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A couple of questions on these Numbers and such.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DrkSdBls, Sep 9, 2003.

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  1. DrkSdBls

    DrkSdBls Thread Starter

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    First what does:
    Interface: IDE ULTRA ATA100
    Interface: IDE ULTRA ATA133
    Interface: Serial ATA

    Mean on a Hard Drive? I understand that it's the connection type but does it matter when installing a new Hard Drive?

    Also, Seek time: 9ms. What exactly does that mean? Because these another one here that's listed as Seek time: <9ms with that little [< ] symbal.
     
  2. DrkSdBls

    DrkSdBls Thread Starter

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    Ok. Too refine this quary a little:

    According to AIDA32, my interface is listed as Ultra-ATA/66. I'd like to know if I must buy a New Hard drive also listed as Ultra-ATA/66 (as I can't seam to find one) or could I use one Listed as Ultra-ATA100 or Ultra-ATA133?

    If not, is there a way to switch them to make them compatible?


    I need to now this if I hope to replace this failing HD!
     
  3. brushmaster1

    brushmaster1

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    You can use an Ultra-ATA100 or 133 drive, but it will only operate at the same speed as an Ultra-ATA66 drive.
     
  4. DrkSdBls

    DrkSdBls Thread Starter

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    Ok so what must I do (Short of Buying a completely new computer) that could fix that problem? Could it be fixed?

    Is this something to with the Motherboard or the CPU or what?
     
  5. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    Hi, The answer to that is complicated. Capabilities of your system depend MOSTLY on the motherboard, it's chipset and processor, BIOS, things like that. Motherboard and BIOS limit processor you can upgrade to. (Some processors were not out yet- the motherboard just needs a BIOS update to be able to either automatically recognize/configure or be able to be set up to use those processors) Same for memory> some systems may only use certain RAM of one type, like SIMMs in matched pairs, or EDO SIMMS- some even older motherboards can accept either SDRAM modules or SIMMs, they have both kinds of RAM slots you use one or the other.... there are all kinds of twists and turns with the motherboard and what it can or cannot do.
    Chipset includes what hard drives it will run- upgrading beyond what it was built for usually means the hardware will work, but not at the fullest it is capable of...like ATA 66 or 100. RAM is much the same, PC133 memory will work usually in PC100 motherboards, but only at 100mhz.
    For hard drives- there are devices you can buy, PCI controller cards, that will bypass the motherboard and BIOS configuration and run hard drives, CDROMs, at the newer levels- they do not cost much but can be tricky to set up. You have to be fairly well acquainted with setting up hard drives, working in BIOS, understanding the installation of drives, jumpers, cables etc to be able to install and use these type of things. Not saying it is too difficult for most anyone- depends on how much time you have to learn, how much you understand about the tech terms involved, how willing you are to work inside the pc's case, etc. Hard drives are still readily available in much higher storage capacity that you could use without getting into an ATA controller card. True, you pay a bit more for the older technology often, and those huge new drives are very tempting...but even if you get it installed, you will probably need to partition it into separate disks to use the whole drive- another fairly technical operation that can be at first confusing and frustrating. Here is a google search results page listing lots of ATA/66 drives for sale-
    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q=ATA+66+hard+drives+buy+online

    Your question about >9ms Milliseconds, refers to what is called seek time...the speeds at which the drive reads or writes data....lower the number, faster the drive in general....the older slower drives had higher seek times. Here's a drive spec list for reference::http://www.exhardware.com/reviews.php?Id=88
    See all five pages in that link for good info.
     
  6. hammerbill

    hammerbill

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    Just don't buy the serial ATA drive. It won't work in your system even though it is the fastest IDE so far. In my opinion, you should buy another drive-either ATA 66, 100 or 133. Actually, the price differences are not that much, if any, so why not go with the 133? It may only work at the speed of a 66 in your system but it will be more fitting if you ever decided to upgrade.
    So far as the ATA cards are concerned, I really don't think you would have a hard time putting one in and wouldn't discourage you from doing it at all. You will find them, sometimes at a good price on ebay or at computer volume dealer for a bit more. A good one is any Maxtor ATA 100 or 133 card. Just put it in a pci slot and connect your hard drive as per instructions that come with the card or at maxtor.com. This option is only necessary if you want to get a little more speed from an upgrade (100-133) hard drive and feel a bit nerdy about the whole thing. As mentioned, the drive will plug right into your existing cables/ports just fine. Don't forget to set the master/slave jumper as per instructions. The procedure is fairly simple and we are happy to help if you get stuck (use someone else's connection?).
     
  7. DrkSdBls

    DrkSdBls Thread Starter

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    If I do buy a PCI controller card, would you really think it's worth it?

    This is my new HD:
    160.0GB
    Ultra ATA data transfer speed133MB/sec.
    7200 rpm
    <9.4 ms average seek time
    8MB cache buffer
    ATA/IDE interface

    I Grabbed it since I thought at the time it was a great deal but I'm wondering if the PCI controller card would be necessary or not. If at the very Least I'm buying a new computer one peice at a time since it'll be cheaper then trying to just upgrade this one but is the PCI controller card willing worth $40?


    Also another side Question, what would be the best deal for a 256MB SDRAM chip? BestBuy has some pretty good deals going on right now but mostly for PNY and I'm trying for another Kingston or better instead.
     
  8. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    Hi, The situation is- your new drive would run somewhat better/faster....measured in milliseconds, the only thing you would notice it with is opening really large files, transferring large files like videos, working with graphics intensive programs... they are smooth running I can tell you that, and you will appreciate the quick response they give you. The drive should come with a disk to set up the drive in case your BIOS cannot use the full size of drive, or will not recognize it at all, the software provided or that you download and use to make a bootable floppy disk, like the MaxBlast.exe program from Maxtor will help you partition the drive so that you can use the whole size but will have to split it into partitions. Then, instead of one drive C:, in places like My Computer or Windows Explorer, you will see drive D:, E:, and so on....plus other CD drives, etc.
    Having more than one partiton has its benefits....you can save a ton of data, backup many things, use more than one operating system....and have OSes separate from data....in case Windows goes beserk on the main boot drive, you can reinstall and not lose your saved files and some programs....the drawbacks to having more than one partition are few....you must be careful to get things sent to correct drives, deleting things, like that. Maxtor drives come with a jumper setting to lower the capacity of the drive so you dont have to use a drive overlay or partition it so much, but who likes that idea? Only other drawback- time it may take to defrag all drives or one drive of that size. That depends a lot on your system, too.
    256MB PC133 chips are up right now in price...you can hunt around places like www.pricewatch.com for deals. $40 is average, but some places have good rebates making the cost around $10!! Older RAM is getting harder to get really cheap.
    For the money, I feel Crucial RAM is probably the best; PNY I have worked with, also Kingston, I like Crucial the best in PC100-133 types. It's price is high right now- cant tell you where it is headed, either, but as you know there are other brands.
    To get the performance benefits of a new fast drive like an ATA133, you'd HAVE to use a controller card or be satisfied with slightly better performance only and tons of disk space. Controller cards like the Promise brand were about $25, but since you need the Ultra type not their basic model, I would think $40 is about right, really havent looked at those Ultra prices lately.
    Using one depends on how much trouble you get from your system, there CAN be quirks using them, you may have to disable booting from the Primary IDE port of the motherboard for instance....it may not be so with your system, so don't accept what I say as what will be- the cards have their own BIOS to boot from, and drivers that you install from disk like other devices...if it works, it will improve your computing experience I would think, and let you enjoy the new drive and get your bang for bux...Your drive would of course be usable someday in either an upgrade or new pc with a newer motherboard where you might not need a controller card. One good thing the controller card will do- you can use more than 4 drives/CD drives- BUT you have to watch the power supply when you do that- you may not have enough output if you load up with more hard drives, CDs etc- so there you go, another item you might have to replace....
     
  9. DrkSdBls

    DrkSdBls Thread Starter

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    Here's another question. Say I place my new drive as Slave Drive only (using my 7GB as the Master/System Drive), would I still have the same Problems as running it as Master?

    Right now, I have three Hard Drives, one CDRom Drive, an A: Drive, and At least two Shadow Drives (for various Purposes) all running on this computer. As you can expect, my Windows Explorer folders looks like Alphabet Soup! If I do partition the drive into many, would it still run as you said it would, with drawbacks??

    I really can't afford to go for a Controller card at the moment. I'll just run it at 66 for now. Storage and Mantinance is my main concern anyway.
     
  10. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    hi, If you used the new big drive as Master- it would be the boot drive, you would have to install an operating system on it. You could then transfer files to it's divisions (partitions you create on the new large drive) and remove those small hard drives. You should not try to transfer programs by copying files....it usually does not work as during an install, files are placed in different folders, files are shared, etc. Reinstalling programs from source disk or download from the Net is the way to go. You generally have no problem moving ordinary things like pics, music, docs.
    You could format the old drives when done and use them somewhere or get rid of them. You would probably only need the one large drive....unless you are storing movies, videos, huge files of some sort. Maybe one of the small drives as a backup device. That's always handy- drives can go bad very suddenly. I replaced a 40GB Maxtor drive yesterday for a business, had until 2004 in warranty.
    The drive will run at the speed of the motherboard, in your case, ATA66--unless you configure a controller card. I think this has been said a few times....only upgrading motherboard can improve your system's performance in relation to hard drive.
    Adding RAM can help, so can maintenance like defragging if you do a lot of file copy, deleting, uninstalling programs...
    Running less applications at startup is another thing you can use to improve things....and so is checking for trojan worms, and junkware using SpyBot or AdAware and posting a Hijackthis scan log for review- have you ever checked for anything on the system?
    ANY hard drive in any spot in the system, MUST be able to be recognized by the BIOS- you will have to divide it into drives with logical drives on extended partitions to use it. You can do this manually, provided the computer will even boot with it in and "see" it as what size it is, which is doubtful. You will probably have to use the installation disk that comes with it to do this for you- it can partition into drives as you want, format the drives, check the drive....one such is MaxBlast from Maxtor. I used it last nite to check a suspected dead drive.
     
  11. DrkSdBls

    DrkSdBls Thread Starter

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    I have numerious Programs Checking my System, far to many actually. That's only adds to some of my problems, as many of them are quite large. SpyBot and ADaware are quite useful though, even if I have to be careful using Spybot with Kazaa installed (even if I can't use it right now).
     
  12. hammerbill

    hammerbill

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    I'll tell you what, I have found bid deals on ebay for those cards pretty cheap-15 dollars or so. (keep an eye out for shipping gouges, though). Of course the problem is that if they are used, there is always the possibility of being stuck with an ebay paperweight. I personally like to run a lot of drives and my extras are SCSI's. I use partition magic and bootmagic and have computers with 3-5 different operating systems on them, just for the fun of it.
    As for the memory, it's pretty good advice to look in office stores and get those rebate deals. I personally recommend using exactly the same brand of memory in each socket. So if I already had, say, Kingstons, I would buy another one if possible for the same computer. I even go so far as to put in the same sizes and check the embedded chips for the same chip brand but that's just me-I get carried away.
    One issue that I have never resolved is whether or not putting drives of different speeds on the same cable/channel has a detrimental affect on the faster drive. I posted just such a question here once and got equal answers saying it did and others saying it didn't. I decided to leave all my IDE channels as single drives unless both drives have the same ata rating and, as mentioned, just use SCSI's. But I think it would be wise to at least have them close, say put an ata100 with an ata133 instead of with a zip drive. The IDE card makes this easier.
     
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