Q re Using 2 Hard Drives

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Babak, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. Babak


    I recently changed my motherboard and CPU (I also installed a new drive) and was pleasantly surprised to see that my old drive actually worked with them. I was told to expect that at best, I would only be able to use the data on the old drive but that nothing would run on it.

    But it seems that I can use the old drive just as before (!) So now my question is this, if I format and partition the new drive and begin to install OS and programs on it (basically migrate to it)...will I still be able to use my old drive?

    Ideally, I'd like to migrate to the new drive (installing OS, programs and copying files to it from the old drive) and then using the old drive as back up...but... only when I'm ready.

    Can I continue to use both at the same time, until then?

    Or will I be forced to only run programs from the new one once I boot from it at startup (right now the system defaults to the old drive since the new one is blank, blank)?

  2. What kind of HDD was the original and what kind did you add? I don't see why they wouldn't work together.

    I would partition the new drive and format it. Install windows and only the programs you need. I would then transfer your files from the old drive to the new. I would then wipe clean the old harddrive and use it to keep an image of your new drive and for backups.

    Good luck.
  3. mikat


    Here's the way I usually go about it:

    Unplug the data cable to the old hard drive.

    Install Windows on the new hard drive and all the updates.

    Plug the data cable back into the old hard drive.

    Set the jumpers on the hard dirve so that the new is master and the old is slave.

    Transfer your data from the old to the new.

    Wait about a week in case you find yourself looking for some data you forgot to transfer.

    Look at that the contents of the old drive again for data you may want, then format and use it as a backup.

    Good luck
  4. Babak


    Thanks guys.

    The old one is IDE (NTFS) and the new one is SATA (prob will go with NTFS also).

    Here's the funny thing, I'm at the Computer Mgmt screen (using Win2000) and I go to Disk Mgmt and see the new drive - it is already set as master btw - but when I right click on it to create partition, that option on the menu is greyed out!

    Weird. Any idea what that means?

    The new drive shows up as "Disk 0, unkown 74.53 Gb Online unallocated".
  5. You cannot partition a drive that is currently hosting the OS, I don't think. You can go ahead and partition the other drive (SATA) and format it from that screen. You will need to do that to be able to access it or use it.
  6. With a tool like PartitionMagic or Acronis Disk Manager you can do this.
    Even under the active - OS, you can (re-)partition your OS drive any way you want.
    Except if you want to modify your partition holding the OS itself. Here you can only enlarge it provided you have the free space to do this.

    If you would manage to run the partitioning tool from another OS - self booting CD or floppy - you could do anything you want, provided you are prepared to adapt your boot control file (for XP: boot.ini) as required. This is a bit more delicate though.
    Note that deleting or creating non-OS partitions 'ahead' of your OS partition may also require adaptation of your boot file.

    If you are not sure about all this, better don't try without adequate backups!

  7. Babak


    This is why I'm confused. As I mentioned, the new hard drive is empty right now. I'm trying to get it up and running but the partition choice on the right click menu is greyed out (?). What the heck does that mean?
  8. So you attached a new SATA drive to your system (which is empty) but you are still booting and running off your old ATA/IDE drive.

    I have no idea why partitioning the new drive is not available (perhaps you should post a screenshot) but I would advise that you clone the old drive to the new drive, remove the old drive and then boot from the SATA drive.

    I think long-term that would be a better solution then what it sounds like you are planning on doing (booting off the old drive but starting to install new programs on the new drive).
  9. ron2368


    Maybe you need to format the new one that is set as slave before you partition it.
  10. All SATA drives are considered master, there are no slaves (one drive per cable). Also you partition before you format, not the other way around.
    #10     Feb 16, 2006