Additional HD to computer

Posted on 2011-09-12
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I presently have a Dell Windows XP SP3 machine and I wanted to add an additional HD to this machine, but I don't know how?  I'm considering purchasing 1Tb of storage for this HD.  On the present HD I have the OS and everything else I'll need.  On the second HD, I'd like to store a bunch of files and folders have create three other machines to be able to access them, with some permissions as well.  Do I need to do anything to the second HD?  
Question by:ee4itpro
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 36524633
Just connect up the 2nd hard drive, right click my computer, select manage, choose disk managment, and format the new drive in the disk manager.  Should be black and says unpartitioned.  Assign a drive letter and you should be good to go.

Depending on how you connected the drive, you might have to set the BIOS to not boot to the 2nd drive, by default it would boot to your primary then your secondary.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 36524649
I'm assuming you are talking about a desktop, not a laptop, right?

Installing a second hard drive is easy. First off, open up the computer and make sure that

a) You know whether you need IDE or SATA hard drives (most likely SATA)
b) You know whether you need 2.5" or 3.5" hard drives (most likely 3.5")
c) You have space to mount the new hard drive, your power supply has an available power connector, and your motherboard has an available port to plug the hard drive into

Assuming all of the above is okay, it is just a matter of installing the hard drive, connecting it, booting the system and initializing / formatting the hard drive.

There's nothing special you need to do to the hard drive besides format and partition it, which can be done using Windows' disk management console (start->run.., and type "diskmgmt.msc").

Partition the hard drive and assign it a drive letter, and you can use it just like any other storage on your computer. Afterwards you can setup shared folders / permissions.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 36525609
Make sure to format the new drive partitions as NTFS, so that you are able to add specific permissions to files/folders.

Accepted Solution

Net_Warrior earned 500 total points
ID: 36525629
Whether you need to do anything to the new HDD depends on the type and model you purchase.  If you have a desktop then you have a choice of buying an external or an internal disk.  If you have a laptop (unless you have a free 2.5 inch disk bay in the laptop itself) you will need to purchase an external disk.  
      If you are able to purchase an internal disk you first need to determine the options available to your computer for connecting it.  Open the side door on the system cabinet and look for an available SATA or IDE port/interface (SATA is ideal and will be a small typically flat cord stretching from the motherboard to a disk or optical drive, while IDE will be a wide, flat, 40pin cable with 3 interfaces on it).
      You also need to determine if your power supply has an unused 4pin Molex or SATA power connector (Molex are larger, SATA are flat and slimmer with internal pins).  Once you have obtained all the above information you can choose which type of drive best suits your needs.
If you have a SATA port, I recommend a Western Digital 1TB Black ( ) as it is a good balance between performance, space and price.  
      If you choose to purchase an external disk, I recommend a Seagate or LaCie as they tend to be of good quality (check BestBuy or Walmart).  
      Once you acquire the disk, turn of your PC, unplug the PSU (power supply) and ground yourself by touching something metal (such as the case).  Connect the drive and mount it.  Close the system, plug it back in, boot up and click the start button and right-click computer or “my computer” from the list, then choose manage.  You can also click start>run and type diskmgmt.msc.  From the window which opens, select the new disk, right click it and choose create new partition.  Ensure you create a primary partition and format using NTFS.  Assign the drive a Letter and it should show up in Windows explorer.  From here you can copy/create files and folders and assign permissions as needed.  Good luck!
LVL 91

Expert Comment

ID: 36527594
we need a bit more info : what model Dell is it?
if you have ide drives, you best buy an IDE as second; you may be limited in drive size by the BIOS
if you have Sata drives, you buy these and install as shown :

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