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New Hard Drive

Posted on 1999-01-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
My hard drive (1 GB)is full; would it be better to replace the hard drive altogether, or add a second hard drive?  

If replacing the hard drive, what is the best way to get all my files onto the new hard drive?

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Question by:plago
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angmar earned 100 total points
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You should add a 2nd harddrive. 1GB just won't hold much any more. You can get 3-6 GB hard drive cheap (~$120) and it will take you a while to fill that up. You must have a machine that will support harddrives larger than 2.1GB. Check with your mfr web site to see if yours does.

The most important think about replacing your harddrive is knowing where all your data files are (I have found that most people have no clue). What I do when I replace my hard drive is take the old harddrive out, stick the new one in. Make sure the BIOS will find it on boot up. Then I boot from a Win95 floppy, run fdisk to partition, run format C: /s to format the main primary partition and copy system files to it. Then I manually mod the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat to allow my CDROM to be found. Reboot and install WIN95/98 clean. When I have that working I make a subdir called ZOldHarddrive. Shut the machine off and set your jumpers on the new bigger harddrive to be the master, and your old harddrive to be the slave (you can remove the CDROM from the IDE cable if you only have 1 IDE channel for this part), and stick the old hardrive in as the slave. When you boot up, you go find your old hardrive using explorer (the drive letters will depend on what mix of primary and extended partitions are on the harddrives, but if the only thing on your new hardrive is WIN95 then you should be able to poke around and figure out what your old drive letters were). You make sure "all files" are viewable, and drag and drop old hardrive stuff into the ZOldHarddrive direcory. This puts all your stuff on the new hardrive. Most of the stuff won't run because the paths are all screwed up, but you will have all your data files (which don't care about paths). It really takes a good hacking understanding of Win95/98 to make most of the stuff run, so it is really better to just re-install all of your Windows applications and copy the data files into the proper directories. The old DOS and WIN31 stuff can usually be made to run by recreating the proper directory under the old hardrives drive letter and dragging the DOS programs into the right directory. The Window's stuff is a little harder (you have to hunt for the ini files in the old Windows directory and any dll's in the Windows/System directory) this is usually more trouble than it is worth. So anything you can, you should re-install. Once you are compfortable that your new system is working properly, you can do anything you want with your old harddrive. Store it for safe keeping, reformat it and use it as a data drive, sell it, whatever. Just don't install stuff to the new hardrive until you are sure that you won't be causing drive letters to shift by removing the old hardrive. If you are going to format as one great big fat C: then this will not be a problem, sinc the primary partition on the master is always C: (If your 1G is also one partition then it will be D:) But if you have a C: and D: on your new hardrive, then when you stick in your old harddrive it will become the new D: and the former D: will be E:. This is because primary partitions always get lettered before extended partions no matter which drive they are on.

Hope this helps. I don't check in here often, so good luck.
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by:plago
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Angmar,

Thanks for a fast and really helpful, detailed answer.

Plago
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