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Posted on 1998-09-13
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I am planning to add a second hard disk to my computer.  However, all the power source plugs are already being used. Should I buy another power supply with more cables or is there a way of fixing the problem w/o buying one.   Please advise.
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Question by:wsanchez
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TimCaturaHouser earned 150 total points
ID: 1125056
you can get a power 'Y' that will do the physical connection.

If that is a wise move or not depends on a couple factors.

Is your power supply up to the task?  In other words, if you have a 200w power supply, and you are using a couple older 1 gig Hd's, and a 4X cd and have 64 megs of ram, and a sound card, I would be planning the purchase of a new power supply, before you have to buy a new computer. (See note below).

If you have a 250w power supply and your plugs are used up with a 3.2 gig IDE hd, and a couple floppies you rarely use, get the power Y at your local radio shack.


Note:

The job of any computer power supply is to convert AC to DC. DC looks like ------------   (best I can do with a keyboard). Modern power supplies use a switching scheme to do their thing. Modern power supplies are light, and cheap to make (therefore sell).... The bad news is how they (don't) take loading.

I wouldn't load a PS to more than 50% of its rating.  When you start loading a modern ps with over 50% the power output starts looking more like /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\  not a good thing. This stresses (shortens the life of) your components.

More modern HD's actually use less power, while delivering higher performance..... the ratings of most of your components is given in Watts.  Check the ratings of you're parts in both the 5V range and the 12V range, and start adding up, and compare to the rated output of the PS. You may have to guess on the MB, or leave it out of the sum (but remember its there).... If you add up to less than 50% (without MB) you're safe. If you add up to 50% or more, (without MB) forget the y, and get a bigger PS (they are cheap by mail order)  I don't use less than 300w on most of my servers, and use 250w min., on desktops.  

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by:wsanchez
ID: 1125057
What is the rating of a hard disk in Watts?  It is not given on my hard disk.  Also, the rating given on the CD-ROM is 1A for the 5V range and 1.5A for the 12V range.
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by:TimCaturaHouser
ID: 1125058
I don't know what you have for a hard drive, so I can't tell you exactly, but if you use Ohms law, you can convert Watts to Amps.

You must watch Both 5 and 12 V, but I would be more concerned with the 12 V side.....  
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1125059
I have a 1.2 gig Seagate HD and I would also like to know the rating of a 2 gig HD.  Thanks.
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by:TimCaturaHouser
ID: 1125060
It really depends on the model!

Here is the seagate web site for search by Alpha, Numeric, power search, etc...

http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/noframes.shtml
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1125061
thanks for the tips.
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