SATA Drive Issue - Dell Dimension 4600

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  #1  
Old 07-01-08, 01:28 PM
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SATA Drive Issue - Dell Dimension 4600

Some of you may have already read much of this from another thread...

Well, I just installed a 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA/300 on my Dell Dimension 4600 two nights ago - I added it as an additional drive to the master (PATA) 80GB WD that came with the computer...

Installed the drive - turned the SATA controllers on - formatted the drive using the Seagate disc management utility CD.
Worked fine... so I moved over something like 50GB of data from my original drive to the new drive... then deleted that data from the old drive, ran disk defrag on the old HDD and then rebooted to see how much it sped up the computer after freeing up some disc space...
I had been as low as about 4GB free in the last couple weeks... and has been extremely sluggish and weird things are starting to take place.

Anyway... once I rebooted it wouldn't get past the startup screen... it just sits - all black screen with the a cursor in the upper left corner of the screen... so I reboot go into setup and turn off the SATA drive and it boots just fine.

Now, I read somewhere that a SATA drive will only work as the boot drive on a Dell D4600. Anyone know if this is true?

Now I'm trying to figure out what I can do to fix my issue.
Does anyone know the easiest fix for my issue?

Can I just remove the 80GB and make the 300GB SATA drive as my boot drive?

That means I'll have to install WinXP onto the new drive then right?

If I do this will I lose the stuff I already put on the drive? Can I install Windows on a HDD without erasing all of the data on it?

Will I need SATA drivers loaded on a 3.5 floppy to install?
If so - where can I get drivers for my motherboard?
I can't even tell what motherboard I have... I look on the thing and all it really says is "DELL"... no other names.

Also, how can I tell if my motherboard will handle 3.0Gbit/s - so I can remove the jumper from my HDD that limits it transfer rate to 1.5Gbit/s...

Any help would be great - thanks-
Justin
 
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  #2  
Old 07-02-08, 01:33 PM
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Re: SATA Drive Issue - Dell Dimension 4600

Linux to the rescue!! :mask:

Here is what I would do in your situation. Go to http://www.knoppix.net and download the current cd image of Knoppix. Knoppix is an entire linux based graphical operating system that boots up off a cd. It will not write anything to your hard drives.

Once you boot up into knoppix, you should see both of your hard drives mounted on the desktop.

Copy all of the files BACK to your first hard drive, and try to boot back onto that.

If that is successfull, and you have all of your files back on one drive then you will need to ghost your hard drive (the hirens boot disk has ghost on int if you can find one), and restore the ghost image to the sata drive.

Then you will have the complete operating system on your new hard drive (no need to reinstall windows and resetup everything).

Once you are sure that that works, format the old drive and use it for extra storage. Voila!
 

Last edited by mwinther; 07-02-08 at 01:37 PM. Reason: added a title
  #3  
Old 07-02-08, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mwinther View Post
Linux to the rescue!! :mask:

Here is what I would do in your situation. Go to http://www.knoppix.net and download the current cd image of Knoppix. Knoppix is an entire linux based graphical operating system that boots up off a cd. It will not write anything to your hard drives.

Once you boot up into knoppix, you should see both of your hard drives mounted on the desktop.

Copy all of the files BACK to your first hard drive, and try to boot back onto that.

If that is successfull, and you have all of your files back on one drive then you will need to ghost your hard drive (the hirens boot disk has ghost on int if you can find one), and restore the ghost image to the sata drive.

Then you will have the complete operating system on your new hard drive (no need to reinstall windows and resetup everything).

Once you are sure that that works, format the old drive and use it for extra storage. Voila!

Thank you very much for the idea...
I just might try it... sounds pretty straightforward.
Only thing I am concerned with then is if the ghost will work from the old drive to the new one>

Supposedly Dell puts a hidden partition on C: that needs to be ghosted too? I'll try it and see how it works out.
 
  #4  
Old 07-02-08, 02:58 PM
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That hidden partition contains your re-installation image.
 
  #5  
Old 07-02-08, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by oneofamill View Post
That hidden partition contains your re-installation image.
So it doesn't need to be ghosted?
 
  #6  
Old 07-02-08, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin W View Post
Installed the drive - turned the SATA controllers on - formatted the drive using the Seagate disc management utility CD.
Worked fine... so I moved over something like 50GB of data from my original drive to the new drive... then deleted that data from the old drive, ran disk defrag on the old HDD and then rebooted to see how much it sped up the computer after freeing up some disc space...
I had been as low as about 4GB free in the last couple weeks... and has been extremely sluggish and weird things are starting to take place.
So you never installed Windows XP on the new drive, you were still booting off the old drive? Is is your goal to boot Windows off the new drive? You cannot just copy files from one drive to another to make a working OS installation... Is that what you were trying to do? If not, I don't know why it would change anything as far as booting goes... Either way, just setting the 80 GB before the 300 GB in the boot priority list should boot Windows off the 80 GB.

After that, if you want to boot Windows off the 300 GB, you will need to ghost the 80 GB to the 300 GB, like mwinther said. There are Windows tools for that though. Once you boot up Windows on the 300 GB, you will notice that the system drive is not the C: drive. You need to edit the driver letters in the registry and reboot the computer before you do anything else. (Disk management will not let you change the drive letter of th system drive.)

The other (easier) option is to install a fresh copy of Windows on the 300 GB, and reinstalling all application. You can either copy the documents over to the 300 GB, or leave them on the 80 GB, essentially making it a dedicated document drive.

Originally Posted by Justin W View Post
Anyway... once I rebooted it wouldn't get past the startup screen... it just sits - all black screen with the a cursor in the upper left corner of the screen... so I reboot go into setup and turn off the SATA drive and it boots just fine.
Changing the boot priority order controls which drive the computer tries to boot off of first. You shouldn't have to "turn off" anything.

Originally Posted by Justin W View Post
Now, I read somewhere that a SATA drive will only work as the boot drive on a Dell D4600. Anyone know if this is true?
Isn't that the computer you have? I'm not sure what you mean here... You have been booting off a PATA drive.

Originally Posted by Justin W View Post
Will I need SATA drivers loaded on a 3.5 floppy to install?
If so - where can I get drivers for my motherboard?
I can't even tell what motherboard I have... I look on the thing and all it really says is "DELL"... no other names.
In some cases you do, but you'll find that out really fast when you try. Just don't remove Windows from the 80 GB drive until you have it working on the 300 GB, so that you can just switch boot drives in BIOS and download whatever drivers you need. The Dell website should have them. If not, look up the SATA chipset used in that computer and find the drivers.

None of this will be an issue if you ghost the drive though.

Originally Posted by Justin W View Post
Also, how can I tell if my motherboard will handle 3.0Gbit/s - so I can remove the jumper from my HDD that limits it transfer rate to 1.5Gbit/s...
You could look it up, probably, but it won't make a difference anyway, unless maybe a tiny bit if you use AHCI and your drive supports NCQ. You won't exceed that bandwidth anyway.
 
  #7  
Old 07-02-08, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by husbus View Post
So you never installed Windows XP on the new drive, you were still booting off the old drive? Is is your goal to boot Windows off the new drive? You cannot just copy files from one drive to another to make a working OS installation... Is that what you were trying to do? If not, I don't know why it would change anything as far as booting goes... Either way, just setting the 80 GB before the 300 GB in the boot priority list should boot Windows off the 80 GB.
No, I never installed XP on the new (320GB SATA) drive... my plan was for the new drive to be used as an additional storage drive with documents, music, video, images, etc...
Then leaving the (80GB PATA) as the boot drive with Windows and program files on it.

After that, if you want to boot Windows off the 300 GB, you will need to ghost the 80 GB to the 300 GB, like mwinther said. There are Windows tools for that though. Once you boot up Windows on the 300 GB, you will notice that the system drive is not the C: drive. You need to edit the driver letters in the registry and reboot the computer before you do anything else. (Disk management will not let you change the drive letter of th system drive.)

The other (easier) option is to install a fresh copy of Windows on the 300 GB, and reinstalling all application. You can either copy the documents over to the 300 GB, or leave them on the 80 GB, essentially making it a dedicated document drive.

Changing the boot priority order controls which drive the computer tries to boot off of first. You shouldn't have to "turn off" anything.
My current BIOS settings are below... there's nothing about SATA in the boot sequence settings... so I don't know how to differentiate between which drive will boot... from the look of the settings the computer boots on whichever system drive is designated as "C:".

"Drive Configuration":
Diskette Drive A:......3.5 inch 1.44 MB
SATA Primary Drive.....OFF
SATA Secondary Drive...OFF ((when set to "ON" the system won't boot" - this is where the new SATA drive is))
Primary Master Drive...Hard Drive
Primary Slave Drive....OFF
Secondary Master Drive.CD-ROM Device
Secondary Slave Drive..CD-ROM Device
...
IDE Drive UDMA.........On

"Hard-Disk Sequence"
1. System BIOS boot devices
2. USB device (not installed)

"Boot Sequence"
1. Diskette Drive
2. Hard-Disk Drive C:
3. IDE CD-ROM Device

I can only reorder the boot sequence and/or turn them off.

Isn't that the computer you have? I'm not sure what you mean here... You have been booting off a PATA drive.
Yes, I have a D4600...
What I meant to say is that if there is a SATA drive present -the system is set up in such a fashion that it must be the boot drive - the only way that it will boot with an IDE drive is if there is not a SATA drive connected to the system.
Does that make sense?

In some cases you do, but you'll find that out really fast when you try. Just don't remove Windows from the 80 GB drive until you have it working on the 300 GB, so that you can just switch boot drives in BIOS and download whatever drivers you need. The Dell website should have them. If not, look up the SATA chipset used in that computer and find the drivers.

None of this will be an issue if you ghost the drive though.
I'm leaning towards ghosting...
Basically use 'mwinthers' idea to use the Linux program to get the data off the new drive and then just ghost the 80GB drive over to the 320GB.

I'm still worried about my lack of ability to manipulate the boot sequence and drive sequence... how will ghosting work if the system will only boot off C:?

Would I have to change the drive letter (in the registry) before I ghost the old drive over to the new drive?

I won't be able to do it after I ghost right?... and I won't be able to do it in my BIOS settings.
 
  #8  
Old 07-02-08, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin W
how can I tell if my motherboard will handle 3.0Gbit/s - so I can remove the jumper from my HDD that limits it transfer rate to 1.5Gbit/s...
Originally Posted by husbus
You could look it up, probably, but it won't make a difference anyway, unless maybe a tiny bit if you use AHCI and your drive supports NCQ. You won't exceed that bandwidth anyway.
Thanks for the advice... but yeah... I've determined this is the least of my concerns currently!
 
  #9  
Old 07-02-08, 10:44 PM
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One more thing: Boot Device Menu

Okay... I think I figured a workaround for the boot sequence issue in regard to it only being able to be booted to "C:"...

If I hit F12 at startup it takes me to the boot devices menu... where I can "force" how I want to boot the system...

Here is what the screen shows (black DOS screen)

Boot Device Menu

1. Normal
2. SATA Secondary Drive
3. Primary Master Drive
4. Diskette Drive
5. Hard-Disk Drive C:
6. IDE CD-ROM Device

7. System Setup
8. IDE Drive Diagnostics
9. Boot to Utility Partition


Please note that if the "SATA Secondary Drive" is turned "OFF" in BIOS setup that it doesn't show up on the above screen.


So I should be able to ghost the old drive to the new drive - reboot - during startup go into the boot device menu and have it boot to the "SATA Secondary Drive".

Then go about changing the drive letter designation after it boots into Windows.

One last major concern right now - how will I be able to ghost the old drive to the new drive if the new drive has to be turned "off" in the BIOS to get the system to boot?

Please note:
I did try and turn "on" the SATA drive in the BIOS setup (F2) and then go directly over to the boot device menu (F12) and "force" it to boot to the C: and it still wouldn't boot.

No matter what I do (so far) I can't get it to boot with the "SATA Secondary Drive" turned on in "Drive Configuration".
 
  #10  
Old 07-04-08, 12:09 PM
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Update

Okay I think it's pretty much fixed... but it's a workaround...

Wed night I tried to FTP Knoppix... only for it to time out with "10 seconds remaining" after about an hour and a half.

So I yanked the new drive out and took it to work Thursday morning where we grabbed my data and put it on an external 500GB Iomega drive.

I brought the drives home - installed the new SATA drive, disconnected the old IDE drive and installed XP on the SATA drive.

Moved the data over from the External to the SATA.

Otherwise been pretty much setting Windows up and installing drivers since then... installed Office, Outlook, IE7, iTunes, WMP11, set up my pop email, stuff like that...

I still need to go and reconnect the IDE drive to get a few things like my IE favorites and import my emails and contacts from my old Outlook file.

Will leave the IDE drive intact for a short while because there are programs (like SolidWorks) that I need to use that I don't have the instl discs for. Eventually I'll reformat the IDE and use it as a backup or extra storage... assuming that it all works okay.

Thank you for everyone's help... even though we really didn't solve the original issue... but what I have now is a better solution anyway.
 
  #11  
Old 09-20-09, 01:52 PM
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Dell 4600

Im new to this site so bare with me, My question is , Is there anything I can do to keep my computer from getting as hot as it does? Keep in mind the only reason i know it is getting on the hot side is that im monitoring it,so to speak , a few days ago i insalled a 3.2ghz processor. Seems to be working alot faster than it was, just wondering if theres anything to keep it cooler or is ot normally going to run alittle hot, Any input would be greatly appreciated
 
  #12  
Old 09-20-09, 02:23 PM
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Location: so cal
Posts: 283
intel cpus run hot
and can run hot
but you need to clean the dust bunnies of the cooling fins and that helps lower cpu temps alot

a high end gpu card also generates a lot of heat as well

in one of my system
i went to liquid cooling with a passive radiator and a pump
for the cpu only
since the gpu runs hot though never over heats
the added benefit that it's a lot quieter since i no longer have a fan on the cpu
and have use a silencer psu for the psu, i my later add blocks for the gpu to eliminate that fan and all that would be left is the psu, which run really quiet anyways
 
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