How to change hard drives

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Old 11-05-03, 06:40 PM
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How to change hard drives

Hello all. This is a Compaq Presario , 500 Mhz. processor, 128 M Ram, running windows 98 SE.
I'm pretty sure the hard drive is on its last legs because it keeps on crashing. And frankly I'm getting tired of reformatting it and losing all of our information.
I've bought a Maxtor 40 Gig drive and 256 Meg of ram that I thought might help out some where I'm going to upgrade to Windows XP Home Edition.
Is there anything that I need to know going into the case and replacing the drive or is it pretty much plug and play?
Thanks in advance for whatever help you can give me.
 
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Old 11-05-03, 06:53 PM
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The big question is, will your BIOS support that hard drive? It may not. When I changed hard drives in my 450 MHz PC a while back I had to also change the BIOS.
 
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Old 11-05-03, 09:06 PM
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What model number is your Compaq?
 
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Old 11-05-03, 10:10 PM
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You should have little to no problems upgrading the hard drive - as Bob mentioned, you may need to update the BIOS first (check the Compaq site), but other than that, it's pretty straight-forward.

Make sure you have the jumper setting on the hard drive the same as the old drive (IE: if it's Master, set it to Master, Slave set to Slave, etc.) After that it's just plug and play.

When you restart the computer and you're ready to install WinXP, you may have to set the BIOS to boot from the CD, but probably not. Pop the CD in and see what happens - if it works, great; if not, try changing the boot options so that the CD boots second (after the floppy drive.) If that doesn't work (it's possible) let us know so we can point you to a boot floppy.

Good luck!
 
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Old 11-06-03, 07:03 PM
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To jcrawshaw, it is a model 5835

To racraft, exactly what is BIOS? Is it something that I can change or is it something that I need to upgrade?


To Safewatch, doesn't seem like a big deal from the way you wrote your reply...... And as for the extra RAM? Just plug it into an open slot, correct??
 
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Old 11-06-03, 07:34 PM
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From Compaq's web page, doesn't look like there are any bios updates, so that should be ok, hopefully for your hard drive. As far as your memory, the maximum your computer will hold is 256 meg. Your computer has 2 memory slots, so if there's 128 in one slot already, you'll probably have to remove that to run the 256. There is a modem driver for XP on compaq's website, so you may need to download that, but XP should plug and play most everything else. Good luck.
 
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Old 11-06-03, 09:11 PM
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That computer may not support 256Mb chips - the largest it supports may be 128Mb chips. Can't hurt to try though.
 
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Old 11-07-03, 06:16 AM
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BIOS stands for Basic Input Output System. It is a small computer program that is stored on a chip. It helps your computer boot up, which means get started when you turn power on. It also allows your computer to do basic input and output. By that I mean access the display, hard drive, floppies, CD-ROM, keyboard, mouse etc.

When you boot your computer you usually see a message informing you to press DEL for setup. It may be some other key, or may even be a combination of keys. When you go into setup you can change various settings for the computer. You can tell it what kind of drives you have installed, you can enable or disable the on-board sound or video, or on-board io, etc. The changes you make to this setup are remembered until you change them again. The BIOS needs to support (be able to talk to) the different types of hard drives, CD-ROM drives, etc. Compatibility with newer drives is the most common reason for needing to upgrade the BIOS.

In older computers the BIOS was on a ROM chip. By ROM I mean read only memory, which is not user programmable. The only way to upgrade the BIOS was to buy a new ROM chip, programmed with the new BIOS. Today, most BIOS programs are stored in flash memory. Flash memory is a type of user programmable memory. When and if it becomes necessary to upgrade the BIOS, you can either buy a new flash chip already programmed, or you can (with the right utility software) burn a new BIOS program into your existing flash.
 
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Old 11-08-03, 05:51 AM
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As far as the memory upgrade, I know that my brother-in-law had done an upgrade to his Compaq and it was about a year older model without any problems. Al though I think he only went to 256 Meg. He had this done by a computer tech.... I guess the only way to find out for sure is to give it a go. Maybe I'd be better off to just buy another computer that is more up to date.... I was thinking about letting the kids have this one to play the SIMS and Pokemon stuff with, so the wife and I could have our own to play with.

I'll post back when and if I get back online after I do the upgrade. It may not be until next weekend as time is a factor right now. Thanx.

Oh, and I was wondering if its possible to put in a second hard drive and to choose, when needed, to be able to boot to whichever one that I wanted to? I was just thinking wouldn't it be nice to do that in case one decided not to bootup and you could just select the other to start. Am I just thinking "ideal world" or is it a common thing to do? Thanx.
 
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Old 11-08-03, 08:10 AM
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You can have multiple operating systems on the same computer and choose which one to start at boot time. Dual booting is often done by those who use Linux so that they can go back to the old way of doing things when needed.

This is an install option with Windows XP if it detects another version of Windows at install time.

You might well read this article on dual booting and how to do it when upgrading to Windows XP.

http://aumha.org/win5/a/xpupgrad.php#homework

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 11-09-03, 04:06 PM
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Well I checked out the Compaq/HP support site out today and the tech. there said I could only go up to a 27 gig drive, bummer man. I've replied back to him to find out if I could do anything with the BIOS. I'll probably have to return the drive unless there is a way to partition the drive to allow it to run on only 27 gigs of the drive and leave the rest on the "D" portion of it. Does this sound doable?????
 
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Old 11-09-03, 04:31 PM
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yes, you can partition it to whatever size you want. make sure each partition is under the 27 gig limit.
 
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Old 11-09-03, 10:25 PM
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The partitions on the drive are not going to matter - you can only use up to 27Gb on the drive - <i>total</i>. So the other 13Gb will go to waste.

The reason is simple - the limitation is set by the BIOS, so it will only recognize 27Gb of the drive. Partitioning will not help. When you go into FDisk or any other partitioning program it will only show 27Gb on the drive (because this is the size the BIOS will report.)

However, there may be an option - Western Digital has a program for their drives that <i>tricks</i> the BIOS into recognizing more of the HD than it's supposed to. Maxtor may have a program like this for your drive - check the website. If not, I would recommend getting a Western Digital drive, then you could use more than the 27Gb.

Good luck!
 
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Old 11-10-03, 12:29 AM
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make sure each partition is under the 27 gig limit.
DOH! what was i thinking? Yeah, you could just use the 27 gig, and the rest goes to waste, or you could try using maxtors program maxblast3 here:
http://maxtor.com/en/support/downloads/maxblast3.htm
 
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Old 11-10-03, 10:00 AM
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Yep, that ought to do it. I figured they had a program to do that - just didn't have time to look it up last night

Good luck!
 
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Old 11-10-03, 06:58 PM
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Wow, you guys are great. I'm starting to get into this upgrading thing again. At first, like I said, I thought I would be returning the drive but now it looks as though I may be back in the game. When I do get it together and running, I'll definitely post back and let you know what happened.
 
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Old 11-12-03, 06:46 PM
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I've got an update on the upgrade. There is an upgrade for the BIOS which I have already downloaded. But the tech. tells me now that I'll need to purchase a PCI IDE RAID card. Anyone know what this card does and where would be a good place to buy one? As always Thanx....!
 
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Old 11-12-03, 06:55 PM
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It's a pci card that you would hook the hard drive to, instead of the motherboard. This would allow you to get around the size limit of your motherboard. Best Buy has one for 40 dollars.
Best Buy IDE Card
 
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Old 11-12-03, 07:36 PM
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www.Pricewatch.com has em starting at $16.00 shipped.
Under I/O then controller cards, then RAID.
 
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Old 11-13-03, 06:37 PM
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Well I'll say this, they do have some reasonable prices on the Price Watch website. Is their stuff of a good quality?? How do I know which one to buy? Do I just select any one of the cards or is there anything specific that I should be looking for?

Sorry for so many questions but I'm no computer guru. Thats why I'm here.

By the way, what the heck is that black dot on my mail icon? Am I a marked man or something?????? LOL.
 
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Old 11-13-03, 07:04 PM
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Pricewatch.com actually just pulls the prices from many online vendors for you to compare. You are not buying from Pricewatch.com, so you need to check out who you are buying from. I usually use www.resellerratings.com to verify those sellers on Pricewatch. Newegg has one listed for $17 + $4 shipping and I have dealt with them many times. They are very reputable and their customer service is great. Not as cheap as $16 but if there's a problem, shouldn't be too tough to get it resolved.
 
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Old 11-13-03, 07:48 PM
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I've used <a href="http://www.newegg.com">NewEgg.com</a> several times and also <a href="http://www.tigerdirect.com/index.asp?id=3174">TigerDirect.com</a>. If you get lucky, you can find a good clearance deal at Tiger.

But, my question is, are you sure you need the RAID card? The Maxtor program won't do it for you?

Good luck!

BTW, I asked the same thing about the "bullet-holes" or whatever they are on the message icons, here's the reply I received from the Admin:
recent replys not yet read... Still experimental.
I still have yet to figure out <i>exactly</i> what that means.
 
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Old 11-15-03, 06:40 AM
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Well I guess you "can" use Maxtor's software and do an overlay or something like that. But, they do recommend using a pci card for better performance and it is more likely to recognize the entire drive, instead of only the 27 gig part of it. I think I will go to Tiger or New Egg and order a card. Should I just get the cheapest one or is there anything that I should look for? I want to get as ready as I can when I tear into this thing because it is the only computer we have here and if it is down too long the natives will get restless.

From what I've read on Compaq's site it seems that these machines are kind of limited as to upgrades. For instance, there is a limitation on the amount of RAM that it can have, 256 is the max. I guess........ At the time we bought this computer it was a top of the line model, but, now it seems to be a dinosaur compared to the newer ones. Oh well.
 
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Old 11-25-03, 05:51 AM
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Well I just received a reply yesterday from another tech. on Compaq's site and he says I should just buy or build another computer and not even bother with this one. What a wakeup call. I didn't expect that from one of those guys. They always seem to be pro-Compaq. THis "guy" was was talking about just building a whole new system from the ground up with a minimum of 512 RAM minimum , a 2 Ghz processor and an up to date Motherboard, etc. He claims that even with the upgrade, this computer will be sub-par.He also claims for 300$ I can have a blazing system? True??

I guess everyone has an opinion. Honestly I think that this computer will be O.K. with the upgrade. Your thoughts????
 
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Old 11-25-03, 08:23 AM
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If the case is re-usable, you could put in a new motherboard, processor with fan, and 512 RAM for around $300. Sometimes branded computers are made in cases that don't lend themselves to clean changes. Of course, you can buy a good case with power supply for $35 -60. Then re-use the optical drive, HD, video card, speakers, monitor, mouse, and keyboard. Many boards have built-in sound now, which is sufficient unless you really want cutting edge audio.

Building a PC is not rocket science. If you can follow step by step directions such as for a recipe, you can build your own PC. If you have a computer store in your locale, you can get a lot of help with what goes together with which board, chip, and memory. We could round up some sites to walk you through this, too.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 11-26-03, 06:09 AM
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O.K., I have the Maxtor 40 Gig Hard Drive, 256 mb SDRAM from PNY Technologies, and I had to buy the Windose XP Home Edition anyway. I've heard/read that the XP likes at least 512 of RAM, if this is true then could I just add 256 more RAM to that to make the 512???

Now, if I was to buy a better Motherboard I wouldn't need the PCI card to run the new hard drive, correct??

All I would need then is the power supply and processor, if I follow you right.

The way it looks to me is I'm already halfway there as to a complete rebuild, why not follow through and do the rest. Wouldn't you agree??

Is there anything else that you can see that I will need before I dive into this and what would you computer guru's recommend as to Motherboards, Power Supplies and Processors??

By the way, isn't there a site that gives a step by step on just how to build a computer from the ground up?? I'll do a little surfing after this and check it out.

Sorry to be a bother about this, but, I'm really not sure about what I'm doing. But one thing is for sure I'll now a helluva lot more when and if I get to the other side.
 
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Old 11-26-03, 08:19 AM
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You might read through this tutorial on building a computer. It is long, but just read through it to get a feel for the process.

http://www.hardwarecentral.com/hardw...torials/109/1/

There are many sites where this information is available and from your local computer shop, but make sure the processor, fan, motherboard, and memory all go together. AMD processors are generally a bit less expensive than Intel, with the same performance. Matching other components is not so important.

Anyhow, read the tutorial and get back to us.
 
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Old 11-26-03, 02:23 PM
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at least the tech was honest

Compaq is well known for being highly proprietary. ie) good luck making upgrades.

If you rebuild, count on a new case with at least a 300W power supply, 350W would be better. A CPU fan is something to consider for an INTEL cpu. A CPU fan is a necessity for other chips as they tend to run hot.

Then re-use what you have and have a machine that screams.
BTW- XP will run just fine on 256 mb RAM. Of course, 512 is even better.

And to think my hard drive just 15 yrs ago was only 20 mb.
 
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Old 11-30-03, 06:02 AM
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O.K. here's the latest on upgrade/build new computer project. After much discussion with the wife, and with Christmas around the corner, I guess we are going to do the upgrade for now and do the new one sometime next year.

I purchased a PCI controller and the correct RAM at Best Buy last night, so I plan on trying an install today. Wish me luck.

To BobF: I did not realize that Compaq was so difficult to upgrade, but then again, I didn't really know what I was buying when I bought it anyway.

To Chifte: Yes, I checked out that site and bookmarked it. It looks definitely like something that will be quite useful. Only thing is how in the heck do you decide what you want to buy? There are so many different types of components to choose from. I guess stay in the middle of the road, then hopefully the bugs will be worked out of them.

Thanx to all.
 
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Old 12-07-03, 08:08 PM
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Update on the hard drive project: Well I attempted to install all of the components that I purchased, the 40 Gb drive, the PCI controller card and the 256 MB of RAM. The outcome didn't go as I had hoped.I think the problem is that the drive is not being driven by the new card. By the process of elimination I came to that conclusion. Even with the original drive on the new card it will not work. All I get is "operating system not found on any device-press any key to continue". It has to be plugged into the motherboard port or it will not run. On the plus side the RAM is working great, I can see a real difference there.

One thing that confuses me is the jumper connection. It appears as though the original drive was set to "cable select". I set the new one to that as well as to the "master" setting and the outcome was the same, nada.

Something just isn't right because when you press the start button you don't hear the hard drive humming and it seems like its not getting any power, like it does when its plugged into the main board.

One thing of note, when I restarted the computer with the original drive and the PCI card still plugged in, the computer recognized it and looked for an appropriate driver. Which I went ahead and installed the software that it came with.

Would it make any difference which slot I plug the card into??I really don't see why it would but maybe.

My gut feeling is that if I plugged the new drive directly into the main board it would probably accept it, but, I will be left with a smaller drive than I would like. This may end up being my only option. Any other ideas that I could try??

I hope that you guys can find some sense of logic in all of this rambling. If there are any holes that need to be filled in, don't hesitate to ask.

One other thing that I need to be clear on because the instructions with this PCI card were *****. I plug the PCI card into an available slot, plug the ribbon cable into the primary outlet of the PCI card and plug the other end of the cable to the new drive. Correct????
 
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Old 12-07-03, 08:30 PM
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What controller card did you get? There may be a better bios or driver available on their web site. If my memory serves correctly. with the new card plugged in, you should get an extra screen at post, showing the new card's bios also. Are you seeing that? Make sure the pci card is firmly plugged in to it's slot, plus, if your motherboard has an agp slot (usually brown and the top slot), you wouldn't want to use the pci slot directly underneath that one. You should also make sure and plug the ribbon cable, plus the 4 prong power connector when you are using the controller card also. As far as jumpers, I would set it to master, but cable select shouldn't effect anything. Keep us updated.
 
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Old 12-07-03, 08:38 PM
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The boot drive needs to be connected to the IDE connector on the motherboard. Just use any other drive as a slave for extra space, unless you want to install the OS on the other drive. In that case, it will have to connect to the mobo in order to boot.

A device in a PCI slot is recognized and dealt with secondarily by the system. Therefore, the boot drive cannot be connected to a PCI device. (SCSI is different.)

A PCI card can go in any PCI slot on a new motherboard.

The master drive on a cable is either jumpered cable select and at the end of the cable or jumpered as master. It is still better to place the master at the end of the cable and the slave in the middle for simplicity.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 12-08-03, 06:28 PM
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O.K., to jcrawshaw: It is a SIIG Ultra ATA 133PCI controller. It is supposed to backward compatible to 100/66/33 standards and ATAPI devices. No I am not seeing the new cards BIOS on startup. There are 4 slots in the board. The 2 middle ones have cards already in them. I chose the bottom one simply because it was easier to access.I'm not sure what 4 prong power connector you are refering to, I did not see that in there. It looked like it just plugged into the board and that was all there was to it. Further, there wasn't any power plug on the card anyway.

To chfite: So what your saying is that I need to use my original drive as the startup (boot) drive and to use the new one as the slave?? The object was to get rid of the original drive because of the problems I was having with it. I don't really want to use it at all if I can help it. I may have to go with upgrading the system BIOS and live with a smaller drive and forget about using the PCI card at all.

I'd love to figure out how to access the BIOS, but, I can't seem to get into it. It says in the new drive manual that on many systems you need to set the BIOS to auto-detect to get the computer to recognize the new drive.

I've also got a new message in the Compaq forums to see if they can give me any insight on the BIOS problem. SO far I've followed their advise on what to purchase, so I hope they have directed me the right way. We'll see. I'll keep you posted as things progress.
 
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Old 12-08-03, 06:52 PM
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Ok, I pulled this directly from SIIG's site for your card:

"Connecting a Boot Drive to this Controller


1) System boots to the drive connecting to the controller on the motherboard. To boot to the drive connecting to this controller, either specify the boot drive in system BIOS Setup or connecting the hard disk drives to this controller.

2) To specify the boot drive in system BIOS Setup, press the Delete, F1 or F2 key to enter the BIOS. Configure the system to boot to SCSI or specify the boot drive if there is more than one. Since each BIOS is different, please refer to the User's Manual for the motherboard.

3) With an older system that does not allow you to specify the boot drive, connect all the hard disk drives to this controller. Connect the boot drive as a master on the primary channel on this controller. You can connect the CD-ROM or other drives to the secondary channel on the controller on the motherboard. "

And from Compaq's page:

"As the computer restarts and the red Compaq logo is displayed, repeatedly press F10 to enter the BIOS. "

So press the F10 key to enter bios, and there should be a setting somewhere, relating to the boot drive order. It's probably set to
"cd-rom, a:, c:," or something very similar. You will want to set it up so it will replace the c: with 'scsi'. Many computers, you do this by pressing the pg up or pg down keys when the boot order selection is highlighted. This should hopefully resolve your problem. If you get into the bios and nothing looks similar to what is stated above, let us know, and one of us should be able to come up with something. Good luck.
 
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Old 12-08-03, 07:09 PM
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So what your saying is that I need to use my original drive as the startup (boot) drive and to use the new one as the slave??
No. The boot drive must be connected to the motherboard through one of the IDE connectors. Just as it was before you bought the PCI card. You can use the new drive. Connect it to the motherboard connector, install the operating system on it. Then install everything else.

The computer is looking for a boot device connected to the motherboard. It cannot be connected to a PCI controller card. The computer does not look at PCI devices until later in the boot sequence.

To cut through all the fluff and postings so far:

The boot device must be connected to the motherboard IDE connector and it must be a master device.
 
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Old 12-09-03, 07:34 PM
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To jcrawshaw: THe info that you put in your last post was in the little booklet that came with the card. I didn't find it to be of much help, sorry. Although I don't think I tried to press the del. plus the f1 or f2 keys. Its worth shot I guess........I have been into the f10 Compaq setup utility and I didn't see where you could change the names of the drives, although you can change the order of the boot sequence.

TO chfite: So then what your saying is connect the drive into the same connector as the original drive was in. According to Compaq's techs., only 27 GB of the drive will be useable because of the limitation of the system BIOS. I guess you can upgrade the BIOS and get up to 32 GB.

I have been posting on Compaq's message boards as I mentioned earlier, but, many times I've found their answers to be conflicting. Like for instance, one tech. said to connect the hard drive to the card and use the BIOS in that. Then another one will come back and say to upgrade the BIOS that is already within the computer's hardware. I'd like to know what I bought that controller card for? If I can't connect my new drive to it then I really don't have any use for it. Do you guys think that Best Buy would take it back?? Maybe I could return it for a credit against a new motherboard that would actually recognize the entire drive. Do you think I could get a good motherboard for under $100??

One of the techs. said today to reset the CMOS, what ever that is. He said to unplug the computer and press the start button, then remove the CMOS battery for 30 seconds then replace it. He said that then the computer will search for the new drive. Do you guys think that that would work??
 
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Old 12-09-03, 08:52 PM
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only 27 GB of the drive will be useable because of the limitation of the system BIOS.
Sometimes progress passes us.

I'd like to know what I bought that controller card for
Ordinarily, added controller cards are for adding drives to a system that is already at maximum or needs facilities not available otherwise. Nevertheless, the boot device must be attached to the IDE connector on the motherboard. Other drives can be connected the the PCI controller.

Do you guys think that Best Buy would take it back?
Usually, Best Buy will take it back within 14 days for any reason, any reason at all.

Do you think I could get a good motherboard for under $100??
Running one here. Lots of good boards available for under $100. Check your local computer shops, tigerdirect, motherboards.com, among others.

You can have the computer search for the drive by removing it in the Device Manager, then rebooting the computer. The computer will usually automatically detect a drive during the bootstrapping process. Many boards detect the drive automatically each time they boot. Having to set the specifications of a drive statically has been eliminated in more modern BIOS designs.

Hope this helps.
 
  #38  
Old 12-10-03, 04:23 PM
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Well I called Maxtor today and explained the situation to them and they said probably the best way for me to go would be to just update the BIOS, (which I already did) , and plug the new drive into the slot that the original one was in. Pretty much what you have been saying all along chfite. Kudos to you.

Now, do you think that it would be practical to use the old (flaky) drive as strictly a storage device?? Or just take it down cellar and drop a 6 lb. hammer on it so I can take out all of the frustration I've had for the last 4 years with all of the crashes, lost info., etc. LOL.

This computer stuff can be a pain, but, I've learned a few things and I'll be a little more savvy next time around.
 
  #39  
Old 12-10-03, 04:35 PM
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Why would you want to use a hard drive that has been acting flaky and giving you headaches for data storage?

While I don't think you should drop a hammer on it (you might miss and hit your toes), I do think that you should dispose of it.
 
  #40  
Old 12-10-03, 08:27 PM
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practical to use the old (flaky) drive
They make good paperweights.
 
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