Third Hard drive

Hi Peeps

Whats the best way to install a third hard drive in my system. And to finish of with a silly question - Would it have any strain on the pc. I am running Athalon XP 1700 with 512 meg memory.

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Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Hi university1,

If you have place on your IDE cables you can just add it without any problems. Just connect it (make sure it's set to slave) Boot to XP, go to the disk manager, partition and format your drive.


For better speeds with your cd roms and hard drives, i would recommend getting a IDE card that goes in a PCI slot, it is not expensive,and it is the best solution for any more hard drives.

here is one: 
It would have almost no strain if you use the IDE card, also you can only put 2 devices on each IDE cable.  If you connect a hard drive and a cd rom drive on the same cable, you get much slower speeds (works the opposite of what you would think)
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Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
Keep in mind each IDE hard drive adds about 25W power consumption, so your power supply wattage should be considered when adding components to your pc as well.
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Agree with Albertabeef, you have quite a modern PC so Im willing to bet the PSU is rated at a decent wattage (unless you have one of those annoying small form factor PC's)

Adding a new IDE Drive (Hard Drive, CDROM, Zip Drive etc)

Most computers have two IDE channels (IDE0 andIDE1), which are presented on the motherboard as two large (40 pin) sockets

( NOTE: Some PC’s have built in RAID capability and may have more than two IDE sockets (consult the motherboard handbook)

Each of these sockets can support two IDE devices, (giving you a total of four IDE devices)

Open the PC case and have a look, you will see your existing hard drive is connected to the motherboard with a ribbon cable.

IMPORTANT: you will see one side of the ribbon cable is RED or has red flecks on the wire " this indicates PIN1 " Take note which way round it plugs into the motherboard so you know at which end on the socket PIN 1 is at.

You may only have a Ribbon cable that has two sockets on it, if so you will need to get another ribbon cable with three sockets on it.

You will also need 12volt power for the drive ensure you have a spare "Molex Connector" coming from the power supply unit, if you are unsure what it looks like there will be one plugged into your existing drive (Its usually white and has 4 wires going into it (colours vary but the middle two wires are usually black) and don’t confuse it with the "Mini Molex" connector which is for floppy drives.

Now you know you have the correct cabling you will need to "Jumper" the drives correctly. On the rear of each IDE drive will be some pins with a small plastic jumper pin (sometimes more than one, don’t be alarmed.) Settings for different drives vary, but you need to set one as MASTER and the other as SLAVE (If you are putting two drives on the same ribbon cable - If you are only putting one device on the cable set it to MASTER or CABLE SELECT.)  Look on the drive as jumpering varies depending on manufacturer, If you can’t find it written on the drive, or in the supporting paperwork, hunt around on the Net. If you only have six jumper pins the rule of thumb is, from left to right - CABLE SELECT, SLAVE, MASTER) though this is not ALWAYS the case.

Now bolt or screw the drive into the case, if it’s a hard drive you can buy rails to fit it into a 5.25 inch (CDROM size space) should you not have a spare 3.5-inch bay.

Now plug the ribbon cable to the motherboard (Remember PIN1 must be at the right end - even with modern cables, that are designed to go in one way round only its possible to force them in the wrong way round)

Now plug the ribbon cable into the Drive(s) PIN1 usually goes towards the socket for the molex power lead. (But check the manufacturers paperwork for details, as there are a few exceptions to the rule!)
If you are fitting a CD drive there may also be an Audio lead that goes from the drive to either the soundcard or the motherboard (if you have built In sound)

Now you’ve got everything in place, cabled and jumpered, power the system up (DON’T put the case back on yet) Your BIOS may beep to say it’s detected a new drive. Just follow the onscreen instructions to accept this.

All being well you should now see the drive in windows. (Put the case back together)

If you don’t, reboot and go into the BIOS and check that,
a.  The IDE channel it’s plugged into isn’t disabled.
b.  The BIOS can see the drive.

Check all the drives, cabling and jumperpins, if the drive ejects when you press the eject button you know you have power.

Go back in to Windows and run "add new hardware wizard" (From the control Panel) and follow the on screen prompts.

Alternatively, you can add an external harddrive using either Firewire or USB 2.0.  If you already have an IDE harddrive you can purchase the enclosures for around $30-$40 from most online retailers.  I suggest

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IDE Primary Channel
- HDD-0 first drive as Master (set the jumper to Master)
- HDD-1 second drive as Slave (set the jumper as Slave)

IDE Secondary Channel
- HDD-2 third drive as Master (set jumper as Master)
- Optical drive as Slave (set jumper as Slave)

Try to avoid using cable select (CS jumper) because sometime, the IDE ribbon cable may not be at the right position or long enough to hook it at the correct connector.
Make it this way. Get the best new hard drive you can afford. If the new HDD is the fastest, the clone your existing drive with the OS, the HDD-0 (boot drive) to your new drive. Make the new drive as your boot drive, after it boots up properly, format your first drive ad make it as your third drive or the second drive. Then set your Paging File (Swap File) to the second or third drive. This will reduce CPU resources and makes your PC performance better.
If he sets it up like that, he will get horrible speeds if he uses his cd drive in cmbination with the 3rd hard drive, as in installing programs on it or burning cds from files that are on the 3rd hard drive.  Trust me, i figured this out the hard way.
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