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Help installing Hard drive please

Fantasticfourum
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Help installing Hard drive please

I have installed a 400 gig Seagate hard drive to my Dell Dimension 4300 but as i am not very computer intelligent i wonder if someone can give me an idiot proof step by step idea of what i do next,presumably i format it etc. After i installed it my comp said at startup that an unknown hard drive was detected or something similar, should i go into F2 to set up. I basically hope i can run Windows XP from my existing drive and use the new drive for storage if possible ? Or has anyone any better ideas, i dont really want to go through the re installing all my sotware etc i dont know where half the discs are ? Any help would be greatly appreciated.....Thanks in advance...Mike
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Help installing Hard drive please

Fantasticfourum
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Help installing Hard drive please

Thanks Jim
Formatting disk now but it looks like its going to take a long long time......
Regards
Mike
Fantasticfourum
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Re: Help installing Hard drive please

Just a thought can i transfer my programmes etc to the new drive or would i need the disks and make a fresh install ?
Denzil
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Re: Help installing Hard drive please

400Gb will take a long time to format. Go and make yourself a cup of tea/read War and Peace/take a long holiday.  Smiley
I wouldn't bother putting your applications on the new drive, just us ethe old one for Windows and programs and the new one for data. You can't just copy programs over as things like registry settings and data storage will not be setup correctly. They would have to be installed properly.
Community Veteran
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Re: Help installing Hard drive please

aargh! you should have selected quick format.
With respect to data - if you right click on the My Documents icon on your desktop you can select the move option and it will move all your data to the new drive if that's what you want.
Pendragon
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Re: Help installing Hard drive please

Sorry to correct you James but your information is incorrect.
The longer duration of the ‘Full Format’ is caused by the software doing a bad sector scan on the entire hard disk. As can be seen from the Microsoft document found here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302686 it does not delete any files from your disk (that’s why the security services love Microsoft).
Regards, P.
Fantasticfourum
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Help installing Hard drive please

I am a bit confused, i have installed a new drive so there shouldnt be any data to delete on the drive so what is full format deleting ? or am i talking out of my rear. I selected full format because quick format sounds a bit like only doing half the job if its not necessary why does it not just do a quick format ?
by the look of it it will take 4+ hours to format....
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Help installing Hard drive please

Call me a masochist but I always do a full format on a new drive. If there are any bad sectors I want them noted by the full format.
The nice thing about having a big second drive is that you can make an image backup of your smaller system drive. Well worth doing if you have the space!
Pendragon
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Re: Help installing Hard drive please

Fantasticforum
Sorry we went off on a bit of a tangent for you there. I’ll try and explain as best I can and see if the fog clears for you.
With a blank drive a number of things have to happen before you can use it, first it has to be ‘initialised’ this is often done by the manufacture (as was yours) but can be done by Windows. Sometimes when you add a new drive it looks to the system like a CDROM and you get no black band to click on and set up your partitions, in that case you right click on the drive icon and the pop up window will give you the option to ‘initialise’ the drive (not applicable in your case so don’t worry).
Next you have to partition the drive either using a standalone partition manager or Windows’s own built in manager. Then you have to format the partitions. For the first time use you should use a Full Format of the partition(s), this puts down the initial FAT table (File Allocation Table), makes a copy and stores this just after the original and then does a full sector by sector scan of your hard disk (or partition) for errors and maps them to the error map stored on your drive (it should find none on a new drive as they should already be mapped but it’s better to be safe than sorry). You can use a Quick Format but I agree with God and Peter better to spend the time now than curse later (and I’ve been doing this from when drives were MFM and RLL and you had to set interleaving and stuff).
So what happens when you have data on your drive and you do a format? Well the format command first makes a copy of the FAT and stores this as a hidden file right at the very end of your hard disk (ever wondered why you can never use the final 8 meg on your hard disk) then it overwrites the initial FAT (it often ignores the second copy) and if you are using the Full Format it does a new bad sector scan of the hard disk (well the partition your formatting actually but that is splitting hairs). It leaves all the file data intact on your drive and suitable software can retrieve the files and data and even do an ‘Un-format’ of the entire partition. My very old copy of Norton Utilities could un-format a partition in no-time by just copying back the hidden file and bang all was good as new (users thought I was God in them days).
That is why when you recycle your old computer you should always run a ‘disk scrubber’ type application on the hard disk to completely destroy all data and files on the drive before parting with it.
I hope the fog is a little clearer now, regards, P.
Edit: even the spell checker in Word can't spell  Grin

Fantasticfourum
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Re: Help installing Hard drive please

Many thanks yes the fog has certainly cleared Thanks
Whilst i am on can i only use my new hard disk for data storage or can i install programmes on it or will i have to install an OS first before i can install anything
Many Thanks
Community Veteran
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Re: Help installing Hard drive please

You can install programs there as well.
I recommend creating a directory "Program Files" and installing them there so that it keeps things a bit tidier.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Help installing Hard drive please

You can store programs or data on it. If your original disk has XP on it then the new disk is really an empty bucket for you to fill.
If you want to install new programs to the new drive you will have to point the installation path from the default to your new drive.
So when application ABC says it wants to install to c:\programs\ABC you need to browse to the location of your new drive... Or if your new drive is 'D' for example just change the ’C’ in the path to a ‘D’ and then all the files will be installed to d:\programs\ABC.
Community Veteran
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Re: Help installing Hard drive please

The point behind a new hard is that its new and as such in theory it should be trouble free fro 2 years.
Secondly its likely its faster than the drive you have so putting XP on it would speed up your system a lot .
So the best way forward is to put the new drive in as the master and your old drive as the slave then use the free disk copier from
http://www.miray.de/products/sat.hdclone.html#info
This will copy the hard drive and you system will then boot from the newer faster drive with a backup copy on the old drive.
You have the option whether to use all the new drive for windows or split it up into 2 partions.

Fantasticfourum
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Re: Help installing Hard drive please

That sounds just what i want,you are right about running faster i loaded a few gigs worth of pictures and the access speed was far greater than i am currently getting on my old hard disk. I will download now.
Many thanks everyone for all your help