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J ZEP
18-09-2002, 07:18 PM
Hi all, i am hoping to upgrade my harddrive soon from 20GB to about 60GB, (reason being my 20GB is close to full now). I have been told i have 2 options here:
1. Keep the 20GB i have already and not lose anything i have now and add another 40GB separately.

2. Add it all at once as 60GB and lose what i already have.

Now i was hoping for some feedback and peoples personal experiences into the pros and cons of doing it in either way. e.g is it better for a specific reason to go with the 60GB total in one way or visa versa.

Also am wanting to get some more RAM too - have 256 now and would like to go to 512, would it be best to get the 2 things done at the same time? and same goes for ram should i go for a new total 512ram or just add another 256?

**I would like to be able to keep what i have on the 20GB now tho.

Any help or ideas appreciated as i am not very up on things in these area's. Thanks :-)

p.s using win. XP home.

roofus
18-09-2002, 08:13 PM
Ok having seperate means you have 2 drives (ah duh)
Positives, seperate drive to hold critical data, good if one crashes
negatives, using up one of your IDE ports

If you go for 60G you can copy everything across by using Norton Ghost

As for your ram, doesn't matter if you have 2 x 256 or 1 x 512.

godfather
18-09-2002, 08:39 PM
> As for your ram, doesn't matter if you have 2 x 256
> or 1 x 512.

Actually it does, or it MAY do. Look up the requirements for your motherboard, there can be limitations. If its an OEM BIOS (HP or Compaq etc machine) there can be some limitations over and above the Motherboard maker.

e.g. an HP 8624 is BIOS limited to 256 Mb (2x128) even though the motherboard specs is OK for 2x256 = 512 MB. OEM BIOS limits it.

roofus
18-09-2002, 08:42 PM
and if that was the case as godfather says, it means your computer is old, and may only support up to 32gig of harddrive!!

godfather
18-09-2002, 08:52 PM
Not that old....could be up to a 1 GHZ PIII, supporting 40 GB drives, in one case I know.

Another model even younger will only accept single bank sticks, it just pays to check, is what I am suggesting.

Susan B
18-09-2002, 09:34 PM
J Zep are you limited to 60GB total for hard drives on your machine's specs?

If you aren't, then why not keep the 20GB and still buy the 60GB? If it were me I would be adding a hard drive, not replacing one as a second drive would be very handy for backups.

And if your machine can take the extra RAM then go ahead and do it while the hard drive is being done. It's only a two minute job while the cover is already off. Add another 256MB rather than replace yours with a 512MB. Cheaper that way.

Why aren't you installing it/them yourself, by the way? :D

J ZEP
18-09-2002, 11:50 PM
Thanks guys and girls, my computer is about 9 months old and still under warranty so if i attempt to do it myself i am voiding the warranty - so it is definately going to be a shop job (pity)- now how do i find out these specs that i need to check - i don't know what the motherboard is and have seen through this forum that i can do that by taking the cover off (once again something i can't do) the only other imfo i have in relation to the bios is: Bios Version:Award Software, Inc. ASUS A7A266 ACPI BIOS Revision 1008.
Other specs are: AMD Athlon XP1600+, speed 1399Mhz.
And how do i find out if i am limited to 60GB on my specs?
If i took Susans method of adding 60GB total and keeping 20GB as a backup how would that work - would i just be able to put the 20GB back in at my leisure/when needed kind of thing? - (Sorry but i am not very up on this side of things) Which does sound like a good idea.

What bugs me the most is when we brought the puter we were newbies (i used and learnt computers 10 years ago but had had a ten year break)and explained that to the sales guy and what we wanted out of the computer and that we didn't want to be upgrading in 6 months time due to lack of memory - space etc... - e.g Main specifications were a very capable gaming machine and that i do lots of photo work and so on and as advised by others to make sure we had enough Ram and a big Hd.... Anyway here we are 9 months later and after learning alot ourselves in this time - getting exactly what we asked the salesguy to make sure we had enough of X-( - Goodness i know things are outdated as soon as you get them these days - but even for just a good gaming and photo machine we should have been given the 512ram and at least 40gig i think pesonally now i have learnt alot more. Thems the breaks anyway - so as i said how do i find out what i can add?
Thanking you all :-)

Jen C
18-09-2002, 11:59 PM
Well apparantly you can find that out by reading the mobo manual - but I have been pouring over mine and can find everything but that! I have been following this thread with interest as I also want to add an extra HD for backup purposes and I am toying with the idea of giving Linux SuSe a go. I don't want to trash my PC so thought by putting in a 2nd drive I could play safely.

Jen

Chris Wilson
19-09-2002, 12:13 AM
Do you have access to the SuSe-Linux 7 CD set?

SoniKalien
19-09-2002, 12:22 AM
> ...if i attempt to do it myself i am voiding the warranty - so it is definately going to be a shop job (pity)- now how do i find out these specs that i need to check - i don't know what the motherboard is and have seen through this forum that i can do that by taking the cover off (once again something i can't do)...

Not necessarily. Read your warranty carefully - most have a statement saying that you are allowed to take the cover off and you are allowed to do minor things like add components such as hard drives and memory. What you arn't allowed to do is change processor, configuration of the mboard etc.

loser
19-09-2002, 12:27 AM
i had a comparable situation when I bought mine back at the start of year.... STRESSED that i wanted to use linux so wanted them to check the hardware was compatible, and it took me a good 3 months to get everything sorted out (he says after searching AGAIN for the causes of random boot crashes...)

Anyways, I was gonna say, if you don't have one, invest in a CD writer. That way you can burn off a good 600+ megs of your old photo work at a time, and clean your HD up a bit. Surely you don't need all the old stuff that you do on you HD all the time. CD backup is ideal for that kinda stuff. I do it with uni work... burn off a semesters work and then delete it off the HD.

>If i took Susans method of adding 60GB total and keeping 20GB as a >backup how would that work - would i just be able to put the 20GB >back in at my leisure/when needed kind of thing? - (Sorry but i am not >very up on this side of things) Which does sound like a good idea.

na, you'd leave it in all the time (well, I would!). Do your work on the big 60, and periodically copy across to the 20 as backup...

Remember... no matter how big your HD is, you will always need more space, no matter how much RAM you have, it's not enough, and no matter how fast your CPU is, it sure ain't fast enough....

Jen C
19-09-2002, 08:19 AM
> Do you have access to the SuSe-Linux 7 CD set?

No. I see on the SuSu site that Suse 8.0 is out - but the FedX p&p price is twice the cost of the CD's! Would it be best to wait and buy it in NZ (and can you)?

Jen

Greg S
19-09-2002, 08:30 AM
Hi. I suspect that if they claim your warranty is void by adding a user-replaceable component, they will be contravening some Act or the other - eg Fair Trading act.

As far as adding extra disc space, I'd say definitly go for getting a second drive, and retain the smaller one as a backup for your system data... it's easy to make a backup of your operating system and data files, and save it compressed onto your old C drive.

Also, you'll possibly find that new drives of 60+ gigs are the least expensive these days.

Chris Wilson
19-09-2002, 09:21 AM
jen C

If you want SuSe 8.0
please write to pugwash@ihug.co.nz
i can get you the disks

Chris.

J ZEP
19-09-2002, 04:33 PM
Soni and Greg - I rang and checked again about the warranty thing and it being void if i do it and quoted your opinions, so the new story is that if i do it myself and run into any problems because they aren't compatible etc...(which they said is quite common) it is all down to me and no warranty coverage e.g if i wreck something else in the process. I don't think i will risk it with my limited knowledge at the moment, as it would be my luck it would all go wrong!!! Thanks for that imfo tho.

O.k I already have a c.d writer and do use it alot.
Its just time we feel for some more room and Ram.
I now understand a little more about if i add another 60gig and use the 20gig as backup and like that idea, and now understand if i go with that idea i will (they will)have to reinstall the O.S on the 60gig, and the 20gig won't have the o.s and will be purely backup.
Next hurdle is the RAM - apparently i am lucky for some reason and am able to have sd or ddr RAM, as you usually can only have one,(well thats what the tech said?), i currently have sd - so feedback please on which one people think is the better option, bearing in mind if i go for ddr i will have to buy a whole 512 and if sd only another 256, however it is performance i am looking for, so what is the best in peoples opinions (paticularly for the gaming side of things)? I bet its ddr!!???
Last and depending on finances after the hd and ram - as i can see this is getting out of hand as i knew it would, we may go for a better Video card - currently we have a NVIDIA GeForce MX 100/200 - which must be pretty outdated now i guess. Price will be a factor with this - but it is something my partner will appreciate for his gaming, so looking for feedback into good vid cards for gaming - nothing like an $800 one or anything that extreme mind you!!!!!! - just something that will give us noticeable results in the gaming side of things would be good.

Thanks once again for all the feedback - i really appreciate it :-)

Greg S
19-09-2002, 04:47 PM
Ok, assuming you want to make the best budget decision, here's what I'd do...

Get the new 40 or 60 G drive and pop that in as your D, keeping existing 20 as C. That way you keep all old data and op/sys as is without fidling. You can then back up entire C onto D for precautionary purposes, with plenty of space left over to install all new data and games on the new D.

I'd go with sticking to the sd to increase to 512, then go for a new GeForce 4 4200 vid card, for around $350.

The above option also means the shop will charge less to do the physical stuff, which, if they charge by the time spent, incrementally, will save a bit in labour.

Susan B
19-09-2002, 04:57 PM
I was going to suggest exactly that arrangement with the hard drives Greg, but was wondering if having the games and programs on the D drive would slow them down a bit, being on a separate drive rather than a separate partition? Or does it make no difference?

Graham Petrie
19-09-2002, 05:22 PM
Your PC is pretty high specced - and would have been pretty damn good 9 months ago, so the salesman did fulfill your order.

Secondly, let me assume for now that you are having performance problems, and do actually need the new components.

You HD space is a little limited. Get another 60GB. Since you are getting the shop to do it, get them to image your old drive and copy it to the new one. That will save them reinstalling the OS etc. You can then use the 20GB for backups. Do some research into partitioning, and get them to partition the drive while they have it. That way, you don't need to do it later on at more expense.

Secondly, as far as RAM goes, 256 is a little low for LOTS of photo editing. DDR performs much better, but is also more expensive. If money is a factor, get the 256 sdr. If you can afford the DDR, definitely get that.

Again, as with the other parts, the video card, although good is not the ultimate for gaming. Video cards are pretty easy - just get the most expensive one you can afford - easy.

Where did you get your PC from?? The waranty situation is a little funny. People don't really know what their rights are - Target should do a "know your rights" section on it.

Opening the case WILL NOT void your waranty, although tinkering inside might deoending on what you do. eg if you are grounded properly and a static charge kills the mobo, then you probably aren't covered. Same goes if your RAM is faulty and it screwws up something else. However, if you install it correctly, and the computer dies - then the waranty is not void because you installed the RAm unless they can prove that that is what caused the fault.

G P

J ZEP
19-09-2002, 05:25 PM
Very good point susan - that is the impression i got for using the 60gig as the main drive?? As i asked why go that way. More feedback please ;\ (pain aren't i!)

Greg S
19-09-2002, 05:31 PM
Good point, specially as games are so performance demanding. However, (speaking from an avid gamer's perspective with only a very modestly spec'd machine), I've noticed no degredation in performance whatsoever whether running them either from C or D. Both my drives are almost identical spec, so the comparison is fair. GF should be able to confirm that either IDE channel should provide virtually the same access times, whether primary or secondary.

I tend to get greater performance than some of my opposition players online, despite their having latest and greatest specs... my advantage of course is adsl :)

Chris Wilson
19-09-2002, 06:17 PM
Partly because i'm a lazy sod, i would keep the exsisting drive, add the 40/60 whatever, and simply move anything of value to it.

There are other reasons, having the 20 as a system drive, means you can formatt/reinstall everything with relative ease WITHOUT losing your "stuff".

Of course computers NEVER get so stuffed up that it is easyer to format than try to fix them..... :p ]:)

Anything that is super critical can always be backed between drives, or achived onto CD, once finished with.

J ZEP
19-09-2002, 08:59 PM
You guys are the best and have helped immensely, thankyou!:-)

O.k a couple more quick queries after doing more research:

When it comes to the harddrives - i.e at mo i have 20GB 5400rpm, is it better to go for the higher rpm - if i have a choice between Seagate 60gb ATA 100 - 7200rpm @ $279 and Seagate 60gb ATA 100 5400rpm, i am presuming it is better to go for the higher rpm one? would that be right? and then for another $20 there is the Seagate 80gb ATA 100 7200rpm @ $299, so i am thinking it would be more cost effective to go for the 80gb 7200rpm (dependant on the importance of rpm?) What exactly is the rpm? the speed your hd works at?

And for RAM - An A-Data 512mb DDR Pc266 RAM is $299

But if i go for the DDR RAM - do i have to go for a DDR Video card? (i presume so?) and what difference is there in the video card mbs - once again is it better to go for the higher mb in video cards too?
Greg mentioned to go to a GeForce 4 4200 is this a: GeForce 4 Ti4200 128mb DDR? priced @ $499?

I don't mean to drag this out but i want to be sure and understand what i am getting this time around -

Anyway with that vid card it = $299 for the 80gb 7200rpm
+ $299 for 512 DDR Pc266 RAM
+ $499 for the GeForce 4 Ti4200,128mbddr
Total = $1100 :O without the cost of labour for installing it all.

Do i need that video card with that much ram on it? or could i downgrade a bit on the video card and still have noticeable difference, considering my video card now is only 32mb?

The video card will be the first to go - as i knew that was going to be the biggest cost, but if i can still get one for a little less i/my partner i should say will be happy!!!

Once again thank you all for your help and patience i greatly appreciate it!

Jen C
19-09-2002, 09:18 PM
>What exactly is the rpm?

Revolutions Per Minute.

7200 rpm is pretty fast - would make you puke if you were on a merry-go-round :D

Susan B
19-09-2002, 09:32 PM
Keep asking questions until you're happy with what you know. :-)

Yes, go for the faster hard drive. rpm= revolutions per minute (you should know that!!) so yes, it goes faster.

Yes, go for the bigger hard drive since it's not much dearer.

RAM - well if it were me I'd be keeping what you've got and adding 256MB to it rather than forking out $299. I doubt that you'd notice too much difference between the two types so I would take the cheaper option.

Don't know about the video card. tweak'e or someone will have to advise on that but if you are saving some dosh with the RAM maybe it could go towards the video card. You do have a decent monitor, don't you? A high spec card would be wasted if not.

Is the shop you bought it from (THAT place, isn't it?) going to do the work or somewhere else? You'd be doing the right thing getting it done rather than do it yourself, since it's still under warranty. Just remember to back up your stuff before it goes into the shop.

tweak\'e
19-09-2002, 09:51 PM
i would rather have ddr than sdram anyday. i can't see the point of having a nice cpu, speedy harddrive and use slowmo sdram.

7200rpm hardrive would be a must for any gamer/heavy graphics user.

graphics card?? that will all depend on $$$ gf3 still do quite well or a gf4 ti4200. keep away from the MX series.

Susan B
19-09-2002, 10:01 PM
It would make a noticeable difference then, tweak'e? Oh well, there you go J Zep. tweak'e knows his stuff.

Don't forget that you can sell your existing RAM.

J ZEP
19-09-2002, 10:11 PM
Yep you got it susan - it is THAT place :^O.
Reason i asked about the rpm is - why would i want to use a grunty new 60 or 80gb harddrive with 7200rpm as a backup over a putsy 20gb 5400rpm - i thought that the obvious way would be to use the new grunty one for everyday use and the older lower gig slower one for the backup thats all - so i was a little confused cause of a couple of posts. Actually still am confused as to why they would go with the slower smaller one for everyday use and faster bigger one for backup??? I would have thought the faster one would have been better for gaming to begin with??

There is just so much to learn in this area, everytime i think i have it sussed somebody else throws something new in. I will get there tho, but the other thing is everybody is recommending DDR Ram for the gaming and photos too.
So i really want to know if DDR will be a good buy and it does sound like the way to go and i always thought we would go to ddr when we could,

I would love to hear from somebody who has gone from SD to DDR and their opinions actually.

Yep definately got a good monitor - no probs their - 19 inch.

Thanks all again

tweak\'e
19-09-2002, 10:11 PM
susan- yes and no.
it depends on what you use pc for. it comes down to price a bit but for gaming you really want max speed.

faster the ram the better but not having enough ram is an even bigger bottle neck than having slow ram. a lot of games will use 400meg of ram or more.

its a bit of a judgement call but i dislike seeing nice cpu's being held up by slow ram.

tweak\'e
19-09-2002, 10:15 PM
looks like i missed something here. use the new drive as the main one (partitioned of course) and the 20gig as backup. you can 'ghost' the 20 gig over to the new drive so install is pretty straight forward.

J ZEP
19-09-2002, 10:26 PM
Thanks tweak'e - after 20min writing my post, as i posted your post magically appeared and answered all my questions :D Thank you most appreciated!!! Thanks too susan!
That pretty much seals the deal now i think - except the vid card, may downgrade from the one greg suggested, is a little pricey or even hold off on a new one for now if i can't find one that will make a difference without a huge investment. So if anybody can think of a card that will make a noticeable difference but isn't top of the line kind of thing, i am keen to hear. Also i see tweak'e you say keep away from the mx series which is what we have now - 32mbGeForce2mx200/400!!!
Might check out the prices on a GeForce 3 then tweak'e!

Thankyou all once again :-)

Susan B
19-09-2002, 10:29 PM
Yes, we are confusing you aren't we?

If you go for the faster hard drive it will need to be your main one with the 20GB as the backup. Depending on what sort of stuff you keep on your hard drive you might need to regularly shift files onto CDs when the backup drive gets a little full. Games take up a lot of room but they won't be on the 20GB drive, just your data, photos, pictures, etc files.

When you get the hard drive installed be very very specific that the old one is to remain and be the backup. Get them to write that down on the docket you should be getting. I got a new drive put in my old machine a few years ago and was told that the old drive was left in the machine but not connected. They lied to me. When I eventually opened the PC for the first time the original hard drive wasn't there and being over a year later they had no knowledge of it, of course. Boy, was I cross!

The shop should ghost your current drive and copy it over to the new one so you shouldn't have to muck about installing everything again when it's been done.

Gorela
19-09-2002, 11:42 PM
Hi Jen,

You can buy Suse 8.0 from DrFloppy in Auckland. I think it costs about $180-200, but a quick check of his site will confirm the price.

Naraku Kasai
20-09-2002, 12:18 AM
Has anyone actually got/tested out Suse 8.0 compared to 7.0? I haven't even seen what improvements have been added yet.

kiwibeat
20-09-2002, 10:47 AM
Get a old Gforce 256 32 meg ddr or similar on trademe they go for about $100 nowdays excellent gaming card and faster than the MX series by far also great value and easy as to install .Go forr the faster memory as that will help in any photo work sell your old ram .

J ZEP
20-09-2002, 11:36 AM
> Get a old Gforce 256 32 meg ddr or similar on trademe
> they go for about $100 nowdays excellent gaming card
> and faster than the MX series by far.Go forr the faster memory as
> that will help in any photo work

Kiwibeat - now that's what i like to hear:D !!! So even though i have a 32mg vid card now, the difference between 32mg sd and 32meg ddr in vid cards will be noticeable?, choice!!! That sounds the go!

Thankyou all for the brilliant feedback, i will only have to do abit more research on patitioning now, before i go into the shop, so i know exactly how i want to get them to patition it.

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

J ZEP
20-09-2002, 12:06 PM
Sorry - one last thing,(asked this earlier) now we are changing to DDR Ram, we WILL have to get a new vid card anyway won't we? Because the vid card we have now is sd?? Am i right in thinking that? e.g your vid card has to be the same as you RAM? i.e ram & vidcard both sd or both ddr?

tweak\'e
20-09-2002, 12:31 PM
no. the ram on vid card is different the motherboard ram.

you can still use your existing video card, slow as it is ;-)

J ZEP
20-09-2002, 12:37 PM
Another thing that crossed my mind is - am i going to be able to keep the 20gig as backup if it is sdram and i am adding ddr? Can you have both on one system or won't it matter cause its only a backup? Cause i was told you could only have one kind?

tweak\'e
20-09-2002, 12:54 PM
sounds like you getting things a little mixed up.

ram has nothing to with hardrive.

as far as i can tell you will be doing-

buy 512 stick of DDR ram and selling off your old 256 SDRAM ram.
buy a 60gig 7200rpm hardrive, partition it, use it as main drive and use your old 20 gig as a backup drive.

video card ....mayby. you can look for a 2nd hand geforce256 or geforce2 pro/gts or even get a new geforce3 ti200.

Greg S
20-09-2002, 12:58 PM
Your hard drives won't care what sort of sheeps you use, so long as it's one or the other, not both.

J ZEP
20-09-2002, 01:43 PM
>>>3 sounds like you getting things a little mixed up.
>
> ram has nothing to with hardrive.
>
> as far as i can tell you will be doing-
>
> buy 512 stick of DDR ram and selling off your old 256
> SDRAM ram.
> buy a 60gig 7200rpm hardrive, partition it, use it as
> main drive and use your old 20 gig as a backup
> drive.

Your dead right tweak'e - uh duh (feel really dumb now!)- i have spent too much time going over the 2/3 things and mixed up the ram and hd :8}- That as you have quoted it is exactly what i want or am going to do!!!
Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, to all for your patience!!!and help!
Don't worry i will be back to bug you all soon for imput on how i should have it patitioned :D - But i will do my research first! ;-)
Cheers all :-)

Chris Wilson
20-09-2002, 02:47 PM
Hey J Zep,

I just did a little research at pricespy.co.nz
There is typically $50 difference between a 60 gig and an comparable 80 gig HDD

I can tell that you are likely to need all the storage you can get, and i thought i should throw that information at you now yer all settled on what you want to get!

Greg S
20-09-2002, 03:08 PM
"i thought i should throw that information at you now yer all settled on what you want to get!"

LOL Nice one Chris! Now go back to work and leave the poor guy alone!

J ZEP
20-09-2002, 04:06 PM
Thanks Chris, yeah i noticed last night with my price's there was only a $20 difference between a Seagate 60gb ATA 100 7200rpm and a Seagate 80gb ATA 100 7200rpm - so that kinda sealed the deal on going for the 80gb - oh and i get a 2.5% discount for buying there too.

>>>>4 Now go back to work and leave the poor guy alone!

uhhum - sorry to be the one to tell you greg :^O - do i really sound that much like a male :O (does sound like a guys name tho, put that down to the other half choosing it for me)

Jen C
20-09-2002, 04:50 PM
> You can buy Suse 8.0 from DrFloppy in Auckland. I
> think it costs about $180-200, but a quick check of
> his site will confirm the price.

Thanks Gorela, Chris is organising me a set (I think that he is slowly trying to convert all PressF1 users to linux!)

I see that at DrFloppy you can buy a 1m Linux inflatable Penquin for $42.95 :D

J ZEP - my apologies for sneaking a OT thread to your post :8}

Jen C