Newbie HD question, 2nd drive for 2nd OS?
Home | Reviews and Features | Special Reports | Forums |

Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Newbie HD question, 2nd drive for 2nd OS?

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    30

    Smile Newbie HD question, 2nd drive for 2nd OS?

    Hi to all,

    Please bear with me, I'm new to upgrading hard drives, and I have what I hope is a simple question. My PC now has a very smooth running Windows XP operating system, which I recently reinstalled after an upgrade to Vista. I got a little frustrated with some things in Vista, so I went back to XP.

    Now, I am wondering if I can purchase a new hard drive, remove this existing drive, install the new drive, and install XP, and then the Vista upgrade onto the new drive, and have two drives for the same computer, and then be able to swap them as I wished between the two hard drives?? I would of course mount the new drive next to the existing one, and just swap the IDE cable between the two...(with the PC powered down, of course!!)

    I am aware of the option of a dual boot, with the partition and all that, but I would much prefer to have a stable, smooth running system to fall back on in case some of my Vista experiments go bad...I don't mind spending the money on the new drive, that isn't an issue. I just want to know if it is a feasible option, to have two HD's, and be able to switch back and forth at will ?? (I'd probably not switch more than every few days or weeks at at time)

    Also, regarding the installation of the OS's in question to the new HD....the XP OS is part of a recovery disc that came with the PC, do you think it will run on the new HD? (I used it to go back to XP from Vista, it did a complete format) Also, regarding the Vista upgrade, will it let me install on this same PC but with a new HD? I read somewhere about a "bios lock" ?, so maybe it won't be an issue with the new HD?

    Thank you in advance for any tips, all are very much appreciated !!
    Glenn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Posts
    6,916
    Quote Originally Posted by rotarydoc
    Now, I am wondering if I can purchase a new hard drive, remove this existing drive, install the new drive, and install XP, and then the Vista upgrade onto the new drive, and have two drives for the same computer, and then be able to swap them as I wished between the two hard drives?? I would of course mount the new drive next to the existing one, and just swap the IDE cable between the two...(with the PC powered down, of course!!)
    Yep. If you plan on swapping lots then you can look into a removable drive enclosure so you just swap the drives in the front of the PC instead of moving cables around inside (but avoid the dirt cheap ones -- they tend to cause more problems after a year or two).
    Also, regarding the installation of the OS's in question to the new HD....the XP OS is part of a recovery disc that came with the PC, do you think it will run on the new HD? (I used it to go back to XP from Vista, it did a complete format) Also, regarding the Vista upgrade, will it let me install on this same PC but with a new HD? I read somewhere about a "bios lock" ?, so maybe it won't be an issue with the new HD?
    You should be fine. There's nothing magic or manufacturer-specific about the hard drive in that sort of system, mainly just the motherboard.
    Safe computing is a habit, not a toolkit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    27,269
    Depends on whether the recovery CD(s) contains all necessary files.
    A number of recovery CD(s) work in conjunction with files on HDD that the system is shipped with.
    "I know nothing."
    Cheers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    30

    Thumbs up Sounds great! Thanks....couple of more questions...

    Thanks Tuttle, Shinma,

    That sounds cool, looks like I have a weekend project now! I have done some research on the existing HDD, and have found some good info on it with a Google search. It's a Seagate Barracuda 7200.9, model number ST3120213A. I am trying to figure what new HDD to buy tomorrow....

    The BIOS info states that it is an IDE drive, and the motherboard where the IDE cable connects says "IDE 1" and "IDE 2"....yet the info on the label of the HDD refers to the drive as an "Ultra ATA", as well as Seagate's website, when I look at the model info...a bit confusing. To add to that, I have seen the term EIDE as well, (I think that is a newer version of IDE?)

    Also, I looked at the jumper configuration chart on the HDD itself, and at Seagate's website. It appears that the jumper is set for "Cable Select", rather than for "master". It says something about if you are using an Ultra ATA cable, then you use this setting, so that it detects the connector? A bit confused here !!??

    So, I guess my question is, am I looking for an IDE/EIDE type HDD for this application? Should I worry about the Ultra ATA designation when looking for a new HDD?

    When it comes time to install the HDD, after I reboot, and check the BIOS to see if it has detected it, should I just attempt to install the XP OS off of the recovery disc, or do I need to use/install the installation discs that come with the HDD (I don't need to transfer any data from my other drive, just a new install) ? Should/will the BIOS usually auto detect the new HDD? The machine BTW is an eMachines, about 1 year old, the M/B is a Micro Star International, with Phoenix BIOS....

    Thanks again for the advice/info, it is very greatly appreciated !!

    Sincerly, Glenn

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Posts
    6,916
    With modern drives, IDE/EIDE/UltraATA are all used pretty much equivalently -- they're drives with the 40-pin data connector you're seeing. The alternative consumer end kit is SATA, which has a little 4-pin data connector about 1 cm wide.

    You shouldn't need to use any software that comes with the drive -- just use the Windows XP disc. The BIOS should notice the change automatically.
    Safe computing is a habit, not a toolkit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    30

    Smile Off to the store...

    Hi Tuttle,

    THANK YOU !! You have been of tremendous help, I really appreciate it, now it's time to review all my choices, look at reviews online, etc. and go get the new drive, and have (hopefully) some fun!

    I will be sure to post the results here, (good or bad!) to follow up, and hopefully provide some info for someone else in the same situation...

    Thanks again so much, Glenn

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    30

    Unhappy Follow up on HDD install....

    Hi all,

    Well, my 2nd OS idea didn't work out so well, although I did learn alot in the process, and did sucessfully install a new HDD in my system, so it was not a total loss...thanks again so much for the advice...

    First of all, Shinma's comment was correct; the restore disc is somehow connected (copy protected) to the OEM hard disc...the restore disc did run on the new HDD, but didn't install the config.sys and some other very important files, they must be on the OEM HDD? I guess, in hindsight, I should have figured this...otherwise, I could make as many XP HDD copies as I wanted....the solution, of course, would be to buy a new copy of XP home, which is not an option at this point.

    So, I got to thinking, and the software that comes with the HDD allows you to copy one HDD directly to the other....so I figured I'd give that a shot. No luck there either, once completed, the copy program said that some files could not be copied, and sure enough, when I tried to start the PC with the newly copied HDD (made from a good, running copy of XP), the error message I got was simple and straightforward...."MISSING OS" !

    In the end, it really doesn't matter anyways, I would have been disappointed in the results...I tried another reinstall of Vista, and have the same (PC locks up) problem as I did before...I just wanted to have it on another HDD so I could do some more research on the issue...

    I think I will post a message in the Software forum, maybe someone has seen this before...basically, the PC will not run (locks up) in Vista after a simple CPU upgrade, but will run fine in XP with the same upgrade ? I don't know, but it's frustrating...

    Again, thanks so much for the excellent advice and comments !!

    Glenn

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •