Can I do it?

How to do it

Appendix 1 - Types of hard disks

Appendix 2 - Configurations of Jumpers

Appendix 3 - Methods to use hard disks of more than 528 MB

Appendix 4 - external Hard disks

Appendix 5 - more common Problems

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Juan Herrerías Rey

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To install a hard disk


How is it done?

Well, now when he knows if it can do it, metámonos in task. The first thing, the most important and tedious thing of everything:

6. - To Do a safety copy of his ancient hard disk. The safety copies, we liked or not, there are something essential while the Law of Murphy, the Entropy and the bad paw apply in the universe, which seems that it goes for length. Personally I recommend to him to copy only his information files (invoices, letters, spreadsheets, etc), what will occupy only a few tens of gentle at most, although if it works with images, CAD or topography can already go looking for a unit Zip, Jaz or similar (which, on the other hand, is a very good alternative to a hard disk, as I explain in my Storage paragraph).

Remember to copy also any program of the one that the original support does not preserve (please, do not practise piracy, it is illegal!), and I verified if the diskettes of the above mentioned programs, as well as those that it uses to keep his information, are in good condition. Certainly, do a safety copy even if it glides to preserve his ancient hard disk; him the unit might slip to the soil, format the wrong disc, him fall down a coffee above... (all very, very real cases, I insure it myself).

7. - Do a diskette of starter of his operating system, including in him the files to gain access to the CD - ROM if it possesses it and glides to reinstall the operating system from this support. In general, the users of TWO (eye, not of TWO of Windows 9x, but the outstanding figure TWO with or without Windows 3.1x) must do it with the command SYS TO: or with FORMAT A:/S, while those of Windows 9x can do it by means of the Control panel, icon Add or remove programs, and the eyelash beginning Disc

Nevertheless, the first version of Windows 95 was not including the files that allow to gain access to the CD - ROM on this boot disk (it does not even make it TWO), by what they must be added manually, to avoid to meet the most unpleasant circumstance of wanting to install the Windows 95 from the CD - ROM unit and not be able to gain access to her (it has happened to me). This problem does not exist already in Windows 98.

Include also on this diskette the files of the commands FDISK and FORMAT (FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.EXE) to be able to format the new hard disk, as well as the SCANDISK or CHKDSK if there were problems. Once finished, put it in the disk drive and try to start with him; if you start of the hard disk instead of the diskette, look in the BIOS for something for the style of "SYSTEM BOOT UP SEQUENCE C: To:", probably in the epigraph BIOS FEATURES SETUP, and change it to "SYSTEM BOOT UP SEQUENCE TO: C:". Go out of the BIOS recording this change (Save and Exit, or Write to CMOS and Exit, etc) and try again.

8. - Buy hard, so big or small disk as I needed, and if possible with a good guarantee. Be required to deliver to him a manualito (or at least a role) with the information of the disc, and receive with taste any diskette that they give him (in general it will not be necessary, but sometimes yes, for example for BIOS that they have no LBA). Ask, if the casing of his mainframe computer is standard, that give him the appropriate screws; if they do not want to give them to themselves, go to a less "vulgar" place.

9. - The manual Be Read by attention (if it is); unfortunately, it will come in English, although sometimes also in German or Japanese...: less evil! If it comprises the instructions (if they are), continue them. If not, you keep on reading this handlebar, call someone who knows English, or drive to despair and say that they should install it to themselves. If in some moment there are discrepancies between this guide and that of his hard disk, him pay attention to that one; this one is done by the best will, but the guarantee is void. Remember whenever I decline any responsibility before any problem that could arise, so much of hardware as software. Also, if he does not realize well what it does, take advice or ask for help; the hardware is expensive, and the sometimes irreplaceable information.

10. - Decide if he wants to preserve or the ancient hard disks, as well as the order in which he wants to have them. The new hard disk will be, in general, perceptibly more rapid, therefore at first it would be convenient for him to place it like the first disc (or of starter, the outstanding figure "C:"), but this will force him with entire safety to reinstall almost the software (programs) that contains the ancient disc, or at least the operating system. If the hard disks are similar in size and speed, probably him do not be worth it; but if the ancient one has more than 3 years or less than 400 MB, I recommend to him "to get involved the blanket to the head" and to use the new one as the first disc; to tell truth, if the ancient disc has less than 300 MB or is giving symptoms of premature old age, it will not be worth preserving it to him, with what it will save problems and doubts in the installation.

To determine the order of the hard disks, he needs to know the concepts of "Teacher" (master's degree) and "Slave" (slave). The checkers of discs IDE can have 2 devices type IDE (hard disks or, for example, CD-ROMs) connected to them. The first one is called a Teacher (for obvious motives) and the second Slave (for even more obvious motives); these roles are fixed in two obligatory steps:

  • the Teacher must go installed at the end of the cable IDE and the Slave in the center; the checker, well a card or the motherboard, goes in another end. Observe what the original situation is in the concrete case of his computer (eye, often the cable has no connectors any more than in the ends, being missing the head office; if it is his case, it is possible that he needs a new cable, although he does not worry: it is very cheap);
  • Jumpers
  • by means of a few microswitches ("jumpers") on the proper discs placed in general in the rear or low part of the same ones. The positions of these jumpers are indicated in the same sticker about which we speak earlier, or in the manual or serigrafiadas in the badge of circuit of the hard disk, and are usually only 2 positions: M (teacher), S (slave), although sometimes they turn out to be some more ("teacher with slave", "cable select"...) explained in the Appendix 2.

It is necessary to highlight the case of the current checkers EIDE, who are only the sum of two IDEs, therefore it can have up to 4 devices distributed in 2 channels IDE:

  • a Primary channel (IDE1), with his Teacher (device 1) and his Slave (device 2)
  • and a Secondary channel (IDE2), with his Teacher (device 3) and his Slave (device 4)

In the cases to have a checker EIDE, the best thing is usually to place every disc in a channel, each one at the end of his cable and both like Teacher, what avoids some very annoying incompatibilities and the data transmission speed increases; in return it has the inconvenience of which the second channel sometimes is not enabled (we go, that is disconnected) and it is necessary to enable it in the BIOS (or, sometimes, by means of a "jumper" in the motherboard). For it, I send him to the manual of his motherboard or checker EIDE or, if the way of enabling it is by means of the BIOS and does not clear up with it, pulsate here.

For more complex cases (checkers EIDE packed with three or more hard disks, hard disks and CD-ROMs, etc) I recommend the Appendix 2.

11. - To Install physically the new disc, as soon as there were selected the "roles" in which they will act or the discs. First of all, extinguish the computer, as well as any peripheral one (printer, monitor...); disconnect all the cables that go to the mainframe computer; unburden of static electricity, and open the mainframe computer. Look for the appropriate bay (points 1 and 2) and install the unit.

Try not to force it on having introduced it; it will always be better to fix it with 4 screws than with 2 very tight ones. If adapters, washers need, rails or what was, use them. If you can choose, try to place it in a bay with good ventilation for below and at the top.

Connect now the cables: that of feeding (one with 4 cables) has a bevel that facilitates his correct orientation, so the biggest problem is that it is slightly hard; that of information will have a line of different color (red in general) in the rim that corresponds to the pin number 1, what facilitates the connection with the hard disk, which will have another mark identifying saying pin (if it is lucky, it will be a number 1; if not, I looked for a flechita, a point...).

12. - Close the box and connect everything. Start the computer and between in the BIOS as it did in the point 4 (pulsating "Of" "The", or "Esc", or as it is; at this point it should be already bored of doing it). Go to the area of introduction of information of the hard disks and place the correspondents to every disc; if his BIOS admits it, it will be able to select "EDICT" so that whenever starter the above mentioned values are placed automatically.

Anyway, the most important thing is to make sure that activates the way LBA (if it is free), what sometimes can be done also automatically. For example, these three configurations should be all functional ones (although if someone was failing it would not be strange at all, the autodetection is not infallible), but the most advisable would be the first one:

Pantallazo of the BIOS showing a hard disk autodetection

Also it is the moment to select the PIOUS way or, better, to activate the UltraDMA, what generally is done on a page of the BIOS named Chipset Features, Devices Setup or something similar. In the very common case to install a modern hard disk in 486 or one Pentium without UltraDMA support (with chipset previous to the Intel 430TX, for example), at least select the way PIO-4, with a 16,6 Mb / century theoretical transference

When it has introduced the information, introduce in the disk drive the disc that it created in the point 7 and go out of the BIOS, this time keeping the changes (for example, choosing Save and Exit SETUP, or something similar).

13. - Now the computer will re-start from the diskette. Observe if error messages appear; if they do it, look if in the section of Problems (Appendix 5) they are solved. If not, there are two different stages:

  • STAGE 1: you have decided to leave his ancient hard disk like Main in the Primary channel (or only one), that is to say, as you were coming in origin, and to install the new disc as Slave in the Primary or Main one in the Secondary one. In this case, verify that he can gain access to the information of the ancient disc (a "DIR C:" will be enough. If it is like that, it should be able to start without the diskette as originally; verify it and go on to the point 14.
  • STAGE 2: you have decided to install the new disc like Teacher of the Primary channel, stopping the old man in any other configuration or throwing it to the garbage. In this case, pass to the point 14 without doing anything.

14. - FDISK Messes for particionar about the disc, what will load this utility. If in some moment there him appears information on which there are already one or several divisions, or they have sold to him a secondhand disc or it is acting on his ancient hard disk (more probable, although in the shops it goes on from everything). In this case, be going to Change the current hard disk unit and select the suitable one. Once assured of that we are operating on the new unit, be going to Create a division and create a primary division, well occupying the whole available space or stopping it departs for a widespread division.

Pantallazo of the principal menu of FDISK

In MSDOS and in the first versions of Windows 95 bigger divisions of 2 they cannot create GB, but fortunately from the version "OSR2" of Windows 95 (that only was selling with new computers), or in Windows 98 or ME, yes it is possible. In any case, if it meets this problem, it can make them more kidlings, with what it will save a few tens of gentle, due to the form in which the information keeps on the hard disks (more information here); anyway, this can do the work with the very heavy computer, it is worth without having too many divisions (one or two is usually the best thing).

Finally, Create division again and create a logical unit in the widespread division (or several, if it gets into debt in saving some gentle) and go out of FDISK, what will do that the computer re-starts. Do not forget to have the diskette in the disk drive if 2 is in the Stage; if 1 is in the Stage, extract it to be able to start with the ancient disc and his corresponding operating system.

15. - Now it has to format the hard disk (or "the hard disks", since every division behaves as if it was the separated one, with its own letter of unit and everything; do not say that I did not warn it). For it, it has two possibilities:

  • to do it from TWO with the order FORMAT (for example, "FORMAT C:", "FORMAT D:"...); do not make a mistake of letter! Verify it earlier with a DIR, for example (if it sees that there is already information, it is that it is not this letter);
  • if 1 is in the Stage and has some version of Windows installed, it can do it from the Manager of Programs (in Windows 3.1x), or puncturing with the right button on the corresponding icon in My PC or for menu in the Explorer (in Windows 9x).

16. - It Already has his installed new hard disk. If 1 is in the Stage, already it has ended. If on the contrary it is in 2, already "only" he has left:

  • to reinstall the operating system (TWO, Windows 3.1x, Windows 9x, or their miscellany that he wishes);
  • to move everything what he wishes of the ancient hard disk (if it preserves it), after which I recommend to format it as in the point 15 or at least to erase the files of the operating system that it had installed.

If it obtained it: CONGRATULATIONS! If it did not dare, I do not reproach myself it; now it understands in what his 5.000 pesetas wore out: truth? And if it has had problems... keep on reading, I hope we can solve them.


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