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hard drive issues

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm kinda hoping there are some computer engineers on here. Unfortunatly my hard-drive is totally full and i need a new one. How easy are they to install? I dont wanna break it by messing about inside. I've put an ethernet card in before, that was easy enough but are hard drives more complicated? And when I've physically put it in, are they easy to set up? I dont want to reformat my existing drive because I've got so much on it. Advice much appreciated!!!!
:D
________
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From what a mate told me they're quite easy to install, however you have to make sure they're compatible with the motherboard/processor. Your local computer store should be able to advise on this, but make sure you take the spec from your current system with you.

    That said, I recently upgraded myself. Given that I wanted a larger HD and also to move up to Win XP, their advice was to go for a new unit entirely. When I worked out the prices they were actually right, and I got a DVD drive as a bonus. So it will probably also depend on what sort of upgrade you're looking for.

    PS I'd recommend my current system, E machines 550. Very fast for its type and very reliable.

    Hope this helps
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    HDD's are relatively easy to install, provided you follow the instructions that come with them. If you don't, you could struggle.

    Firstly, you must make sure that any HDD you buy is compatible with your system's motherboard. Most modern HDDs use a ATA/UDMA100 interface. Older motherboards may not support this, so getting a new HDD really depends on how old your system is.

    Another thing that affects the useability of an HDD is the operating system that you are running. Win95 OSR2 and above support large the FAT32 file system, which means that it supports large HDDs (over 2GB in size). If you're running 95 at the moment, you should seriously consider changing OS's before you upgrade, as the smallest HDD commercially available these days is about 20GB.

    If you install the drive as an IDE "slave" to your existing drive, you will be able to format it and use it through My Computer.

    If you've got any problems, don't hesitate to PM me or try contacting me on MSN or ICQ.

    See you round,

    CD
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by nightrocker
    ...Emachines 550...

    Same as mine :) Although quite a lot of the original machine has been replaced :rolleyes:

    Agree as well. Very reliable etc etc blah blah :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Win95 OSR2 and above support large the FAT32 file system, which means that it supports large HDDs (over 2GB in size).

    Very true, however FAT32 is a basic home user file system (Windows 95, 98 and ME) which is currently being phased out totally since the release of Windows XP (Home & Professional) which both favour the NTFS approach for its security and dynamic disk features. However FAT32 drives running 95, 98 or ME can't read NTFS drives. Microsoft's mission is to now completely phase out FAT32 and I don't reckon it will feature at all from the next release of the windows platform after the .NET server products.

    If you're running 95 at the moment, you should seriously consider changing OS's before you upgrade

    I'd recommend avoiding Windows ME at all costs as its a real foul operating system, its basically a loved up Windows 98SE which tries to access the internet for everything and has all manner of problems with system crashes and the like.

    Whats the stats on your system? After all machine spec plays an important role as to what O/S you should move to. Ignore what the box says for its minimum spec as if you followed that your machine would chug like a steam train and you'd never get anything done. You can put Windows XP on a 330Mhz machine and it'll work, given you've got plenty of time to stall around and wait for it to regain life.

    If you install the drive as an IDE "slave" to your existing drive, you will be able to format it and use it through My Computer

    Slave drives, yes, if your wanting to have two HDD in your machine then you need to set one as master and one as slave, obviously the machine is going to get confused if you have two masters. Setting the drives is done by things called jumpers, which are these little black flat plastic square things you'll find on the back of your HDD. You may need to buy an additional IDE cable as the one you currently have may not have an additional slot for another HDD. You may also need to go into BIOS to detect your drive, thats usually done by pressing 'DEL' when your machine boots up.

    Its not as hard as it sounds...

    If you have any questions don't hessitate to mention them :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My pc is a compaq presario 5000 series.
    With intel celeron 600mhz
    64mb ram
    windows me operating system.

    Im considering gettin a whole new pc now, if i can find a decent loan rate. it means a lot of cd's to create though. it's a shame cos it's a great pc but i would like to upgrade ram and the processor too, besides, i hate me but i had to install it cos of an error with my 98 setup.

    ah well

    u reckon its worth getting a new cpu or is my ram n processor adequate for a fast, efficient system?
    ________
    Body science
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    *scratches chin*

    Lets see, the first thing I'd do here is get out the motherboard book and have a look at what your motherboard can take...

    *goes and does a little search*

    OK, if your wanting to upgrade your machine this is what I recommend:

    Firstly upgrade your RAM, that'll make your machine quite a bit faster, your motherboard can support up to 512 if I'm not mistaken and sticking in at least 128 (256 recommended) will improve your machines performance.

    As for your processor, take your motherboard/system book with all the specs to a computer shop and they will be able to advise on processors as I need to to know your exact motherboard model in order to get correct information.

    O/S, hmmmm, this is your choice, if you can Windows 2000 Pro is quite good (my MCSA in the 2000 area doesn't sway me honestly) or perhaps even Windows XP. Try and stear clear of ME if you can, you'll notice your machine's stability in no time, even 98SE was more stable that ME.

    Hard Drives - Your machine is already 15GB if I'm not mistaken, if your one of these people who likes mp3s/DivX movies or even games then I recommend at least a 40GB which will keep you busy for the long run. Perhaps partition it into 2, have your system partition as say FAT32/NTFS and keep all your system files (ie. Windows, Office etc.) on that half and your personal stuff (ie. mp3s, backup setup files, personal documents) on the other partition... thats a good method for data protection, so for example should you need to format your C:/ then all your important stuff is on your D:/ so you don't loose it. :)

    .... that'll keep you busy for the moment, if you want any more info just give us a shout ;)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: *scratches chin*
    Originally posted by Justin Credible
    Lets see, the first thing I'd do here is get out the motherboard book and have a look at what your motherboard can take...

    *goes and does a little search*

    OK, if your wanting to upgrade your machine this is what I recommend:

    Firstly upgrade your RAM, that'll make your machine quite a bit faster, your motherboard can support up to 512 if I'm not mistaken and sticking in at least 128 (256 recommended) will improve your machines performance.

    As for your processor, take your motherboard/system book with all the specs to a computer shop and they will be able to advise on processors as I need to to know your exact motherboard model in order to get correct information.

    O/S, hmmmm, this is your choice, if you can Windows 2000 Pro is quite good (my MCSA in the 2000 area doesn't sway me honestly) or perhaps even Windows XP. Try and stear clear of ME if you can, you'll notice your machine's stability in no time, even 98SE was more stable that ME.

    Hard Drives - Your machine is already 15GB if I'm not mistaken, if your one of these people who likes mp3s/DivX movies or even games then I recommend at least a 40GB which will keep you busy for the long run. Perhaps partition it into 2, have your system partition as say FAT32/NTFS and keep all your system files (ie. Windows, Office etc.) on that half and your personal stuff (ie. mp3s, backup setup files, personal documents) on the other partition... thats a good method for data protection, so for example should you need to format your C:/ then all your important stuff is on your D:/ so you don't loose it. :)

    .... that'll keep you busy for the moment, if you want any more info just give us a shout ;)

    my pc was one of these prefab ones that came with little interms of info. havent got a clue about my motherboard. it says its 15gb but its already split into c, 12gb and d,1.8 gb. im an mp3 monster!

    i think i should just go for it n replace the whole thing.

    one other things.
    i have a cd-r drive. ive heard that if u get dvd disks, u can copy things onto dvd with a normal cd-r drive? is this true? it'd be very handy if i could get all my important bits onto a few disks rather than 20 cds
    ________
    Coach handbags
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    heh

    i have a cd-r drive. ive heard that if u get dvd disks, u can copy things onto dvd with a normal cd-r drive? is this true? it'd be very handy if i could get all my important bits onto a few disks rather than 20 cds

    No, the formats are different, if you want to burn to a DVD you need a DVD-R like the HP one, but those are pretty expensive.

    Why not ZIP or RAR all your files, the compression could cut your file size down quite dramatically, you can always unzip them once on your new machine.

    If its movies your interested in copying from DVD then with a DVD drive you can encode them into DivX or AVI and watch them on your machine at any point - however thats illegal *slaps wrist* ;)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: heh
    Originally posted by Justin Credible
    i have a cd-r drive. ive heard that if u get dvd disks, u can copy things onto dvd with a normal cd-r drive? is this true? it'd be very handy if i could get all my important bits onto a few disks rather than 20 cds

    No, the formats are different, if you want to burn to a DVD you need a DVD-R like the HP one, but those are pretty expensive.

    Why not ZIP or RAR all your files, the compression could cut your file size down quite dramatically, you can always unzip them once on your new machine.

    If its movies your interested in copying from DVD then with a DVD drive you can encode them into DivX or AVI and watch them on your machine at any point - however thats illegal *slaps wrist* ;)

    how'd u turn em into zip's or rar's? what exactly does it do n what does it mean. sorry, im a novice when it comes to such technicalities
    ________
    Diamanda
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    easy :)

    go to one of these and download either Winzip or WinRAR:

    http://www.winzip.com
    http://www.winrar.com

    Basically its a method of archiving files.. what they do is compress the files into one which is either in a format such as .zip or .rar and can even be made into a self-extracting .exe.

    You can cut your file size to as much as 3/4 sometimes which is pretty good. Just remember that unless you have Windows XP you'll need a copy of WinRAR/Winzip to extract the files (unless you make them self-extracting)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wow Justin :),

    *flash backs to Work Experience*

    Firstly agree with the RAM. Try to get as much as you can rasonably afford. It's fairly cheap though so you should be alright/ RAM is quickest and easiest way to upgrade your Computers insides. I'd reccomend www.crucial.com/uk I've used them at least 3 times and they are very very good. Also, do yourself a hewuge finanical favour and don't buy RAM from high street retailers (Comet etc) as they are generally so expensive it's untrue.

    Hard drives. I have the same problem as you but can't afford to anything about it. I've had this computer for near on 2 years and have backed up MP3's alone at least 3 times :eek: :rolleyes:. At one point I had 9GB of music on a 15GB hard drive - all on a 56K connection :eek:. If you're frequently downlading media then, as Justin said, you need at least 40GB so you can stop counting MB/GB. Again, alweays check with compatibility with what you've already got. People will be able to sort this out for you.

    What was next?? DVD-R? So bloody expensive at the moment. The drives are about £300ish and the actual Media is also very very expensive compared with CD-R.

    Operating Sytems. I ran ME for a while before I... err... "got hold of" XP Proffesional. It works and everything and the system is a lot more stable etc etc. Not sure if I'd have paid that sort of money though :confused:. I was never really that desperate to replace ME though.

    Upgrade or new system? It's probably cheaper to upgrade your current system. BUT you have to be careful you know what you're doing and it's more effort. You can also have more a custom feel to your machine as you can hand pick the processor, hard drive etc etc. A new system would most likely be more expensive (although by how much if you keep your current monitor).

    :D
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