new hard drive query

  pookie 13:45 12 Jan 05


asus mobo a7n8x-x, 3Ghz barton, 1Gb ddr, x800pro graphics, windows xp home edition and 550 watt psu.

I have a 40Gb hard drive on the above. It was a refurbished one that i've had for approx 2 years now. it's started to make abit of noise on boot up so may be on way out.

Hard drives confuse me - ie serial ata/raid/ata/8mb cache/2Mb cache/5400 speed/7200 speed/10000 speed/etc/etc.

If i wanted to replace my older/current hard drive and use the new one as my only hard drive - i'd do clean reinstall of xp/etc - is it just a case of buying one, pulling mine out and using the old cables in the new hard drive and screwing it in - then boot with xp disk in cd drive?

Also, i'd like an 80Gb purely for gaming purposes ie speed is more important then 200Gb space. Any recommendations?

many thanks as always


  stlucia 14:43 12 Jan 05

It's almost as simple as you say. For my money I would leave the old drive in place when you put the new drive in. Then you can easily copy over your data onto the new drive after you've installed Windows on it.

If you do this, you'll probably need to change the jumper on your existing drive so that it's the "slave" (there should be a diagram on a sticker on the drive to show you how to do this), and set the jumper on the new drive to "master".

There should already be a spare plug on the ribbon cable in your PC for the second drive, and also one or more spare power plugs.

Hopefully someone else will be able to set you straight on the different types of drives. Generally speaking, I would go for the biggest your budget can stand.

  SEASHANTY 14:55 12 Jan 05

Maxtor installation guide for installing a new hard disk
click here

  Jeffers22 14:57 12 Jan 05

If you are after the fastet HDD then go serial ATA (If mobo supports it). The bigger the HDD cache the better and the faster the spin speed the better. Go for 7200 rpm as a minimum

  pookie 21:05 12 Jan 05

many thanks

mobo manual says 'ide - 2xultraDMA 133/100/66/33'these dual channel bus master ide connectors support up to 4 dma ide devices' - does this make any difference?


  dan11 21:26 12 Jan 05

Same motherboard as mine.;-)

The a7n8x-x motherboard supports IDE hard drives upto ATA 133. It will not support Serial ATA unless you install a dedicated PCI card. As mentioned above, try and get a 7200 speed IDE hard drive. Also a 8b cache is better than a 2Mb one and ATA133 is the fastest.

This is a 120 gig @ £49.31 and will work fine in your machine. click here

But you can pick what size you like, as long as you are running XP with at least SP1.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:27 12 Jan 05

You will have two IDE sockets on the motherboard.

An ide cable in each socket will have a mibble and end connector wich can go to either a hard drive or CD/ DVD, therefore you can have upto 4 devices fitted.

Common is 2 harddrives (master and slave) on the primary channel and CD and DVD (master and slave) on the secondary channel.

Most devices nowadays are ultra DMA 133.

Download the maxtor utility and make the boot disk.

Unplug your old drive off the cable.

check the jumper settings are set to master on new drive.
fit the new drive to cable and screw drive into slot in PC.

MAke sure BIOS is set to 1st boot floppy disk.

Boot up the pc with the boot disk in the floppy drive.

the utility will then set up your new drive.

Change Bios to boot from CD

Insert XP cd reboot and install windows on your new disk.

  skaria 21:34 12 Jan 05

i would recommend the maxtor diamond max 10 200gb 7100rpm ata133 drive from click here. I just bought it, although havent fitted it. By the way, does it matter if you replace an ata/100 hd with a ata.133 hd. Thanks. Hopes the info helps

  pookie 12:39 13 Jan 05

many thanks for the excellant replies



  SEASHANTY 14:53 13 Jan 05

No it doesn't matter if you replace ATA100 by an ATA133 hard drive. If your motherboard doesn't support ATA133 it will still run at ATA100. You probably wouldn't notice much difference anyway.

  pookie 20:18 16 Jan 05

many, many thanks all.

right slight change in plans. thinking of buying maxtor dmax plus 9 ata 133,7200 with 8Mb cache. I don't want to reformat with the new hard drive as sole drive - basically my games/downloads/etc are configured right on my current, old, 5400 drive. So, thinking of installing new hard drive as second drive - then copying absolutely all (incl xp)from old (boot) hard drive to new faster drive. is it just a case of highlighting 'c' drive and copy and paste to new drive?? then with all (incl xp) on new faster hard drive, changing settings so it becomes boot drive, then format old hard drive and use it purely as storage (with no xp on it). do i need to change anything in bios or is it just a case of changing slave to master on back on hard drive?? also new h/drive is ata 133 but as my old drive is about 3 years old i guess it might be ata 100(i don't know) - if i use both drives will my new fast ata 133 only run at old ata 100 speed? anything hard/simple i'm failing to ask??

many thanks all


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