150 MB--what would you do?

I have a friend who has outgrown her 150 MB hard drive, and is looking to replace it.

The question(s):

Have you ever upgraded just a hard drive? How do you copy the contents from the old drive to the new one?

Would it be more practical to get an external hard drive, and just leave the old one where it is?

I think she has an IBM 486, running Windows 95–don’t know about the MHz.

this is the kind of thing you’d expect to hear a few years ago.



i would highly recommend a new computer.
what exactly does she do with this dinosaur?

You have a few options. I’ve upgraded hard drives - generally the easiest way to do it is to backup to a tape, install the new drive, then restore from the tape. If you don’t have access to a tape drive, a lot of computer stores will do this for you. IMO, for something important like the entire contents of your hard drive, I’d pay the extra bucks and let the computer store do the whole upgrade for you.

Depending on the computer, you may be able to simply pop in a second hard drive. This would be by far the easiest option.

let me expand.

i have floppy disks bigger than her hard drive, and she is only outgrowing it now?


No doubt about it. If it is useable at all, I’d recommend getting a new computer, and throwing that drive in as a spare, or for downloading to. a 150 MB drive should definitely be coming to the end of it’s useful lifespan.

If it says “IBM” on the label, throw it away and start over. A copy of LapLink will suffice for transferring most of the “C” drive to the new machine.

For most every other brand, she might consider just installing a second hard drive. If she can find one small enough. :wink:

Personally, I despise upgrading hard drives. Have your friend go to your local “consumer electronics” merchant, buy whatever hard drive she can get for $200, plug it in as the second hard drive, make as many 2GB partitians as the drive will support, and there you go.

XCOPY can very effectively backup the C: drive to the D: drive. The E: (and any other) drives should then become the default location for installing new products.


She took it home from works some years ago. It was surplus even then. She used it simply to dial in to work. All she wants is to be able to have Internet access, but when she tried to install IE 5.0, she did not have enough room.

You folks are making this way to complex. Buy a Western Digital or Maxtor Drive (I think Maxtor has the same type software). The disk that comes with the drive has a piece of software on it that will allow you to copy the contents of one drive to the other drive. Leave the first drive as the Master, connect the second drive as a slave. Boot using the provided disk. Choose the option of copying the data and makeing the drive bootable. Once this has finished you should be able to remove the first drive, make the second drive the Master and reboot the computer and it should work the same as the old drive, but have lots more space.

If all she wants to do is use it to access the Internet, a 486 will do fine, but yes the 150 MB hard drive needs to be replaced.

The included software also provides a program that allows older computers that did not recognize a drive larger than 520 MB to actually use the entire drive as one drive.

This process is fairly easy and is explained in the directions that come with the drive. I have done this exact process at least 5 times probably more.


Like StrTrkr777 said, just buy another hard drive, set it to slave, pop it into the case, and go into the CMOS to let it know there’s a second hard drive. However, you don’t need to use the floppy that is supplemented with the new drive.

Use this DOS command instead.

xcopy c:*.* d: /s /e

Translated, it says to copy everything that’s in the C drive (which is the 150MB) over to the D drive (which will be the new hard drive). It creates a mirror image of everything that’s on the 150MB HD to the new hard drive.

Once that is complete, turn the computer off, take the 150MB HD out, set the new hard drive to master, go into the CMOS to let it know the 150MB is gone, and that the new hard drive is now the master, and after that, your friend would be set.

Now, if this is a really old desktop case, it may not have a slot to accomodate a second hard drive, and everything I just mentioned would not be possible. In which case, she’d probably need a tape drive or a JAZ drive to backup the contents to.

After you install the new drive, and get your info off the old one - take the old one out!!

You are only as fast as your slowest part, and that old drive is veerryyy slow. You won’t need it anyways.

She really should think seriously about just scrapping the whole thing and buying a new box.

With all of the graphics present on today’s web pages a 486-33 with VESA bus (if she’s lucky), 1MB graphics card, heaven only knows what sound card, etc doesn’t make for a very enjoyable surfing experience.

But given that she wants to solve this as cheaply as possible, she should find a friend that’s done this kind of thing and buy him dinner in exchange for his time putting in the bigger drive.

Installing a second drive is the best approach for the semi-technical do-it-your-selfer. And not a bad way to go if she hires out the work. It’s cheaper than paying a PC shop to copy the files.


Adding the second hard drive is the easiest.

My suggestion, however, would be to look for a reputable used PC shop and buy a Pent class machine. You can easy snatch up a lower Pent II for around $500.00. Most have faster modems and hard drives can be 1-2 GIG.

If I were not so attached to my little 233 I would sell it for about $550.

If all she wants to do is access the internet, tell her to buy a webtv. I saw one recently that was selling for about $60 new. You still have to pay for the ISP but it will work faster because it is a dedicated machine. A 486 on the web would move everything painfully slow. I know I had a 486 at work with a T/direct access line and it took forever. My 33.6K modem at home actually moved faster with my P200 computer. I have since upgraded everything and am much happier now.


Actually, when you buy a new HD, you get software & instructions to copy the old one to the new one…