More on Hard Drive Installation and procedures

Removal Procedure

  • Don your ESD wrist strap!
  • Remove the power cable from the rear of the old drive
  • Carefully remove the IDE ribbon cable from the rear of the old drive (wiggle it out evenly)
  • Remove the mounting screws and pull out the old drive


Set the Jumpers on the New Drive

If the drive is the only drive on the IDE interface, set the jumper to the Master or Single setting. Use the Slave setting if the drive is an additional drive on the IDE cable and the original drive is set to Master.


Installation Procedure

  • Handle the new drive only by the edges of the drive frame.
  • Connect one end of an available IDE interface cable to the hard drive (make sure that you align pin 1 on the cable with pin 1 on the hard drive connector).
  • Locate an available power cable connector (coming from the power supply) and attach it to the 4-pin DC power connector on the hard drive. This connector is keyed so it can only be attached one way. Do not force it.
  • Slide the drive into the bay and secure with mounting screws.


BIOS Setup

In order for your computer to work properly, the hardware and software of the computer need to know about each other. Now that you’ve installed a new hard drive in your computer, you have to tell your computer about this new hardware, so that this information can be relayed to the operating system. This is done through what’s called the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) setup program (also called CMOS setup, or Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor).

Most new computers can automatically detect these new devices through the BIOS program. You may enter the BIOS or CMOS program by turning on your computer (or rebooting it) and entering the setup program. This is usually done by pressing a special key, such as DELETE, ESC, or F1 during bootup, but this varies from system to system. Refer to your computer manual if necessary.

Once in the setup program, locate the drive section and confirm that the hard drive (or ‘fixed disk’) is set for AUTO. Use the commands provided to exit the setup program, making sure that you save changes as you exit the program.


Partitioning and Formatting

With the BIOS setup now complete, the hard drive must be prepared to accept data. This is done through the disk management utilities known as partitioning and formatting. With these utilities, you can divide the drive into logical sections, assign drive letters, and physically prepare the disk to accept data. Most new hard drives have already been partitioned and formatted, but you should be familiar with how to use these utilities.

If the drive has already been partitioned and formatted, you simply need to install your operating system from CD, install your software applications, and restore your backed-up data.

If the drive has not been partitioned and formatted, how you proceed is determined by whether or not the new hard drive you have just installed is a secondary hard drive or a new primary hard drive. If the drive is a second hard drive in your system, you can use the utilities on the primary drive to prepare the secondary hard drive. If the new drive will be your primary drive, you need to access these utilities on some other media format, preferably the Recovery CD that is included with new computers as a matter of course.

How you access these hard drive utilities depends on the operating system you are using. Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista all have different access points, and may identify the folder in which these utilities reside by different names. So you may have to explore your own system to locate them (Control Panel or My Computer is always a good starting point). To help you understand the process, we’ll briefly outline the steps involved under the following conditions:

  • The newly installed drive is a second hard drive
  • The operating system is Windows Vista

You will have to be logged in as administrator in order to run these utilities. Note that the terms ‘partition’ and ‘volume’ are used interchangeably. Also, in Windows Vista, a new hard disk must be ‘initialized’ before it can be used. Proceed as follows:

  • Open the Control Panel (Start > Control Panel)
  • Click on ‘System and Maintenance’
  • Click on ‘Administrative Tools’
  • Double click ‘Computer Management’
  • In the left navigation pane, under ‘Storage’, click ‘Disk Management’
  • In Disk Management, right click the disk you want to initialize, and then click ‘Initialize Disk’.
  • Right click on the initialized disk, and click ‘New Simple Volume’
  • In the New Simple Volume Wizard, click ‘Next’
  • Accept the maximum default size or type in the size of the volume you want to create (in megabytes), then click ‘Next’
  • Accept the default drive letter assignment, or choose a different letter to identify the partition, and click ‘Next’
  • In the ‘Format Partition’ dialog box, click ‘Next’ to accept the default settings and format the partition
  • Click ‘Finish’

Note that the formatting process can take some time; the higher the drive capacity, the longer the process will take. Once the format is complete, your drive is ready for the operating system, if it is to be the boot drive. Use your original operating system installation CD to install the OS, and then add other software applications and data as needed. This can also take a bit of time, and you don’t have to do it all at once. Don’t forget to create some restore points periodically so you can restore your system to a previous configuration if something goes awry with one of the installation processes.

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