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Secondary hard drive layout query

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September 19, 2012 7:54:10 PM

Hi there,

My new build has 2 hard drives. The first hard drive is the SSD in which windows and few programs are installed.

My second hard drive is a standard sata hard disk. I connected this drive after i had installed windows etc on the primary hard drive i.e the SSD.

Now when i connected this hard drive it appeared in the BIOS but when I booted into windows, it didn't appear in the explorer view.

I went to Computer Management > Disk management but it prompted me to change the layout to MBR or GPT. But i selected MBR. What impact will this have?

I then right clicked on the drive and formatted it and gave it a drive letter so i stopped panicking at that point :) 

However i still have doubts of my choice of MBR or GPT for the secondary hard drive.

If somebody could clarify this with me me with it would be much appreciated

Thanks in advance,
a c 104 G Storage
September 19, 2012 11:31:14 PM

Hi KP,

Your choice is perfect!

What make and model # of new MB did you use? and what make & size is the secondary HDD?

Hard drives can be set up as Static (Basic) or Dynamic types. You can see this info in Disk Management under the Disk Info column and Volume Info column down below in the graphical area. Basic drive types have been used for years, with 4 primary partitions, or 3 primary and 1 extended partition.
Dynamic drives can have their Volumes spread over multiple physical drives, like RAID, and can have many more Volumes.
If you have just a single drive, it's always set up by MS as a Basic drive type.

Sections of the physical drive are called Partitions, Volumes when formatted, and there you also have two choices, MBR (the old standard) or GPT, the upcoming new standard used by EFI motherboard firmware. You must have a new high end MB for that to be a choice.

This transistion is slowly changing, encouraged by MS, and Intel. We are just seeing MB's with the EFI firmware that is easier to work with, and with a graphical shell. But the understanding of the new Drive type, and Partition style will take time. The one thing that has pushed it along is the > 2.2 TB HDDs, since the MBR is 32 bit, and can address only up to 2.19 TB of data. We are now seeing larger HDD's which require a 64 bit addressing system, which, you guessed it, is used by GPT.

So choosing a Basic drive, MBR partition type, is standard. If you get into cutting edge data storage, and need more than 4 partitions (in general) you can always convert a Basic disk to Dynamic disks. Converting an MBR to GPT partition however requires clean drives without data.

September 20, 2012 9:58:50 AM

Hi John,

My new motherboard is ASUS P8Z77-V-LX. The SATA Hard Disk is a Western Digital make. It is 1TB.

I intend to use the secondary hard drive for storing work, few programs, music and films mainly.
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a c 104 G Storage
September 20, 2012 4:13:06 PM

KP101 said:
Hi John,

My new motherboard is ASUS P8Z77-V-LX. The SATA Hard Disk is a Western Digital make. It is 1TB.

I intend to use the secondary hard drive for storing work, few programs, music and films mainly.


The ASUS P8Z77 has the new EFI firmware, that's why you saw GPT as a partition choice.
Your setup is just the way it should be. You can have up to 4 primary MBR partitions on the WD 1TB (4 drive letters). More by using Logical volumes.

If you buy any additional drives for it down the road, stay below the 2.2TB addressing limit.

Great system!
September 20, 2012 6:05:42 PM

Hi John,

Thanks, I will keep this in mind.

Just a slightly related question.

If i installed a new OS over my SSD e.g Windows 8, I understand i need to disconnect the SATA HDD before installing. After i have installed the new OS on the SSD and connected the SATA Hard Drive and there files, programs etc on it, will i still be able to access them?
a c 104 G Storage
September 20, 2012 6:28:38 PM

KP101 said:
Hi John,

Thanks, I will keep this in mind.

Just a slightly related question.

If i installed a new OS over my SSD e.g Windows 8, I understand i need to disconnect the SATA HDD before installing. After i have installed the new OS on the SSD and connected the SATA Hard Drive and there files, programs etc on it, will i still be able to access them?


That's the correct way to install Win-7 or Win-8. If you are going to try Win-8, choose Custom Install, and delete all partitions. That will leave just Unallocated space on the SSD, and Win-8 will install the System Reserved Partition, and the Win-8 partition.

When you connect up the SATA secondary drive, it will work just the same as with Win-7.

Remember when you install Win-8, you can't go back to Win-7 without reinstalling Win-7 all over again. There is no downgrade to Win-7 on the Retail Preview installation.

September 20, 2012 6:51:12 PM

Quote:
When you connect up the SATA secondary drive, it will work just the same as with Win-7.


Thats great but i am still unsure.

Does this mean even though there are music, documents etc on the SATA hard drive, i should be able to access them under Windows 8 after connecting it or will i have to format the SATA hard drive again since i am now under a different OS i.e Windows 8?

Thanks,

a c 104 G Storage
September 20, 2012 8:58:50 PM

KP101 said:
Quote:
When you connect up the SATA secondary drive, it will work just the same as with Win-7.


Thats great but i am still unsure.

Does this mean even though there are music, documents etc on the SATA hard drive, i should be able to access them under Windows 8 after connecting it or will i have to format the SATA hard drive again since i am now under a different OS i.e Windows 8?

Thanks,



No, no. You don't have to do anything to the secondary SATA HDD. It has files stored there in the NTFS file system. All recent Windows OS read those files the same. So whether you are running Vista, Win-7, Win-8, and connect your "storage" drive, they will read, and save files the same. If you connect the SATA drive to a Win-7 computer today, then disconnect it, and connect it to a Win-8 computer, you, and they will all work together in harmony.
September 21, 2012 6:37:06 PM

Thanks for clarifying that.

off topic here but i have updated the BIOS in order to improve stability etc for Windows 8. Was slightly nervous but i followed the instructions very closely :) 
January 16, 2013 10:41:28 AM

Hi John,

I am using ASUS P8Z77-V Pro board .
I having a 2TB wd hard disk as primary (MTB) and recently added a 1TB hard disk to it, And formated it with Disk manager. When it asked for the format i selected it as GPT partision, The odisk is formated and shown in the system.
After a restart the new hard disk is not detected and it is not eve shown in Bios.

How to reformat the disk ? and make the disk usable.

Thanks,
Vignesh
a c 104 G Storage
January 16, 2013 3:07:12 PM

Hi Vignesh,

If you are able to upload a screenshot of the Disk Management dialog with both disks connected (using Photobucket or ImageShack) and post it in your response, that would be the easiest for us to see exactly how you have the drives set up, and the best way to get Disk 1 visible and working.

Since you have a high end ASUS MB, it has an EFI Firmware. It may be as simple as giving the Dynamic Disk1 a drive letter assignment to see it in Windows explorer, or it may be better to just convert it back to a Basic Disk, then use the MBR partition style, and reformat it as NTFS. Since it is a 1 TB drive, you really don't need any Dynamic Disc features.

If that's not possible, then describe in detail what both drives show in the graphical area at the lower part of Disk Management
February 4, 2013 10:11:06 AM

Hi John.

Sorry for the delayed response ...
The harddisk(1TB Hitachi Harddisk, Partion : MTB) is dispayed as "Unknown Disk" in the device manager.
The 1tb disk is not shown in the Disk manager!
When i connected the same hard disk in another computer it is displayed as only"[]" in the seta port.
I think the harddisk is gone. Is there any way to check and reformat the drive?

Thanks,
C. Vignesh.

John_VanKirk said:
Hi Vignesh,

If you are able to upload a screenshot of the Disk Management dialog with both disks connected (using Photobucket or ImageShack) and post it in your response, that would be the easiest for us to see exactly how you have the drives set up, and the best way to get Disk 1 visible and working.

Since you have a high end ASUS MB, it has an EFI Firmware. It may be as simple as giving the Dynamic Disk1 a drive letter assignment to see it in Windows explorer, or it may be better to just convert it back to a Basic Disk, then use the MBR partition style, and reformat it as NTFS. Since it is a 1 TB drive, you really don't need any Dynamic Disc features.

If that's not possible, then describe in detail what both drives show in the graphical area at the lower part of Disk Management

a c 104 G Storage
February 4, 2013 2:41:44 PM

Try one more thing.

Connect the 1TB GPT disk to your other computer again, and then boot it up to the BIOS. If it is not recognized by either computer BIOS where the primary drives are recognized, then there is nothing much you can do to it. Just purchase a new 1 or 2 TB SATA 6Gb/s drive as a replacement.
!