Advice please re impending HDD upgrade.

3 replies [Last post]
david fuller
Joined: Jun 19 1999

My system is a Cyrix6X86-300M2 on an intel i430TX chipset motherboard, with 96Mb RAM running Win95 OSR2.5 (recently upgraded from Win95 original issue courtesey . Primary IDE Master has 1.3GB HDD, partitioned as C: and E:, and Slave has 8.4GB HDD partitioned (2.1GB each) as D:, F:, G:, and H . C: and D: contain programme files whilst the others are data only. Secondary IDE has CD-ROM (Disc I and CD-ROM Writer (Disc J

For video editing, I intend to install a big drive (at least 20GB) on the Prim Slave, having moved my 8.4GB to the Prim. Master position. I presume that the system will automatically relabel the drives on the 8.4GB as C: E:, F:, and G:, and the new drive will become D: and possibly H etc. QUESTION 1: IS THIS PRESUMPTION CORRECT?

To minimise reinstallation of application programmes (and to ensure proper run-up of Windows), before I start I shall copy whole of current C: drive contents to current D: drive (which I believe will become new C: drive). I will probably park the contents of current D: drive on current H: drive (are you still with me?), ready to move to my new D: drive. Being tight fisted/retired, I would like to avoid laying out £50 or so on software such as 'Partition Magic' just for this one upgrade. QUESTION 2: Given recommendations to keepo the video editing data disc 'clean' is it OK to partition this with a relatively small (say 1.5GB) D: drive for non video application programmes and use the remaining space (18MB plus) as my clean disc? Or should I reinstall all my present D: drive applications anew.

I note a possible alternative solution, suggested at , involving editing the registry (!!!) to achieve drive letter relabelling. QUESTION3: Has anyone practicable experience of this?

QUESTION 4: What limitations will there be on partition size with my new disc? If none, should I nevertheless break it up into more manageable discs?

Thanks for staying with me this far. Even more thanks in advance for any (even partial) answers.

Regards David Fuller

Mark Brookes
Joined: Apr 26 1999


Q1:Yes your drive letter presumptions are correct

Q2: You can partition your new disk as you suggest but I think the general consensus is that it is better to keep the disk you are capturing video to free from any other use and re-install the software currntly on D: to the drive that will become E:

Q3: Do not edit the registry, it is a very risky thing to do. The scale of the task you propose doing multiple changes, albeit only to drive letters is highly likely to have one or more errors introduced which may prevent your PC form working without a complete re-install of Windows and all software. Dont do it!! Registry editing is only recommended if you know how to recover your PC should it all go horribly wrong.

Q4: You motherboard (according to Intel) supports UDMA and you should be able to partition your new 20Gb+ disk as a single partition if you want to.

My suggested order of doing the upgrade
1: Copy D: to H: (as a backup)
2: Copy C: to D:
3: Remove 1.3Gb Primary master and disconnect the CD rom form the secondary IDE channel.
4: Set 8.4Gb Primary slave to master
5: Boot from floppy (Win 95 bootable floppy) and run FDISK to set the first partition (C on the 8.4Gb as the Active partion. (otherwise your PC will probably fail to boot giving the error 'No active boot partition found' or words to that effect). Do not delete any partitions.
6: Reboot from hard disk. Should boot OK but not be able to run your application that were previouslyon D:.
7: Install your new disk as either Primary Slave or Seconary master (there has been quite a lot of discussion on this BB about the merits of each. You may have to 'Suck it and see' to find which performs best but this is a post set up task anyway).
8: Partition and format your new disk as required.
9: Reconnect CD ROM onto the IDE channel that does not have your new (Video) drive on.
10: Reinstall software onto E: (you may find that some apllications may not need re-installing but just require the paths editing in the start menus to reflect their new location).
11: Run scandisk on the new drive to prove it is perfectly OK.

12: Let us know how you got on.

Have fun.


Joined: Aug 27 1999

One little thing about the drive letter assignment. This applies to DOS/WIN9x/NT and so on...

Consider the following:

Both first and second drive has 1 primary partition and 2 logical partitions. The first drive would then get the drive-letters C, E, F and the second D, G, H. That is because the operating system sorts first all primary partitions (of all drives) and then the logical. To avoid this you just don't make any primary partitions on the second drive. Just make one extended partition and then create as many logical as you want. The only (?) reason to have primary partitions is that they're needed to boot from.

Hope this helps!



Joined: Mar 7 1999

One little tip. Whenever I do this I find myself unable to remember for certain which was was what. Therefore, before starting, I go to the root of each drive and create a folder that tells me what the drive used to be.

So, on the old C: drive I'd create a folder called "1 was C", on the D: drive I'd create a folder called, "1 was D", and so on.

It really can make a big difference.

Bob C