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Installing & partitioning a second hard disk drive

2445 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  bel_ami_boy
I’ve just purchased a 200GB Seagate hard disk drive that I want to install in my PC as a second hard disk. This’ll be the first time I’ve attempted to install a hard disk myself and I need a bit of advice please.

I’d like to partition the new hard disk into something like 8 parts (i.e. 25GB each). I was advised by a work colleague to store a backup copy of Windows on one of the partitions and allow the hard disk to be bootable in case my main ‘C’ drive ever went wrong. Have I been given good advice here?

I’ve been to Seagate’s web site and printed off some useful info about installing a hard drive using Windows XP Disk Management (, but I’m not sure what to do when I reach the ‘New Partition Wizard’. I am unsure what options to choose on each of the screens to enable me to get the end result I’m looking for. Do I first need to create a Primary Partition for the Windows files to go in and then create extended partitions for the remaining 7 partitions? How do I know what size to create the primary partition?

When I get to the screen about assigning drive letters is it ok for me to reassign existing drive letters to my new partitions? Currently my CD-RW drive is ‘D’ and my DVD-RW drive is ‘E’. If I reassign these to my new hard drive partitions will Windows XP designate new drive letters for the CD-RW and DVD-RW automatically or do I need to do something?

Once I’ve successfully got the second hard disk up and running, which Windows files do I need to put in the primary partition and where are these located? I don’t have a Windows XP CD but instead have a Mesh (Manufacturers) Recovery Disk.

Really appreciate your help.

My PC spec is:
Windows XP with SP1
Pentium 4, 2.4Ghz processor
Asus P4S8X ATX Motherboard
1.5GB PC2700 RAM
80GB HDD (7200RPM) with 2Mb Buffer
1.44MB 3.5” Floppy Disk
Teac CD-W548E 40X12X48 IDE CD Re-Writer
Samsung TS-H552B IDE DVD Re-Writer
128MB Nvidia Geforce4 Ti4200 Graphics Card
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Sound Card
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Welcome to TSF:

You have done a fine job of researching and asking all the right questions.

To answer you question about the back-up copy of your windows OS your colleague advised you properly. I strongly advise you use (it lets you try the prog for free) its called hard drive cloning >>> the beautiful thing about cloning is you can back-up your whole boot hard drive in case you ever have a melt down (happens frequently >> watch how many posters come in here in terror because they lost their boot drive and ALL data !!! not fun >> been there done that I didnt really like it either !!) This prog is super easy to use ~~ only two screens for you to interact with ~~ its all done within windows too !!!! pay close attention to the advanced tab within the main console / you must enter the advanced tab and place a check mark in the write.ini boot something ????? and MBR (three check boxes ) thats just about it ~~~ other then the primary console asking what drive the source (boot drive) what drive is the target (where do you want the copy to go )

now on to partitioning:

I cant remember the exact limit on partitions but I think its four ?????

read this link well and then please come back with more questions

please be patient with this endeavor / its not that hard to do / but its a lot of info to digest for your first time !!!

I strongly suggest you opt for FAT32 file system / only because you can use a WIN ME boot disk (allows f-disking large drives) and it has several options where you can keep checking what you have done / windows XP can be used for partition work and making logical drives but I will warn you right up front / its much harder to follow what is being done as you are doing it / and undoing or deleting partitions is not as easy to follow as fdisk by any means / win xp does however format with NTFS which is favored by experienced computer users although I dont think you will ever see the benefits yourself until the near future and master the partition & formatting world.

the guide above is very easy to follow / I think for the benefits you will achieve by using fdisk far outweigh the benefits of NTFS

as for your cd-rom and dvd drives / they will automatically get assigned new & proper drive letters once you have finished partitioning and formation of logical drives

dont hesitate to ask more questions / and I hope you enjoy this endeavor ~~ its overwhelming at first but very rewarding after you have accomplished your goals

PS when in fdisk or any other partitioning software I use percentage numbers to assign drive space rather than get all balled up in math of drive space assignment

example = 20% of a 200 gig drive = 40 gigs rather than insert an answer like 1024 x 40 = 40,960 bytes

you can get a WIN ME bootdisk for free at that has the fdisk in it / pay close attention while reading the fdisk guide / all partiion work and logical drive assignment is done in the step 1 step 2 step 3 process thats how fdisk is made you will need to use the options in a 1,2,3 order

becareful you dont fdisk you boot drive

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linderman said:
I cant remember the exact limit on partitions but I think its four ?????
This is correct
Thanks for the confirmation Joe. I wasnt sure its been awhile since I pushed the partitions to the max :)


Linderman - many thanks for your posting. I will take a look at the link you suggested and get back to you. I'm off on holiday from this afternoon for 9 days but will post back on this thread when I return. Thanks. :smile:
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