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Discussion Starter #1
Hello out there!
I want to install a new 120GB HD for my video storage, but as I am reading up about choosing one I noticed several reveiws which say that there are odd problems with XP. So now I am worried about running into something in the middle of installation and I'll be in a jam. If anyone has any advice on this regarding XP, such as a brand of HD, or specifics to do or don't do... please offer as CLEARLY as possible, without using abbreviations or assuming I know anything about this process. Thanks for any help.
JudyB
 

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There is no issue with XP and large disks. You're more likely to run into issues with an older system and a large drive.

Perhaps if you'd post some specifics about your system, the date of the BIOS, etc., we could better help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks, I am encouraged.

I don't know what BIOS is .........something Operating System?

JudyB
 

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Hi Judy,

If you have never dug into a computer's innards or do not have much of an understanding of what makes up a computer, it may be a good idea to have it done professionally or have a friend install your new HD. On the other hand, you may be the type of person who likes to get their hands dirty, so to speak, and even educate yourself while doing.

Anyway, I don't know what you have read, but there should be no issues with using XP on a large HD. XP and Windows 2000 both use the NTFS file system, which is much more efficient than what earlier versions used. There are people who are actually using XP with the older Fat 32 system, and I suppose it is a shaky idea. Also, many people simply upgrade to XP from earlier versions of Windows by getting the cheaper "upgrade" version and loading it over, say, Windows 98. That is also a bad idea. It can cause conflicts with older or incompatible software and hardware. *That* may be part of what you read.

Many people who upgrade to XP don't have fast enough PCs to run it adequately. The BIOS on the motherboard may not be able to handle larger drives. People may not have enough memory to comfortably run XP.

Go into your profile and list what your computer is. Or, just post what you have so we can further advise you. System Information has that info if you don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Musicfreak,

I feel better hearing from a few people that there really should be no problem between XP and a big HD.

I'm not real worried about the actual physical installation. I did open my computer up and install the firewire card for capturing video,(not a big deal I know) and I had to attach a loose connection to my floppy disc mechanism as a techperson on phone walked me through it. I'm handy ...but at the still unclear edge of computer terminology and comprehension.

I presently have 40 GB HD, AMDAnthlon 1.2 GHz processor and XP is my original OS, to which I install upgrades as they come to me.

So, I'm going to go ahead and buy a new 120 HD online.... probably Western Dig or Maxtor. Do you have any suggestions on brands?
Thanks very much for responding.
JudyB
 

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XP is just as stable with FAT32 as it is with NTFS on every PC I've used...and much faster too. I'm not running a business on my PCs so I don't need all the extra security that NTFS offers... you can switch from FAT32 to NTFS if you later decide to but you could corrupt your files switching the otherway (even programs like Partition Magic 8 have warnings about going from NTFS to FAT32 in their help files).

If you plan on doing video editing on huge files then you will need NTFS. FAT32 limits a file to 4GB. (seems like yesterday that was a large hard drive)



The issue with XP and larger hard drives is that it will not partition large drives (over 32gb?) from the XP installation cd with FAT32. You need to FDISK or use the software that will come with your new drive. I'm not recommending FAT32 over NTFS...just stating my experience. You should partition your drive anyway. If you have a crash then you will just need to reinstall the OS and you won't lose all your movie files. You can do that by Fdisking too...as well as 3rd party software. Basically, make a paritition for XPand drivers(I like to use 10-12GB for XP PRO because you need free space and you have lots of it)...then you can set up the other 110gb however you like. Keep in mind, the larger the partition the longer it will take to defrag. I have partitions for XP, movies, programs, music and it takes seconds for me to defrag each using XP's (Diskeeper) defrag program.
 

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I'd make sure you get the 8mb cache model of the WD or Maxtor, it makes a significant difference in performance. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks x5dr...

But I got a little lost.

I hope when I am installing that the "partition" questions are easy to answer. I don't know what kinds of choices will come up on the screen.

Basically I am planning to keep my original HD for my programs, and use the new 120 GB HD for storing my video material.

I don't know what NTFS is....I see NTSC sometimes, obviously not the same. How do I know if I have NTFS or Fat.?

So are you saying I have to partition...or I should partition?

Maybe it won't be complicated.

Thanks, I will get the 8 mg cache.

JudyB
 

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Judy,

It sounds like you're on the right path.

I use Maxtor drives because I have always had good luck with them. Western Digital is fine too. I *have* heard about issues with Segate drives failing, but what I have heard could not be proven. You know, word of mouth...

Anyway, If you do things like movies, large music files, or images, it's a good idea to partition your drive, meaning to make one, two, or more seperate logical or virtual drives. It shows up in Windows as two or more seperate drives. The best way to partition is with your XP installation disc. You will have to do a bit of division math to find out what you want. Like x5dr, I also gave about 10GB for the OS. But I also put the software on it too. My larger partition goes mainly to large music files. One can safely make up to four partitions with Win XP. Some people do not believe in partitions. But, if you are adding a second drive, it's up to you. It may take time to defrag that drive, and NTFS file format generally has smaller clusters, which do become fragmented more often, so you will need a good defragger, like Diskeeper.

When Windows puts files on a HD, it just scatters the info around and causes the sectors on the drive to be fragmented, hence the need for DEfragmentation. I find that with XP I have to do it every day! Allowing a drive to become very fragmented causes the computer to run sluggish. No one wants that!

Buy an ATA drive. don't get a serial ATA, or SATA unless you have a RAID setup, and you know exactly what you are doing. RAID is faster, but comes with a whole new lesson in HD performance and installation.

Installing a new HD is a snap, but follow all documentation for setting it up as a second drive.

And, do NOT use the formatting software that comes with the drive. You don't need it. It also make installation of Win XP risky, and Windows won't recognize any partitions you make with it. In other words, say, if you get a Maxtor drive, DON"T use the MaxxBlast CD ROM! Play frisbee with it or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Musicfreak,

OK, I'm trying to get to the end of the questions and just proceed, but here's a few things I still don't "picture". Hope you will continue to explain:

1) I don't have a CD to install/ re-install XP if it crashes. It was installed in my computer at the factory.
2) what is the "formatting software" that I will use...so as not to use the one that will come with the drive?( as you said) Maybe there will be xp "installation wizards" popping up for me at some point.
3)Why will I be "installing XP" since it is already installed. Does it have to be installed onto the new HD? But how will I do that without any CD.
4) I don't mind partitioning...it's sounds like it helps to keep things organized...if I am prepared for when in the process this task takes place.
5)First I will install. Then reboot. Then look in my "computer" to see where it is? Is that the order of things?

Thanks, JudyB
 

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Basically I am planning to keep my original HD for my programs, and use the new 120 GB HD for storing my video material.

NTFS and FAT32 are the file systems that windows uses. (NT file system).

What do you have now? Rt. click My Computer/Manage/Disk Management....you will see FAT32 or NTFS for FILE SYSTEM.

Maxtor comes with Maxblast that will walk your thru the partitioning/formating process. It is very easy.

Basically, you just need to set jumpers on the back our your hard drives...set the old one to MASTER and the new one to SLAVE...format the new one. It will show up as a blank drive in My Computer.

I do have a suggestion. Since you are buying a newer/faster hard drive you should move everything from your old drive to the new one...then partition the left over space (called UNALLOCATED) and use your older drive as storage. Maxtor's software also walks you thru that process....It is all very simple when it is in front of you but hard to explain. You might find the software instructions on the net. I'll see what I can find.


EDIT: Here it is...the instructions seem a little long but skim thru them and then you'll have a handle on it..you will only be using a few pages out of the 40. (check out page 23 for making it an additional drive...nothing to it).

Maxblast III .pdf
 

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I still recommend that you DO NOT use the MaxxBlast software that comes with the drive. Not only will XP installation probably NOT recognize the partition, but having the overlay may present problems for you in the future. The XP or restore disc will do the formatting and partition. You most likely have NTFS. No problem.

If you got your PC from a manufacturer, you DO have the Windows installation disc, though it may noyt be labled as such. It may be called something like "restore".
 

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I've got to agree with music freak here, I never use the partitioning software that the drive makers give you. It's OK to use their copy utility, but don't install the drive partitioning software.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hello all...

well
1) I found out I have FAT 32 Filing System

So according to what you have jointly said....XP should be just as stable. And faster. Easier to defrag with FAT.

BUT.... that with FAT I am limited to files of 4GB. Just to clarify that for me....a single file? A partition can hold lots of files, but each file limit is 4GB? In my estimation that would be about 20 min of video (average). So...in other words, I wouldn't be able to "capture" more than 20 min of video footage off a 1 hr tape at a time/ as a single file?

x5dr said I could switch from FAT to NTFS, but now this is another project. (?)

Then you said....partitions are limited to 32 gb...from the xp installation...with FAT.. and so......I should use the packaged HD installation software, BUT some have said...DONT use that packaged software. !!!!!?????

So you guys don't agree on which installation to go with, packaged or XP. Meanwhile....WHERE will I find the XP installation anyway....will it just pop up as a "wizard"?

Yes, I have "RESTORE" disc but it will remove everything off my HD.

And x5dr: you suggested I use my new HD for basic programs and store on my old one...why?

and Johnwill: What is "their "copy utility"?

YIKES...I have now begun to feel that I can't do this....that something will go wrong and I won't have my computer at all to seek help. My "tech person" was my son in law...but there's been a split...so....

Ok....If you answer this letter I will see if it settles things and then I won't keep bothering you. Although I know that's what the forum is for...so thanks. JudyB
 

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Oh man! We really did it to you, didn't we?

JudyB said:
Hello all...

well
1) I found out I have FAT 32 Filing System

Not good. Who built this PC, and are you the original owner? How old is it? I'm thinking that your former tech guy converted it to Fat32 for some weird reason.



So according to what you have jointly said....XP should be just as stable. And faster. Easier to defrag with FAT.

No. NTFS is faster and more stable, and easier to defrag. WinXP is NTFS by dafault.


x5dr said I could switch from FAT to NTFS, but now this is another project. (?)

Actually, it's pretty easy. All It takes is two or three mouse clicks.



Then you said....partitions are limited to 32 gb...from the xp installation...with FAT.. and so......I should use the packaged HD installation software, BUT some have said...DONT use that packaged software. !!!!!?????

I just got through dealing with this when installing Windows XP on a new Maxtor drive. Windows XP WILL install on a HD that used the HD installation software, but I did run into problems later. I wiped the HD and simply used the XP disc and only then I was able to do what I wanted to. Most people I talked to who build PCs say not to bother using the software that came with the drive. They are right.



So you guys don't agree on which installation to go with, packaged or XP. Meanwhile....WHERE will I find the XP installation anyway....will it just pop up as a "wizard"?

No. It's your restore disc. Too bad it will wipe out your HD. That's the way the major manufacturers do things. It hel;ps keep the user tied to their products, services, and such. Manufacturers didn't always do this. I've only seen it in the last five years or so. Gateway, HP/Compaq...




And x5dr: you suggested I use my new HD for basic programs and store on my old one...why?

The new one will probably be faster. The old one can be used as a backup in case the main drive fails or becomes corrupt.



and Johnwill: What is "their "copy utility"?

It let's you copy the contens of one drive to another.



YIKES...I have now begun to feel that I can't do this....that something will go wrong and I won't have my computer at all to seek help. My "tech person" was my son in law...but there's been a split...so....

Ok....If you answer this letter I will see if it settles things and then I won't keep bothering you. Although I know that's what the forum is for...so thanks. JudyB
:D

We didn't mean to scare you. It's not *that* difficult at all. But, theses are things that you need to know. It's all part of owning a PC. Methinks that if you are more comfortable in have a pro do it all, go for it. But, you can save money and learn by doing it yourself. WE will walk you through it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Musicfreak,

I bought my computer from Tigerdirect.com, and it is made by Systemax. It was purchased 10/01 so it is not quite 2 yrs. old.

I don't really want to wipe out my present HD.... to reinstall everything.... You know. It's a drag.

But it sounds risky to use the software that the new HD will come with. Hmmm....don't know what to do. Wish it wasn't so complicated. I'm sure it's not, but if you haven't done it before...

Ok....so I just called this tech person I know....and he said he'd come do it all for me for $50. Sounds like a good deal and I do trust him.

I will buy the HD and do that. Thanks sooooo much for your patience and information...I learned alot in general. I'm trying to grasp how the computer functions, but it's slow. Though I'm on it all the time editing video and using photoshop, I just don't get how it works.

I will let you know how it all turns out and what he uses to install.

Best, JudyB
 

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Well, Judy, stand there and watch him. I also hope he knows what he's doing!

But, i'm going to scold you!:D You should be backing up your work! Though all things may seem good, NEVER trust the reliability of your HD 100%. Things DO happen, and they usually happen devistatingly fast! And, you DO update your antivirus every week and have a firewall if it is connected to the internet, right?;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi Musicfreak,
Well, the tech person came...and he installed my new West. Dig. 120 GB HD. He had once been sent here to do some work on my computer as part of my service contract when my computer was new, and I had kept his number. He seemed to be good. I followed what I could, but was just glad to have someone doing it. We decided I would make it just one partition, to capture and store videos. At this point I haven't made use of it yet....so I don't know if it runs smoothly.

I do try to back things up regularly...I do....but I haven't started backing up video work till I'm done with a project..which is a risk...but I'm not sure how I'd go about it. I haven't got a DVD burner yet....which seems like the next thing I should have, and that would solve that issue....as I can back up onto dvd regularly. Right? I am in the process of choosing the INTERNAL dvd drive now, and hope I make a good choice. (DVD +/- r/rw.)
I'm going to remove my present DVD player and replace it with a player/burner. Good idea? I've been using Adobe Premier for editing, and ULead for formatting to DVD, but then putting the DVD format onto CD for now, till I get the dvd burner. I want to be sure that the burner I get is compatible with my other software.

As for security, a few weeks ago when there was a virus scare for xp I went to the microsoft website and clicked on "upgrading" my security. So now I "hope" I have what I need. I don't do ANY weekly anti anything...don't actually know if I have any anti virus or firewall! Is there a way for me to know what I have if I haven't installed it myself? Doesn't it come automatically? I have Road Runner cable as my provider.

so.....moving on to new questions........ thanks, JudyB
 

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Nice to see all is well!

This next comment belongs in the antivirus or security section, but if you are on high speed you MUST have either a firewall or router! MUST! Usually, an antivirus icon appears on the taskbar on your desktop in the lower right hand side with the time clock. If it's there, yoiu have to update that sucker every week, and re-subscribe every year. Windows does not ship with an antivirus like the old days, but either bundled software has limited or trial versions of it, or the PC maker installed one for you. But, either way, you have to keep it updated. If you don't have one, RUN to the store and BUY one, then update it! You can get firewalls at the store or download one. You could download Zone Alarm or Black-Ice off the 'net, but I favor Norton.

DVD-burning and video on the PC is the next thing I have to get into.

You could teach me a few things if I don't figure it all out. I am usually good at learning things on my own.
 
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