Internal hard drive

    Hi all

    I'm looking for a second hard drive for my PC as I'm planning on making it a Personal Video Recorder, as the DVD recorders out there just don't do everything I need...

    I'm not too savvy on what's a good HD brand, and what features are required (8mb cache etc...). What I do know is that I want at least 200Mb space, it should be reliable with a decent warranty and fast enough to meet my PVR requirements.

    My PC is a modern HP with a P4 3.0 processor if that helps...

    Any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Oh, and as it's a secondary drive, will I need any additional cables etc??



    All the named brands are good, like Maxtor, Seagate, Western Digital etc. This Maxtor 80GB would meet your requirements and its only £35…P80

    The existing ribbon cable in your PC should have two 'plugs' on it, one end is plugged into your motherboard, the other end plugs into your master HDD. The 'plug' halfway down is for a slave HDD. On the back of the HDD you'll see some little jumper pins and a small jumper which sets the HDD to slave, master, cable etc. There will be a diagram on the body of the HDD on how to place the jumper.

    This is a simple DIY job. Switch the PC off, take the cover off, locate your existing HDD and slip the new one into the shelf above or below it. Screw it in place with 2 screws each side, connect the power plug (only goes in one way), connect the ribbon 'plug' (only goes in one way) not forgetting to check that the jumpers are set for master & slave.
    Put the cover back on, plug in the power, switch it on and wait for your OS (XP?) to detect a new secondary HDD and then you need to format it.


    Before you are going to buy disks, take a look at your motherboard - what connector for HDDs do you have on it? If it is small narrow one then it is SATA. If it is wide one just like for DVD drive, then it is PATA (Parallel).
    Once you identified the interface, your research is simple - any modern drive would suit your requirements (do check for interface!). IBM/Hitachi are ones to avoid - they are extremely fast but unfortunately they find their way to scrapyard even faster. I personally went for Western Digital recently but that just because I had sone historical issues with Seagate and Maxtor. New Samsungs are also very good. Fujitsu (are they still in HDD business?) and Excelstore should be avoided at all cost.

    I agree with mikewot that it is very easy to add disk to any modern PC as long as there is enough space in HDD caddy and free interface. However, opening your HP could invalidate warranty. Also, you must be administrator on this machine to format disks (im most cases).
    Avoid connecting new disk on the same channel as DVD drive - it will significantly slow HDD down.

    Original Poster

    Mikewot / Kommunist,

    Thanks for your replies - Karma to you both :-)

    Doh - I put 200Mb in my original mail, as opposed to 200Gb!! Just did a system check and I've currently got a Western Digital Caviar WD2000JD 200Gb which is a SATA drive - can I assume that I'll need another SATA one then? Would you suggest that I go with another WD one? Do they typically come with the power adaptors and ribbon plug, or should I buy them separately as well?


    Sorry Sach,
    200Gb drives are above my knowledge base, I'll have to bow out of this discussion gracefully! I've never had a problem with a Western Digital drive though



    As to SATA - it really depends on whether you've got free SATA port and power supply. If not, then check for PATA (IDE) connector on your motherboard - sometimes manufacturers include both SATA and PATA.

    Regarding cable questions - if you are buying OEM disk (as everyone does) then you are getting disk itself and nothing more than that. If you want bells and whistles, then pay for retail package and you might find cable there.
    Do check that your power supply got spare SATA power cable!

    eBuyer is selling SATA cables for an enormous sum of 69p (inc VAT). Quickfind 88121
    If money is not a first priority, you can get WD2500KS (SATA2/300, 16MB, 7200) for 84 quid (QF 94403). If money matters, then for 10 quid less you can get WD2500JD (SATA/150, 8MB, 7200).

    This is just an example of what you can buy - do your own price research - you might find better prices.

    Get a seagate, 5 year warranty :thumbsup:
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