General discussion

Help required to choose and install new hard drive

I'm not entirely familiar with the process of upgrading/replacing my hard drive and would really appreciate some help.

The Compaq Website - was helpful in as much as it explained what to do etc. but it didn't say what kind of hard drive I should purchase or would be compatible.

What I want to do is buy and install a 160gb hard drive, but after looking online it seems that there are various different types and this confused me. Ultra ATA, SCSI, 7 pin Serial ATA, UDMA, 15000RPM ad infinitum mean absolutely nothing to me.

Also, is it going to be possible (and easy) to get the ENTIRE contents of my existing drive moved onto the new drive? This would (I think) avoid the hassle of having to redo all my settings and installing all my fav' programs etc. In short - I want to switch on the PC (with the new drive fitted) and have it contain and load up exactly as it does just now. Will there be problems with the Operating System? It was preinstalled on the PC and therefore I have no installation disk. But if I transfer the contents of my old drive, surely Windows will boot up? Or is it not as simple as that? Happy

Because I've never installed a hard drive before, I have no idea how to go about any of this to get to where I want to be. The biggest concern is choosing the right hard drive which is compatible with my existing system and then getting the contents of my existing drive onto it and making it the default drive.

The specifications for the PC are:

Compaq Presario 5372EA
Intel Pentium 4 1.70GHz
1024mb RAM
Motherboard Manufacturer: Compaq
Motherboard Model: 077Ch
Seagate ST340810A 40GB Ultra ATA/100 Hard Drive
WindowsXP Home Edition SP2

Many thanks for your time.


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Note that

the new Seagate drives come with a 5 year warranty and cost no more than most competitors.

If your system has support for SATA [serial ATA drives] might as well get one. You have no reason to consider SCSI big bucks for drive and a new controller.

Don't get confused between ATA, and SATA, they use different signal and power cables, BUT, both are called IDE drives.

If your power supply doesn't have a SATA drive ppower connector, an adapter is cheap, and may come with the drive if you buy a retail boxed drive, rather than an OEM.

The other Possible issue is whether your present BIOS will support a drive that large. Also to have the Op Sys see it all you need at least SP1 on XP.

Simply go to the HP/Compaq website to find out about BIOS. As much as I dislike both, I must admit that their website and support is excellent.

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I'd go with a Maxtor 7200 RPM drive.

Great drive, I have 4. They also come with a great clone software, MaxBlast. It will copy the contents of the old drive to the new perfectly. Then you just set the new drive as master and put it in place of the old drive. Totally voila, you're booting from the new drive! I've done it three times with zero problems.

Since you're running XP it will then recognize the old drive after you set it as slave and put it on the center connector of the cable.

Good luck,

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