Add a new hard drive for elbow room
by Alan Zisman (c)
published in Computer Player, June 1997
If you're like most of us, you never have enough
storage space on your
computer. No matter how big a hard drive you get, it only seems
for about six months after you get it... then it suddenly, it's full.
No wonder adding a second hard drive or replacing your
with a bigger unit is a popular upgrade. Especially since it's not hard
to do, if you're comfortable cracking open your computer's case.
Most PC-style computers (and even some Macs) use
so-called EIDE hard
drives (also known as ATA devices). You can run up to four EIDE drives
on most computers, with two connected to each of two adapters. More
in newer computers is to have one or two hard drives connected to one
with an IDE CD-ROM connected to the second adapter. (On newer
these adapters are right on the motherboards-older models connect the
to a card plugged into an expansion slot (and may only permit a pair of
To add a second drive, check inside your case, and
make sure your hard
drive cable has connectors for two drives-some only let you plug in a
drive. If that's the case, don't despair... just buy a replacement
(about $10). Now you're ready to plug the drive into the cable, and
in the power cable and turn on your machine.
But wait-if it was that easy, I wouldn't have to write
a column about
it! There are a couple of things to be aware of.
<subtitle>Slave or Master (Computer S & M)
Before you plug in your cables, you need to know about
relationships. These drives typically have a couple of jumpers on the
which need to be set to indicate whether they're the only drive in your
system, or the 'master' or 'slave' of a two-drive system.
there is no set standard for the jumper settings... make sure you have
the documentation for both of your drives.
Often, however, a single drive will have a single
jumper, often marked
DM for Drive Master. If it's the C: drive on a two drive system, it
often have a second jumper (often labelled DS for Drive Slave or SP)
as well. The second, or slave drive typically won't have any jumpers
If these settings don't work, and you don't have any documentation,
on your drive manufacturers' Web sites.
The broad, flat IDE cable must be plugged in
correctly, with the red
stripe along one edge lined up with pins 1 & 2 on the drives, as
as on the adapter. In some cases, the cables and plugs are nicely keyed
so that they can only be plugged in one way-but in other cases, you'll
have to look closely, perhaps turning the drive over, to find the
numbers... '1' or '2' for the coloured edge of the cable, '49' or '50'
for the other edge. While you're inspecting your drive, check on the
for some indication of the hard drive's specifications... the number of
cylinders, heads, and sectors. Write these down.
Luckily, the power cable can only be plugged in the
<subtitle> Bye, bye, BIOS <subtitle>
You're ready to turn on your computer... but your
computer isn't ready
to deal with your new drive. At the start of the boot process, you
see an indication to press DEL (or Ctrl + Alt + Esc or some other key
to run the system setup. You need this to let the computer know about
On more recent computers, this is a simple process.
You may find an
Autodetect option which will try to check for the drive and its proper
setup parameters. If not, you'll have to enter those numbers you wrote
down earlier, into the setup screen, for drive D: (even if your new
will end up with a different drive letter).
As well, recent computers support so-called LBA-large
which allows them to recognize hard drives larger than 528 megs. If
adding a large drive to an older computer, you have two options. You
purchase an EIDE adapter, which has LBA support built-into its
or you can use 3rd-party software such as OnTrack's Disk Manager, which
tricks your BIOS into accepting a larger drive. Disk Manager is
with many hard drive installation kits-but only use it if you're sure
But you're still not ready... after letting your
computer boot, run
the DOS (or OS/2) program, FDISK to partition your new drive. Be aware
that while large partitions are convenient, the standard DOS way of
files, so-called FAT wastes a lot of space on large
30-40% on partitions that are over 1 gig. OS/2 and NT users have more
less wasteful alternatives, HPFS and NTFS that they can choose, while
of the most recent Windows 95 version, Win95B can choose a more
FAT32 for large partitions. If you are using the standard FAT, think of
making multiple partitions of 511 meg or less, to minimize wasted
(Make very sure that you're setting partitions on your second drive...
if you make changes to the partitions on your original drive, you'll
all your data has vanished!)
After running FDISK, you'll need to restart. When
you're rebooted, run
FORMAT to format each partition. Finally, you're ready to use your new
drive. Note that your CD-ROM will no longer be drive D: Your hard
get all the letters starting with C:, your CD-ROM gets the next
letter... you may need to reinstall CD-based programs.
If you want, you can copy everything from your old
drive onto the new
one, remove the old drive, reset the jumpers on the slave-no-longer.
boot to a floppy, run FDISK, and set the new drive as the Active
partition (this won't destroy your data). Run the SYS command to add
operating system files, and you're ready to go.
Enjoy the feeling of having a lot of space. For at
least a couple of
months or so!