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View Full Version : Is there a way to tell if the hard drive will fit?



Fishy
05-11-2006, 01:15 PM
I have a 40gb hard drive and only have 1gb left on it...
I want to buy a 20gb or 40gb hard drive off trademe or somewhere but how can i tell if theres a space or whatever for it to fit in? Like this IDE and SATA crap. I dont know what i have or whether i have both or what. Please help me im really confused.
Thanks.

SurferJoe46
05-11-2006, 01:29 PM
Are we talking laptop or desktop here?

Physically, desktop hdd's are about the same size...actually they ARE the same size! They'd have to be to fit into the bays in the tower.

As far as a laptop is concerned, and since space is a real issue...I imagine they are all the same size too....model to model anyway.

As a f'r instance: I have replaced all 8 of my 200 gig hdds with 300 gig ones, and they fit ok.....I am running out of room too with all the videos I have stored on them.

Next thing is I need to bank hdds in a tower as a stand-alone external storage device.

dolby digital
05-11-2006, 01:50 PM
I have a 40gb hard drive and only have 1gb left on it...
I want to buy a 20gb or 40gb hard drive off trademe or somewhere but how can i tell if theres a space or whatever for it to fit in? Like this IDE and SATA crap. I dont know what i have or whether i have both or what. Please help me im really confused.
Thanks.
a/ You could take it to your local pc shop and they will do a professional job
b/ Let a friends son "fix" it (or is that your mothers sisters son)

Is it a "brand" pc. Rule of thumb, if its a desktop and the case is big, it should take another drive, if the case is compact (compaq????), then it probably won't.
Also if its less than 2 years old, its probably SATA, IDE otherwise; but you need to open the case to see.

Pete O'Neil
05-11-2006, 01:55 PM
I have a 40gb hard drive and only have 1gb left on it...
I want to buy a 20gb or 40gb hard drive off trademe or somewhere but how can i tell if theres a space or whatever for it to fit in? Like this IDE and SATA crap. I dont know what i have or whether i have both or what. Please help me im really confused.
Thanks.
If its a desktop, just pull the side off the case and see if there enough physical space for you to install the drive. The drives fit in 3.5' bays normally located below the floppy drive, if you havent got much space you could even remove the floppy and install it there.

If its a laptop then chances are you can only have one harddrive, some highend models have room for 2 or more but they normally ship with drives bigger than 40gb originally.

If you dont have enough space an external firewire or USB enclosure could be an option. They can take either 2.5' or 3.5' drives of just about any capacity.

Buying a 20gb drive really isnt a good idea as the cost per gigabyte is very high when compared to drives of larger capacities. Granted you could buy a secondhand drive from trademe but they still go for very inflated prices. If you can find the cash 320gb drive can be had for as little as $170.

SATA and IDE are the interfaces. IDE is the older interface, it uses the wider ribbon cables and is the slower of the two. SATA is newer, uses smaller cables and is faster. The speed of the interface isnt that big of a problem as modern drives arent fast enough to fully utilize the bus. The interface acutally makes very little difference in terms of speeds, its actually technologies like NCQ and bigger caches on SATA drives that are the cause of the increased performance.

If your system supports SATA its the better option as its more future proof and the drives are slightly cheaper. PATA is slowly being phased out, but drives are still avaliable second-hand and new.

kjaada
05-11-2006, 03:56 PM
The physical dimensions of HDD's are almost all the same.A 200GB drive will fit where you have a 2GB now.

Fishy
06-11-2006, 04:17 PM
Yup it's a desktop. And i dont want to spend $170 on space i wont use. especially spending that much cash on this piece of sh!t computer. It was made in 2000 - 2001 so that means its IDE? How can i be certain? Ill pull of the side and see if theres room for it soon.
Thanks for help.

Pete O'Neil
06-11-2006, 04:58 PM
It was made in 2000 - 2001 so that means its IDE? How can i be certain? Ill pull of the side and see if theres room for it soon.

Maybe when you pull that side panel off you could have a look? IDE ribbon cables are noticable different to SATA cables.

pcuser42
06-11-2006, 05:25 PM
SATA jacks are (usually) red jacks on the motherboard (the big board with circuitry on it), about 1-2 cm long. :)

Erayd
06-11-2006, 10:18 PM
If the PC was made in 2000 or 2001 it's definitely IDE - there's no way SATA was around back then (at least not on your average consumer PC).

developer
06-11-2006, 10:26 PM
Most desktop computer HDD's are 3.5', some are in different sizes, e.g. bigfoot (it is very unlikely to get one unless you buy secondhand HDD).

johnd
06-11-2006, 11:03 PM
Hate rude drivers.

What about "sh!t computer" and "SATA crap". I haven't noticed any of that kind of stuff floating around in my computer.

motorbyclist
07-11-2006, 01:17 AM
just a thought, is this a dell or hp machine? if so things could get difficult...

rule of thumb: nearly all hard disks share identical physical dimensions give or take a couple of mm

judging by age you have IDE (PATA)

open it and check that you do infact have an available plug on an IDE cable (the wide usually grey one/s going into your cdrom drive and other hard drive)

and advantage of SATA is much narrower cables, faster transfer (not yet fully utilised), better drives (NCQ, 16MB buffers etc), and most importantly:
no F***ing around with slave/master issues. as two drives can be on the one cable, the drives and your motherboard must know which is which, so one is labelled the Slave and the other the Master. which is which means nothing, so dont worry about that, aslong as they aren't both set to the same thing.

i hope it helps:nerd:

SurferJoe46
07-11-2006, 06:30 AM
HUH? :illogical ? :horrified ? :groan: ?

" two drives can be on the one cable, the drives and your motherboard must know which is which, so one is labelled the Slave and the other the Master. which is which means nothing, so dont worry about that, aslong as they aren't both set to the same thing.

i hope it helps "

Now I am confused a lot more. I don't suppose I can get this translated into the Queen's English...can I?

I personally don't have any SATA drives, but my question goes along this line:


1) Are the SATA cables or the mobo connections labeled "Master" or "Slave" themselves?

2) Do SATAs have jumpers for M - S - CS ?

3) Can one buy a SATA expansion card for an existing mobo and thereby install SATAs?

4) Can I get the massive numbers of drives as I now have (8-200g, 1-40g root)?

5) What are the current (electrical) demands for spin-up and idle for the SATAs verses the Ultra/IDEs? I currently use a ENERMAX EG651P-VE, and I also have another ENERMAX GALAXY EGA1000EWL still in the box should I need it.

6) Will I see any better performance as I save videos and mp3's with SATAs or IDEs?

7) My 8-200g Maxtors have an 8mb cache and are Ultra ATAs at 7200 RPM; do you see any betterment with the SATAs should I convert?

8) I also have at my access about 30 SCSI drives...would these be a step in a better direction? I know that the nature of the SCSI bus allows it much better performance when doing data hungry tasks such as multi-tasking and the SCSI bus controller is capable of controlling the drives without any work by the processor.

9) I have two more Ultra expansion cards, one with 4 ports and the other with two ports, and room for just one more expansion card on the mobo.

10) Currently, my root drive is an Ultra mounted on a dual port Ultra expansion card and runs as boot disk..etc. (This may be why Ubuntu got confused when I tried a dual-boot on this puter...the Dell with lots less drives and confusion is still running well with Mepis....I learned to not try THAT again!)

Ultimately I want to start an external stack of high capacity drives with many videos and MP3's...and will like to create this bank of individually accessable/callable drives with volumes of this data on a seperate power source, racked next to my main puter. Probably will move most of the 200g's out of the tower at that time too, leaving just enough for editing and conversions.

I have dedicated another pair of Dell towers with filesharing for the overflow that I expect in the next few weeks, but this is not what I really want to do. They share files via another daisychained USB-2 hub, but the time for transfers is slow and not what I ultimately want.

I am used to using a "Daisy Chain" with intelligent peripherals (read: their own semi-processors) like in the old Commodore days, and I think that it was a pretty good way to have data accessable and writeable and am thinking that I want to use this technique in my future stacked external archives. Any thoughts?

At current archiving rates, I should need about 900g more in about 1.1 months from now, collecting about 20 vids a month @ 4-5.5g each.

How are massive libraries like this stored/accessed/written for archival uses?

Yes...I know this takes in a lot of areas...and yes...I don't expect all the answers from just one person...and yes....this is complicated...Sorry and YES...I know this is at least a partial hijack of the original post, but it is generally the same area, ie: HDDS
:groan:

Maybe I can try an internal-server-LAN type system?

kjaada
07-11-2006, 06:44 AM
I would think Fishy is completly confused by now and has maybe shot himself or something.

Fishy
07-11-2006, 12:43 PM
I would think Fishy is completly confused by now and has maybe shot himself or something.
Correct...
I opened up the side and there is about 4 or 5 spaces for an extra hard drive.
What I don't know about is whether theres enough cables?
Plugged into the existing hard drive is a wide, skinny grey cable and some colourful skinny round wires.
I traced the grey cable back to the source and theres a square full of them bundled together and them they plug into the motherboard, but I can't tell if theres any spare ones in that heap or not...
There seems to be a hell of alot of the colourful skinny wires though.
Help?
And please in english, not technical jargon :waughh:

Pete O'Neil
07-11-2006, 12:46 PM
Yes...I know this takes in a lot of areas...and yes...I don't expect all the answers from just one person...and yes....this is complicated...Sorry and YES...I know this is at least a partial hijack of the original post, but it is generally the same area, ie: HDDS
:groan:

Maybe I can try an internal-server-LAN type system?
Joe start a new thread, the advice your looking for is fairly complicated. Also start again and try to fully explain your situation fully, its pretty hard to understand what you want to do?

I assume you want to take your hard drives out of your current system and create a file server? Why are you using USB to connect 2 pc's together? Setting up a LAN would be far far better.

kjaada
07-11-2006, 01:19 PM
All he wants to do is install another HDD.
Some replies he gets are way over his head.
For Fishy.
The wide ribbon cable you have plugged in to yr present HDD will either have:
After the HDD another spare plug on the end of it or it will be plugged in to
something else.Usually tho it will have another plug free for another HDD or IDE device.Do not trace it back to the souce but trace the other way.

Fishy
07-11-2006, 01:41 PM
I took a photo with my phone. Sorry for the smallness and bad quality but the only thing i have to take pictures with is my phone. No digital camera :(
http://img361.imageshack.us/img361/8485/picture001gk3.jpg
The grey wire that plugs into the HDD at the moment ends there. I traced back a little way and theres a plug but it won't reach any slot where a HDD could be plugged into :badpc:
Am I supposed to be looking for something else?

kjaada
07-11-2006, 02:17 PM
If you move the present HDD down to another slot then the other plug will do for yr new HDD that can go in to the old slot.

Fishy
07-11-2006, 02:20 PM
Why didn't i think of that :thumbs:
If it unplug my existing HDD and move it will it still be the primary hard drive that loads the OS when i turn it on?

kjaada
07-11-2006, 02:24 PM
Now after this comes making one drive yr master and the other yr slave.It does not matter much which is which but I would think yr present drive is Master.
Do you have another HDD to install ?If so post here what make it is and someone will tell you where to set the jumpers (don't panic)the jumpers are little plugs that go on the pins at the rear of the drive and it will not be a big deal.

kjaada
07-11-2006, 02:28 PM
Yes you can unplug it or you can move it down and use the other plug for the one above.

Fishy
07-11-2006, 02:37 PM
I don't have one as of yet, I just needed to make sure one will fit. Now I know it will I will purchase one and post again for help on where to set the jumpers.
Thankyou so much for your help so far :D

kjaada
07-11-2006, 02:47 PM
No problem.
Which ever brand drive you get you can go to their web site and there will be pics etc to tell you where to set the jumpers.It does not matter which is which but you can only have one as master.

motorbyclist
07-11-2006, 08:01 PM
i remember when i was using IDE the seagate drives had the jumper info printed on a sticker on the drive...

i'm sorry if my previous post was confusing but it basically covered everything you need to do/know, just re-read it a few times... i'll admit it could use a rewrite but i was trying to be brief :o

and yes just put the harddrives on any plug on that cable, then set the new drive to 'slave' and you _should_ be sweet