enough capacity from the 1tb and the other internal 500gb.
  2. Thanks gtvr for your reply.

    Plug the HD (no hardware setting), install Windows 7 and set the BIOS to boot from that HD. Sounds easy!

    I guess I will do as you suggested and make one of the drives an external HD just in case.

    Thanks!
  3. WAIT! Win 7 has a trick during installation that has caused people problems, so you need to avoid it - but that's easy. When you install Win 7, the process will create a sort of "safety copy" of Win 7 in a separate Partition that can be used to boot up from, even if your main installation gets corrupted. That is to help you boot and recover. BUT if the Install is done on a machine with more than one HDD, the spare safety Partition is created on ANOTHER drive - NOT on the Boot drive you are installing to. Thereafter if you remove that second drive it won't boot!

    The solution is simple. Before installing Win 7, disconnect all hard drives except the boot unit. Make sure it is connected to the SATA port you plan to have it on permanently after the install. Now boot from the Install CD and install normally. (The safety Partition will be created on this same HDD unit.) When it's all done and updated, shut down and re-connect all the other drive units and start up, going directly into BIOS Setup. In there make sure you check the Boot Priority Sequence settings to use that new installation, and NOT try to use any other disks with other OS's installed. Save and Exit from there and your machine should boot normally, finding all your other drives and showing them in My Computer.

    After this is done if you ever want to boot from an older OS installed on another drive, just use the BIOS Boot Priority Sequence settings to tell it the desired drive to boot from, and not to try any other drive. This may end up giving your various drives different letter names than you are used to. But when you're done, shut down, reboot and go into BIOS Setup again to restore the "normal" boot drive, and everything ought to come back to "normal" again.
  4. Paperdoc said:
    WAIT! Win 7 has a trick during installation that has caused people problems, so you need to avoid it - but that's easy. When you install Win 7, the process will create a sort of "safety copy" of Win 7 in a separate Partition that can be used to boot up from, even if your main installation gets corrupted. That is to help you boot and recover. BUT if the Install is done on a machine with more than one HDD, the spare safety Partition is created on ANOTHER drive - NOT on the Boot drive you are installing to. Thereafter if you remove that second drive it won't boot!

    The solution is simple. Before installing Win 7, disconnect all hard drives except the boot unit. Make sure it is connected to the SATA port you plan to have it on permanently after the install. Now boot from the Install CD and install normally. (The safety Partition will be created on this same HDD unit.) When it's all done and updated, shut down and re-connect all the other drive units and start up, going directly into BIOS Setup. In there make sure you check the Boot Priority Sequence settings to use that new installation, and NOT try to use any other disks with other OS's installed. Save and Exit from there and your machine should boot normally, finding all your other drives and showing them in My Computer.

    After this is done if you ever want to boot from an older OS installed on another drive, just use the BIOS Boot Priority Sequence settings to tell it the desired drive to boot from, and not to try any other drive. This may end up giving your various drives different letter names than you are used to. But when you're done, shut down, reboot and go into BIOS Setup again to restore the "normal" boot drive, and everything ought to come back to "normal" again.


    Wow, thanks for letting me know beforehand Paperdoc!
  5. paperdoc is right. say thank you.
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