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Hard Drive Upgrade

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Wogus, Nov 18, 2001.

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  1. Wogus

    Wogus Thread Starter

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    I am running a pretty basic machine - a 500Mhz Compaq Presario with Windows 98SE, 256Mb, 10Gig HD, CD ROM, USB Zip and the usual 3.5" floppy.

    Currently I have a 10Gb C: drive that has been partitioned into a C: / D: (roughly 7 and 3 Gb's respectively). The Compaq factory software it seems, partitioned my drive, and uses the "D:" drive as a "backup" This seems pointless to me, since we talking about the same physical drive.

    Sooooo... What I want to do is this:

    Install a new 20 Gb drive to be my new C: drive, while keeping the old 10Gb as a physical D: drive. I do NOT wish to have the new 20 Gig drive partitioned at all, as the old 10Gb drive will be used as a system backup.

    My question is, how can I best accomplish this? I have heard of software that allows for control of partitioning and backing up and such (Norton Ghost?) but I would prefer to do this "cheap" if I can, and I don't mind mucking around a bit, if that's all that is required.

    Any and all advice/direction is certainly appreciated.
     
  2. brianF

    brianF

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    Only problem is after you install the new drive, fdisk and format, your going to need a copy of win98 to install, I don't think your restore cd will allow you to install to single partition.
     
  3. deuce

    deuce

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    You are going to have a big problem if you don't do this correctly. Compaq usually creats a boot partition on your master HD (although it is usually hidden). This is unique to Compaq and is hard to create yourself (I have never been able to do it) but if you don't have it on there you can't boot your system. Usually, the only way to copy the boot partition is to image the entire drive, thus not allowing you to merge the two partitions. I imagine the system restore will do it, but only on the original HD. So what I am saying is you might have to live with the double partition. If the HD is only for system backup, then you might just as well forget about it soon. I am not sure (hopefully someone will jump in) but I think your only choice as to removing the partiton is merging it into the other one, and I am not sure if your machine will let you do that, but even if you can merge it (keeping the boot partition intact) then I am not sure if the computer can boot from it if it is on the slave drive. So what I am saying is, if this 3 GB partition is the boot partition, you might need it on your master HD. If it is just a back up and isn't the boot partition (thus the "hidden" partition) then you will be ok, only you are going to have to image your entire drive on to the 20 GB. Windows cannot create this hidden partition for you when you install windows, and as far as I am concerned, only compaq can do this.

    So like I said, you need to find out if you have 3 partitions on your 10 GB. (C:, D:, and the "hidden" one)One way to do this is go into your bios and check how many MB your bios says is on the drive. Then add up the exact total in windows for C: and D: and if there is more than 200 mb missing than you probably have a "hidden" partition. (accounting for slack space)--I'm not sure if that works. So anyway, I hope someone who knows more about this than me can jump in, but if you have a hidden partition, you need that hidden partition on your master drive. If this is so, let me know and I can walk you through the steps of puting the "hidden" partition on the master drive (the 20 GB) and then merging the 10 GB HD together. It is alittle time consuming.

    Sorry if this is confusing, but it is a little hard to explain. I have three compaqs and have had to deal with this problem a few times. Unfortunately with compaq, you can't boot your system without the hidden partition, and windows can't make it for you.
     
  4. Wogus

    Wogus Thread Starter

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    Brian, Deuce...

    Thanks for your input. I kind of figured this was going to turn into more trouble than it was worth, and now I'm convinced.

    I've run through the options numerous times, and none of them seem particularly attractive, especially when compared to the money and/or effort that be involved.

    I could do a data transfer from the 20G to the 10G, put up with the partition(s?) and then use the 10G for additional storage or whatever, but my local 'puter shop want's $70 to do the data transfer. With all that considered, a lot of the shine has come off this whole deal.

    Oh well... nothing is simple these days it seems. Again, thanks for your input. I'm certainly glad I asked first!!
     
  5. Paul Nagel

    Paul Nagel

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    You can try an find the Compaq hard drive program(it mimics a bios program) on there web site under support.

    http://www.compaq.com/support/files/

    I have done this before but it was awile ago. You need to download a file that creates i believe 2 floppys. You have to run them to install a small partition, about 2 mb, with Compaq's program on the hard drive before you do anything else. If you post the specific model number of the computer and other relevant info, i will try and locate it for you if you cannot.
    The Western Digital hard drive you want to install should have come with a floppy. They have a program on it called EZ Install. It should allow you to install the new drive as a slave, run EZ Install and copy everything including the OS to the new drive. I does make an exact copy of the original drive. I think it allows you to selectively pick which drive you want to copy, so you could skip the Compaq backup drive. It does not restrict you to the same size partition as it is usually being used to install a larger drive. I dont know if it will duplicate the Compaq special partition or not, but it may be worth trying to run the program and finding out if "Sees" the special partition. If you dont have the floppy, you can download the program as part of the Diagnostics program from:


    http://www.westerndigital.com/service/diagnostics.html
     
  6. deuce

    deuce

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    Yes, EZ install copies the "hidden" partition. (otherwise compaq would be screwed as compaq customers wouldn't be able to upgrade to new HD, and would be very pissed.) I didn't mean to scare you off, but I just wanted to make sure that you knew it isn't easy so you didn't do something that would make things much, much worse. (as I did the first time I tried) I have done this same thing before (with compaqs, of course) so if you decide you are gong to want to do it, let me know and I'll walk you through it. :)
     
  7. Wogus

    Wogus Thread Starter

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    Paul... I went here: http://web14.compaq.com/falco/sp_list.asp
    looking for that driver, but after poking around for a little while, I was not able to find anything that looked even remotely similar to what you were describing...

    Before I get too deep into this, let me see if I have the process down, basically, that I am going to have to go through:

    1. Buy, install, and format my new 20G HD. (I'm waiting till I am fully convinced I can do this before I plunk down my hard earned dinero. Wow! Am I glad I asked first!!)

    2. Obtain and install Mysterious Compaq Software that installs these "needed" (and seemingly useless!) partitions on my now newly installed, but bare, 20GB drive.

    3. Image my old 10GB (C:) drive onto my new, Compaq partitioned, 20GB drive

    4. Swap the drives - making the 20G my "new" C: .

    5. See if we can then erase the partition on the 10G HD... which as I understand it is, at this point, a little questionable.

    6. Bask in the warm glow of my new, copious HD real estate, and the unstated admiration of my peers.

    If that's pretty much what needs to be done... that's not tooooo bad. And it sounds like the worst case scenario is that I wind up with "four" drives (thank you Compaq): A partitioned 20GB (C:/D:) and a partitioned 10GB (X:/Z:) ... Is that correct?

    Is this a good time to mention that the 20GB drive that's on sale ($50 after rebate!) is NOT a Western Digital? Will the suggested EZ Install software still work?
     
  8. ibdewey

    ibdewey

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    The absolute easiest thing to do is put the new drive in and use a win98 startup disk to fdisk the 10 gb drive and create one partition on both drives. Then like Brian said you need a copy of the win98 cd and boot that from the cd drive and let it install. I know compaq doesn't give you the win 98 cd, but hopefully you can find one somewhere. If you can it would make life a lot simpler plus you wouldn't have all that junk that compaq installs. Of course you would probably have to download your drivers from compaq's website, but that ain't bad.
     
  9. Paul Nagel

    Paul Nagel

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    The EZ install is ment to work with there product. Most companies have some version of the disk copying program though you may have to go to there web site. The special Compaq partition is needed as it supplements the bios. It is nothing to worry about as it is only about 2 mb. You said you cannot find the file on the Compaq site. I did say i would help, but i need more information than just Compaq Presario. I need which model number and any other info. The fact that at least with the Western Digital copy program indeed seeing the hidden partition and copying it as deuce_mn said makes this unnecessary. Buy the way, what you were looking for was not a driver but something called a Softpaq or the like.
     
  10. ibdewey

    ibdewey

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    Guys I've formatted and reinstalled windows on several compaq computers and you don't need any extra partitions. All you need is a windows 98 second edition cd and you'll be fine.
     
  11. deuce

    deuce

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    Well I have formatted and installed windows on Compaq computers and it doesn't work without the "hidden" partition and windows can't make it. Compaq puts your bios in there instead of on the motherboard (hell if I know why) and has other necessary things. Whenever I have tried to install windows on a reformatted HD it never works it goes through the installation but can't boot windows when it tries to. Maybe compaq doesn't use it anymore, (I haven't worked with compaqs for a few years) so I think these are your options now...

    Whichever drive you get, they will (or at least should) include some kind of imaging program in the box. Since this is less work, you can try this first. Get a copy of win98se, format your 20 GB, then try to install 98 on it. If it works, and it boots when you are finished (and will boot without the cd) then great... we can assume compaq no longer uses their infamous "hidden" partition and you can go about with your business. I don't know if you will need the compaq partition from your old drive, but if you want it you can put it somewhere on your new drive and make it a hidden folder if you don't want to see it.

    If that doesn't work and your computer will not boot after you install win98 (or if you can't finish setup) then we can assume compaq still uses (or did when your computer was made) the "hidden" partition. After I thought about it, I am pretty sure you don't need the back up partition (I have no idea why the "hidden" partition would be so big or allow you to put files in it) so I think it is safe to say the 2 GB compaq partition is not needed for the normal operation of your computer. So you can image your 10 GB HD onto your new 20 and this will make an exact copy, including the "hidden" partition. You can now use partition magic (if you have access to it) to get rid of the compaq partition, (should you not want it). If you don't want the compaq partition and you don't have partition magic, then right now I don't know what you can do. What I have done before was copy the "hidden" partition (by imaging the drive) and then manually deleting everything (leaving the hidden partition) and then putting windows on, however I forgot about your partition you wanted to remove and the only way to do that after the drive was been formated, is by using software. (all of which you have to pay for)

    So I would suggest you get the drive because either way, you will be able to use it... you just might have to live with the compaq partition. When you are finished, you can reformat the 10 GB and use as an extra HD.
     
  12. Paul Nagel

    Paul Nagel

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    I did some more research and it looks like newer Compaqs dont have there Diagnostics Partition as did earlier one. It has been some time since i worked on Compaqs also and i know the earlier ones needed the special partition. It looks from the info i was just reading that Compaq now saves lots of info on a large partition for some reason. I would think that it keeps them from having to give you copies of install disks. Without details on the Compaq, i cannot look up any further information. It almost seems that Compaq is trying hard to take the place of Packard Bell.
     
  13. deuce

    deuce

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    You know, it is interesting that you say that. It has seemed for some time that they having been trying pretty hard. (Man those PB things were great, weren't they... :rolleyes: ) I have tried to get replacement install and system recovery discs (which they are required to give to you by law I think [for free I know for sure]... where's Mulder?) and they never would come. I think on 5 separate occasions I called up Compaq to send me those. :mad: But I am beyond needing system recovery dics as I haven't needed to worry about "hidden" partitions for awhile.

    Anyway, when I am glad you looked that up about the diagnostics partition so now we know we don't have to go that route. Say Paul, do you think Wogus needs that backup partition?

    Wogus this will be easy... (now that we know we don't need to bother with the "hidden" partition) Gp buy your 20 GB HD and format it with how ever many partitions you want (I'm assuming just 1 :)) and pop in the win98se disc in the cdrom and you will also need a win98 boot disc. If you can't get a hold of a copy of win98 I don't know what you will do. At that point it would be wieghing the cost of partition magic and win98se(which I doubt you can still buy) and so it would be better to just get partition magic. Your other option is to use the imaging software and just copy everything like it is, and either leave the backup partition or remove it with partition magic.

    -Mike

    P.S. Do you have a third hard drive? If you do I have a thrid option for you. :)

    Thanks for your research Paul. :)

    Sorry Wogus if we made you worry more than you would have... but think of it this way... you learned something new. :D
     
  14. Wogus

    Wogus Thread Starter

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    In response to requests for details on my machine, I'm running a Compaq Presario Model 7462, AMD K6 500Mhz processor, 248Mb. C: has been formatted to 7.6 GB and "D:" to 1.9 GB, both with a FAT 32. The additional hardware is pretty standard: CD-ROM, 3.5 Floppy and 250 Mb USB Zip. Everything is roughly two years old.

    At this point I'm leaning towards the simple solution: Plug in the 20G, image the 10G to it, make sure everything is up and running smoothly, and then either totally wiping the 10Gig and using it for a "spare closet", or leaving it as-is for just-in-case scenarios; at least until 20G starts to fill up.

    The whole partition/s issue sounds like it's just too much trouble to fool with. If Compaq wants to shave off a couple gig, I think I can learn to get over it. I'll have plenty of room to play with while I decide what to do with the original 10G anyway, regardless of how Compaq want's to partition it.

    I've taken a look at Partition Magic and with rebates and such it can be had for about $35 (Amazon). It gets rave reviews and sounds like a great package. That might be worth looking into.

    Lastly, if I understand everybody correctly, the software that comes with the new HD will image my old drive onto my new one? So I won't lose my settings, tweaks, documents etc, right?

    Thanks to everyone who's been responding to this thread too... I'm learning quite a bit and and appreciate your time and expertise in dealing with this.
     
  15. deuce

    deuce

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    The partition magic is a good program, but you only need it if you want to merge those two partitions. Remember you can always delete, but it is harder to get data back, so you might as well leave the 10 GB be until you start to fill the 20GB.

    About the imaging software, the manufacture has to provide this software with their drive. (unless it isn't there , which is possible and in that case you can download it from their website and copy onto a disc.) This software will make an EXACT copy of your 10 GB, so that means all your personal settings, ect will be there waiting for you. :) It only takes a few minutes and all the work it reguires is that you hit a key on your keyboard every so often to keep the program running through the sections, so it is worry-free. :)

    You are welcome and don't metion it... :) We are here to help so don't hesitate to throw something at us again. :D Good lick with your 20 GB. Come back if you run into a problem. :)
     
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