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Seagate 250GB Internal Ultra ATA Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by MJames23, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. MJames23

    MJames23 Private First Class


    I'd like to upgrade my current HD to the Seagate 250GB Internal Ultra ATA Hard Drive. My computer is 7 years old this June, so I'm curious about whether it's compatible or not. My current HD's specs are located here: http://support.mpccorp.com/apps/specs.asp?ID=1971

    Specifically: Embedded Controller Interface: (40 pin) EIDE
    Physical Dimensions (H x W x D): 1" x 5.78" x 4"

    I have the most recent BIOS update for my computer which was released in 2002. I run XP SP2, PIII 735 MHz, 256 Megs RAM. Do you think this upgrade would work or would I just need to toss the idea and get a new computer?

    Also, the HD's specs are located here: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8004679&type=product&id=1155848396138

    Thanks so much,
  2. baklogic

    baklogic The Tinkerer

    The 7200 hard drive wil give better data transfer, but on your system, p111, 735mhz, increasing your ram would help, I would say, more.
    XP runs better with more memory.
    Upgrading to a later cpu, and motherboard, would give your old pc, a new lease of life.
  3. Just Playin

    Just Playin MajorGeek

    If your motherboard supports 48 bit LBA, you can.
  4. hopperdave2000

    hopperdave2000 MajorGeek

    In your situation, I would do both a hard drive and RAM. Go with a 120gb or 160gb hard drive (either is under $100) and add another 256mb of RAM. Your current 256mb RAM and tiny 20gb HD is really not enough for Windows XP; it'll run, but it'll be WAY happier with the suggested upgrades.

  5. risk_reversal

    risk_reversal Sergeant Major

    There are two inter-related areas with regard to drives that exceed the 137Gb capacity barrier. One is the need for 48bit LBA within windows to have partitions greater than this size and the other is to have a BIOS that is itself able to address a drive of that size.

    XP SP2 is certainly capable of supporting your new HD. SP1 should also in theory have no issues.

    Your have not stated what motherboard you have, so my suggestion in the first instance would be to contact the TS desk of the mobo manufacturer and ask. One other point to take into account is that your mobo probably only supports ATA66. This does not constitute an issue as regards your new drive but there could be a requirement to use a 40pin cable to connect the new HDD to the mobo IDE connector as opposed to an 80-pin cable.

    Good Luck
  6. studiot

    studiot MajorGeek

    Adding the extra memory is sound advice and I agree almost as urgent as a larger hard drive.

    2002 huh, your motherboard probably won't run the larger hard drive directly, again confirm with the manufacturer, although their advice is sometimes a bit variable.

    However, if you have a spare PCI slot, you can buy a new controller quite cheaply for it. This will allow connection of larger hard drives.

    Studio T
  7. MJames23

    MJames23 Private First Class

    OKay, I ordered 120 GB Seagate HD, and 512 Megs of RAM. I hope that the HD will be able to work with my mobo and be able to connect. According to my computer specs on the website I am currently running the following HD: Western Digital 20GB 5400 RPM EIDE Hard Drive.

    My mother board is this: Cascade III GVC 810E DR742E with Integrated Comp (Millennia EX and ClientPro CT - Cascade III ).

    I recently bought a brand new DVD RW drive and had no problem connecting that. Do you think I will have problems connecting the new HD?

  8. studiot

    studiot MajorGeek

    You should be fine with the Seagate. I presume you intend to image (clone) your existing installation across to the new drive?

    Let us know if you need detailed help.

    Studio T
  9. MJames23

    MJames23 Private First Class

    Thanks. My plan is to store my files on a flash drive and then perform a clean install of XP SP2. Then I'll copy my files back to the main hard drive. I'm going to import my music into iTunes from the original CDs. I'm going to import in the uncompressed WAV format. What do you think of all this? Any comments/suggestions?

  10. studiot

    studiot MajorGeek

    Sounds good to me. Don't forget that after a clean install you will also require a bunch of drivers from somewhere.
    I usually recommend partitioning the hard drive with separate data partition so that if (when) windows falls over you dont loose your data in the reinstallation. Also makes a compact easy backup for most people. For those doing media editing or downloading a lot of transitory stuff I recommend a further partition I call workspace, which they can clean out regularly by reformatting. This really make windows and the pc more efficient. You need to remember that windows needs its partition to be less than half full for peak efficiency. You will also have a second drive you can add into the equation.

    Studio T
  11. MJames23

    MJames23 Private First Class


    I think I'm going to use the 120 Gig HD as the only drive. I'm going to take your recommendation--I've never thought of partitioning in that manner--very cool. Right now I plan on having three partitions--one for Windows, one for my data (I was thinking of writing every file to the data partition and not storing anything on the Windows partition). Then, for the third partition I'm going to have Windows XP SP1 because I have a program that will only run on this setup. This partition will not have Internet access, so I shouldn't have to worry about virus/malware, etc. What do you think of this plan, and do you have any recommendations for partions of the 120? Maybe 70 for the data, 40 for Windows, and 10 for Windows SP1? With this setup, when I need to format and do a clean install I would not have to reinstall all of my data files, because I would only be formatting the Windows SP2 partition--is this accurate?

    Thanks so much for your help!
  12. baklogic

    baklogic The Tinkerer

    As Studiot has guided you, that sounds ideal, for 120gb disk.
    Windows SP1, will run quite happilly in 10 gb, but if you keep it in the back of your mind, that XP will run with least trouble, with up to 4gb, of compatable programs, (not including any Data)as a maximum target,-- for one thing, if you wish to burn data from this partition, it can take double the space on your hard drive to burn a DVD disk Say 4gb of space needed to burn 2gb to disk - also on SP1, you may only be able to burn a maximum of 2gb at a time.
    Otherwise put any burning program on the main C drive, for more efficient burning, and any advantages from SP2. (burning disk to disk, with the right software, and second DVD drive.
    You are in good hands, with Studiot.
  13. risk_reversal

    risk_reversal Sergeant Major

    Ok so for clarity you are going to have 3 partitions.

    1. Bootable 'Main' Primary partition - XP & progs
    2. Extended partition - data
    3. Bootable primary partition - XP & skeletal progs

    Is this correct?

    I think that you may need to edit the boot.ini file for item 3.

    EDIT: I also note from your mobo's specs that it only support ATA 33/66. As I said earlier you should be ok but be aware of the flat connector. BTW is your current HDD connector 40 wire or 80 wire.

    Good Luck
  14. MJames23

    MJames23 Private First Class


    I'm not sure about the connector... I've never looked at it. What does it mean that my mobo only supports ATA 33/66? I'm going to try and hook it up tonight. Thanks for you help?

    Also, what would I need to edit in the boot.ini file? Basically I'm going to have XP and 1 program in that partition. It's actually Roxio Platinum 5--which will not work with SP2. I need it to burn backup copies of my CDs. Do you think 10 GB will be enough for that. That is literally all I will be doing in that partition.

    Is there a way I can make XP automatically boot to my main XP SP2 partition without having to choose between the two at startup? I will only occassionaly be using the XP skeleton partition--basically whenever I buy a new CD.

  15. MJames23

    MJames23 Private First Class

    Also, what do I need to be aware of regarding the flat connector? The only altering I've done internally is adding RAM, Ethernet cards, and I added a new DVD RW drive, so I'm kind of new to upgrading.

  16. risk_reversal

    risk_reversal Sergeant Major

    ATA33/66 are standards. The HDD you are getting is ATA100. This should not be an issue. However, been cases where there have been issues when using an 80-strand cable and some resort to 40-strand cables to overcome this, ie the flat ribbond cable has more strands on it. If you have a pc shop close to you go and have a look. Or google ATA66 and ATA100 and look at pictures. Also some ATA133 cables (don't think they make 100 cables anymore) have one of the connector pins blanked out and hence it is not possible to push the connector into the IDE socket on the mobo.

    As regards the boot.ini,


    You may have to edit the partition number in the bracket to 2 for the EZCD partition.

    XP will have a boot manager (or you can get a third party one, I use Bootmagic) and you will need to select the partition that you wish to boot into. In Bootmagic I can disable the boot manager so it just boots into the same partition and if need be enable it to show it again. If you see what I mean. I am sure that you can do this with the XP boot manager but I have never tried.

    Good Luck
  17. studiot

    studiot MajorGeek

    Hi James
    I see the geeks are gathering round to help out. Great isn't it.
    The only thing I wonder about is the 70/40 split. That seems a lot of data. You should aim to keep the Windows partition just below half full including the programs. The empty half must be big enough for whatever programs you run to operate. For instance the worst case is probably video editing. Here you need 5G to hold the original, 5G for the writer to re-render the file when you say go and 5G for Windows to also operate in the background. If you are going to actually edit the video you will need an additional 5G for undo copies and 5G for clips.

    I will leave the other geeks to continue leading the rest of the reinstallation.

    Studio T
  18. risk_reversal

    risk_reversal Sergeant Major

    studiot, I am still only a junior apprentice geek. Working my way up to full apprentice and always happy and willing to learn. :)

    BTW MJames23, the 120Gb HD is raw and not formatted. Once formatted you will only have about 112Gb.

    Good Luck
  19. baklogic

    baklogic The Tinkerer

    Studiot has explained the extra room needed, for video editing - and if you want to do that on the SP1 partition, it shows it a bit tight.
    CD'S , obviously do not need as much, unless you are using a burn to shrink to fit on cd program, in which case , you could hit that problem.
    As Studiot advised, it might be prudent to alter your sizes, in case your burning issues become more intricate.
    I use a seperate data drive, like most geeks, and I find it a lot to fill 50gb, let alone 70.
    As Risk_Reversal said, when you format the drive, unless it has a buffer +8, or, 10, you may well see a smaller size to 120gb, so, I might suggest that you think of say 40/35/37-to whatever for data drive.
    The reason we try to give you these indications, and warnings, is that if you attempt to change partition size, afterwards, you will most likely lose data.

    The indications on cable 40/80 always should be checked on earlier motherboards.
    I also use a partion manager, so I have never bothered with XP,s capabilities, but Risk_Reversal, and Studiot have given you guidance , there.
    Happy computing.
  20. risk_reversal

    risk_reversal Sergeant Major

    Just wondering MJames23, I also have EZCD Platinum 5 and was wondering what the issue was with SP2. I have SP1 and EZCD 5 works fine, puzzled as to why SP2 is a pig.

    Presumably you applied the latest patch v5.35.xx (forget the rest).

    Also if you intend using this prog for a while make sure that you get a spare optical drive that is compatible with it ie one that is 3-5 years old.

    Good Luck
  21. MJames23

    MJames23 Private First Class

    Hey Risk,

    I use this program to make 1:1 duplicate backups of my music CDs. Using the patch by Roxio it works fine with SP1 but it will not work with SP2--I've tried it and it doesn't work and Roxio acknowledges it won't work with SP2. They are a terrible company but I like that one feature of that one program. :) So I'm locked into it.

    I just bought a NEC 3550A or something DVD RW drive and it works great.


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