Will it work ?

By ravisunny2 ยท 7 replies
Jan 3, 2007
  1. I'm sorry in advance if someone has already posted somthing similar.

    I'm currently using a dialup 56K modem, which is painfully slow & awfully expensive (hence I skipped a search).

    While it gives a warm glow to have people the world over appreciate your s/w (as was often the case when I was giving world wide support in a FREE AutoCad Forum ( s/w was in AutoLISP)), its quite another feeling to have your s/w stolen without so much as an acceptance that it's being swiped.

    So, since I have hooked onto the net, I stopped s/w development. I can't afford another desktop right now (and even if I could, I wouldn't have the space to keep it).

    Here's what I thought I might try (I am a total novice in hardware).

    I plan to use two hard disks, with a toggle switch, so that only one can be powered on at a time.

    (Please don't lecture me on external drives, unless you can get it to work with the internal one off).

    The idea is that perhaps it is possible to get the two disks completely decoupled, so not even a 'spyware' or what have you, can't tell whats on the other disk.

    When I switch over to the other disk, will the system hang or will it automatically reboot ( so that the RAM gets cleaned) ?

    I'll accept that it is a hare brained idea, but better a few smirks than the agony of loss.
  2. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,986   +12

    Does anyone have a better idea ?

    Can anyone suggest a fool proof method to protect my s/w ?

    There were no takers for my primitive idea.

    But, I have gotten a Perfect new year gift : "Broadband".
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Assuming you have an older system, then it may have IDE hard drives. These do not support hot-adding or -removal at all and you risk frying the drive or the hard drive controller when you start removing these while the computer is powered on.

    In any case you have to power down manually to "switch" disks. The operating system will most certainly have a spectacular crash once it loses its system drive and you risk losing data.

    Now, if you have IDE hard drives, then you can buy removable trays for these - it is a drawer that fits into a 5.25" bay and lets you conveniently insert/remove hard drives. I suppose you would like two of these so each of the drives has its own caddy.

    If you have a system with SATA (that supports hot-plugging), you can buy simple adapters that convert the internal SATA ports on your motherboard to external ones to which you can connect (using some other converters or enclosures) SATA hard drives. And there are trays for SATA hard drives too.
  4. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,986   +12

    Thank you NODSU. I have my answer.

    Good thing I asked, else might have done some frying.

    Actually I don't mind the system crashing, but was wishfully thinking that there might be an auto reboot.

    I guess I'll have to shut down the pc, toggle the power supply to the hard disks, and cold boot.
  5. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,986   +12

    Following up on that old idea (basic idea was to decouple two hard disks):

    There will be two hard disks, each bootable.

    1)I can have a toggle switch that powers up only one HDD at a time.
    Of course, I'd have to power down, toggle, and then reboot with the other HDD.

    2) Will disabling one of the two hard disks (through the BIOS), cordon it off ?
    Will the disabled disk still consume power ?

    Though going to the BIOS each time to 'switch' disks is a hassle, it would be simpler than building the toggle mechanism.

    If I could decouple the two disks, I could do my sensitive work on one of them (without having two computers), and access internet through the other.
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    Well, you could make your toggle switch. Put both drives on Primary IDE, Both as Master, and then only have power to 1 at a time. That way if only one drive was powered up the system would always boot to that drive. You could maybe get away with flipping the switch right when the system resets during a 'reboot', but I'd feel better with shutting down every time. The HDs are what gets hurt the most on power cycling so I wouldn't worry about other parts if you have to shut down and then press the power switch again.
  7. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,986   +12

    Okay, SNGX, I'll do a complete shut down, if I use the toggle switch.

    How about disabling one disk in BIOS ? Will that cordon off that disk ?
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    Not sure, never disabled any devices like that before. Might still struggle since both drives would need to be Master.
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