install new hard drive

  pookie 09:10 04 Jun 03

ecs k7 s5a mobo, 1.9 athlon xp, 512 pc 2100 ddr ram, windows xp home and ti4200 64Mb graphics and 13 Gb 5400 speed harddrive also a 550 watt psu.

Hi guys

I'm getting a new hard drive which I wish to install myself. Many questions but firstly is it possible to install a new hard drive, ie have 2, then move entire contents from the old one to the new one and then take out the old one so I only have the new one with windows and eveything on it. Or would I have to take out old hard drive, add new hard drive and install xp on new disc and re install all programs/software on it.

Or can I have the 2 hard drives installed at the same time but have windows xp on both and then I'll have the choice of on which hard drive to save things. If I did this then how do I get computer to boot from new drive and not old drive as I would mostly use new faster drive.

Are there any xp licensing/registration/activation that I need to be aware off?

Many questions but feel free to inform me of anything I should know but haven't mentioned.

Finally - is this easy to do - I am a beginner.

Many thanks


  Gongoozler 10:47 04 Jun 03

Hi pookie. I'm sure other forum members with more specific knowledge of Windows XP will offer advice, but there is good general information on hard drive replacement on this site click here. This site uses Norton Ghost as the disk cloning software, but there are several others available click here.

To answer some of your questions:

You can transfer all the contents of your existing drive to your new one, but you must first make sure the new drive is formatted in the same way as the old one (I think in your case this is NTFS - but hopefully a XP savvy member will confirm this). You can also load XP on to the new drive, but this would require revalidating your license registration. Windows XP allows some changes to be made to your system without revalidation, but I don't know if this includes changing the hard drive it is installed on. I understand that revalidation is quite simple.

Your BIOS almost certainly requires Windows XP to be on the C drive. The only alternative would be to have dual booting software to redirect the boot process.

You can use the old drive for backing up, or for your saved files. You can delete the program folders from it, and just leave your saved files, or you can leave it as it is but set to be the slave drive. If you do this, your computer will still boot and run programs from the new drive in the C position, but all the old files will be accessible if you need them (the programs, however, won't be run from the old drive).

I have often fitted new hard drives, but always with Windows 98 (both versions), and have allways reloaded Windows from scratch. It has usually been a fairly painless process.

  Quiller. 11:22 04 Jun 03

You have listed quite a few options there.

So I will try to tackle on for you.

This option will install the new drive as slave and take you to using Norton Ghost if you wish.

Please excuse me if a lot is simple, but i don't know you pc capability.

the first thing you will have to find out before you physically install the drive is to find what is being used on your Primary master \ slave and secondary master \ slave channels.

This can be achieved in three ways.

1) when you boot the computer up at the post screen you will find those settings listed, if it is to fast then press the pause\break key to freeze the page.

2) when you boot the computer up keep pressing the delete key to enter the bios. On the screen pick standard cmos settings and make a note of the settings for primary master \ slave, secondary master \ slave. Now while you are there and if your primary slave says none, change this to auto. Press esc and now pick save settings and exit, press y for this.

3) Is to take the case off. look for the IDE cable that is connected to the hard drive. Follow the ribbon cable towards the motherboard. Now if you are lucky there will be a wide connector slot. This will show that primary slave is available.

Ok that was long winded, but what we are trying to find is if your primary slave channel is available.

If you have tried option three above and have a spare connector then follow on from here.

Look at the new hard drive. In between the power in connector and the ribbon cable connector at the back you will see a row of pins, some will have little plastic jumpers on. If you look at the drive it will tell you the jumper settings for the drive. The usual and basic thing is to set the jumper to slave. They can be some complications to some drives like having a 32gig limit or having a setting of slave with master present, but these will be unusual nowadays.

If you have install the jumper to slave you can now physically install the drive into the machine. Look for a drive bay above the current hard drive and slot it in. If you can have a space between old drive and the new one then take it, for better air flow. Now attach the screws that will have come with the drive.

Now you can attach the cables.You already have the IDE ribbon cable, look for a spare power connector, there is usually one or two hanging around. Look at the old hard drive. You will see that the power cable and the IDE cable both have red wires, the IDE is very thin, these can now be connected.

When you are sure the connectors are the same as the old drive, you can put the case back on and boot up. Check the boot screen for primary slave to see it has been recognized. Boot fully to windows.

the above is long winded but usually takes 3-5mins.

Now to prepare the drive for windows. go to start and right click my computer. Pick manage and then disk management. A new window will appear on the right. Your new drive should be listed there. Go to the new drive and right click, pick format and follow the prompts.

This should get you new drive up and running as a slave drive. When you are at this point you are ready to decide what way forward you want to go.

  pookie 19:30 07 Jun 03

hi guys

many thanks for the replies and sorry not replied sooner. I had my machine in shop today (another thread) and my new best friend put newharddrive in for me and copied everythimng over to it.

thanks agains


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