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After more hdd space.....IDE/SATA/RAID.....???

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by deaf cat, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    Hi,

    I have tried reading about the above but do seem to get a little lost, any connents/explanations would be much appreciated.

    I would like to add a SATA 250gb hdd to my single IDE hdd machine, I think I need a pci card to be able to do this.

    It would also be nice to add another 250gb drive say in six months time, and have the option to add maybe another two later on - saying that is there a limit to the number of hdd's?

    It sounds relatively straight forward but I am afraid I am totally lost as to what I need to achieve the extra expandable space I would love to have. Would RAID come into the equation at all? (sorry don't quite understand it)

    I have a 500gb firewire drive that I will be able to use as back up.

    I look forward to hearing any comments.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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    What kind of motherboard do you have?, and do you have enough space in your case?, anyway you want two add two hard drives, well if oyu want to add one via SATA, but don't have a SATA port, then yes you need a SATA PCI card, I suggest getting a 2 port card, so you can add two SATA drives to it if you want...If you want to add another IDE drive well you should be able to have 2 of them on your primary IDE channel (the cable connected to your main hard drive)..if not then you can purchase an Ata133 PCI card to add up to 4 more IDE drive to...but I suggestyou just get a 2 port SATA card for around £20, so you can add two SATA drives to it, it's the easiest option. RAID is when you have say two hard drives and want to make them show up as one hard drive in windows, it simply comines them into one drive..but you don't need RAID...
     
  3. Derek22

    Derek22
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    sorry if below is too simple.

    First question to ask is what connections does your motherboard support. Is it single IDE, two IDE etc, any sata?

    Next question is what size of power supply do you have and how many and what sort of spare power connections do you have internally within the case.

    Finally does the case have a spare point to mount a 3.5 inch drive?

    Assuming you have spare IDE and a normal power connection cable spare might be worth considering a high capacity PATA drive, especially if you have a totally unused IDE channel.

    If you want to stick with a sata drive if you can get one with both sata and older standard power supply connection will save you finding a convertor cable. In which case you will need to find a PCI card that supports sata and install in a free pci slot. something like below

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=260259
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=97663
     
  4. Monty Burns

    Monty Burns
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    Hey Deaf Cat

    just to add on and compliment Mean Sizzler, here is some more information:

    As far as cheap home storage (with hard disks) are concerned there are two formats, the older, slightly cheaper and aged IDE connections and the newer, slightly more expensive, faster SATA.

    Both sets of disks come in roughly the same size, its really only the connections that will matter to you (and maybe the price).

    Don't concern yourself with raid for the moment.

    Ok here goes....

    This question really demands some thought as to your current setup. If you have a motherboard purchased in the past 18months you probably have SATA connections on it. If you don't then I am assuming that your disks are currently connected by the older IDE system as this was industry standard for ....oooo faaaar too long :)

    So, assuming you have IDE: You probably have 1 disk already plus a CD-ROM drive. Each of these consumes one connection (of a default maximum of 4). This would leave you with space for two more IDE disk drives. You will almost certainly find 2 IDE slots on your motherboard, each one of these slots can drive 2 IDE disks (totaling 4 disks/cd-rom drives) using an IDE ribbon cable.

    Now, if you have SATA motherboard then you will need to open your PC and count how many connections you have. Some motherboards came with 2, some with 4 and some with as much as 6 or 8! Your CD-Rom drive will almost always be connected via IDE so, that means (assuming you have four Sata connections) you will have 3 free SATA slots for 3 more disks.


    If you wish to add SATA disks to an IDE system, this is indeed possible but you will need to buy a SATA adapter. If you are going to do this, I would not recommend getting a 2 port PCI card as you have stated that you may well add more and more disks. The price diference between a 4 port adapter and a 2 port adapter is peanuts.


    "Captain! I dunnee av da powah!"

    These disks require powering. I find it unlikely that your system will not have enough power connectors to power four disks, almost all have! We have to assume that 2 are used, 1 by CD and 1 by your main disk. This means that if you go the IDE disk route you *should* be ok for power (other devices use power as well but unless you have some mega-uber GFX card you should be ok).

    If you wish to go SATA then you may well need to upgrade your powersupply as well. Im not sure how much power SATA disks use but there are dongles that allow 1 "normal" power adapter to supply juice to 2 SATA disks.... im not sure how good these are though. Maybe someone else can comment more on the power requirements?



    RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive/Independant Drives - depends on who you ask as to what it stands for!!)

    This is a system that allows you to use multiple disks as a set to increase speed, durability or both. To be honest, as you have no idea about this I would not recommend you play with this. It seems that your not a "power user" and so its unlikely you would see any real benefit from this.


    I hope this has cleared up some stuff for you?

    Best of luck!
     
  5. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    Wow!! Cheers All for the FAB!! comments.

    Have not found much on the details of the motherboard in the instructions so will have a look inside tomorrow, and see what I can find.

    Thanks Again!
    It is becomming clearer.
     
  6. Steve.J.Davies

    Steve.J.Davies
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    If you use SATA and run multi-boot/multi operating systems there can be issues with disk 'priority'. The net full of stories of people grappling with GRUB/Lilo issues around this.
    Even if your board is SATA only you might still have them. I know I do with my A8N-SLI and three SATA disks.
    still trying to resolve them....
     
  7. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    OK, back again and boy it was dusty in there, gave it a good blow out and found the part number of the motherboard.(ver 5)

    http://www.biostar-usa.com/mbdetails.asp?model=u8668+d
    I guess that as sata is no where to be found in the spec. I have no sata connections.
    However there is 1 x AGP
    and 1 x CNR
    Are these any good? (Sorry not got a clue as you may well have guessed already)

    OK so I guess I'm stuffed on the motherboard so a PCI card may be required to attain SATA.

    The Power!!
    Well its got:
    One set of 4wires that goes to the plug on the CD, out of that one plug spair dangling.
    One set of 4wires that goes to the hdd plug, out of that and into the floppy plug.
    One set of 4wires that goes to the front of the pc(on/off lights?) and from there one spair plug dangling.
    One set of 5wires to a dangling plug with SATA stamped on it!!

    So I guess I have the power for 2 IDE drives and possibly split the SATA 1 for 2 SATA hdds.

    There are two ribbons (IDE?) which have plugs half way along them, at the end of one ribbon is the CD and the other has the hdd on it, So I guess I have info ribbons for 2 IDE hdd's.

    I feel the case makes the motherboard look like a rich tea biscuit, there are 3 gaps for CD sized things and one spair space for a hdd or floppy, and loadsa space everywhere else.

    The USB/Firewire PCI card I have has an internal USB and firewire slot as well as what looks like the same plug as what the hdd and cd have for power, I don't suppose these bits are any use.......wishing......

    System summary - My guessing:
    OK for power and info ribbons for 2 IDE hdd's,
    OK for power for 1 possibly 2 SATA drives for which I need a pci card,
    ~Space for 4 more hdds is there just need fixing somehow.
    Easiest route IDE drives to start with,
    Power supply and pci card (for 4hdd's?)a bit later.

    Will the pc actually be able to handle all that hdd space as my last pc could only handle a max of 20gig in total!!

    Much appreciate any comments/thoughts on the above or any other simple expansion possibilities.

    Thanks in advance, and for all the help so far!
    Cheers
     
  8. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    AGP is for graphics cards and CNR is a little used "Communications Network Riser" - not designed for hard disks.

    Chris Muriel, Manchester (although currently working in Limerick)
     
  9. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    A RAID "mirror array" is a great way of making automatic backups in real time. Two drives of equal capacity - what is written to one drive is written to the other. The big danger of RAID arrays is that since both drives are wearing out at the same rate, they will probably both fail within a few hundred hours of each other. I have a pair of 200GB disks in a RAID mirror array for storing data that I can't afford to lose.
     
  10. Monty Burns

    Monty Burns
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    See post above.


    Are you really sure you want SATA? I honestly think you will be paying extra for extra advantage you won't need or use. You have more than enough power connectors but, this does not mean you will supply enough power. This is just a cautionary note though as you should be ok for another two disks or maybe three however, much more and you will probably need a bigger PSU.


    Correct. These are where you will plug in your two IDE drives. You will need to ensure that the jumper settings are correct as "CS" or Cable select does not always work in my experience. On each "chain" set one as master and one as slave - this includes your CD-Rom. The jumper settings will be on the back of the disk/cd-rom drive.

    *edit* Make sure you set your current hard disk as master and keep it connected to the same IDE plug on the motherboard and on the same connector on the ribbon. Set the other device you put on this as slave. This will make sure you don't start seeing "No Boot Device Found" or similar very scarey messages! :D

    Do you really need the SATA? You may not know this but you can get IDE disk drives upto 500gig now, so just expanding with your current two spare spaces you can have 1000gig+current hard disk+your external(300?). I reckon thats at least 1400gig, more than enough for the vast majority of people! (Roughly around 1400 2 disk VCD films!)


    That was a seriously old pc! :D Send it to the Science Museum if you still have it :rotfl: Yes, it should be able too. If it has problems then try getting a BIOS update for the motherboard. Dive into the manual as well, suprisingly there is a load of tech BS in them but you should be able to find out the information you need fairly quickly.

    *edit2* Just read the docs for your motherboard and it states no hard drive restriction on size. This i'm afraid means that your on your own but I would say its 90% likely that it will support all disk sizes. I would recommend you buy from a friendly supplier that will help you and exchange/refund should it not work. Anyone out there recommend someone like this?
     
  11. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    Amazing stuff I am actually starting to understand roughly whats going on CHEERS!!
    Yes, I am now thinking (thanks to all the advice) IDE is the way to go (most simple - is what I need).

    I was thinking that if a hdd goes down it would be better to loose use of a £75 250GB drive than a £260ish 500GB one - and of course I would much rather spend £75 here and a little later, than £200+ now.

    However looking at it from the storage point of view with all of the above handy comments taken on board, with expansion in view - in my case where things need to be simple, a nice Seagate 500gb 5yr Warranty hdd slotted in one of the IDE plugs sounds like the way forward, and then there is room for another if need be in the future without fiddling with other bits.

    I think there are other 500gb hdd's out there but I like the sound of the 5yr warranty, - don't know the price yet though.........
    I have heard of spindown when not in use regarding the Maxtor, I believe - would XP beable to control this on all hdd's? - is this good.......?

    I know on my old PC, once it had not been used for a while, it shut down the hdd - the lights were on but no one was home anymore, until you unpluged it and told it to start a fresh with the reset button.

    Cheers Monty for the tips on the IDE ribbons and where things go I would have probably made it more tidy inside and then it not worked.

    Much appreciated, all the tips,
    Just going to check the motherboard manual and check with my hdd guy about returning just incase.

    Thanks Again!
     
  12. Monty Burns

    Monty Burns
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    NO worries mate.

    The powersave thing is configured in Windows (power saving). Easiest way to get to is is through your Screen settings believe it or not!

    1 Right click anywhere on your backdrop picture and select properties
    2 Select Screen saver
    3 select power

    And there you have it! "Turn off hard disks" :thumbsup:
    *occasionaly* you may also have a similar setting in your bios so check this out as well.



    Good luck! Im sure everything will be fine for you :)
     
  13. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    All decided in a matter of days Yeppeee !

    Ab Wonderfull !
    Cheers!!
     
  14. probedb

    probedb
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    There really isn't much price difference between SATA and IDE nowadays, SATA PCI cards aren't very expensive at all should you need them. The biggest difference is cabling, even round IDE cables are hideously bulky compared to a standard SATA cable which means SATA is better for air flow through the case.

    There's a damned good article on PSU units here - http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=1359 - basically provided you've got a quality PSU you don't need a stupidly powerful one. My PC had 4 HDDs, PCI-E gfx card, DVD-RW, DVD-R, 3 fans + CPU cooler and it doesn't hickup once on a Tagan 480W PSU :)

    Hope you get it all sorted anyways mate! Always fun trying to decide what's best with PC components :)
     

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