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Adding 2nd Hard Drive

by rayboyred / October 31, 2012 12:36 AM PDT

My Dell Inspiron 531 is running out of space on the hard drive. I'm using the Vista OS. I would like to add a second larger hard drive with Win 7 but keep my old Vista hard drive.

I'd like to make them independent of one another but running them in the same computer. I wouldn't transfer anything to the new hard drive but use it as I do now.

Is this possible to do? What are the complications involved.

I'd appreciate your input.

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Re: second hard drive
by Kees_B Forum moderator / October 31, 2012 12:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Adding 2nd Hard Drive

That's quite well possible.

The specs in our review don't say if it has currently has a SATA or am IDE drive (although, with 500 GB in 2007, I suppose it's SATA), nor if there's any spare SATA or IDE slot available.

My advice: take the case with you to your favorite computer shop and let them have a look inside to see what's possible and what's best. They will be able to install it for you also, for a not too big amount of money.


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Re: Second hard Drive
by rayboyred / October 31, 2012 10:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: second hard drive

Kees................Thanks for your reply. I'm able to add a second hard drive to my unit. My only concern was running two different Operating Systems on the same computer. That, I am in the dark about. It would seem to me that running Vista on one hard drive and Win 7 on another drive, independent of the other, should be a possibility.

Again, thanks

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Re: dual hard drive
by Kees_B Forum moderator / October 31, 2012 6:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Second hard Drive

It's certainly possible to have different OS'es in different partitions (can even be on the same hard disk) and select which one to boot from when booting. They don't interfere. But you can only use one at a time.

But apart from experimenting, it isn't really practical, even if you share your Documents and Pictures and such between the OS'es. You need to install your programs twice, you need to do Windows Updates to both and a lot of settings and other things (like favorites and cookies) won't be shared.


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re:second hard drive
by rayboyred / November 2, 2012 12:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: dual hard drive

Thanks for pointing that out. By using a new hard drive independently, I was trying to avoid the task of having to transfer everything to the new drive. But after reading your post that may be my best option, to transfer everything to the new drive and use the old drive as a back-up. I assume transferring everything to the new drive is not a big deal. Can you expand on that?


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Two hard drive bays
by Manpreet_C Dell staff / October 31, 2012 2:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Adding 2nd Hard Drive

Hi rayboyred,

The Inspiron 531 Mini-tower system has two hard drive bays and four SATA ports as shown in the image.
The maximum capacity of the hard drive tested with this computer is 1.5 TB.
You can also refer to this Owner's Manual for installing a new hard drive.

Observe the following safety precautions before performing any steps:
1. Turn off the system and disconnect any attached peripherals (printer, USB flash drives, SD card, keyboard, mouse, monitor and the power cord).
2. Disconnect the Ethernet cable from the system.

Hope this helps.
Please revert for any further queries.

Thanks and Regards,
Manpreet C

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adding 2nd hard drive.
by rayboyred / November 2, 2012 12:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Two hard drive bays

Thanks for your input on using two hard drives on my one computer. After mulling over my options, it seems a more reasonable approach is to use a single hard drive as my primary and the other as a back-up or storage hard drive.


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