Any advice for a first-timer installing a second HD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JasenP, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    I picked up a Maxtor 80gb Hard Drive at CompUSA and it will be here tomorrow. I have Compaq 500mhz AMD running Windows XP Pro. Is there anything I should know beyond the Master/Slave thing and the BIOS settings?
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Make sure you put the IDE cable in right side up [​IMG]
    Seriously, connect IDE, connect power, make sure one is master and one is slave-- set bios to autodetect.
    Done.
    -Vince
     
  3. Craig LeBlanc

    Craig LeBlanc Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd suggest using the new drive as your main drive... it is probably much faster than an older one. Then again you might not feel up to the task of migrating your data from one drive to another.

    You might want to put the new drive on a different IDE chain than your old drive... that way they are sharing that IDE channel.
     
  4. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    My current HD is 10.2gb, the second drive is mainly for video capture and storage. Do I need to format or partition the second drive?

    This HD is the first step in re-building my system. I have definately outgrown the Compaq and I am now shopping for a case and a processor/MOBO combo for purchase in the near future.
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Yes, for any hard drive, you'll have to partition and then format it. You'll have to make some choices as to what FAT type you'll use for partitioning (I'm guessing NTFS unless you have some reason to use Win98 to access the drive, then partition it with FAT32).
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Don't put it ont he secondary IDE channel that's usually slow as hell.

    * If you're using Win98/Me, make sure your new drive is set up with "DMA" checked in the control panel after you've installed and formatted it.

    * I don't know how in XP, but change your virtual memory settings to point to the new drive, set the min and max size of the swap file to the same number, at least the amount of RAM you have in the machine.
     
  7. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    The second IDE channel shouldn't be any slower than the first unless #1 is setup for UDMA66 and #2 isn't.

    The best configuration for two hard drives is to have them both as master devices on an IDE channel each.

    You'll need to partition and format the drive, but you can do this in Windows XP. However be mindful of one drawback - XP can't format a FAT32 partition larger than 32gb. If you want a partition bigger than that you'll either need to format in NTFS or do it as FAT32 from DOS.
     
  8. Kevin_Graham

    Kevin_Graham Stunt Coordinator

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    This weekend I'll be building my new P4 computer and running XP for my OS. I have been hearing references to NTFS or FAT32 and I'm not sure which way to go. I'll be installing a 60GB hard drive and had not planned on creating any partitions. It'll mainly be used for gaming, surfing and digital photography. Which is the best way to go?
     
  9. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    If you're unsure, go for FAT32, though remember what I said in my last post about the size limitation in XP. It's quite happy to use a FAT32 partition > 32gb but it wont allow you to create/format one. You need to do that from DOS.

    NTFS gives you proper folder and file level security, greater data integrity, is less prone to fragmentation and can be quicker (and can be slower, slightly). The thing is, you can convert a FAT partition to NTFS very easily from Windows 2000 or XP. Converting back to FAT is very difficult and requires the use of a third-party app such as Partition Magic. Even then, it's not guaranteed to work.
     
  10. Kevin_Graham

    Kevin_Graham Stunt Coordinator

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    What are the cons of using NTFS? Are there software compatibility issues?
     
  11. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Applications are usually fine. You may get a very small hit in disk performance, but it's a tiny difference and many people feel the extra benefits of NTFS outweigh it. But then again you may notice no difference at all, or it may be slightly faster. No way to tell really until you try it.

    The only real 'problem' as such is that NTFS partitions cannot be seen from DOS. This means if your Windows XP installation gets corrupted, it may be difficult (but not impossible) to get your own data back.

    My machine has a mixture of FAT32 and NTFS partitions, but I run a triple-boot system with Windows 98, 2000 Pro and Linux so my needs are a little different.
     
  12. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    Here's a good reference on FAT/FAT32/NTFS.
    http://www.anandtech.com/guides/viewfaq.html?i=63
    A few things to clarify what others have said, NTFS can still be accessed across a network with no problems. If you do end up with a corrupt NTFS drive you can still access it through DOS with 3rd party tools. For optimal performance set each drive as the master on each channel (as somebody else has mentioned). On the issue of setting up the Swap file, it's probably best to let Windows decide, but if you want to tweak the general consensus is to set the swap to double the memory (and with an 80GB drive you have room to spare). If you are using the drive mostly for storage NTFS is the way to go with it's ability to have better indexing for searches. Versions of DOS before 7 (essentially Win95) don't recognize FAT32.
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Having the swap file on the second drive will speed up your computer theoretically. The swap file is a large file that's always opened and always being accessed by the operating system. Having it on a different physical drive than the main operating system is more efficient.

    NTFS has historically been very prone to fragmentation. I don't know if that's been fixed. Not that FAT32 isn't prone to fragmentation of course. Personally I would use NTFS exclusively with XP and back up regularly.
     

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