CAMP 551 (18/11/08)
Make Do and Mend, part 3
by your screwdrivers! This week we're going to try and save you some money and
breathe new life into your ageing desktop PC by installing a new hard disc drive.
have been following this short series you should have your new replacement
drive in front of you. Familiarise yourself with the layout of the sockets for
the data and power cables and the mounting holes on the side but try and keep
it in its protective anti-static bag or packing and avoid handing it until it
is actually needed - more on that in a moment. If it is an IDE type hard drive
(see part 2) and you are going to be carrying out a fresh installation of
Windows check that it is set to 'Master' mode. There should be a small diagram
on the drive, or stamped into the metalwork, showing the position of the
'jumpers' for Slave, Master and Cable Select modes.
are no Master/Slave settings to worry about on SATA drives. Drive status is
determined by the socket it is plugged into on the motherboard. The Primary
drive normally connects to Channel 1, so if you are cloning your current drive,
you will connect the new one to Channel 2 and when you want to use it as your
primary drive connect it to Channel 1.
are starting from scratch and installing Windows on a new drive you can leave
the old drive in situ but you should temporarily disconnect the power and data
cables. Afterwards you can reconnect it so you can transfer your data and files
to the new drive and if it is an IDE type drive make sure the jumpers are set
to Slave mode. Alternatively, remove the old drive and fit it in an external
USB drive housing; these cost from £10 - £25 from online sellers, depending
whether your drive is an IDE or SATA type.
are going to clone or mirror your old drive then you should leave the old drive
in place, and make sure that you have a second data cable so that both drives
can be connected to the motherboard. (One is normally supplied with a new
now ready to begin so start by making sure you have plenty of room to work in,
and the area is well lit, so you'll be able to see inside the dark recesses of
the case. Disconnect the PC from the mains. Some experts suggest leaving it
plugged in but switched off at the socket, so that the case remains earthed.
This is supposed to minimise the risk of damaging delicate electronic
components through static discharge from your body or clothes. However, if your
wall sockets have been wired incorrectly - and it's not that unusual,
apparently -- there is a small chance you could get a shock if you are very
careless or unlucky. It's up to you but I say better safe than sorry so unplug
the PC from the mains - see also this week's Top Tip.
now remove the lid, put it to one side and locate the empty 'bay' for your new
drive. You should also find a spare power cable dangling or tied back inside
the case and note the position of the IDE or SATA sockets on the motherboard
that you will be using. If you can't make out the marking or numbers use a
torch, or refer to the layout diagram in the motherboard manual. To gain access
to the bay you might have to move some cables out of the way to get at it, if
so try not to accidentally unplug anything.
there is plenty of room behind the drive you can plug in the power and data
cables before you slide it into the bay, it's usually easier than trying to do
it when the drive is in place. There's no chance of mixing up the cables and both
IDE and SATA power and data cables different sizes and are 'keyed' so they
cannot be mixed up or connected the wrong way around. Plugs should fit easily
into sockets, never, ever force them or you will break something.
the drive is in place line up the holes on the side with the slots in the bay,
there should be two per side, and screw it in place. Don't over-tighten them as
the threads are easily stripped. You can now connect the data cable from the
rear of the drive to the relevant socket on the motherboard. If you haven't
already done so, insert the power plug. One last thing, if you are installing
Windows on a new drive make sure any other hard drives are disconnected and if
you have a memory card reader or front-mounted USB socket bay unplug that as
well for the duration. This avoids any problems with Windows assigning the new
drive an awkward drive letter, like G: of F:. Do a final check to make sure
everything is where it should be, refit the lid and you are ready to clone your
drive or install Windows.
Week - Make-do and Mend. Part 4
Master/Slave drive select system, requiring compatible data cable and
motherboard BIOS support
connector or shorting link, used to configure setup parameters on disc drives
Master hard disc drive in a PC is normally the one that contains the boot files
and operating system (i.e. Windows). Slave drives are usually just used to
30 years of handing static-sensitive devices, and despite several deliberate
attempts, I have never managed to zap anything. Modern electronic devices are
very well protected, nevertheless it can happen, so be careful. Always touch a
radiator or earthed metal object before you start and avoid touching any
connecting pins or exposed components and all should be well.
are worried, or you have an electric personality and sparks fly from your
fingers whenever you touch metal objects then you should buy an anti-static
wrist strap. These cost from around £5 and can be purchased from PC components
suppliers and shops like Maplin.
forget, there's a full archive of previous Boot Camp Top Tips at
Maybury 2008, 2210