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Eligibility for second hard drive?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mtcabral, Apr 25, 2004.

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  1. mtcabral

    mtcabral Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
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    Hi, some newbie questions about (potentially) adding a second hard drive to me PC. Thanks for any help!

    1) I've currently got a single internal hard drive. The IDE ribbon cable does not have the "middle" connector on it. Does that mean I just need to swap the connector to one with the middle connector so I can attach a slave? Or is it possible that I somehow can't add a slave, and that's why Dell put that cable in there?

    2) I don't have a standard bay/slot for a second hard drive. Is it possible for me to put it in the spot for the floppy or the second CD bay? If so, do I need to put it in some sort of enclosure/chassis?

    3) Speaking of enclosures, with the way my PC is set up internally, am I better off with an a drive in an external enclosure or a USB external drive? If so, how should I expect with of those solutions to perform as compared to an internal?

    Thanks!
    Mike
     
  2. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Messages:
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    Welcome to TSG!
    A well described and crystal clear post! Its a pleasure to read.

    Dell probably used a single connector cable for economy, but these are some unknows you might be able to answer:
    What version of Windows? Older versions may have difficulty with large drives available today.

    Do you have a CD Drive, and what cable is that connected to? It may be using the second separate IDE (flat) cable?

    Is your HDD (and CD Drive?) connected as Master or as Cable Select? This may affect the type of cable you need to replace the one existing. You need to look at the jumper settings for your existing HDD, and compare them with the diagram (usually on the HDD housing) that explains what settings are what.

    If its Master, then you need a standard IDE cable with 3 connectors. (2 at one end and 1 at the motherboard end)

    You would set your new HDD as Slave then.

    Internal IDE connected is better than external USB in terms of speed and cost.
    USB 2 is reasonably fast, but older USB 1.1 is quite slow.

    Although you may not have a spare "bay", its possible that you could still find mounting for the second drive internally.
     
  3. McTimson

    McTimson

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    Aug 15, 2002
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    1. Yes, you can add one, you will need a cable with the middle connector, should be cheap, may even come with the drive. I think manufacturers use the single cables to scare you into adding another drive.

    2. It will fit in the floppy slot with no problems, however, if you want to put it in teh CD drive bay, you will need a 3.5" to 5.25" adapter, which is basically just a piece of metal that you put on the side of the drive to make it fit.

    3. Whichever you prefer. If you think it'll be too much hassle putting one inside, then go for an external one. You'll get slight performance loss, but I don't think it would be that much.
     
  4. mtcabral

    mtcabral Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
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    Thanks, guys! Great and quick replies. This looks like a great board. I'll definitely try to contribute where I can.

    Glad to hear it sounds like I can add the drive. Answers to a few of your questions:

    I'm running XP SP1. I do have a CD drive, and its got its own cable out to its own slot on the motherboard. Not sure about the master versus cable select thing. It's the only HDD in there, so I just assumed it's the master, but it sounds like that's not necssarily true? My single HDD has its IDE cable out to the slot on the motherboard, and another connection (which I assume is out to the power supply?). Speaking of power, how does the second HDD get its power? Does one drive just plug into the other?

    Thanks!
    Mike
     
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