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Dell GX280

By steve camish ยท 5 replies
Apr 24, 2015
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  1. Hello everyone, I had never opened up a PC before until yesterday when I had a plan to add a second hard drive, I had read as much as I could to prepare, however my first attempt ended with a nightmare of blue screens telling me to contact the manufacturer !! after a few hours of panic I managed to get it working again, I am not sure exactly how I did it and may never know ! this is all leading to a question, can I replace the dvd drive with a hard drive ? is it just a case of swapping them over and booting up ? the reason I want to do this is because I don't have the right cable to have both dvd and a second hard drive and the hard drive I want to add has data on it that I need to get to so this is just a temp fix til I can afford to buy a cable ( yes I am that skint ! )
    I would be grateful for any advice I really am a novice when it comes to the inside of a PC.
  2. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,028   +53

    If you want to use your spare/other hard drive to use the data on it, and it's not important to have it built in the PC, then your better bet might be to get (buy I'm afraid) an adapter kit it to turn your spare HD into an USB external drive.
    That way it will work as spare storage and you can use it with any pc that has USB sockets (99%). The adapter kit/caddy would be made for an IDE hard drive or a SATA type, so you would have to check the connectors on the back edge first.
    Something along these lines;
    Otherwise, a problem you might have run into is that OEM PC's are often built with no sockets or connectors to add anything on. You just might have a spare SATA socket on the motherboard for a second HD (it would show up as 'D' if you used it.)
    A new SATA cable costs about GBP 2 /USD 3 so that's not too much for all the extra HD space you will gain.
    Another issue will be that you will have to make some changes in the BIOS, so that the PC can detect any new hardware you fit. It's possible the settings are at 'Auto' and it will be ok, but it would better to set it up correctly.
    ( I use Dell Dimension 5150 so have run into some of these issues.)
  3. steve camish

    steve camish TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Mike for the advice, I had know idea you could use an IDE drive as a USB device will go down that road, it looks like there is a socket for another SATA drive so will be looking into that as well, I was interested to hear you had some of the same kind of issues with your Dell and was wondering if you knew anything about the integrated audio chip ? I managed to find the drivers by soundmax to get it running but its performance is very poor and the drivers were released over 10 years ago, is it possible there are alternative drivers that would improve performance ? or doesn't it work like that.
    Thanks for your help.
  4. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,028   +53

    Hi, If it's any help, my old Dell is 2006/7 and had XP pro installed. Then I switched to Vista, then 7, now 8 pro 32 bit.
    The board has 2 SATA sockets, and the drives slide into plastic guide rails.
    If your 'old' HD is SATA type, you should be able to connect everything up with a normal SATA cable and the BIOS should 'see' it, probably as 'D' drive.
    As for sound drivers, I have found Windows itself tends to have driver support for these sound chips, but otherwise I have used the free program 'Drivereasy' for many years which does report the 'truth' about what drivers you might need.
    This is the site;
    (Go about 3/4 way down their site to find the comparison table, the free version is there to download.)
    But note that the free version will offer to download the drivers you need, but it will take a very long time as the download speed is about 50 kbits/sec.
    This is one driver program that is all it claims, I have always found.
    You can use the information the scan gives to search for the drivers yourself though, once you have the version numbers.
  5. steve camish

    steve camish TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Again thanks Mike, my problem with programs like drivereasy and driver detective is they are set up for computers that are online the dell I am setting up is just for audio production and VST and one rule we have is never put your studio PC online in fact it's not even capable of going online now windows has been stripped back to the bare minimum I am writing this on a second PC I have just for the web but will continue trying out different drivers.It's good of you to take the time I hope all is good in your part of the world.
  6. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,028   +53

    Hi, I didn't realise you didn't have an internet connection on that pc.
    How about if you downloaded the Drivereasy program on your 'live' pc, copied the 'installer' over to a flash drive, (I.e. don't actually install it on the 'online' pc.) copy the file to your 'offline' pc, run the installer then the program could scan for the drivers you need. Obviously the download feature wouldn't work but it would give driver details that you could then search for online.
    If you find the correct drivers, then use the flash drive to copy them over to the 'offline' pc. Hope you find some more suitable drivers, but I have often used Realtek's site for reliable software.
    Hope that makes sense.

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