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Questions about upgrading memory...

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by axeman61, Oct 4, 2003.

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  1. axeman61

    axeman61 Thread Starter

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    1.) I have a PC that was acquired WAY back in the day, or so it seems. I got it in 1999 or 1997, I can't truly remember. All that is peturbing me now is that I have a maximum of only about 4GB on it. As low as that seems, I've never thought of upgrading until now (I've never had problems or anything with filling up space until now), when someone told me that up to 160 GB can be acquired for the price of about 150 dollars. Maybe more, maybe less, but I'm interested.
    As of now, I'm running on Windows 98, and I have 3 local disk drives beside the CD and Floppy (C- system, D- my mom's, E- me) I heard that an update in only the amount of data that can be stored on a computer comes in the form of a hard drive.
    4 questions:
    a.) What's the lowest price you've seen for a hard drive, and where?
    b.) How will this new amount of free data be distributed? I want more data for all around the computer, not just one new drive. How can I go about this?
    C.) Will I have to remove my old drive for this one if I want the effects entailed in B? If so, how will I bring programs and files over to the new one?
    D.) Will it be easy to install? I've gone into my computer on several occasions to install hard ware.

    2.) I don't have much knowledge on RAM, and I know that it's now low as the storage space. I want an update for it too. Basically the same questions as above, but:
    a.) How does it work?

    b.)Where in the CPU does it plug in? Will the computer recognize it as new hardware?

    Any help is much appreciated.
     
  2. axeman61

    axeman61 Thread Starter

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    I forgot... I plan on installing a CD- RW drive in place of the one I have now. I think I have what to connect and software down, but how much do they cost? I plan on replacing the old one, in case there is something I should know...
     
  3. raybro

    raybro

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    First off, you appear to have "Memory" (RAM) confused with the Hard Drive. If I understand your post correctly, you have a 4Gig hard drive. You can find out just how much of the space on the Hard Drive is used by opening My Comuter and right clickung on the C: driveand selecting "Properties". You will see a pie chart and numbers above it which will tell you the used and free space on the drive.

    Post back with what you find and what you now want to do.
     
  4. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    I recently got a 120 gig WD hard drive for around $40 after rebates, I haven't seen one that low since, but you should be able to find one for maybe $80 after rebates.

    Is your computer a name brand?
     
  5. axeman61

    axeman61 Thread Starter

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    If you mean Monitor and Tower, I definitely don't think so.

    Also...

    I know it's about 4 Gigs (D & E have 1GB capacity, and C has 1.99 GB capacity), and it would seem that C,D, and E are all on one drive from looking at the device manager (Generic IDE DISK TYPE47 has C, D, and E under "Current drive letter assignment"). I don't believe it, but it would seem that I have to replace the drive or something. Also, a total of over 3.5 gigs is being used up.

    Also, under the settings in Generic Disk system manager, 'Removable' is unchecked. Should I check it?
     
  6. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Sounds like you have yourself a bios limitation for hard drive size. You'll need to use the overlay software or split the drive into 1.99 partitions which would not be fun ;)
     
  7. raybro

    raybro

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    I think I posted before I fully understood your original post . From what I've read, I would guess your PC has 1 physical hard drive segmented into 3 partitions. You can find out just what you have a number of different ways, but I suggest one of the best utilities for this kind of thing is AIDA32.

    Here is a screenshot opened to "Storage". Clicking on "IEDE" will show you how many physical hard drives you have. Clicking on "Logical Drives" will show you how many partitions are contained in the drive(s)

    EDIT... Forgot to provide a link for AIDA32 (it's free):

    http://www.aida32.hu/aida32.php

    [​IMG]
     

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  8. raybro

    raybro

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    Do you know why the single 4Gb hard drive was partitioned as it was?

    Perhaps to provide seperate storage for the various people using it?

    Another reason may be it was formatted in FAT rather than FAT32 normally used for Win98. Formatting in FAT would limit the drive size to 2Gb.

    "My Computer" is an icon usually in the upper left corner of the Desktop. Double clicking on it will open a window showing all the drives on your system plust some other items. Right-clicking on any one of the drives (C, D or E) and selecting "Properties" will open the window I mentioned before. It also will tell you what the file system is. It will say FAT or FAT32. Let us know what it says.
     
  9. axeman61

    axeman61 Thread Starter

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    All of them are FAT. No 32 at the end.
     
  10. raybro

    raybro

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    Then that is the limiting factor in your partition size. Windows has a built in conversion capability which is utter simplicity to use. Go to Start|programs|Accessories|System Tools and select "Drive Converter FAT32". Just follow the instructions. You will need to convert all 3 partitions to FAT32. You can do this without having any effect on the drive contents. This will enable you to copy the drive contents to the new drive when it has been properly prepared.

    I suggest what would be a reasonable approach to this, would be to purchase a new Hard drive of whatever size you believe adequate. Considering what you have been using, 160gb is probably overkill and would entail other problems regarding Win98 limitations. Since you currently have three partitions, I suggest you purchase a 80Gb drive (or smaller).

    Install the drive as primary slave and using fdisk partition it as follows:

    Note: you will need to access fdisk via a Windows boot floppy as the drive will not be recognized in windows until it is formatted.

    1st primary partition (C: ) 10Gb. This would be the bootable partition containing the OS (Win98) and leave plenty of room for installation of programs.

    2nd primary partition of 30Gb... D: Your Mom's

    3rd Primary partition of 30 Gb... E: yours

    These partitions will contain all the individual files for you and your mom.

    This would leave 10Gb free space for later use when and if needed.

    When the new drive is formatted using fdisk, you will need to enable large disk support. That is done in the very first window when fdisk opens. Just hit "Enter" and it will be enabled.

    When using fdisk, you must create all partitions before doing anything else. Then they should be formatted in FAT32 before you load the operating system. The drive should come with utilities for doing this.

    What I've laid out above is just a basic suggested plan to approach your situation. The only real limiting factor your have to deal with is the size should not excedd 32Gb for any individual partition. This windows drive size limitation can be overcome, but I do not see it as essential in your situation.

    The key to doing all this successfully is planning it out. Actually doing it is much simpler than it sounds. Here are a couple of links to sites with tutorials addressing these subjects:

    http://www.techhowto.com/How_to/os/part.php

    http://aumha.org/win4/a/parts.htm

    http://fdisk.radified.com/

    Read and absorb what you can. Then post back with any questions you have. The people on this forum are great. Many are knowledgable and willing to help. We've all been where you are at one time or another.

    Remember... The only dumb question is the one you don't ask. :D

    BTW... We can address the RAM question after you get rolling on this.
     
  11. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    There is obviously some reason the drive had to be set up that way, at least in my opinion. I doubt, from the sounds of it, whether the bios will support a 30 gig partiton. I'd go to Maxtor's website and download their utility program and boot with it like you are going to set up the hard drive, to see what it tells you. Cancel out prior to any formatting. It should tell you that your bios either supports or doesn't support the hard drive you have now installed.

    Just my two Mexican centavos :p
     
  12. raybro

    raybro

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    Hi Candy... The drive was formatted in FAT. That's why it was limited to a miximum of 2Gb.
     
  13. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Yep, so could have been an upgrade from 95.......I'm still betting on the bios limitation though ;)
     
  14. raybro

    raybro

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    You may be correct. It's certainly worth checking.

    I ran into this very situation a while back with a friends PC. he had a 10Gb drive with a 2G primary partition running Win98 formatted in FAT. The reason was the PC had been upgraded from Win95 to Win98 and installed on the existing partition. All I did was Ghost the partition to CD, delete the existing partition, create a new partition (10 Gb) and recover the Ghost image from the CD.

    That's basically where my recommendation came from (i.e. my experience). But as I said, it's certainly worth checking.

    axeman61... Do you understand what to do in following Candy's advice on how to check it out?
     
  15. axeman61

    axeman61 Thread Starter

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    "Note: you will need to access fdisk via a Windows boot floppy as the drive will not be recognized in windows until it is formatted."

    Huhhh... one of my problems. I don't have a Windows boot floppy. I don't even have the Win 98 software used for installation, as my cousin hooked the computer up and took the CD with him afterwards...
     
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