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Installing 4 HDD into my home PC

Posted on 2006-11-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi guys,
My home PC has a primary 40GB HDD and a 200GB slave, but i want to connect another 2 or 3 HDD to it, how can this be done and i prefer not to have to do any formatting to get this running

Cheers


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Question by:mr_crust
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Lee W, MVP earned 2000 total points
ID: 17895275
Any new hard drive has to be formatted.  Unless it comes preformatted (and I don't know any INTERNAL hard drives that do come pre-formatted).

Without knowing more about your computer it's impossible to give specific instructions, but typically, a computer has 2 ATA (PATA) controllers built in to the motherboard - each one supports 2 devices - this gives you a maximum of 4 devices INCLUDING CD/DVD ROM/Writer drives.  If you have a newer board, it may support SATA drives.  Most computers I've seen include 2 onboard SATA controllers.  Each one can accept ONE drive.  So if you get SATA drives (and have SATA controllers) you can attach 2 drives to that.  Now if you don't have any available controllers, you can buy a PCI card to add additional SATA OR PATA connections.  Then of course, it depends on how many drive bays you have as to how many internal drives you can connect.  Just because your board supports 6 drives (if it does) doesn't mean your case will handle that many.

Now if you want EXTERNAL drives, then just go buy them.  USB supports up to 127 USB devices, meaning you COULD, in THEORY, connect 127 external USB hard drives.

There are other options as well, including eSATA (external SATA drives) and SCSI drives (HIGH PERFORMANCE, EXPENSIVE).  Also Firewire drives (which are generally faster than USB2 but not as common).

So, what EXACTLY are you asking for?!?!
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:mr_crust
ID: 17895291
leew thanks for the quick reply, when i mean formatting i dont want to format my current primary and secondary drives, as for my 3 new hdd im happy to format them.  

my motherboard has no sata conenctors, only ata.

so on the first ribbon i have 40gb hdd , slave 200gb hd
on the 2nd ribbon i have dvd-rw and a cd-rw

i have one usb hdd , but i prefer to keep them internal. my case can hold 4 hdd's, if not ill get another case to suit. I have no other controllers available , so im guessing i will need this PCI card to do it....do u know what the pci cards are called so i can hunt around for one.

once again thanks for the quick reply

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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 17895314
The cards can be really cheap or really expensive or somewhere in between.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Submit=ENE&N=2010150410+4093+1193512552&Subcategory=410&description=&Ntk=&srchInDesc=

LARGE list:
http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/Subcategory.asp?Subcategory=410

There should be NO NEED to reformat your computer.

Note: Unless you want to use RAID, I'd probably avoid the RAID cards.  (It's a RAID card if it says RAID in the description, generally).
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 17895335
If you want IDE heres one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16816102007 they do have cheaper ones but remember you usually get what yah pay for
If you want sata
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16816150007
even a card with both sata and ide
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16816102045
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:mr_crust
ID: 17895358
leew , your the man, thanks so much mate, im gonna have a look at these cards now and hopefully get one in my pc asap.

this should keep me busy for the next wk or 2 :)
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