How do i replace the Hard Drive in my computer

I currently have a 20 GB, i just bought an 80 GB i want to use now.

I don’t need most of the stuff on my computer. I only intend to save my ‘my documents’ folder, my MP3s, and my favorites folder.

  1. is there anything else i should save
  2. what is the exact mechanical process i have to go through to replace hard drives? do i just take the old one out, put the new one in, and put the windows XP disk in?

That’s pretty much it. Then, when you get XP running on the new drive, install the old one as a slave, or a master on the second IDE channel if you have it, and drag and drop the stuff you want to save from the old one to the new one. If you’re not sure how to set the old drive as a slave, I’ll need to know the make and model to find the jumper settings for you. Most newer mainboards have two IDE connectors on them, so connecting the old one as a secondary master is simply a matter of plugging it in.

** Q.E.D. ** explained it pretty well; as to the master/slave jumper settings, they are normally listed on the harddrive itself.

as a side note… most newer hd’s come with an install/boot floppy that will image your old drive onto the new drive and then you wont have to reinstall anything… much easier unless you just want a clean slate for XP.

I think i want a clean slate. Everything is screwing up on my old drive, so i was planning on just taking parts of my old one (MP3’s, my documents, a few folders) and reinstalling the rest.

Clean slate is definitely the best way to go. The Windows registry has a nasty habit of getting horribly bloated with useless crapola, and can really suck down system performance. I do a clean reinstall at least once or twice a year.

I just replaced the failing 60 Gig drive in my 2 year old Dell. They sent a new drive under warrantee. I used Norton’s Ghost software to make a CD based image of my old drive, as I didn’t want to lose any data. Installed the new drive, booted with the supplied floppy to format the new drive and install the system files. Then run Ghost to copy the image from the CDs to the new drive. Worked perfectly.

A note on jumpers, the jumpers were set to CS, which means Cable Select. Master/slave settings wouldn’t have worked. So be sure to set your new drive to match the old one.

Cable Select is hardly ever used. Most IDE drives (and certainly all the ones I’ve ever used) are factory set for Master, No Slave. I’m surprised to hear of one set for CS right out of the box.

Is there some reason you couldn’t keep the 20 gig in there as well? That’s a pretty good size for the XP OS. You could use the 20 gig for the OS and the 80 gig for everything else. Keep the 20 gig on the primary master jumper and put the 80 gig on the primary slave jumper.

Just leave the old one in there set as the slave drive and then you can transfer over the data when the main one is up and running. The drives can be daisy chained if the other IDE controller is taken by the CD ROM drive. A clean install will be the best.

FYI GaryM - you don’t need to format the new drive if you’re using Ghost. It does it by itself. That’s what’s time-saving about it.

One word: POLARITY.

A very frustrated customer brought his system in last week – “totally dead” was his diagnosis. He had attempted to install a CD burner himself and plugged the IDE cable in backwards. This is a VERY common mistake, and easily done since many ribbon cable plugs are not indexed. It usually does no lasting harm, but it ALWAYS prevents the PC from booting.

If you look at the ribbon cable closely, you’ll see that one edge is marked, usually in red. This designates the side of the plug with the #1 conductor. Make sure to orient the plug so that the marked edge corresponds to the #1 pin on the mainboard and hard drive headers! Most mainboard headers are marked (silk-screened), but some are not; if you have to unplug the cable from the mainboard, be sure to note the orientation of the plug. Hard drive manufacturers seem to have adopted the custom of orienting the header with the #1 pin toward the power socket, but check it anyway to be sure.

Installing a hard drive is pretty simple: Follow TBone2’s advice about polarity (really, just match colors) and decide exactly what you want to do with your data, and then just crack the case.

A standard Phillip’s head should be more than sufficient for the whole process, from opening the case to screwing in the second drive. PCs, unlike older Macintoshes, are pretty much standardized when it comes to screw types. I’d be rather surprised to see a PC case I couldn’t open with my trusty screwdriver.

Anyway, you probably won’t want to immediately remove the first drive. First, it’ll be a lot easier to move data if both drives are active at the same time. Second, the new hard drive will not have an OS on it. That means your computer will have nothing to boot unless you happen to have installation disks handy.

Before putting the disk in the machine, look at the little notes printed on the side of the disk. They will show graphically how to set the jumpers to make the drive a master or a slave. A slave is what you want, at least for now: The drive has no OS on it and it will be controlled by the software on the master drive you already have. You might need tweezers, and be sure to do it over a table or something so you don’t lose the little jumper in carpeting. Don’t break the pins, as that would probably be rather embarassing. :wink: The rule is `gentle but firm.’

It not being practical to remove your current drive is not a problem. PC cases generally have plenty of room for another hard drive. Open the case and see: You’ll have at least one empty slot and two unplugged cables, one for power (small and white) and one to control the drive (wide with the single red wire). That’s all you need. Insert the drive to match your present drive, using the screws that came with the drive, and close the case. Be sure to push those cables in snugly, but you shouldn’t have to force anything. The power cable’s plug will be shaped so you can’t insert it backwards, for example, and you don’t want to mess with that.

It’ll be cramped work, maybe, but it shouldn’t be difficult.

Anyway, close the case again and plug everything back into the case. Turn it on and your OS will boot, most likely detecting the new drive right off. Let the OS format it (this might take a little time, but probably not long) and you’re good to go. :slight_smile: You can move whatever files you want to save to the new drive.

I don’t know about moving the OS, though. You’ll still need the first drive, as that contains the OS and everything else that’s essential. That shouldn’t be a problem, actually. (I’m running Linux mostly the same way, in fact, although my second drive is 120 gigs. :D) If you want to move Windows XP, you’ll have to ask someone else. I don’t know how.

You don’t have email that you want to save? Configuration of applications that you will have to reinstall? What apps are you using?

I did a clean reinstall of Windows last year. Besides data files, I saved off my Outlook Express mail folders, as well as my message rules. It’s not terribly obvious how to do either. I also saved my desktop so I could make it look the same way again.

In your case, since you’re saving the original hard disk, you’ll still have everything in case you forget something :smack: , but a little thought ahead of time can save you pain later.

I thought that they had not set the jumpers. I examined the old drive and the jumper selections were unmarked. The new drive had the jumper set at CS. I set the new one to Master and the PC wouldn’t recognize the drive. I reset it to CS and it worked fine. So Dell PCs, at least two years ago, used the CS setting.

Your new HD should have an instruction book & software to let you know what your options are. This question does get asked quite a bit, but the instructions should have photos & all that you need.

You can buy migrating software that transfers your old programs & settings to the new HD that make it even easier, e.g.:

All the new Western Digital 7200RPM/8MB cache/ATA100 drives ship with “CS” as the default setting.