installing new hard drive

Posted on 1998-12-08
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Wandering if someone can walk me through this. A friend with
a p120, 1.08 gig drive, 32 meg ram, win95, wants to add a
second hard drive (4.3 gig)
He'd like to transfer everything from the old drive on to the new drive and make it the master. Is there a way to dump everything on the new drive, or is it better to do a fresh install of all his software on the new drive?
He'd like to reformat the old drive and use it as a backup for animation and script files -- that way he doesn't lose them if one of the drives crash.
Would appreciate any advice and suggestions, as well as what to watch out for.
Question by:sherm
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Author Comment

ID: 1013490
Adjusted points to 150

Accepted Solution

Bossman117 earned 200 total points
ID: 1013491
Hello Sherm.  I install hard drives everyday for customers so I can tell you taht its usually a breeze.  

1.  If he buys a new hard drive it will come with a bootable installation disk.  This disk will allow you to transfer all the data from your old drive to the new one.  

2.  When you install the drive the first theng you will do is make sure you use an IDE cable (the grey flay ribbon type) with an extra connector in the middle.

3.  Set your old drives jumper setting to slave.  (most drives have a diagram on the label that tell you what the jumper settings are.  If it doesn't there are web sites that list virtually every hard drives jumper settings.)  

4.  Set your new drive to master.  (If you buy it new this should be illustrated.)

5.  plug the Ide cable into both drives. (In master/slave combination it doesn't matter which way you plug it in as long as the cable is plugged into each drive and the mother board. on the drive, 90% of the time oyur going to plug the Ide cable into the drive so that the red stripe is on the side of the cable that is closest to the power input.  The only exceptions is if the drive has a plastic seat or missing pin that would force you to put it the other way or there is a number 1 on the drive right above the first pin that is on the opposite side as the power input.)

6.  Plug into the motherboards primary IDE comtroller (usually says 'primary' or '1st' or '1'.  Also sometimes the pin configuration will be missing one pin which matches the cable.  also make sure you look at the pin comfiguration on the board and look for where it says 1 next to a pin.  That is where you want the red stripe on the cable to go.)

7.  Plug the power cords into the drive (these only go one way and you should have enough of them.)

8.  Insert the disk into the floppy drive and turn on your computer.  (if he bought a used drive you can download EZ-Drive from western digitals website and put it on a disk.)

9.  At this point if the disk is booting then your drives are installed properly.  if not see bottom of this answer.

10.  Allow the disk to boot and accept any license agreements that may pop up.  

11.  If you bought a brand new drive look for a menu selection that says 'fully automatic install'.  select this and accept all defaults except where you see the selections 'copy system files' or 'copy drive'.  you want to select copy drive.  select this and accept any warnings you may get.

12.  you should see your new drive being setup.  it make take several minutes for all your files to be copied.  after tis is done you will be prompted to remove disks and reboot.

That shold do it as long as no problems arise.

Here are some problems you may run into and the solutions.


the system freezes when booting up.


makesure your slave is set to the right setting.  If you have to try moving the jumper to every setting possible.  also for some computers such as Compaq, you may have to set both drives to cable select.   If so you must put your main drive at the end of the Ide cable and your new one in the middle.


your cd-rom is connected with your current hard drive and you have to disconnect it to hook up both drives.


Although I dont think you'll have this problem (a computer that came with a drive over a gig should have a secondary IDE) what you would hve to do is:
   a.  hook up like the instructions said and the remove the old drive and reconnect the cd-rom and settle with just one drive
   b.  use a sound card with a secondary IDE on it to run the cd-rom.


computer locks up after system transfer


In some Packard bell systems even though they have a secondary IDE they just wont work with some master/slave combinations.
you'll have to take the old drive out and settle on one.

The only other thing I can think of now is that in Compaq brand computers if you try to do a restore on a new drive you can run into nightmares.  If you need to know these you can ask.

I would suggest doing a drive transfer so you dont loose any drivers that may be unavailable.  unless you have a restore cd or all your device drivers do the transfer.

one other note.  when doing the drive copy.  make sure that you selected the correct drive to be setup as if you do it backwards you will loose all your data.  if you buy a new drive it will detect the un setup drive.

I hope it works for you.


Expert Comment

ID: 1013492
If the proposed answer doesn't solve your problem, I suggest you reject it so other experts may provide you with a solution.

Complete directions for what you want to do are available from Microsoft's Knowledge Base.  Here's an excerpt:

This article describes how to swap your current primary boot hard disk (usually drive C) with a different hard disk and retain your current files and system configuration in the process. This primarily involves installing Windows 95 on a new hard disk and ensuring proper identification of the new hardware. This process uses Microsoft Backup to back up and restore files and configuration and registry settings.

The article can be found here:

Let me know if you need more.


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Expert Comment

ID: 1013493
Um excuse me rmarotta,  I install Hard drives everyday with every configuration you can think of.  Reinstalling windows 95 and using ms backup will work if you have 3 weeks to play with it.  my method (used by myself about 10 times a day) takes about 30 min and your back in business.


Author Comment

ID: 1013494
Adjusted points to 200

Expert Comment

ID: 1013495
Just because you do it every day does not make your answer correct.
I have also bought & installed hundreds of different hard drives.
Most are shipped completely blank. (Un-partitioned & un-formatted)
So far, I have NEVER seen one come with the "drive copy" software you describe.
I see your "answer" was accepted, though......



Author Comment

ID: 1013496
Hmm, two experts and now I'm not sure which one to believe! I accepted the answer because it seemed reasonable to me and very detailed. Are there only certain brands that ship with disk copy software -- I've seen a 'Disk Copy' program for sale in computer stores? Ralph, would this get around having to reinstall windows?

Confused (now)

Expert Comment

ID: 1013497
Please use the link for the Microsoft article I posted above for very detailed instructions on how to do what you want.
You may need to register to enter the Knowledge Base if it's your first time, but it's free. (You only do it once)
You will not have to buy any "Drive Copy" program, and you will not need to re-install Windows.

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