Considering a new hard drive...

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Luxeon, May 2, 2011.

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  1. Luxeon

    Luxeon Registered Member

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    I have an old 2001 Dell Dimension 4100. 1gb RAM (MOBO limited), 40gb HD, GeForce 5200 128mb video card, P-IV 1.70 ghz.
    The HDD is a Western Digital IDE WD400BB, which I believe is 7200rpm, 2mb cache.
    Currently running Linux Mint 9 XFCE, but might re-install Windows 7 on another partition.

    I would like more space, and maybe a bit more performance.
    However, I believe my MOBO will only recognize 137gb (or is it 127gb?), which leads to a couple of questions:

    1. I can get an 80gb drive (WD800AAJB) for about $50, which has 8mb cache. I think this will be a plug & play hard drive. But, I can get a similar 160gb drive (WD1600AAJB) for about the same price.

    Even if my MOBO won't recognize all 160mb, is there any problem with using the larger HD?

    2. I know that HDD don't typically increase performance, but given the age of my current HDD, could I see some gain in performance (speed)?

    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I feel confident that the 160 GB EIDE hard drive will work. I would flash the BIOS to the latest BIOS version. Purchase and install the 160 GB EIDE hard drive. Boot into the BIOS and see if the hard drive is properly recognized. It should be properly recognized. I would partition the hard drive (~60 GB for the Operating System and the balance of space for the remaining partition).

    As far as a performance increase, you may see a slight increase in performance.
     
  3. doktornotor

    doktornotor Registered Member

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    1/ Linux does not care about what your BIOS recognizes or not... You will have full capacity available there. Frankly, for some $20 you can get a PCI SATA controller and stick a 2TB drive there. :p

    2/ Given that HDD is the slowest component these days, yeah, I would quite disagree about the assessment regarding performance. Slow HDD is a huge performance drag.
     
  4. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    While a 2Tb drive may be extreme, I agree with doktornotor about getting an SATA adapter and a SATA drive. EIDE drives are history - they are old and slow and phasing out. Motherboards with only one EIDE connection are common, but note we are starting to see brand new motherboard with NO EIDE connections - soon to be the norm.

    I would urge you to get an adapter and an SATA drive. Then next year, when this old legacy machine you are trying to extend the life of finally goes, at least you can carry the drive over to a new computer.

    Alternatively, you can get a USB enclosure that supports SATA drives.
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Your BIOS will have a 128 GiB HD limitation. I assume you plan to use WinXP SP3. Create a 128 GiB partition (on your large HD) and use it for the OS. Or two or more partitions but don't have any partition finishing beyond the 128 GiB mark as that partition it will be liable to data loss.
     
  6. Luxeon

    Luxeon Registered Member

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    Thanks a bunch for the info.

    I know, the computer is a dinosaur, but it actually runs well (under Linux) and I'm not yet ready to get a new one.

    I will get the adapter and go for the SATA drive.
     
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