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Just installed a second hard drive. Now what do I do?

Posted by lynnalexandra (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 28, 09 at 21:56

I just upgraded a few things on my computer. I added a second hard drive (1.5 TB) and a firewire port. I think I did everything correctly. At least the computer is working. I switched my sata connection so that the second hard drive went into one of the two sata ports that Dell recommended (the original hard drive is in the other port). This meant switching my dvd drive's sata to the unused sata port. When I powered up my computer, it said it recognized a new dvd drive (I assume bc. I changed it to another sata port), an additional hard drive and a firewire port(card?).

Anyway - now that I have a second hard drive, I don't know what to do. Do I have to format it? Partition it? If so, how and why?

My computer is a Dell inspiron 530 - WindowsXP sp2, 3 GB Ram, quad core processor, original 500 GB hard drive, second internal NEW 1.5 TB hard drive, external 640GB hard drive. My original drive is getting filled up with videos. I have about 65 GB of free space. So I figured I should move a lot of my videos to my other internal drive. Otherwise, I maybe 1/3 of my hard drive carries all my software, some photos, a little music, some word documents and emails.

I'm not sure how to divvy up the space. I figure I should back up my software (but I don't know how). Are there simply programs to back up (to either other internal drive or external drive)?

I'm also unsure of how it will work if I want to edit photos or videos that are not stored on the original drive - using software that is on the original drive. Do I have to have a copy of those software programs running on the same drive as the data/jpeg/mpeg files? Will having the pictures,music or videos on another drive slow down my access to them - for either editing, transferring back to my Tivo, loading onto my Ipod?

I know I'm asking a lot. So any initial pointers or advice is welcome.

Thank you.

PS - now that I have all this additional space, is there any reason to consider getting Windows 7? Will it just complicate my life to use that operating system with so many other programs and files that were created with XP? Are there enough of challenge to switching operating systems that I should avoid it if I'm relatively pleased with XP? I bought my computer less than 2 years ago so I don't anticipate getting a new one for a while.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Just installed a second hard drive. Now what do I do?

You might want to Goggle "second hard drive" "install second hard drive" and "configure second hard drive" (all sans quotes) as the appearing reports have a plethora of potential material which may assist you. There is some duplicity among inquiries.


RE: Just installed a second hard drive. Now what do I do?

lynn it depends on the hard drive if you need to format it or not generally it is recommended to do that just to be sure you have it set to the right type of file system you would want, I would assume you want it to be NTFS and not FAT32.
when you boot up your pc does it see the new hard drive? have you gone into the boot menu at start up to see how it is listed? when you boot up does it now give you an option of which to boot to?

I just added a 500gig Western Digital black caviar drive to my main tower, it was SATA so no need for jumpers just plug it into a power cable in the case and into a free sata plug in the motherboard. I wanted to load Mepis8 linux on it so I used a live cd iso I had burned to set it up and used the partion program on the live cd to create the partition on the new hard drive I wanted to install to. In linux the file format is ext3 so I selected that and let it do it's thing.

Not knowing exactly what you will be doing with yours it is hard to give instruction.
I would suggest going to the website of the drive manufacturer and look up that model and read the manuals they have available

Just be very sure you have backed up your existing drive so that should something go wrong you do not lose your content.
I would image it completely right prior to doing any thing.

and I suggest going into the boot menu to see how they are listed so you know you will be messing with the correct drive! Write down all the identifying info it gives you. The difference in size will be helpful to tell which is which if they are the same brand especially.

RE: Just installed a second hard drive. Now what do I do?

oh man all that post is gone too. I had posted a long post in answer to your now missing post lynn I hope you had seen it before it was eaten by the site gobblins.

RE: Just installed a second hard drive. Now what do I do?

Raven - I have one of my posts that got eaten by goblins - and one of your posts that is missing from this thread. I will paste them both here - for the sake of keeping the integrity of the thread. Let me know if this is what was missing that you posted (or did more disappear)

Here's my missing post:
Damcoy - I'm always forgetting to do a google search.

Raven - it was an OEM drive from Dell - no instructions. I vaguely recall that I'd want to format in NTFS and not FAT32 - though I don't recall what each of those are.

When i first booted up my pc it did see the new hard drive - but I haven't known how to find it again. It seems to be suggesting that it's being labelled as a canon something or other. I don't know what that means to go into the boot menu at start up to see how it's listed. It did not give me an option of which to boot to - of course there's no operating drive on the second drive (at least I guess there's not since I didn't put one there).

I also don't know how to back up my existing drive - which is part of what I want the second drive for. I'd like to back up my programs (and drivers? how would I do that) - perhaps on one partition. And have one or more partitions for files - like video, picture, music, data (word files, emails, etc, saved pages from the web?).

So again, how do I go into the boot menu and see how they're listed? There is a difference in size - the second drive is 1/5TB =- the first is 500 GB.

How could I mess up my existing original drive? by reformatting it? seems i have to have a place to back it up to before i back it up - I guess I could back it up on my external 640GB hard drive.

And here's the one from you that was emailed to me:

I would use an imaging program and make a full copy of your existing drive to your external hard drive so that you have it should something go wrong. There are good free imaging programs, for those with vista and windows 7 there is now a built in imaging feature.

On my computer as soon as it starts to boot up it flashes up and says to enter the boot menu hit esc, I just keep tapping it so I am sure I hit it at the right time, your computer may be different this is not uniform on all computers. Once you get into that area you will see the drives listed, you can choose which one to boot to and what order. I would do some research on what you are wanting to accomplish. I did a lot of reading and researching before I did mine and it really paid off. One thing I had not expected was for the SATA cable to come loose from the mother board after it was all set up, scared the you know what out of me! Luckily I have a see through case and saw the cable dangling.
) CopyWipe free imaging program
) 8 free software to image/backup/ghost your computer (free alternatives to Acronis True Image, Norton Ghost, etc.).

It lookslike some of your post didn't get copied and pasted intact - but it's mostly there. Or was there more than this?


PS - I'm on my way out for the evening (and tomorrow's a day trip that could turn into all day) - so I don't know if I can get to this in the next day or two - as eager as I am to do so)

RE: Just installed a second hard drive. Now what do I do?

That was most of it I think heck my memory is pitiful lol

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