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Tell me what I need to buy

Nov 10, 2007 2:24AM PST

I have a Dell Dimension 8200. It's about 4 yrs old. When I click on properties in My computer, I have only a tiny slice of space left. What do I need - an extra external hard drive, or more memory. I'm not that gre3at with understanding hardware.

Discussion is locked

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What OS are you running ?
Nov 10, 2007 2:39AM PST

How much RAM (memory) does your system have ?

What's the hard drive capacity ?


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Nov 10, 2007 4:00AM PST

I use Windows XP and I have total size 18.6 GB and free space 1 GB.

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This may be your lucky day
Nov 10, 2007 5:39AM PST
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backing up data
Nov 10, 2007 10:46AM PST

THat's another thing I never quite understood. I back up my data files on jump drives. Works for me so far.

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cleaning up
Nov 10, 2007 10:54AM PST

I did clean up everything I possibly could, with CCleaner, Disk Keeper, and manually removed everything I could find. I was never clear on backing up the drive by just putting it somewhere else on the computer. What if the whole computer fizzles?
Anyway, I think I could manage hooking up an external hard drive. I've added little green cards and opened up an dusted the insides before. Sorry, I can't think of the technical terms right now. I mean to say that I would rather try to install an external drive than go through a lot of steps

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Do how much disk space were you able to free up ?
Nov 10, 2007 12:06PM PST

And you did empty the recycle bin right ?

Re adding another hard disk...much much better to another hard drive internally. If you look thru the STORAGE FORUM, you'll see many posts citing problems with external HDDs. Adding to that ... most external drives interface via USB making data transfers slower. Adding an internal hard drive is the better, more reliable alternative if there's space inside the case.


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18GB Is Not A Lot These Days
Nov 10, 2007 6:42AM PST

You'll likely be having to perform drive cleaning far too often with that size drive. Hard drives are relatively inexpensive and it's easy to install a second one into your PC. Go with the biggest one that you can afford.

Another option is to purchase an external hard drive, which could be slightly more expensive but even easier to install.

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Keep in mind that adding a hard drive
Nov 11, 2007 12:03AM PST

brings it's own grief at times. Its not simply plug and play situation. There are complexities. Stick with the make of hard drive you have on the system. My opinion would be that any drive over 120GB is a waste use multiple drives instead. Speed of drives is also over rated, if you want speed add high quality RAM and lots of it.

There are other good reasons to add a second hard drive,
especially for adding dual operating systems, etc.. You might use your current drive to run Ubuntu/Linux, for instance. A second hard drive is well worth the head aches it might create.

Undoubtedly opinions will differ on this issue.

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Agree...and add .if user doesn't need portability
Nov 11, 2007 1:19AM PST

internal is really the best way to go.

And I say 'best' because the internal is lower cost than an external, usually has longer warranty than an external and fewer failure points than an external. Just look at the posts here on CNET.

So while the external HDD is 'easiest now', the additional failure points and connectivity problems make the more problematic than a hard drive installed internally. I think of 'external HDDs' as the "EASY BUTTON" for adding disk space. Posts here on CNET for problems with external HDDs far outweigh those for internals.


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which drive?
Nov 11, 2007 4:48AM PST

OK. I've decided to try installing a new hard drive. I see by my manual that there is a place for it. It recommended that I use the same manufacturer, but in my system information, it only says ST and a number. I presume that ST means some kind of standard or generic drive. If I open up the computer, will it say the brand? Husband is off to a Saints game, and I havent been to Office Depot in a while, so I guess I'll see what kind of trouble (with computer) I can get into.

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'ST' is the prefix for Seagate drives
Nov 11, 2007 5:14AM PST

And if possible stick to HDDs under 137GBs unless you know for sure your HW (BIOS) and OS support 48bit LBA.


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What do think about the 250 watt power supply
Nov 11, 2007 5:43AM PST

I think it is safe to proceed if no other up grades have been made. No specific hard drive was presented in the specifications. Seagate or other wise. The specifications. do mention an IDE drive however. Nothing about SATA or ATA. We'll need the drive information to confirm.

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Lets see what you have
Nov 11, 2007 5:14AM PST

(This is my second attempt at this post the power just went out for about 10 minutes. Hope this one goes better.)

Follow this path:

start> control panel> administrative tools> computer management> device manager> click [+] next to disk drive(s).

This is not a USB devise there maybe a reference to IDE or ATA, possibly SATA. Write this information down and post it here. We'll go from there.

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You may wish to review this information before proceeding
Nov 11, 2007 5:36AM PST
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This is the Dell technical support web site
Nov 11, 2007 6:06AM PST
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You still need this information
Nov 12, 2007 6:35AM PST

To make sure everything in compatible.

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Nov 11, 2007 5:59AM PST

All I have under disk drive is ST320011A
Further down the list there is - IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers then Intel(r) 82801BA Bus Master IDE Controller then two more lines with something about Primary and Secondary IDE channels

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This is what you have
Nov 11, 2007 6:19AM PST
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This one is too large, try to find a 300 or less GB drive
Nov 11, 2007 7:00AM PST

consider another store, this is all they have:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 - hard drive

If push came to shove this would do.

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Thank you
Nov 12, 2007 10:14PM PST

I am very impressed with all y'alls knowledge. I will set aside a few hours THanksgiving week to tackle this. I've printed out the relevant instructions.
Thanks again

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(NT) Good luck.
Nov 13, 2007 11:29AM PST