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Basic questions about installing a second internal hdd in my pc

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1- My motherboard  is Intel 915 G chipset with H.T tech 4 GB DDR400 memory  
 3 GHz 1 MB L 2 Cache 800 Mhz FSB and I have a dvdrw on the motherboard  2 gig kingston memory and 250 hardrive with three partitons within a extended partition with optical drives  dvdrw DL benq 16x and  LG cdrw 52x and a floppy drive with a ups connected to the usb port , printer, scanner would my computers motherboard be able to  handle a second hardrive without any problem ?
 
2-With a second hardrive  will it open automatically like the primary c drive when I turn on the computer or after rebooting or will it stay dormat only until I physically  click  it on myself ..  
Or would the operating system or computers brain get mixed up and sometimes the second hardrive will open up instead of my primary c drive after a reboot  ? Would I have those kinds of problems with a second internal  hdd inside my computer ?
 I know now if I want to open any of my three partitions I have to click on my computer or explorer , find them and click on them to bring them on the screen , would a second hardrive work the same way ?
 
3- I want to only use the second hardrive exclusively  for storage of my c drive  ghosted mirror image copy and for periodic incremental backups to update the backup  copy  
.Maybe a partition for my docs in the second hdd , but not for another os like windows 98 thats out of the question ..
 I would create a mirror image of my c drive and after that’s finished  put it in the second hardrive ..
 
4- Then on subsequent incremental backups I would presume that the  ghost 9.0 software would overwrite the previous backup data in the second hardrive and then reinstall what was erased plus insert the lastest new c drive data  on the second hardrive is that correct ? .
5- And I suppose it would have its own letter not C again  ?
 
6- If I my hardrive dies and It needs to be replaced , then I won’t be able to access windows xp to get to [my computer folder] or  windows explorer in order  to click on the second hardrive would I
 So how do I get the second hardrive to take over until I buy a new hardrive and install it  to replace the primary one that went south ? And If I did get to the second hdd in the event the first one ( primary C drive ) fails , would that backup copy be bootable like the primary C drive was. ?
 
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zalman00
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zalman00
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WatzmanCommented:

The second hard drive will appear automatically in "My Computer" and explorer (if it's properly installed).  Any partitions on it will be given drive letters automatically according to Microsoft's rules for this.  This is the same way as your current partitions work.

The Ghost software creates files that contain images.  The images are current (updated) as of the date on which they are created.  If you store the images on a partition in the new drive, they will replace an older image only if the file has the same filename and is placed in the same directory (folder), otherwise both new and old images would be present (you could of course manually delete them).  Often the date is part of the filename, but that is discretionary.  I actually recommend that you keep not only the most recent image, but at least one older one.  You could also organize the images into folders.  [In many cases, the images will be be broken up into multiple files to facilitate burning them to CD or DVD media].

As you have described this situation, the 2nd hard drive would not be able to "take over", it neither has an OS on it, nor is it bootable.  But it would still hold the images and your system.  In this case, what you would do is replace the 1st hard drive (with what would now be a 3rd drive), then boot Ghost using the bootable CD or recovery media that you [hopefully] have created.  This would start Ghost, which would then be able to restore your "new 1st" (3rd) hard drive using the images on the 2nd hard drive.

In some cases, Windows will detect that the hard drive has changed, and you will still have to do a "repair" install of Windows XP.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
zalman00,
> 1- My motherboard  is Intel 915 G chipset with H.T tech 4 GB DDR400 memory  
>  3 GHz 1 MB L 2 Cache 800 Mhz FSB and I have a dvdrw on the motherboard  
> 2 gig kingston memory and 250 hardrive with three partitons within a
> extended partition with optical drives  dvdrw DL benq 16x and  LG cdrw
> 52x and a floppy drive with a ups connected to the usb port , printer,
> scanner would my computers motherboard be able to  handle a second
> hardrive without any problem ?

Depends.  does your case have physical room to hold it?  If you have a small case, it might not.  If you have a "normal" size case, then shouldn't be any problem.  

The chipset is not the motherboard; it is an important component of the motherboard, but it is not the motherboard (model/brand/etc).  The motherboard should be able to handle AT LEAST one more hard drive.  EITHER a SATA or ATA hard drive.  Even if, for some strange reason, your board didn't have a second ATA (which is what the CD/DVD drives use) and/or a second SATA connection (which is what your existing hard drive PROBABLY uses), you would be able to buy a PCI card that would allow for more drives, regardless of type.

Or are you talking about a USB/Firewire External hard drive?
If so, your computer should handle it fine with no problems, especially if you get a USB drive.  If you get a firewire only drive, you MIGHT have to buy a Firewire adapter card if your computer doesn't already support firewire.

> 2-With a second hardrive  will it open automatically like the primary
> c drive when I turn on the computer or after rebooting or will it stay
> dormat only until I physically  click  it on myself ..  Or would the
> operating system or computers brain get mixed up and sometimes the
> second hardrive will open up instead of my primary c drive after a
> reboot  ? Would I have those kinds of problems with a second internal  
> hdd inside my computer ?  I know now if I want to open any of my three
> partitions I have to click on my computer or explorer , find them and
> click on them to bring them on the screen , would a second hardrive
> work the same way ?

A second hard drive would work/look exactly like your other partitions.  Note: when you install it, you would need to "configure" it in the operating system - partition, assign a drive letter, and format it - before the Operating System provided any way for you to use it for storing information.

Once setup correctly, there is virtually no chance of things getting "mixed up"

> 3- I want to only use the second hardrive exclusively  for storage of
> my c drive  ghosted mirror image copy and for periodic incremental
> backups to update the backup  copy  .Maybe a partition for my docs in
> the second hdd , but not for another os like windows 98 thats out of
> the question ..  I would create a mirror image of my c drive and after
> that’s finished  put it in the second hardrive ..

Ok.

> 4- Then on subsequent incremental backups I would presume that the  
> ghost 9.0 software would overwrite the previous backup data in the
> second hardrive and then reinstall what was erased plus insert the
> lastest new c drive data  on the second hardrive is that correct ? .

I don't use ghost much... I know what it's intended to do in copying data from one system to another - I've used it for that purpose before but not otherwise evaluated it.  I personally do not consider ghost to be appropriate for regular backups.  Create an image every 3 months or so, fine, but not as a backup software.  They made backup software for that.  

> 5- And I suppose it would have its own letter not C again  ?

Not sure I follow...


> 6- If I my hardrive dies and It needs to be replaced , then I won’t be
> able to access windows xp to get to [my computer folder] or  windows
> explorer in order  to click on the second hardrive would I  So how do
> I get the second hardrive to take over until I buy a new hardrive and
> install it  to replace the primary one that went south ? And If I did
> get to the second hdd in the event the first one ( primary C drive )
> fails , would that backup copy be bootable like the primary C drive was. ?

You would either reconfigure the BIOS to boot off the second hard drive (assuming you were making Ghost images of a "disk-to-disk" type as opposed to a "disk-to-file" type).  Or you might have to physically swap around the drive connections.

Question for you - Have you considered setting up a Hardware RAID (Level) 1?
http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/raid/levels/singleLevel1-c.html
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/R/RAID.html
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WatzmanCommented:

There is a difference between "making an image" of a disk, and copying the disk itself.  From your question, I presumed that you were making an image of the disk, but not that you were actually copying the first disk to the 2nd disk (which I still take to be the case).
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zalman00Author Commented:
Waltzman thank you for your help ,
Let me reiterate to make sure I am clear on your instruction
 If the folder has the same name as the folder I intend to image then I would probably get a pop up screen telling me something like  “all the folders are going to be erased  do you still want to to go thru with it ?” and I would click yes or yes to all and It would override the folder
( erase and reinsert what was erased plus add the new data to the add data ( new files in the same folder with the same name )
If I changed the name of the folder I will image the new named folder with added new files  plus the older version of the same folder without the newer files and that folder will remain as a duplicate folder of the changed name folder
 ok understood !


Oh so the second hardrive has no OS so its not bootable it only has an image of the OS ok never knew that !

So If my primary hardrive fails , first I need to replace it , next then use the ghost recovery boot cd  and this would bring up ghost ( but not window xp ?) , navigate to the restore screen and tell ghost where to restore the image to .


In some cases, Windows will detect that the hard drive has changed, and you will still have to do a "repair" install of Windows XP.
By repair install of windows xp  do you mean the ghost copy is not going to do anything for me and I will have to reinstall the OS and all the programs , configurations everything from scratch , in otherwords reformat from scratch ? I sure would hope not !


Leww , thank you
Yes I have a pretty big tower case

If there is any problem with having  only a single IDE/ATA connector which supports two devices With two optical drives I am faced with either: (1) installing SATA HDDs;
 or (2) installing a PCI-to-IDE/ATA adapter. The  PCI combo card out now that has both an IDE/ATA port and a SATA port for internal access, plus an external SATA port for portable device access. So that’s covered by the  adapter


 As far as If I decide I want to go the external hdd route , then I would use the usb2.0 and not the firewire , I can’t use it my pc is not equipped for it , and usb is fine with me .


I am with you leww, I use nero backup software for my regular backups
 ( my documents folders ) and have been putting them on cd-r or dvd-r
as far as the full backup that would be every three months or so …


5- And I suppose it would have its own letter not C again  ?
Not sure I follow...
what I meant was the new second hardrive would not have the letter C assigned to it but maybe J or K or whatever and the partition in it may be would be K or L ?


Quote :
You would either reconfigure the BIOS to boot off the second hard drive
I would configure the bios to boot from the second hard drive first as opposed to the default with it to boot from the floopy , yes that’s doable
Is that the only way I could get the computer going after installing a new hardrive to replace one that hypotectecally failed .?
(assuming you were making Ghost images of a "disk-to-disk" type as opposed to a "disk-to-file" type).  Or you might have to physically swap around the drive connections.this is something I could not do .


watzman : Quote :
There is a difference between "making an image" of a disk, and copying the disk itself.  From your question, I presumed that you were making an image of the disk, but not that you were actually copying the first disk to the 2nd disk (which I still take to be the case).
I don’t know that much about the software , never used it but I would guess making an image of the disk ( C drive ) so as to store it on a second hardrive to avoid clean install  reformatting in case I need to replace my original hardrive
I don’t even know what the difference between the two are ??
They both seem like they are the same thing …
Unless what you refer to is as  copying the first disk to the 2nd disk is the restore process ??
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WatzmanCommented:

The following assumes that you are making an image, not copying the disk drive.

Neither folders nor files can have the same name as another folder or file in the same location (although they can have the same name if they are in different locations).  If you try to do that, you will get some kind of a message.  But the program may well name the files (I don't think that it creates folders) in such a way that this never happens, either by incorporating the time and date into the filename or by making a number part of the filename and automatically incrementing it (I use Drive Image myself, rather than Ghost, but the two programs are quite similar, and now even share some of their code since both are published by Symantec).

If you create a new image and keep the old image, there is no relationship between them.  A given file (or many files) may well be present in both images, but that is because the file was on the imaged drive when both of the images were created.  The old image does not "get incorporated into" the new image.

The 2nd drive has no operating system, unless you put one on it as a separate operation.  Now if, instead of imaging the drive, you copy it, then that's a different story and it would then have an OS on it, being a copy of the first drive (which had an OS on it).  But you need to understand the difference between copying the drive, and making an image file from it.  They are related, but not the same thing.  The advantage of an image is that it's transportable, being a single or small number of files, and it's smaller since the image uses compression and also doesn't include "empty space".  But the image, while it can be used to recreate the drive (either on the same drive if "something bad" happens, or on a new drive) cannot be used DIRECTLY.

This part is correct: "So If my primary hardrive fails , first I need to replace it , next then use the ghost recovery boot cd  and this would bring up ghost ( but not window xp ?) , navigate to the restore screen and tell ghost where to restore the image to." except that you would tell Ghost both where to find the image to be restored, and where to restore it to.

"Windows will detect that the hard drive has changed, and you will still have to do a "repair" install of Windows XP"  This means that in some cases, the restored disk will not boot successfully, and you will have to take your Windows XP CD and do a special type of re-installation to get it to boot properly again.  However, your installed software, data files and settings should be retained, so this is much less difficult than a total reinstallation.  I'm not completely clear on why this seems to be necessary sometimes, but not in all cases.  But sometimes a restored image from another disk drive won't boot until you do a repair install.

If you are using nero for backups, be sure that you are making "ISO" media and not UDF (packet writing) media (in Nero, UDF media is made with "InCD").  And be sure to use CD-R and not eraseable CD-RW media.  Otherwise, you may have problems reading your backups when you need them most.

Copying a disk means just that .... you have a 2nd disk drive which is a copy of the 1st disk drive and which is fully and directly useable (more correctly, it should be noted that you actually copy partitions rather than drives).  Making an image makes a file or set of files from which the drive can be recreated by restoring the image to a drive.  These may exist on CD-R, DVD-R, a network drive or another partition, but they are simply files, and are not directly useable.



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zalman00Author Commented:

Watzman ,
Just to know all my options before doing anything , is it advisable to partition an external hdd
 ( one partition) to have just for frequent backing up of personal data with other backup software perhaps nero or some other type like copyit from nero
one partition in an external usb 2 hardrive ?
 Or will it ruin the external drive to partition it  ?
Is this a practice that is done very frequently ?
Thank You
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WatzmanCommented:
Sure, you can partition an external drive.  What I did, with a 200 gig drive, was to create a 32 gig FAT32 partition, and let the rest be one single very large NTFS partition.  This way, if I am working with a machine running Windows 98, I can still use the drive (with the FAT32 partition), but for most purposes, I use the 160 gig NTFS partition.
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