questions re: 2nd hdd

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I'm considering adding a second HDD in my hp desktop. I have two questions:

What is a good website to explore my options in terms of compatibility and
appropriate sizes (looking for a site kind of like Crucial has for RAM). Is
it good to try and keep the two HDDs compatible as to brand, etc?

Also, I have OEM XP Home installed, plus I have the 7-disk XP installation
disks because hp recalled my 40G Toshiba and replaced it with a free 80G
Samsung. If I install a second HDD would it be legal to install it there too
and keep it on both? Or what would you suggest would be the best

Thanks, appreciate the help.


Re: questions re: 2nd hdd

Phluge wrote:
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Getting a compatible hard drive is not very difficult.  For desktop
systems, you really need only worry about the type of ATA interface --
serial or parallel.

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I don't really know what you're talking about when you say the "7-disk
XP installation disks."  The Window XP installation fits nicely on one
disk well enough.  Maybe the other 6 disks are drivers, applications and

You would have to read your license to be sure, but it's my estimation
that it would be legal to install XP on a second disk *in the same
computer.*  Legal, but totally unnecessary.

My advice would be to have your system and applications installed on one
disk, and all of your documents, music, email, etc. on another disk.
That seperation makes it easier to reinstall/restore/migrate a system.

What make and model is your computer?  If it's not a brand name, can you
  tell me what mainboard/motherboard you have?  If you can't come up
with any of the above, what's the make and model of your existing disk
drive?  (You can find that by right-clicking "My Computer" and selecting
"Properties."  "Hardware" tab, "Device Manager" button and finally open
the "Disk drives" item in the tree.)

Re: questions re: 2nd hdd

On Thu, 09 Aug 2007 16:42:10 GMT, "Phluge"

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No, brand shouldn't matter (this is why we have
standardization like SATA or PATA/ATA100/133), etc.
Determine which interface your system has available for
adding the drive, typically PATA on an aging system or SATA
on a newer system (if not both).

Next decide the budget and inclination towards it being a
value oriented upgrade or performance oriented.  Obviously
we'd all like both but you might have to choose one moreso
than the other depending on budget.  Next explore available
capacity obtainable with this criteria in mind.

Another way to look at it is, focus on why you're adding a
second drive.  Next check the local store advertisements and
your favorite online sellers for a good price on something
compatible (typically SATA vs PATA as mentioned above).

If the system is very old, there might be a capacity support
limitation in that it only supports drives up to 128GB.
There might be a bios update from HP that overcomes this or
there are some other alternatives if this situation is
present, but if the system shipped with Windows XP
originally instead of it being upgraded to XP, odds are good
it does not have this capacity support limitation.  However,
if the version of XP is pre- Service Pack 1, you need to
update XP by installing Service Pack 1 prior to installing a
new > 128GB drive.

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Yes, you are licensed to run one copy of the OS on that
system.  If you install the OS image onto a second drive you
are still only making use of one license on the system it is
licensed to run on.  What you would be limited from doing is
then taking one of the two drives and using it to run
windows on another system (unless you had secured another
license for same OS version, valid on the other system).

What the best arrangement is depends on your specific goal.
Since you have the discs already, I would think the primary
goal in pre-installing another copy would only be to quickly
recover from a hard drive crash by being able to swap in the
other drive without having to wait through the semi-long
process of putting a factory image back onto a drive from 7

Otherwise, if you we instead looking to duplicate your
existing windows installation in it's present state instead
of the original OEM clean install (often plus undesirable
OEM bloat state), you can duplicate the contents of the old
drive to new drive using one of several softwares capable of
it.  Potential candidates include Ghost, Driveimage,
Drivecopy, one of the (one or two) respective hard drive
manufacturer's utility discs (the best alternative to try
first since this software is free), or another software.

Re: questions re: 2nd hdd

Phluge wrote:
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If adding a disk to the HP desktop, generally it helps to have at least SP1
installed on WinXP. That helps with support for >137GB disks. Hardware or
BIOS support may also be necessary with large disks, if, for example, you
planned on booting from them. Sometimes the necessary information can be
hard to find. If the machine is really old, then you have to ask a few
more questions about the machine, and in the worst case, adding a PCI
card to interface to the disk, can also be used as a means of connecting
a modern disk to old hardware.

(Note - this is more applicable to PATA drives, the ribbon cable ones)

Disks come as PATA (ribbon cable IDE) or SATA (thin cable). Depending
on vintage, motherboards have some combination of connector types for
supporting one or both. A ribbon cable supports up to two PATA drives.
The thin SATA cable is one drive per cable.

Brand generally doesn't matter. Standards exist (ATA/ATAPI or the SATA
standards), to make them interchangeable. Sometimes, there are differences
in how jumpering works, between brands of PATA drives. The label stuck to
the drive can help with the basics of jumpering.

I didn't follow your description of WinXP and all the places you had it
installed. OEM is generally intended to be installed on one piece of


Re: questions re: 2nd hdd

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((snip) explore my options
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(snip) > Also, I have OEM XP Home installed, plus I have the 7-disk XP
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Thanks all for what appears to be exactly what I need. FWIW I want to answer
the questions you presented just in case it may have something further that
needs to be taken into account.

It's an HP Pavilion 7935 with OEM XP Home SP1--so I am glad you specified
that parameter for me. HDD = 80G Samsung SV0802N. It has a ribbon type cable
for two HDDs.

What I meant was, it shipped with a 40G Toshiba HDD which got recalled and
replaced by the 80G (because they ran out of 40Gs(?). With that HP sent the
7-disk XP install kit which includes the imaging app necessary to clone the
40G to the 80G. Using that I could now clone to the slave (using
partitioning managers probably best).

My thoughts were to maybe have the existing system on one HDD, make it a
slave, then have a clean install on the other and use the clean one for
operating and booting if possible to legally have this XP on both; or if
not, to keep the present HDD as is but transfer the data to the new slave,
along with a clone on a separate partition maybe, for backup (I have LOTS of
software installed)>.

You all gave me plenty of info to work with and it is much appreciated.


Re: questions re: 2nd hdd

Phluge wrote:
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That's definitely a parallel ATA drive.  Any of these drives will be
compatible with your system: (watch for link wrap)

ATA-100 3.5" Hard Drives

ATA-133 3.5" Hard Drives

ATA-100 and ATA-133 are transfer rates for the drive interface.  Your
motherboard has an ATA-100 controller, so you wouldn't benefit from
having a faster ATA-133 drive, but it will certainly work.

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Personally, that seems like a lot of complication just to avoid working
out a reasonable backup strategy, but to each his own.

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