PC Hardware forum

General discussion


by xartrax / March 31, 2005 6:55 AM PST

I am currently running Win XP on pc with 2.5ghz cpu, 512mb ram and 2 hard drives.

Is it possible to add a third, fourth or fifth hard drive???

I did the install on my second hard drive and realize there are only 2 adapter plugs on the ide ribbon cable.
I know large hard drives are fairly cheap these days but I have many older hard drives on hand lying around from friends and families who have upgraded and bought new computers. and they are all free!!!

any suggestions.

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: MULTIPLE HARD DRIVES
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: MULTIPLE HARD DRIVES
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
multiple hard drives
by ozos / March 31, 2005 7:09 AM PST


each IDE channel supports 2 devices MAX

most motherboards have 2 IDE channels, some newer ones have 1

you don't put CD/DVD drives with a hard drive on the same channel (it'll slow the hard drive down like no other (as it can only transfer data as fast as the slowest device, and CD/DVD drives are usually ATA/33 or ATA/66, while hard drives for IDE are ATA/100 or ATA/133)

if you gave up CD/DVD drives at best 4

5 you'd need to have a 2nd controller card

you can buy an IDE controller card that plugs into a PCI slot for only $14.99 at www.newegg.com

do know that putting an old drive that is slow and a newer drive that is fast, on the same IDE, will result in crap load times for anything on the newer drive (slower than what it should)

if you stick an ATA/133 IDE hard drive on a channel with an ATA/33 IDE hard drive, both will work

but the BEST data transfer they can achive is ATA/33

which would make the 133 pointless

if you have SATA plugs on the system you would need SATA Drives (or SATA to ATA adapters (Which go for the tune of $30))

SATA supports 1 drive per port, most motherboards with SATA have 2 SATA ports, BUT, newer motherboards have as many as 8

with multiple hard drives you can have RAID arrays
RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 5

RAID 0 - Data Striping, it combines disks into 1, so 2 300GB disks become 1 600GB disk, and the data is striped accross them (meaning if you pull one out, you will have mega errors with data)

RAID 1 - Data Mirroring, with 2 300GB disks you get 300GB of storage, and the 2nd disk mirrors the 1st, for full redundancy

RAID 5 - simmilar to RAID 0, you use 3 disks in this configuration, 2 disks are striped, and the thrid is used for parity

RAID 1 is "the ultimate in data protection"
RAID 0 is for large storage array s
RAID 5 is for a combination of both

Collapse -
multiple hard drives
by DLBelton / March 31, 2005 7:41 PM PST
In reply to: multiple hard drives

>> consider
if you stick an ATA/133 IDE hard drive on a channel with an ATA/33 IDE hard drive, both will work

but the BEST data transfer they can achive is ATA/33

which would make the 133 pointless <<

Not true if the devices are connected with the proper 80 conductor/40 pin cable. The ATA/133 would transfer at the ATA/133 speed IF the controller is ATA/133.

>> also
with multiple hard drives you can have RAID arrays
RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 5 <<

Only if you have a RAID controller. Just having multiple drives does not let you set up a hardware RAID array, and software arrays are worse than useless.

Collapse -
by DLBelton / March 31, 2005 7:48 PM PST

This depends on your motherboard. You can only connect 2 hard drives per IDE controller. Most motherboards have 2 controllers, and some have even more now. 2 of my PIII boards have 4 IDE controllers, and my P4 systems have 4 as well. This all depends on your motherboard, though.

For you to add another hard drive, you will need to check to see if you have another controller. Trace your hard drive cable back to where it plugs into the motherboard, and see if there are more IDE connectors there. If so, you should be able to add additional drives unless those are full as well.

If you plan to add more drives, you should check to make sure your power supply is up to handling the additional demands, too. A lot of systems come with power supplies that are way too small. With a P4 system, I would recommend no less than a 450 watt supply, and go up as you add more hardware.

Collapse -
by silvana238 / September 28, 2010 6:35 PM PDT

There are a number of good reasons to have multiple hard drives and only a few have something to do with more storage space.I have two drives in my main computer: an 80 gig and a 200 gig.The 200 gig is used to store all the DV files when I do some DVD authoring (not uncommon to have 50 gigs of DV files for one project). The 80 Gig is partitioned to hold the system files in C: and D: is used as a storage site for small downloaded program installers, music, games, etc that I don't want to lose if my Windows XP were to crash on me tomorrow.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

CNET Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for great gifts under $100?

Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.