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Computer hard drive question.

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Shooting Jack, Apr 15, 2012.

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  1. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    On one of my computers the hard drive is full and uses XP pro and is still fairley fast at 2.3 ghz so would like to just replace with a larger hard drive. How do I tell what kind I need. They come in so many variations. Different speeds etc. What information is needed to figure it out. Thanks for your response. Jackie B.
  2. dgh

    dgh Active Member

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    xp pro does not matter,

    It is the interface that matters, Most newer in the last few years use a SATA conection instead of regular ata and a power connector, basically you need to open the cover and see what you have, Most often you can simply add a second srive for storage and leave the origional for the operating system,

    Works well for back up as well,, As for speed and read times?

    If your not a gamer ETC. and just a typical user then a cheaper drive is just fine, if you want to spend for faster read/write then go for it,

    Maybe just take your tower to a PC shop and have them steer you right.

    Doug
  3. fritzi93

    fritzi93 TS Member

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    Seagate or Western Digital. Big players in the market and if you get a dud they'll replace it ASAP. If you get an OEM version, it may not come with a SATA cable. You're likely to have an unused SATA power plug in your comp, if not, just get a splitter from NewEgg.

    But the big advantage of Seagate or WD is you can download from the website of either one a free version of Acronis. With that, you can easily "clone" your existing hard drive and you should not have to re-install or re-activate Windows.

    The above assumes you're comfortable with opening the case (power off first and pull the plug!). Anyone reasonably intelligent should be able to proceed from there
  4. dhip

    dhip Active Member

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    One other option,get a stand alone hard drive unit,transfer items from original hard drive to it.pictures,documents etc.,until you free up whatever space you need.They have them in all sizes,no need to open computer and you can have both drives to work with.

    Doug H.
  5. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    I'm going to guess that if you are running Win XP, your system uses the ATA (aka PATA) interface. As was said above, newer systems now use the SATA interface. The SATA plug is about 1" wide and has a red cable coming out. The older PATA interface is a good deal wider and generally uses a wider ribbon cable. Chances are your motherboard has no plug for a SATA drive. Plus, you may have a hard time finding a high capacity PATA drive, since the manufacturers simply don't make them much, if at all, anymore.

    Fear not. You can buy a conversion cable which will allow you to put a SATA drive into your system. I've done it.

    Once a hard rive reaches @ 80% of its capacity, the performance drops off noticeably. You will experience slowdowns in performance etc. Essentially, I see 2 options:

    1. Keep your existing drive and use it for your operating system only. Buy a newer drive and use it for your data. IMO, this might be easier to physically do, since you wouldn't have to reinstall your operating system on a new drive. Simply put the new drive in and move/copy your data files to it.

    2. Buy a new drive, backup all your data files to something, format the new drive and reinstall Windows XP. Then update Windows XP - there are about 150 updates from Microsoft. Once you are up to date, you will have to reinstall all applications you use (Word, Excel, iTunes etc). Then move/copy your backed up data files to the new drive.

    How do I know all this? I just did it. Buy a drive that runs at 7200 rpm - it is noticeably faster than a 5400 rpm drive. If you don't feel comfortable opening up the case and tinkering around, find someone to do it for you. It may cost you a few $, but peace of mind is worth a few $.

    Gene Batchelar
    Wheaton, IL
  6. Barrelbulge(Fl)

    Barrelbulge(Fl) Well-Known Member

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    Shooting jack, what part of the country do you hail from? I changed my drive out in Nov. and reloaded my programs. I used a couple of 4 gig thumb drives to transfer over my info. If you are near Pittsburgh,I would do it for you. Mike.
  7. 221

    221 Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, external hard drives suck, they are okay for storage and backups, but do not think for a minute that the work equal to an internal one.
  8. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    Thanks Mike but I am in South Georgia close to Jacksonville Fl. I bought an external drive and was using it for data, pictures etc and it died, with 10 years of pictures. My wife was po'd to say the least. I couldn't find the receipt for the purchase date so was down the proverbial creek. Thanks for all the responses. Jackie B.
  9. 221

    221 Well-Known Member

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    Jack, if you have not already done so, I'd get that drive to a competent computer shop. They can usually salvage a majority of the data on that drive.
  10. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    I found a PATA drive which was 120 gig 7200RPM for $29.00 and is brand new in box. Called a computer repair store and said they would install XP Pro and all my files from the old drive for $65.00 which is what they charge for one hour of labor. Does that sound fair to you? Jackie B.
  11. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    Do what SSeitz007 say and buy an external as a slave and keep your data on it.

    Don't listen to 221, he is a moron and doesn't know what he is talking about.

    You can by a half terabyte drive for a few dollars more and you will have more disk space that you will ever need for storage.


    221, I won't be able to read your rant reply until tomorrow after I get back from an ATA shoot. Should give you plently of time to come up with some more ugly names for me.
  12. 221

    221 Well-Known Member

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    Very fair
  13. slic lee

    slic lee Member

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    We have older computer with 2 external HD as slave for pics,etc,when HD failed we tried to replace with double but couldnt, had to stay within 30% as per book.
    Thanks to you Im going to check expiration date on the slave units JIC. Most pics of our kids growing up, I cant loose that. Lee
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