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Adding a second SATA HDD; RAID or separate?

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  • Hard Drives
  • NAS / RAID
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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May 11, 2011 9:05:26 PM

Hello, I have a custom build PC that I have been using for a couple of years now. The 500GB HDD that I initially installed only has about 25GB of free space left on it. I am wondering if I can install a new HDD in a RAID setup so that the computer reads the drives as a single drive without losing any information on the current HDD. Essentially, I just want to add more GB to the existing drive. However, I would like for them to read as a single drive. It would just make it easier when saving and loading data. If I cannot do this, can I add a second HDD as a seperate letter and still keep the current drive in its current state? Finally, whatever the choices I have, how would I go about doing whatever option is viable; i.e. BIOS settings, initial setup, etc. Thanks for your help in advance!

More about : adding sata hdd raid separate

a c 99 G Storage
May 11, 2011 9:19:59 PM

NOPE! Setting up a drive in RAID will erase everything on it. So, NO!

Yes, you can (and should) just install another HDD, and move all your data/media (i.e. My Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos) to it. This will keep the OS on the original drive without issues. Once you move these files/folders, programs should point to these new places when saving or using them.

If you get a large enough drive, you can use it for backup, too.

Once you install the drive, as your BIOS sees it, you will have to format it before Windows will see it in Explorer. There are several threads in here about how to do that (easy-peesy).
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May 11, 2011 9:26:48 PM

Thank you for the quick reply! My first reply to your answer was kind of a brain fart. I understand what you're saying now. I can load programs from the current HDD and save their files to the second HDD and it will work just fine, correct?

Also, adding a drive that is larger than the current one will not affect anything will it?
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a c 392 G Storage
May 12, 2011 12:03:06 PM

You can add any size drive your motherboard supports. Once connected to the motherboard, boot into windows. Go into "disk management" and initialize the drive. At this point it should show up in windows with a new drive letter. You can grab all your word documents, excel fils, pdf's, and any other static file and move it to the new drive to make space on the old drive. You can not copy programs from one drive to another. To do this, you will need to uninstall the program and reinstall it onto the new drive.
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a c 99 G Storage
May 12, 2011 6:41:55 PM

I think you got it.

Programs on the original drive, data files on the (new) second drive. Don't copy progams to the second drive, they won't work if originally installed on the first drive, as stated above!

As stated, it can be any size (you can afford, but HDD are "cheap" now: 1TB-$60.00, 2TB-$80.00).
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May 19, 2011 12:10:26 AM

Where are you getting a good 2TB HDD for $80.00 if you don't mind me asking?
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May 19, 2011 2:55:01 PM

Thanks! One last question and I think I'm all set. Once the new drive is installed and working can I start installing programs on it instead of the current one?
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a c 392 G Storage
May 19, 2011 3:01:23 PM

Yes, if the program you are installing gives you a choice of install directory, simply choose the new drive.

i.e instead of c:\program files use x:\program files where 'x' is the new drive letter.
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May 19, 2011 10:42:06 PM

One last thing (I hope). I need to set up the second drive as a slave drive correct? Also, is the main drive automatically the master drive?
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a c 99 G Storage
May 20, 2011 2:07:22 AM

No master/slave setting for SATA drives!

You set up which is the boot drive in BIOS.
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May 20, 2011 2:15:37 AM

Excellent! I wasn't aware of that! Thanks for all your help!
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