Extra hard drive

  JoJoh 10:48 22 Oct 03

I am looking to add an extra hard drive to my computer. I am finding that my computer is continually running out of space. I am using a Dell Dimension. How do I do this. The current hard drive is 5GB and I am looking to increase it to at least +/- 15GB

there are two issues here that may cause some difficulty but overall this is not a difficult operation. firstly Dell have a tendency toward proprietry parts so you'll have to make sure the new drive you buy is compatible and secondly (and most importantly) you will almost certainly find that your system Bios will not support a hard-drive over 8GB without an upgrade. Without meaning to be condescending I would urge you not to take that proposition lightly, Flashing/upgrading the Bios is not a simple procedure and should only be undertaken by someone who really knows what they are doing as there is a huge potential for disaster.
in this day and age it is difficult to get a new harddrive that small so i would have to say that you are reaching the point where you had best to have a long look at your bank balance and move on to a newer machine.

  BarryKeith 12:00 22 Oct 03

Give Dell a 'phone call or an e-mail quoting the numbers found on the sticker/s on the back or side of the case. They will be able to advise you as to which is the best option. I have dealt with them previously and found them very helpful.

  JoJoh 12:19 22 Oct 03

Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I have found
Dell to be the most unhelpful company that I have ever dealt with. I loath to contact them. I had a problem with my laptop and the person that I spoke to in their call centre knew less than me!

Sounds like I may have to go down the new computer route.

  PA28 12:39 22 Oct 03

What are the specs of your computer and what OS are you working under. Given this, we'll be able to advise better. I am thinking that you can get a reasonable 80gig drive for around the £60 mark now, and if it doesn't work as a replacement for your existing 5gig drive, then the money's not wasted as you will be able to install it in any new machine as a second drive. Although it may be frowned upon, I'm still running under 98SE with both a 60gig and an 80gig installed without (many) problems. If - as is said above - your BIOS proves to be the stumbling block, then a new machine (or Mobo/Processor/Mem upgrade) may be the best route - but we can advise better when we know what you're playing with at the moment. Worth a try?

There should not be a problem if you fit the new larger drive as a slave and leave your existing 5Gb in place for the OS.

If you wanted to use the new large drive as the primary, then you can overcome the BIOS problem with the Drive Overlay software that will come with the drive if you buy a retail box, or, can be downloaded from the drive mfrs web site if you buy OEM.

  swanson2 12:59 22 Oct 03

Do you have USB ports?

If not it could be worth while fitting a USB 2 PCI card in your PC and using an external hard drive.

You will need to be running a fairly new operating system such as Win 98SE, Win Me or Windows XP to be able to utilise USB and ideally you will need to use USB 2 as though USB 1 will work it is relatively slow.

  SEASHANTY 15:20 22 Oct 03

Some info on installing a second hard drive at this website - including bios info on page 2 and info on the 8GB limit older systems click here

  JoJoh 19:03 22 Oct 03

Thanks for all of your advice.I have a computer that I can swap with. Seems like this will be the easier option as I am not technical enough to add the drive.

  minter 19:12 22 Oct 03

Which Dell Dimension are you running on.

By the sounds of it, you have a PII and W95 operating system.

No need to buy a new computer, unless you feel you want one.

I would recommend, if you are running W95, to purchase a "cheap" copy of W98SE and install that.

Then update your BIOS to the latest one for your model (available on the Dell website), which is not difficult if you follow a few simple steps.

Then I would purchase a new HD and stick that in.

I started with a Dimension XPS D300 (PII, W95 + 8gb HD) and changed it over the years without too much trouble.

Problem came when I decided I must have XP - my old Dimension was not up to the latest offering from Bill Gates. Very reluctantly I had to part with it.

But it was, and still is, running W98SE without any problems

  ollie < one> 21:39 24 Oct 03


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