help with Dell Dimension 4300 desktop hard drive upgrade

July 14, 2012 at 09:15:21
Specs: Windows XP, 1.6 Ghz, 385 mb
Is it true that you are really out there and might help me?

I am trying to help a friend salvage an old pc... a Dell Dimension 4300. She had the original HDD with 18.5 Gb and with only 2 of them free. It was IDE of course. Her son had added a large SATA drive and it was 97% free... and we were able to save all critical date via CD. So I tried to reload everything to the large drive but could never get the DT (darn thing) to see the SATA drive. Finally took it out and started reloading everything to the small drive.. probably enough for her. Put everything back like it was... I think.. and now could get by bios problems and reinstalled XP but it takes 12 of the GB and I still had start up problems.. I have downloaded and created floppy to reinstall bios but don't know how.. Help

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July 14, 2012 at 09:19:15

You need to install a sata driver for xp to see the sata drive. XP doesn't naturally support sata drives. Here's a little how to that will walk you through it.

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July 14, 2012 at 09:23:10
Dell usually has a way to return the system back to OEM state. Is there any CD or dvd's that came with it or is there a F key at boot to recover it?

The original xp did not support sata add on cards or large drives. So you need to install xp on the original drive and add in service pack three and maybe some drivers for the add on card. Then maybe you can move the install.

I have a very old dell that I reload from a good sp3 image once in a while. It still is a good system for the internet and common use. You just can't load up junk on them.

Google is evil

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July 14, 2012 at 10:30:24
"I have downloaded and created floppy to reinstall bios but don't know how.."

Unless there's something significantly wrong that a BIOS upgrade has to fix, don't fool with it. Many machines can be ruined by an improperly-applied BIOS "fix". Follow the instructions above if you need to get the machine to recognize a SATA drive, or find an adapter such as below:

Also realize that old machines may have problems with very large drives (>137GB), so take that into consideration and make sure the machine will support the drive you're trying to install (you didn't list that info):

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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