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Replace or add a new HD?

I have a Dimension 8200 that came with an 80G ATA Ultra HD.  That crashed a few years ago.  A local shop could not recover the contents and replaced it with a 40G drive (I know, I should have replaced it myself!).  Now I'm running out of space and the system is getting very slow (not sure if that is related to the drive or not).  Which option will give me the best (fastest) peformance: Replace the drive or add a new internal drive and make the new drive the primary drive or add an external drive and make that the new primary drive?  I like the idea of having an external drive that my son can use to backup his Macbook. 

Also, do I need to make sure that I get an ATA drive and not a new SATA drive?  Does it matter what type of drive if it is an external drive connected via USB?

TIA for any and all suggestions!

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6 Indium

Re: Replace or add a new HD?

First, the facts.  You are correct in that you need an ATA drive.  The D8200 has no SATA port so if you wish to use a SATA drive you would need to use either a PCI SATA add-on card or an adapter to convert the SATA to an IDE PATA interface.  If you decide to use an external USB drive you need to make sure the external drive case is compatible with whichever drive type you select.  It doesn't matter so far as the D8200 is concerned.

If the existing drive is very full the computer will have difficulty with the paging file; the space is limited, so the operating system can't swap data to the drive very easily.  This will slow the system down.  Adding a second drive will only speed up your system if you transfer most of the information presently on your existing drive to the second drive.

So far as I know, the D8200 does not have a 137 GB limit on the BIOS provided you are using a version later than A02.  Since I don't have a D8200 to confirm this, however, perhaps another member will verify this.  You will be able to tell if you actually install a drive, however, because a drive larger than 137 GB will not have its size accurately reported in BIOS setup if your computer has the 137 GB limit.

Your remaining questions are a matter of personal preference.

Good luck to you!

 

Dell Forum member since 2005

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Re: Replace or add a new HD?

sawdin

There is no upgrade to 48 bit LBA support in the BIOS of the 8200 because the initial release of the BIOS already provided that support, but to use larger than 137gb hard drives will require, WinXP-SP1 [or higher]

If the hard drive is installed as the primary C:/ drive, to see the full size the hard drive, you would need XP SP1 [or higher], not XP with a SP1 upgrade.

Bev.

 


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2 Bronze

Re: Replace or add a new HD?

Thanks for the reply.  I think I'll just add a second internal hard drive.  Assume an 80G ATA drive.  Would it make sense to copy the contents from my existing primary drive (C) to the new drive and then make the new drive the primary drive?  I'm assuming the new drive may be faster and/or less likely to fail.  I would then back-up to the old 40G drive.   After copying/imaging to the new drive, do I need to physically swap the drives or  can I just denote that I want the new drive to be the primary drive?  If I can, how do I do that?  Do I just change which drive I want to be the boot drive in set-up?

 

Thanks again!

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6 Indium

Re: Replace or add a new HD?

Using something like Acronis True Image will allow you to clone the 40 GB drive to the 80 GB drive as you seem to be suggesting.  If you then wish to use the 80 GB for the boot drive you will need to attach it to the end of the IDE data cable as that is the connector used for the master drive.  Leave the middle, slave, connector empty the first time you boot the new drive so that Windows doesn't get confused by having identical drive IDs on the same IDE channel.  Once you have booted the new drive once you should be able to connect your old 40 GB drive to the slave connector without further trouble.

 

Dell Forum member since 2005

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Re: Replace or add a new HD?

sawdin

Yes, it makes a lot of sense.   emoticon.Wink.title

You need a imaging utility, similar to either Acronis True Image Home 2009 or Acronis Migrate Easy 7.0

If you buy the retail boxed version of the Seagate/Maxtor hard drive, a copy of Acronis should be included, this can be used only with their drives, or you can download it from Seagate/Maxtor website, you will also find that other hard drive manufacturers have their own free cloning software available.

First, install the new drive as the secondary, image the exsisting C:/ to it. Immediately shut the system down, switch the data cable to the new drive, making the new hard drive the 'master' and see if the system boots correctly.

Boot the system with only the new hard drive connected. Remember to leave the original drive disconnected, until the new hard drive is working to your satisfaction.

Before cloning a hard drive, be certain that existing drive has no corruption or virus on it, as these will be transfered to the new hard drive.

If you wished, the 'old' hard drive could be keep as a second hard drive, it would need to be formatted and partitioned using XP's disk management.

Bev.

 


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