Adding another hard drive

So I just got another internal hard drive and I was wondering exactly what the process for installing it should be.

I know how to physically install it, but what exactly will happen and what should I do when I turn the PC on again for the first time? Will I have to install an operating system on it or do anything to make it usable for storage?

Eventually I want to boot from the new drive after I have installed everything I need, but for now I will probably just use it for storage.

This is the new drive I'm using - Samsung F3 1 tb

CPU - Intel E5200
GPU- HD 4670
Ram G skill 4 gb
PSU - Rosewill RP-500 w
Drive - Seagate 250 gb
Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-EP45
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  1. Hi there,

    Setting up a secondary HDD is fairly straight forward step by step. I assume you are running Win-7.
    Nice spacious HDD, and since you are going to use it later as a system drive (put OS on it) you need a partition where you can do that later. If not there are somewhat different directions.

    Connect the SATA data cable from it to the SATA_1 port on your MB. The Seagate is presently contains your OS, and data, and should be connected to SATA_0. Connect the SATA power cable up and you're ready to initialize it.

    First boot up to the splash screen and in the BIOS on the Standard CMOS settings and make sure both HDDs are recognized there. Then on the Advanced BIOS feature page, confirm that in the Hard Disk Boot Priority section, the Seagate is the 1st HDD in order, the new Samsung is second in order.

    When set, reboot into windows.

    Go to Disk Management and look in the lower graphical area where there should be your Disk 0 250 GB Seagate, Basic NTFS healthy boot drive
    Just below that shoud be your new Disk 1 1000GB Online. to the right there should be a black band and say 1000GB +-, Unallocated.
    To make it functional you need to partition it, identify one for now with a drive Letter, Give it a Volume Label, and add a File system.

    I would set up 2 partitions, the first say 500GB for use later where you will put your Windows OS and data, the second partitioin say 500GB for you data which you will assign a DriveLetter and Format. Also consider making a small 3rd partition with say 100GB at the end left as unformatted and Unallocated for use later. Not absolutely necessary but nice to have. That's done by right clicking anywhere in the Unallocated area and follow the New Volume Wizard.

    After that's done, click in the 2nd Partition area, and assign it a drive letter, say F: or whatever. The Format Partition Page follows the Assign Drive Letter Page where you should format it with NTFS, default allocation unit, and give it a VolumeLabel (name for this partition in Windows Explorer). After some time it will say completed and the black band will change to a dark blue band. and should say Healthy (Primary Partition). That's for your data.

    The 500GB unallocated area to the left will be for your OS when you want to clone it over or cleanly install it later.

    Sounds like a lot, but it's straight forward. Just follow the yellow brick road. The Wizards will guide you.

    When completed, you will have a new VolumeLabel F: drive show up in Windows explorer ready for data storage.
  2. Thanks a lot for the info. Just two questions, I have Windows XP not 7, is there any difference in your instructions with that in mind? Also, what would be the best way to install an operating system on the new drive once I have partitioned it?
  3. ramulux said:
    Thanks a lot for the info. Just two questions, I have Windows XP not 7, is there any difference in your instructions with that in mind? Also, what would be the best way to install an operating system on the new drive once I have partitioned it?

    Hi again,

    With Win-XP it's basically the same. All the BIOS checks are done the same way. If you are going to install an OS initially on your new HDD, it's better to not format it beforehand. While XP doesn't take anywhere near the space 7 does, I'd still make the first partition 75-100GB, about the size needed to hold everything from the Seagate if you want to clone it over, so you can store the OS,program files, appData, your data pagefile, etc there. Win-XP takes about 5GB, Win-7 about 30GB. On my XP computer, everything including all my data takes up about 50GB max. the big stuff, like photos videos you can place on the 2nd partition data drive. The larger 1st partition so in case you want to install Win-7 later without having to start over.

    If you want to put Win-XP on initially in partition 1, start with a 'raw' unformatted new HDD, set your partitions up thru the wizards, then after that's done, you can add the NTFS file system to the 2nd partition, give it a driveLetter, VolumeName, and it will be ready for your data also. You can always format Unallocated space any time without bothering your OS in partition 1

    Installing a new HDD is a good learning experience in that you get to go thru all the steps needed to prepare a HDD for use. If you make a mistake initially, you just wipe out the drive to remove the partitions and OS, and start over. No data lost. Cost, about an hour.
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