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Trying to setup 2 HDDs in my PC

By mc1 · 13 replies
Apr 13, 2008
  1. Ok, so I had a major issue with my pc. It wasn't booting, overcame that, now it's all a mess after repair/recovery and it's time for drasting measures). So I'm backing up data, and looking to do a full reinstall of XP on my pc. I have a 2nd pc at home, my wife's and that one is nearly identical to my own and exhibiting no issues. I'm putting the back'd up data on hers for now. I have a smaller drive that was connected to my previous old rig, that I had been saving for using as a windows home server for the two pc's, xbox, etc (never got around to it, and now I regret it!). There's data on that drive, too. Barring any questions I might have for getting the data off the main drive on my pc (pc #1 is mine, pc#2 is my wife's, pc#3 is the old rig that I was going to use for the home server, for reference hence forth) here's a few others I hope someone can help with:

    First, here's my pc specs, and please note, I did build this but with a TON Of handholding. I'm still a newbie and there are some things I just need as much detail as possible with. For example, I don't know what a jumper is, and if you identify a cable or insert position, you will really need to explain details visually as much as possible or I won't get it. Thanks

    AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 Windsor 2.8GHz Socket AM2 125W Dual-Core Processor Model ADAFX62CSBOX
    ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
    SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD400LJ 400GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
    SONY 16X DVD±R DVD Burner With 5X DVD-RAM Write Black IDE Model DRU120C
    EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP
    CORSAIR XMS2 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 675 (PC2 5400) Desktop Memory Model CM2X1024-5400C4

    1) How to a check drive from pc #1 (the Samsung 400gb sata) so I can see if I need to replace it or not before I do a clean install? Ideally I'd like to do this prior to the setup below
    2) How do I setup a two HDD system, with wiring and all (are there any detailed step by step guides, video or with pics?)? I have the drive from pc #1 and I want to add the old drive from pc #2 as a backup.
    3) There's outdated data on drive from pc#3, do I need to wipe that clean, or will it be wiped clean when I do the fresh xp install. In this scenario, again, I plan to have two drives on my pc, the main one being that from pc#1, unless it needs to be replaced altogether. The backup drive (from pc#3, which is a Western Digital sata) is going to mainly be for pics, work docs, etc, where drive #1 will be for the OS, games, other programs, but nothing perma that I can't just reinstall or that I won't care to lose if I need to do a full re-install again down the road (I hope not!!)

    Thanks again!!!
  2. mc1

    mc1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    UPDATE - Ok, I've swap'd the drive from PC1 into PC 2, and I've backed up all data I wanted to keep. Now I want to check that drive (from PC1) to see if it's viable or not, before I put it back and reinstall xp.

    How do I go about that? THX
  3. Whiffen

    Whiffen TS Rookie Posts: 235

    If I understand you want to take the Samsung 400gb sata and use it as your main drive and use the Western Digital sata as your secondary drive. You want both of those to be wiped clean with a fresh install of XP on the Samsung one, and have already backed up the data of of the drives on your wifes computer.

    This is a fairly easy procedure, lucky you both drives use SATA so you might not have to deal with jumpers.

    These little guys;


    So to hook it up all you need is the SATA connector to your mobo and the power cord as seen in the pic below. (First is the power connector, this wire may have come with your motherboard. Your power supply might already have this power connection built in but if not thats when you can use that wire, doesn't really matter what one you use though.)


    Now for your main drive, the Samsung, put it in the first SATA port, labelled in the attached pic below. (near bottom of post)

    Once in, boot her up and go into your BIO's, by holding down the delete key upon starting up (If that doesn't work it might be the esc key, f1 or f10). See if your hard drive is listed and make sure to set the boot priority list to CD first (If your not to familiar with BIO's its pretty easy, use the arrow keys to look threw the lists and pick the different options, find an option with a name like "BOOT Priority" then press enter and switch the priority to cd first, the rest doesn't really mater all to much). Then save and exit. Now insert you XP cd.

    Thanks for this korrupt, saved me some writing time >;D

    You will now have a fresh install of xp on the main drive. Now you can shut her down again and install the second hard drive, put this into the second SATA port. Now go into your bio's again and make sure both drives show up. Save and exit.

    (This is where you might need jumpers if things stop working out for you. A jumper like the picture above can, on a hard drive, chose what drive gets priority over another. The settings can be found on your hard drive.

    This is what it looks like, the blue thing being a jumper. http://techpaul.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/jumper.jpg
    As you can see this one can have 5 different settings, you always place the jumper upright like that, not horizontally. You simply can pull the jumper out and place it onto the different prongs.

    This is kinda a bad picture but can you see the part of the picture above the "fragile" warning on the bottom right.


    That picture tells you what those different jumper setting do. So your going to want to take a look at your hard drive for a diagram of what each jumper setting does. For the main hard drive you want to set it as a "master" so take a look and move the jumper onto the master setting. For your secondary hard drive you want to set it as a slave, so again look at the hard drive for an indication of what the jumper setting does. sometimes there is just abbreviations places on the hard drive. MA for master, SL for slave CS for cable select.

    You might not even need a jumper in the hard drive at all so you could even just take it out.

    When you get into windows go to my computer and right click the second hard drive, your main will be called "c" so look for "d, e...etc." right click this and hit Format. If there is any info still on the drive it will warn you but if you ok with it all being wiped off continue the format.

    Sorry if this post is a little messy, but I hope it helps you out ;D
  4. mc1

    mc1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    just inserted both drives, haven't done the installation yet, but I had the sata connector on the left most top row of the MB. Does this matter? I had INITIALLY had the main drive on that insertion point, so I just reconnected it there, and planned to put the 2nd drive on the next one to it's right. Any issue here?

    It sounds like you don't want me to insert the second drive till I've finished the full install of the main drive, correct?

  5. Whiffen

    Whiffen TS Rookie Posts: 235

    You probably could leave them both connected but I'm not sure how that would effect the installation so I would leave the Western digital one out for now, just unplug the wire. I don't think it would totally effect the computer if you were to plug the SATA into any of the ports but its best to just put them in the correct order just in case any issues occur, it may also effect the boot priority of the drives, port 1 taking priority to boot over port 2-6.
  6. mc1

    mc1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    OK! XP is loading now.

    Now, when this pc was built I had a guy walk me through each and every step of the way on the phone and sadly I don't have that option now and I don't remember everything.

    So after those steps are completed, I will need to update drivers and get chipsets, etc. I listed my specs above, can anyone possibly suggest links to the downloads for those items that I need that are the most recent. I know that the ones on the discs aren't and frankly when I did see the site last time for them, I couldn't understand WHAT I was looking at and what I had to download

    Any guidance. Again, I'll need really specific details. Thanks!!!!!!!
  7. Whiffen

    Whiffen TS Rookie Posts: 235



    All you will really need from their is the Audio and Chipset. Other stuff isn't necessary but It wouldn't hurt to get those to.



    Don't really need much else than that. To find drivers just google the main manufacturer, motherboards case ASUS and video cards case Nvidia, then go to their website. From there just find the support/driver section and browse to your product.

    Good luck, computers specs are looking sweet ;D
  8. mc1

    mc1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Ok, the graphics one I'm cool with, but the motherboard has got me baffled. Can you direct me to which ones I should be downloading? I'm sorry if I sound feeble, but this was where I got lost last time too :(
  9. Whiffen

    Whiffen TS Rookie Posts: 235

    OH sorry, I browsed to it but I guess the link doesn't change.

    Select product: Motherboard
    Select series: Socket AM2/AM2+
    Select model: M2N32-SLi Deluxe

    Then hit search

    Click the little + beside the drivers you want, eg. CHIPSET

    Then scroll down to WinXP (NOT 64BIT, Unless thats what version you have!) Then click a server beside the "Download from," eg. Global.
  10. mc1

    mc1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    I did the chipset, but what about the audio? Do I need to install drivers for my audio card if I do this, or is this simply activating the audio on the mb if I choose to use that?

    Oh, and THANKS once again :)
  11. Whiffen

    Whiffen TS Rookie Posts: 235

    Lol yeah just get it, if you have no audio atm that would be the problem.

    Glad I could help ;)
  12. mc1

    mc1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    I'm not totally sure about which audio to download. There are a few that are for xp, and if I just go by date, the most recent in version 5.10.X.6110. Would that be the most recent and appropriate one?

    Thanks once again!!!!!!!
  13. Whiffen

    Whiffen TS Rookie Posts: 235

    Yeah, always get the latest drivers xD
  14. mc1

    mc1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    I'm trying to reformat the 2nd drive, but it keeps saying it can't. I keeps telling me I need to close all windows that show it's contents, but I have nothing opened. I even restarted and went right to the drive.

    The second drive used to be a primary drive on a previous rig, but now I'm just using it as a backup. It has the xp OS on it from when it was the primary HDD, and I'd like to reformat it and have it clean for just storing data. How come I can't do this, and how can I overcome it?

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