Installing hard drive - what do I need

June 20, 2009 at 11:47:55
Specs: Windows XP sp2, AMD Athlon 3800+ 4GB RAM
I've never installed a new hard drive before and I want to be sure of what the heck I am doing. I am buying this drive: It's a Seagate Barracuda. Now, I want all new connections to this drive because they are just as old as the drive I am replacing. I was going to get this cable:

What else do I need? What is that ribbon cable called and what is it for? I'm thinking I should get a new one of those too. I know I sound completely clueless. If you need to know, my motherboard is this:

Please advise me! Remember, I have no clue what I'm doing so any basic things to look for are helpful.

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June 20, 2009 at 12:50:07
You probably don't need a new cable. All you'll have to do is open your computer case, unplug the current data cable and power cable from the drive, unscrew any screws holding the drive in, slide it out, slide the new one in, put screws back in, reconnect cables.

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June 20, 2009 at 12:57:07
Ribbon cables are for IDE/PATA HDDs. The HDD & cable you linked to are SATA. Based on the 3800+ CPU, your motherboard probably supports both types. Make sure you're getting the one you want.

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June 20, 2009 at 17:54:18
I peeked inside and the ribbon cable to connected from my DVD drive, so I guess I don't need that. I want a new SATA cable because my hard drive has been having problems that seem to get better when I press on the cable's connection. But my hard drive has bad clusters and I think it could be failing too. I'm not sure, but I just want to replace everything. I'm less concerned with installing the hard drive itself as I am installing my OS and configuring the BIOS. I'm sure Google will tell me how to do that, I hope!

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June 20, 2009 at 18:16:09
Is your present hard drive an IDE or SATA type? If your old drive is actually going bad it may still be under warranty.

I suggest you check the website of the manufacturer of the old drive to determine what steps you need to take to get a warranty replacement (RMA).

You can still buy a new drive if you want to but why not get the old one replaced or find out there is nothing wrong with it.

You might eventually need mounting screws if you don't have any extra.

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June 21, 2009 at 02:27:30
Well, it is a few years old... I can't remember but I think between 3 and 7 years. I don't know if a warranty would go that long. Plus I don't have the original receipt or documentation. I think I'll test the cable and then if there's still freezes, I'll switch the drive. I swapped out my RAM and tested it so it's not that and I can't imagine what else could be wrong. Problems seem anecdotally to get better when I press on the cable's connection, but my the drive has bad clusters. A full summary is here: But I'm thinking just buying a new hard drive is easiest. The drive I have now is the exact one in the link I am planning on ordering. Both SATA. :)

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June 21, 2009 at 08:15:30
You don't need a receipt to RMA a hard drive. The only thing that counts is when it was made. Some have as long as 5 year warranties. 3 years is more common. Drives from places like Bestbuy or CompUSA may have only had 1 year.

Worth looking into. You still need to buy a new drive because the RMA route takes months. If you are in the USA or Canada look at Best online vendor there is.

Too lazy to read that link. You only need to be concerned about 48 bit LBA compliance and in the cas of SATA drives you need to know if your SATA controllers are SATA I or SATA II. If only SATA one there are a few of the very large capacity drives that are NOT backward compatible.

What is the capacity of your current drive?

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June 21, 2009 at 16:40:31
As to actually installing the new drive as your os drive. Some new drives (retail) come with a utilities disk that will walk you thru setting up your new drive and doing a drive to drive copy. Most of the time everything goes easy. As othehill said I would get the new drive then try the rma. Worst case you might be out the postage,best case you'll have another drive! Mmmm more room for stuff! Lol.

WinXp Amd 64 3000 Msi Neo2 Platinuim 1 gig ddr 400. When we cast a pebble into a pond we should look past the first ripple.

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