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buying a new hard drive

By valeskoi
Jan 15, 2007
  1. So my Dell Dimension 8400 maxtor 160 GB ATA-150 hard drive has crapped out and I want to replace it. I really have no idea about how to pick out a new one, particularly in terms of compatibility. Does anyone have a suggestion?
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    You can go with any IDE ATA drive you want
     
  3. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    I am a little confused as to say that your old hard drive was "160 GB ATA-150" as ATA speeds only went up to 133. You really need to check whether the hard drive is a ATA or a SATA.
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    IDE is IDE and SATA is SATA... My post for IDE is the same for SATA. Yes Rik,
    ATA-150 is most likely SATA-150
     
  5. valeskoi

    valeskoi TS Rookie Topic Starter

    SATA 150 or SATA 300?

    Sorry, I'm still learning what all this stuff means. Yes, it's a SATA 150. Would a SATA 300 drive be compatible?
     
  6. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Yes a SATA 300 will be backwards compatible and should work without a problem.
    You just have to remember that a brand new hard drive usually needs to be partitioned and then formatted in order for it to work in Windows.
     
  7. valeskoi

    valeskoi TS Rookie Topic Starter

    how do I do that

    Is it difficult to partition/format a hard drive?
     
  8. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    It is not difficult to partition and format a hard drive but it is something a lot of people forget to do and then wonder why their brand new hard drive won't work.
    All you need to do is click on your start button and select run and type diskmgmt.msc then right click on your new drive and partition it and then right click on it again and format it, it will then show up in Windows and should have absolutely no problems.
     
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,704   +397

    Actually, at least on my up to date XP Pro system if I attach an unpartitioned drive the Drive Initialization Wizard or something like that pops up. I don't even have to go into disk management on my own. That wizard pops up and says the drive needs to be initialized before it can be used, then it does that, then takes you right to the spot to create a partition.
     
  10. valeskoi

    valeskoi TS Rookie Topic Starter

    one more annoying question

    Why do I need to partition it if I am replacing (rather than supplementing) my old hard drive?
     
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,704   +397

    Because without a partition you won't be able to store data on it in any format Windows can deal with.

    ALL drives that have a working Windows install on them or that can be read from within Windows have at least 1 partition.
     
  12. valeskoi

    valeskoi TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks so much

    You guys have been amazingly helpful.
     
  13. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    no. SATA is NOT interchangable with IDE and use different connectors. Some motherboards allow you to use both type of drives, but I HIGHLY do NOT recommend doing this. SATA is newer technology and faster. If you have a SATA drive replace it with a SATA or SATA II drive. SATA II is backwards compatible.
     
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