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SATA Hard Drive

2266 Views 27 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Brum
Hi there

I am thinking of getting new HD as the one i have is getting filled up too quickly.

The drive i have at the moment is "WDC WD800AB-00CBA1" which is an IDE drive and was thinking of getting a SATA drive as was advised by someone.

my motherboard is:

and says is is ok for SATA connectors.

The connector for the power cable is differant on the SATA drive and looks like i will need an adapted which i have a link below.

Is This correct?

I have a cable that i got with my motherboard which is red and has the following "Serial ATA 26AWG LIAN PENG" on the side which looks like the data cable for the SATA drive.

Also should i have any problems with the amount of HD space as some people can only see 137GB or less and if i get a bigger drive than that will i be able to see it all as i have Windows XP Pro with SP2 installed (or will install with the new drive alone)
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As far as I can see you are have everything all figured out. Your motherboard does support SATA. IF you have SP2 then you should easily be able to see more than 137 GB. I'm also sure that the connector you have that came with your Motherboard is exactly what you need. Most motherboards come with a connector. You can use that Power Cable, but the Drive I recently bought also has the regular 12V connector on it. It doesn't matter which one you connect but DO NOT connect both of them. Here is a picture of my SATA WD HD.

I highly recommend this HDD too. is a very good website. Although there wasn't a rebate when I bought it :(

I would also like to suggest that you look to see if your motherboard supports SATA-150 or SATA-300. I couldn't find it on the website you gave so I am guessing it is SATA-150. SATA-300 is supposedly faster but you won't notice any difference in speed at all. The reason I suggest this is becuase some SATA-300 drives need to be configured to run on a SATA-150 motherboard. To do this, all you have to do is place a jumper pin where the Slave/Master settings were located on the old IDE drives. It explains how to do that on the Hard Drive. Its not hard to figure out but I thought I would make sure you knew about it.

Just for the record, SATA is much easier to work with than the IDE drives.
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the jumpers are the same as the DVD-Roms, escept there is no Master/Slave setting.
he he. I was a little late on my original post. didn't realize you already had a reply. I still highly recommend that drive though.
I don't know about S&H. Try adding a drive on and punching in your zip code or however that works. It will tell you how much S&H will be.

That particular drive you posted will work with the connector you posted. If you get that particular drive you also won't have to worry about any jumper settings becuase it is SATA-150.
There are no drivers required. Actually, you don't even have to delete your old operating system if you dont want to. Just to make things easy, I would leave your setup the way it is. (Unless of course you want to reformat XP and reinstall all the drivers and software.)

Once you have the HDD installed into the case, boot up your computer. Windows will not recognize the new HDD at first. To make windows recognize it, right click on 'My Computer' and go to 'manage'. In the window that pops up, click on 'Disk Management' under 'storage' on the left side of the window. On the bottom half of the window, find your new drive. Right click on the unallocated space and select 'New Partition...' Now simply use the Wizard to partition the drive how you want it. Most likely you will want to create a primary partition using all of the disk space.

There is a couple more recomendations I would like to make, but neither of these are nesecary unless you want to mess with it.

If you decide to set up your computer the way I specified, I would create a reference to the 'My Documents' Folder. This will move everything in the 'My Documents' folder onto the second HDD and when you save something to 'My Documents' it will be saved onto the second HDD. To do this simply right click on the 'My Documents' folder and select 'properties'. Now click the 'Move' button and select your new hard drive. It might take a little while to move all the information.

Also, I would change the Page File location. By putting the page file on HDD without your system files, your computer will be able to pull information from the page file faster becuase that particular disc is used less. Like I said though, neither of those need to be done, but they might make things a little easier for you.
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Your right. Its not too complicated.

1. Just (physically) install the the SATA drive. You shouldn't have to remove the old one at all.

2. Checking the bios is a good idea though. Most machines are 'Del' but if yours isn't it will say when you first start it up. My machine has the option to turn off SATA connections but most likely the defualt is the have it on. The defualt is also usually set to boot from the CD-ROM before the HDD but that is also worth checking too.

3. Your right. Restart with the WinXP disc in the drive and istall XP as normal (it won't need any extra drivers, the winXP disc should have the drivers on the disc already for you.)

a)To wipe the old one fresh, you will come to a screen where you have the option to select which partition to install windows on. It will also give you the options to Delete or create a partition. To wipe the old drive clean, all you have to do is delete it. (It is really self explanitory, I doubt you'll need a step by step.)

b) If you want to get information off of your old drive, you can wait to delete it after you have installed windows. Once you have move all your information to the new drive. Simply go into Disk Management (like I described earlier) and delete it. Just simply right click on the old disk, in the bottom right portion of the window, under the blue line, and select 'Delete Partition...'

5. Once you have both windows set up and deleted your old drive, Go back to disk management. All you have to do is format the partition (like I explained earlier).

Hope that explains it for ya... I tend to make some things really clear to understand and others not so clear.

P.S. Just another recomendation... (something that you don't have to do but you can think about)

I did the same thing about 5 months ago, but instead of leaveing the old drive into my computer. I bought an external USB HDD case. I absolutely love it, becuase it is like having an 80 GB Flash Drive. The only downside is you have to have a plug in to power it up. Just thought I would mention that.
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Opps about forgot....

Yes you do have the right power/connection cables if you described them right. (i believe you have the regular 12V connector and not the SATA power connector) Just DO NOT install both the 12v power cable and the SATA power cable. Only install one of them. (I just wanna make sure you know that.) The SATA version of the power cable is suppost to 'save power' but it won't make that much of a difference. Also, No need to worry about any Jumper settings.
errrrr, wrong button
Startreker said:
If i install windows on the new drive (with windows still existing on the old one) will there be any conflict or asking to boot up with both windows?
Yes there will be a slight "conflict." Before windows boots, it will simply ask you which operating system to boot from. I can't exactly tell you which one will be the 'new' operating system (bad memory), but my guess is that your new HDD will be the second OS listed. Some bios might also be set up to ask you which HDD to boot from. Either way, all you have to do is choose the operating system on your new Hard Drive. To make sure you picked the right one just look to see which HDD is labeled C. Windows will make the system partition (the partition it is running on) the C drive. (99% of the time anyways. There are ways to fool it.)
Startreker said:
Like the idea of the USB HDD but as you mentioned it has to be powered and probably cannot boot from it.
Most computers can't boot from a USB drive. Even if your computer can boot from the USB drive, there is absolutely no way to format windows through the USB. You would have to pull it out of the case and put it back into the computer to format it. Also you could (most likely) only boot your own computer if you did put windows on it and tried to boot from it. All it would be like is one really big flash drive with a power cable.

Startreker said:
I will probably buy a drive that has the 12v power cable as i think that is what i use at the moment but could check that out when i open my machine again. but will not use both!!!!!!!!
The drive you showed had both power connectors, so you should be fine.
Glad to here that its working out for you.

I hardly ever screw a HDD in before I know it is working. I do however, like to set it on the plastic it came with to keep it from shorting out (just in case).

lol. That is so many gigs that I bet it takes a while to format.
If you move the pagefile you will notice a difference in the reaction time of windows. Depending on how much RAM you have you may or may not notice a change in other applications. Since you have 1 Gb of RAM you probably won't notice much of a difference unless you use some very powerful programs. I have 1 GB of RAM and the only time I ever need to use the pagefile is when I play Battlefield 2 or do video editing.

Windows loads files into the pagefile when there is not enough room in the RAM. The Pagefile is about ten times slower than RAM but it is much much cheaper to use a portion of your HDD than to add RAM. Even if you have enough RAM so that you don't use your pagefile, you will still see a SMALL difference as Windows will always use part of the pagefile to run its own processes.

To move your pagefile, right click on 'My Computer' and click 'Properties'. Now Click on the 'advanced' tab. Under performance click 'settings'. Now click on another 'advanced' tab. Now at the bottom under virtual memory click 'change'. There will now be a list of all your partitions. Select a partition on the drive you want to move the pagefile too. There will be a "Recomended" size for the page file towards the bottom of the window. Type that amount in both the initial and maximum columns. now click set. Now go back to the partition with your original Page file and select 'No paging file'. Now click 'Set' again. Click 'Ok' 'Apply' 'Ok' 'Apply' 'OK' and restart your computer.

Note: You may want to type the original amount into the initial and maximum boxes instead of the recomended. However, windows "Usually" does a very good job at recomending how large your pagefile should be.

Edit: I'm not exactly sure how much your recomended pagefile will be, but I too have 1 GB of RAM and the Recomended amount is 1531 Mb (just to give you an idea of how much your pagefile might be).
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Oh, just a little more about how the pagefile works, becuase it helps to know what you are doing if you understand it. Here is the reason windows will be more responsive by moving the pagefile to the 2nd HDD.

A HDD has to use a needle to search for the information. Becuase it has mechanicle parts, the HDD is the slowest part of your computer. (The only thing slower is when you read information from your a CD.) The disk that has Windows located on it is constantly being spun up to retrieve information for the operationg system and other software programs. When something is needed from the pagefile, the needle in the hard drive has to jump back and forth looking for information. When a drive is only used for DATA, it doesn't have to spin up unless that data needs to be retrived. Becuase it doesn't spin up as often, windows can be more responsive with the page file set on the second HDD. This is becuase the HDD does not have to jump back and forth as much looking for information.

Hope that my little rampage helps you out. I always like to understand what I am doing before I start clicking buttons.
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Startreker said:
It does seem a lot but am not sure whether to boot from the new drive or just keep the old drive booting. It works fine at the moment booting from the old drive so why change when things are ok.
You probably won't notice a difference by reformating windows. If your Operating system has become a little glitchy you will notice a difference by reinstalling it but that is a speed issue with the software and not your HDD. Like you said though, your operating system is fine so why mess with it. The only thing I can see helping is if your old drive is outdated (which I doubt it is). Some older drives spin at only 5400 RPM. You might want to check, to see how fast your old drive spins. If it is 7200RPM you probably won't notice a difference (hardware wise) if you move your operating system. If it is 5400 RPM I suggest reinstalling windows onto your new Hard drive. I HIGHLY doubt that your old drive is to slow. I would put money on it that your old drive is 7200 RPM, because the specs on your computer don't look very old.
I wouldn't even worry about finding software to look up your old drive. I bet it is 7200RPM. If you want to be sure though, just try googling the name and number on your HDD. Thats the easiest way to figure it out.

Glad it is running nicely for you. I don't know what to tell you about your DVD buurner. My first thought would be that your software doesn't support it but you say your otherone works so that can't be it. You could try finding an update for the firmware. Before you try updating that be warned though. In order to upgrade it the memory in it must be completely wiped clean, so that it can be rewritten. If something goes wrong your DVD burner will be usless and there is no fixing it. (I have done this about 5 times and never had anything go wrong but there is always a chance. The power could easily go out or something.)

Glad you got everything working good though.
Startreker said:
(Until i fiddle with it again and do something i shouldn't, lol)

I know that, LMAO. But that is where we all started out and I believe it is the best way to learn. Well, no, the best way to learn is to learn from someone else's mistakes, but how often do we actually do that?
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