Win XP Pro HD upgrade questions

I have a Dell Dimension 8200.  At bootup, there is a slight scratchy sound that I think is coming from the HD.  I've been told that if the sound wasn't there from day 1, it means trouble.  Any thoughts on this?

Also, to be safe I have purchased a Seagate 160GB Ultra ATA 7200 RPM HD to replace the original 80 GB.  I have read that my OS might not recognize anything beyond 137GB since it is an earlier version of XP.  XP SP1 or SP2 will recognize larger HDs but when I install a new HD and reinstall the OS, it would revert to the older XP.  My question is this:  do I need to set up the HD as 137GB so that there are no problems or will the subsequent XP upgrades take care of it (if I set it up as 160GB from the start)?

Hopefully my questions are clear enough for you.
chrisyanoAsked:
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FriarTukCommented:
well one more thing to check & rule out, as i recently had fixed someone's cdrw drive where i took it apart & found one of those cd stack plastic rings inside the drive - started working after i removed it.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You can integrate Service Pack 2 (or 1, but you should be using 2) into your existing CD (well, you'd be creating a new one) using a process called Slipstreaming.  Then you can install XP from your newly created CD and create a drive larger than 128/137 GB.

You can also try imaging software that may have been included with the new hard disk OR that you can buy on your own (such as ghost).  You can then image things from the old drive to the new drive without having to reinstall software.  However, on occasion this can cause problems when the partition is enlarged from it's original size.

Personally, I would recommend a complete fresh install if you haven't done one recently - most IT people find it "cleaner" to do a reinstall every 6-18 months.

Couple of links on how to slipstream:
http://www.petri.co.il/windows_2000_xp_sp_slipstreaming.htm
http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sp2_slipstream.asp
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
Q#1... scatchy?  I would watch out for clicking and gronks... scratchy may be normal.. .what you could do is download the hardrives manufacturers diagnostic utility to make sure

Q#2...it would be prudent to download and update your Dell Dimension 8200 motherboard BIOS.  Your BIOS will limit your drive/partition size
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
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chrisyanoAuthor Commented:
Thanks leew & irwinpks.  I will look into these issues once I straighten out the monitor issue I'm having.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
is this the same machine you have the monitor problem?
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chrisyanoAuthor Commented:
Yes, Irwinpks, it is the same machine.  As for the sound, it just sounds like something is scraping--I envision a bearing is worn out or something--but I only hear it when the system is booting.  Other than that it seems to be quiet.  I could be wrong, maybe it's not even the HD, but that's what I thought it was.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
perhaps fan?
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rindiCommented:
The XP Installation can depend on what you have as original CD's. If you didn't get an installation CD, but rather a recovery CD, then slipstreaming won't be an option. If this is the case it is better to partition the HD into, say, 1 primary partition of 100 GB and then install your OS to that. You can allways use a tool like acronis diskdirector suite or bootit-ng to modify the partition size later once you have SP2 installed, also, in my point of view it is better to have separate partitions for your OS and the data, so having more than one partition is quite OK.

http://acronis.com
http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/
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chrisyanoAuthor Commented:
Thanks again rindi,

I believe I do have a reinstallation disk as it came with the system from Dell.  That's a great point and I appreciate your input.  I am hoping to resolve the monitor issue before playing with hardware changes, but hopefully I can resolve both shortly.

Chris
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chrisyanoAuthor Commented:
irwinpks,

If it is the fan, though, wouldn't I hear the noise at other times as well?  It seems to be only at bootup, and to me it seems like it's coming from the HD area--but I will try to pinpoint location the next time I reboot the PC.  Thanks again, I definitely owe you some points for all the help you have given me.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
well...we're almost there (points = happy irwinpks) :-)

Usually the CD-ROM spins up... check that out.

Depending on your motherboard and sensors...the fan will usually kick in, and turn on when required (on new mobo's)
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chrisyanoAuthor Commented:
I tried pinpointing the sound when I restarted the system--it is coming from right behind the power button (which is just below the floppy & zip drives) so I'm quite sure it's the HD (as that's where it is mounted).  Also tried listening to the fan in the rear of the system but I'm 99% the sound is coming from the front end where the drives are mounted.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
perhaps open the case to make sure?
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FriarTukCommented:
clicking usually means the head is hitting the platters (dead)

scratching can mean buildup on the head or degradation on the drive (run chkdsk /r in safe mode command prompt)

whirring is usually a fan or cd/dvd drive spinning

you replaced the failing 80gb with a 160gb, but your not sure if it the Dell xp will recognize > 137gb

goto http://support.dell.com & enter your service tag & it should list there should be an option for "original configuration" which should show which o/s is on the computer you bought

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8200/
http://support.dell.com/support/systemsinfo/documentation.aspx?~cat=12&~subcat=84

enter o/s, submit, enter, model, submit - gets you to the troubleshooter (click resources tab for data)
http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/dsn/en/tree?c=us&l=en&s=gen&journalid=&treeid=FFA33DA99941FEDFE030030ABD62041A
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chrisyanoAuthor Commented:
OK, I opened the case and I think you're right irwinpks, it's more likely coming from either my CD/DVD drive or my CD-R drive.  I'm guessing the CD/DVD drive (mounted above the CD-R) is the main drive and is therefore the one that is trying to spin at bootup.  I also noticed the open/close on that drive is getting weak so perhaps that's the culprit.
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chrisyanoAuthor Commented:
Oh and FriarTuk, thank you for the suggestion--I think it is more of a whirring noise, but there is definitely something scraping or scraching as it spins...
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rindiCommented:
Is there possibly a CD stuck inside the mechanism? Your description of the noise suggests that.
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chrisyanoAuthor Commented:
There is sometimes a CD in the drive at bootup, but the sound seems to be consistent regardless of whether or not there is one in it.  

If I have 2 drives, a DVD drive (on top) and a CD-R (below it), which of the 2 drives would the PC try at bootup?  I'm thinking the top drive as I hardly if ever used the CD-R.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
it's normal for the drive to "spin up".. if the noise is that distracting then a replacement of the drive is in order.
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chrisyanoAuthor Commented:
But otherwise, not necessarily a "red flag" as of yet?
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
no...perhaps for now it is an annoyance more than anything else.
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rindiCommented:
Normally the drive set as primary will try booting.
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chrisyanoAuthor Commented:
Thanks to all of you.  I don't think I'll worry about the noise any more for now.  And as long as it's a CD drive and not the HD, then it's really not as much of a concern.

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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
cool. thank you!
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rindiCommented:
thanks too
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FriarTukCommented:
thx - hopefully it isn't too annoying
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