Deciding to Add a Second
Sooner or later, everyone needs to add hard drive space.
With the price of hard drives continuing to fall, and with the speed
and capacity of hard drives doubling, there is no excuse for not adding
a second hard drive.
Second hard drives are particularly useful for: installing
a second operating system (Linux or Windows NT/2000/XP maybe?), backing
up sensitive data, upgrading your system's speed by making the newer
faster drive the C: boot drive, and allowing Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP
disk caching to work properly when your C: drive is nearing 85% of its
capacity (15% of your C: drive,or 5MB (whichever is greater), should
be free for Windows use).
After deciding that it's the "right thing to do",
you have to determine if you system can handle a second hard drive.
Can you add a second hard drive
to your system?
To determine if a second hard drive can be added to your
computer, you need to open the case of your computer (with the power
off) and verify:
1. There is an unfilled drive bay (either 3.5 inch or 5.25
inch) inside the computer where the hard drive can be mounted. <If
none exists, you can still add a second hard drive in an external case
with a parallel, SCSI, or USB interface.>
2. The hard drive ribbon cable can reach both the new drive
and the old drive and will not be pulled out of the motherboard. <If
the cable is too short then you need to buy a hard drive extension cable.>
3. An unused large power connector exists for the drive.
<To add a power cable connector, you need to buy a "Y"
splitter to make an additional connection.>
Hopefully, your system can handle an additional drive and now you can
begin shopping for a new drive.
Hard Drive Buying Advice
Drive Specifications. As we mentioned before, prices
on hard drives have fallen dramatically. Now, you can buy twice as much
drive as you could purchase one year ago. As such, there is no reason
to buy a small capacity or slow hard drive.
The following specifications are what you should look for when buying
a new hard drive:
1. 40 GB capacity or higher for Windows 95/98/Me/XP systems. <Win
95 users can not use a drive larger than 8.4 GB as the boot drive unless
they are using the "full", rather than the upgrade, version
of Windows 95.>
2. 7200 RPM spindle speed or faster.
3. Ultra DMA 100 or 133 (the drive will still work fine with Ultra DMA
66, and 33 controllers).
4. less than 9 milliseconds access time.
|Retail Kit or OEM bare drive?
Unless you are very sure of yourself, I would recommend you buy
a drive kit. A drive kit includes all necessary parts and software
to get your drive up and running with the least amount of hassle.
OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or bare drives, are typically
just the drive itself in an antistatic sleeve with no documentation
whatsoever. While you can save a few bucks buying OEM, you have
to know how to use the "fdisk" and "format"
DOS commands to get your drive running or you can use Windows XP's
hard drive commands.
|The Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 6800 Drive Kit -
Drive, hard drive ribbon cable, screw-on mounting rails (for mounting
in 5.25 inch bay), Max Blast drive installation and disk copying
software, and installation instructions (not shown). Also includes
free Adobe Photoshop LE Software (retail value $90).
Where to Shop. You can visit our sponsor
DealTime and comparison shop 160 online computer
stores. You can also use our Vendor
Table for additional ideas or use your favorite retailer.
When buying by mail we suggest using your credit card. Make sure the drive
can be returned to the merchant or manufacturer if it malfunctions.
the Second Drive - Getting Started >>
Back to Introduction and Maxtor Drive Specs