Second Hard Drive on XP

Posted on 2004-10-25
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have just installed a 2nd hard drive (80gb) as a slave alongside the original (40gb) master on an XP Home OS.
I want to know the easiest and best way to utilise the second hard drive. Ideally I would like to leave XP on the master and transfer all of my docs etc onto the new HD. I would also like to know whether it would be a good idea to move the program files over to the new HD and if so what procedure I will have to go through to make it all happen.

If what I am suggesting sounds ludicrous then please suggest a better solution(s).

Many thanks

Question by:hurst75
    LVL 65

    Accepted Solution

    Hello hurst75 =)

    Your first 40GB hard drive is enough for Windows and program files if u are not planning to install Advanced games like MM3 and Simcity etc etc !!

    and your 80GB is enough for ur My Documents(right click My Documents and change the target to point to the new drive) and for ur personal documents, pictures and songs etc etc !!

    WindowsXP takes itself only 1.5 GB, and ur rest 38.5 GB shud be enough for ur programs i think :)
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    I concur with SheharyaarSaahil about the 40GB being enough space for the OS and the program files.
    To move your "My Documents" folder from "C" (40Gb) to "D" (80GB), right click on the MY DOCUMENTS folder and choose MOVE.    Then specify the second hard drive for the location.  It will move the files and all pointers and references to the My Doucments folder.
    If there are other data folders that are on "C", you should move some of them to make sure you have a fair amount of free space on "C".  You did not mention how much free space was left on the 40GB drive.  
    Epecially note where your music and picture files are.  You want those on "D".

    You could start putting the new programs you install on "D" in the \Program Files folder.
    You would end up with 2 \Program Files folders, because it would be difficult to move the already installed programs from "C" to "D".  A little confusing when you are trying to find a Programs foldere later, but works fine.

    If the "C" drive runs with too little free space, it will run slower.
    After moving data files from "C", defrag that drive to clean it up.

    One consideration is that your 80GB may be a faster drive.  
    If the boot/OS drive on you system is the faster one, you whole computer will run faster.
    There are utilities that will test the data transfer rate on the two drives, and if the 80GB is considerably faster than the 40GB, you would have an advantage putting data and programs on the second drive.
    You would end up with 2 \Program Files folders, because it would be difficult to move the already installed programs from "C" to "D".

    If it were me, and the 80GB was a considerably faster drive, I would see if the 80GB came with a utility to move everything from the 40GB to the 80Gb. Maxtor has one.  It instructs you to install the new drive as the MASTER (booting) drive, and the old one as the slave.  You boot to a floppy or CD to start the process. It does the transfer, then you reboot on the MASTER without the CD and your new drive is the boot drive "C".  The OS and all the boot tracks are moved with the Data.  It is a slick trick that takes very little time.  I recommend backing up all important data FIRST before doing such a move.  You should be backed up already.  But make sure.
    After running it for a time to verify everything is working properly, you could wipe the 40GB ("D"), and use it for some of your data, such as only pictures and music.  These 2 type of files tend to be large, and speed will be less of an issue unless photos is your business or main hobby.  You also could move your "MY Documents" folder, but I would just leave the documents on "C".  They do not tend to use a lot of space, if pictures and music are not under that folder.
    The advantage here of the faster "C" is that you are constantly using program, OS,  and temporary files on "C".  

    I am not aware that XP would care if the hardware change (new larger drive) would make any difference when done this way.
    Perhaps SheharyaarSaahil would like to comment.


    Author Comment

    Sounds good Par1033. I will try it this evening.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Just a suggestion:  before you start MOVING things around, make an image of "C" (i.e. using GHOST) first!  That way, if anything goes wrong you can always go back to the beginning without any damage!

    Rule of thumb:  ALWAYS make an image before experimenting.  It saves time, your data, and a lot of heartache.
    LVL 57

    Assisted Solution


    concur with huntersvcs 's comments on ghost

    I have a 20Gb drive with windows XP on it and a 160Gb drive with all my stuff on it - the larger drive also holds a ghost image of the windows XP drive so at any point my machine fails - ive just got to boot with a floppy and reimage the 20Gb drive - when you consider it takes me about three weeks to get my system set up from scratch the way i like it (cause you allways forget something) and it takes about 30 mins to restore a ghost image this is the best "get out of jail free card" I have :)

    Author Comment

    sorry for the time lapse.

    I agree with the splitting of the points. I have been away on business and have pciked up only my professional email.

    sorry again for any inconvience.

    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Sorry, but PeteLong concurred with my comment....

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