This hard drive wasn't in a computer initially owned by me but my brother, When my brother went to university, I think this must have been 8-9? years a go they bought him a computer to take with him to complete his assignments on which subsequently to him finishing had just been dumped in our house with no one using it i thought maybe i should take a look to see what was on it, quite honestly i never expected it to still work.
When i turned the computer on i was welcomed by a computer refusing to boot up no matter what i did, at this point i thought that i am probably going to be unsuccessful and that i should probably give up but i was feeling resilient. I decided to pull the HDD out the computer and plug it into my other desktop. After a little bit of time i had two opened up computers and my desktop had a new hard disk drive, plugged in. New it to it, but very old anyway. When clicking on my computer i noticed that the computer had a new "device" plugged in. I was quite pleased and surprised to find the hard drive was still working and in good condition as it was opening files fairly quickly for something made back then. I managed to find and recover all of my brother's old photo's, documents, videos and other items back from when he was at university so i think he was pleased about that. everyone was surprised about the amount of time the drive had survived and quite honestly after witnessing this would use maxtor if i ever saw them cheap when i needed another drive.
In conclusion if you're looking for a hard disk drive for an older PC or you could even use it in a newer computer if you got an IDE cable to SATA cable converter with a small (20 GB ) memory storage space then this is a good choice as this things really does seem indestructible. Great value for money
Small storage space
I am having to write this for the second time as I spent so long doing it the first time that It timed me out and I lost ALL my info!! How annoying is that?! I have written before in MS Word first, and copied them over but it puts a ? for every single apostrophe and I found it tedious having to trawl through and correct them-but not half as annoying as having to so the WHOLE opinion again-perhaps I will have to write an opinion on that as well! Ok well I decided that the 6.4gb hard drive in my 3-year-old Compaq Presario was too small for my current needs, and had been for a while in fact. When I bought my PC 6.4gb was huge; the biggest size back then was around 10-12GB. Now it's closer to 160gb! Quite a change. I did plenty of research online before deciding what to buy-I recommend anyone to so this before buying ANYTHING, theres so much good information out there which can be found on most good search engines, and of course Dooyoo! My existing drive was a Quantum "Bigfoot" 6.4gb Drive with a 5.25-inch width (same as a standard size CD drive)-very unusual for a machine less than 3 years old, and positively ancient. The newer drives are all 3.5 inches width so I knew I would need some mounting brackets to connect the drive to my 5.25 inch drive bay inside the PC- My PC has a tiny mini tower and I had already used the spare drive bay to install a CD rewriter, so I would need to replace the existing hard drive with the new one. I decided to check out Quantum's web pages first to see what they offered-I found that they no longer make internal PC drives and that Maxtor now look after tech support for Quantum hard drives, so I had a look there. I was impressed- Masses of technical info on loads of drives including my own, good knowledge base, downloadable software, UK tech support number etc-excellent. My old drive was a 5400RPM spin speed unit with an "ATA 33" interface and seek time of 12ms. Basicall
y the faster the RPM speed the faster the disk will run and overall data access/transfer will be faster (most disks are either 5400 or 7200rpm speed)-Interfaces on modern disks are ATA100 and ATA 133 which also contrubute to faster transfer than the older ATA33 and ATA66 interfaces-as long as your PC supports them-mine does not (ATA33). The ATA 100 and ATA 133 drives will however work with PC's whose intefaces are older, such as mine-ATA33. The seek time is the time it takes to find the info, 12ms(milliseconds) is average, some drives do 5ms, but most are between 6-12 ms. As My PC is "older" I didnt need a top spec drive, just something which would do the job, was good value and good quality. I decided that a 20GB drive would be perfectly adequate for my needs, as I will not be doing any Digital video editing or storing films on my PC, which take up huge amounts of space. Its the sum of the parts that matter rather than the individual parts themselves! My PC wouldnt take advantage of the faster Interfaces and greater storage spaces such as 40GB and up. By the time I got round to using that I would be getting another PC and anyway I could always get a 200Gb in few years if I really needed! And I had managed with 6GB for 3 years! I did check out reviews, prices and specs of other makes and manufacturers, such as IBM, Seagate and Western Digital but found that Maxtor came out top in each category. I havent seen a bad review of Maxtor drives anywhere-unlike some of the others. The other consideration I had was that my PC uses WIN98 (1st edition) and the Compaq technobods had advised that the system BIOS, (unable to be upgraded after checking) may not recognise a disk bigger than 10GB, so I may need to format it with FDISK, or the software that comes with the drive itself. FDISK can be found on a WIN98 Start-up Floppy disk, which you are recommended to create in case you are unable to get into Windows the normal way.
I decided on the Maxtor and downloaded the free "Maxblast" software in case of any problems with using FDISK (although this wasnt needed, see below). The Maxblast software looked quite long winded to use so I would recommend using FDISK if you can-its easy enough. It was then a case of where to buy from and how much it would cost. You can buy hard drives either as "retail" packs which include a cable, software and mounting brackets for fixing, or as a "bare" drive, which is just the drive on its own. I notice that many of the pictures show the drives as actually bare-ie with no cover on-dont be peturbed by this! Its just for illustration and the actual drive is the same as those in the retail packs- covered. As I already had a cable and the software, it was just a case of finding some mounting brackets which I managed to pick up at my Local Maplin store for £4 which fit all configurations judging by the number of screw holes in them! The cheapest I had seen the drive was £57.99 at PC world and Jungle. As I wanted one there and then I rang PC world to ask how much it was instore- the same! I went over and found the bare drives in brown cardboard boxes, along with other things such as sound cards and CD drives, under the "component centre" sign. There was a good range of drives, including a 40GB for only £10 more than mine, and a 7200RPM version of mine again for £10 more, but as already discussed I wanted the cheapest, best value drive I could get and I wasnt bothered about the faster speeds or extra space as I knew the 5400, 20GB would be perfect for my needs. I also noticed that the retail packs were as much as £50 more than their bare drive counterparts-a lot extra to pay just for software which is free on the web, a cable and fixing brackets. All I had to do to fit the drive was to enable the jumper on the back of the drive to the same setting as my old hard drive-the in
fo on this is on the drive itself of where to put the jumpers- I used "cable select" as my old drive was set to this also- which lets the cable tell the system how to recognise the drive, the other settings are master or slave. Be sure to check your system first to see what you need to set it as. I make sure I was grounded by wearing an anti-static wrist strap to stop any static, attached the brackets to the drive and then the drive to the Drive bay- 4 screws either side and its done-although I did breath a sigh of relief when I realised that the brackets which I had been assured to fit, DID actually fit! Usually theres something that crops up when I do this sort of thing, as Compaq, although good, sometimes make their systems awkward to upgrade. Then it was just a case of plugging the power cable and EIDE cable into the new drive, and away we go! I was pleasantly surprised that my system recognised the drive immediately so that no partitioning was needed (I think 32Gb is the max without needing to partition for WIN98), all I needed to do was put the Windows 98 floppy in, wait a second for it to start, type FDISK, then choose option 1, then option 1 again, and format the drive, which was recognised at 19548 Mb, only 52 Mb short of the 20GB, I think this is due to the way in which GB are measure, there's a slight difference). All I then needed to do was reload the software from the Compaq "quick restore" CD I had, which also has Win98 on (it doesnt tell you on the sleeve though-I had to check that WIN98 was on there, as The Dixons coverplan people said it wasnt!!! But Compaq confirmed that it was indeed on-thank goodness for that). I needed to unplug my CD rewriter before this would work as the CD itself wouldnt find my original Compaq CD drive other-wise, but this was simple enough, and everything was loaded on to my new drive after which I could plug the CD Rewriter back in and load up its softwar
e. In use the drive is extremely quiet-the marketing is right for once-I can barely hear anything even with the PC hood off-silence! My old drive wasnt extremely noisy but did "creak" a bit. Its almost like having double-glazing put in your PC! Excellent. Data speed and transfer is good, just as fast if not faster than my older drive. Its not the fastest or biggest drive I could have got, but is perfectly suited to my system. I would highly recommend this drive to anyone with an "older" system like mine who needs a top quality drive at a great price.
With my PackardBell imedia 6200 running Windows ME some 15 months old now, I decided to get myself an extra Hard Drive to use as a back-up and additional storage space. Currently I have a 20gig unit and a credit card that is a real wimp so I opted for a similar sized Disk and paid cash. I toyed with the idea of buying it on-line but I wanted it now and wasn’t prepared to wait for our esteemed postal services to try an lose it en route so as I was in the area of our almost local PC World I made my purchase there. The selection was varied with a good stock of 20gig units at £79.99 and the salesman assured me that fitting it was simple enough with precise instructions included and all necessary bits and pieces to do so but he did add that for £24.50 the Hard Drive could be fitted for me. So I came away with a Maxtor 5,400 rpm Hard Drive and saved myself a few quid. After all just how difficult could it be to install an extra Hard Drive? Encased in its own sealed anti-static bag, the Hard Drive was sandwiched between two large pieces of foam with the manual and install disk on top and the Interface lead, brackets and screws snuggle down to one side. The manual named “DiamondMax Multi-lingual Hard Drive Installation Guide” was printed in 7 European languages with a set of FAQ’s to aid the new owner. Apart from reading the manual the first step is to tell your computer that an extra hard Drive is about to be installed and for this purpose a floppy disk was supplied. I have always been in the habit of making a copy of any software that I have bought and I would suggest that the reader should make a copy of the install disk and use IT rather than the master. Put the master back in the box. Booting up on the floppy enabled the user to go through the required procedure, which meant signifying that the additional Hard Drive would be the PRIMARY SLAVE and I was given the opportunity to print out all the instal
lation instructions. Except that for some reason the instructions would not print although there was nothing wrong with the printer etc. The instructions suggested that it would be prudent to allow the Hard Drive to reach room temperature before use but don’t be tempted to put it on or near a heat source, like a radiator. An hour or so next to your computer should be long enough. The instructions also stated that the Hard Drive should be handled with care, not dropped and the side with the printed circuit board showing should not be touched. It was OK to hold it by the edges. Off course wearing an earthing strap is recommended but not necessary unless you intend to finger the chips and things on the circuit board The next stage was to set the jumper links to ensure that the Hard Drive would be the PRIMARY SLAVE and this is where there was a major conflict. The screen instructions showed one particular position for the jumper links, the manual had a different configuration and on the HARD drive itself was yet another different configuration. To cut a long story short it turned out that the jumper positions as displayed on the actual Hard Drive were the correct ones. Ordinarily the Hard Drive would be secured into a vacant bay but when I installed it into such a spot the interface lead wasn’t long enough to connect both Disks together AND stretch to the motherboard. So plan “B” was brought into action. My existing Hard Drive was secured in a large “U” shaped bracket at the bottom of the tower well away from the bays but there was plenty of room to fit an additional unit, although it meant drilling four fixing holes in the “U” frame. One thing that surprised me was that the existing power lead to the existing Hard Drive had a parallel off shoot ready to power any additional Hard Drive, as did other Devices in the tower. So before buying an extra hard drive I would suggest that you open up the to
wer first to see where you can secure it and to ascertain if your tower also has a power lead available. Some older towers do not. It could save you a special trip back to the store the next day. The power and interface connectors can only be fitted one way and they should be pushed straight in firmly. The pins can be bent very easily so take a great deal of care in this operation. With everything installed and secure I would recommend leaving off any removed covers for the time being on the off chance that you have to go back inside and push the leads in properly or adjust the jumpers as I had to do. Booting up on the install disk gives you the opportunity to partition and format your new Hard Drive to your own requirements. Again the instructions were straightforward although the manual’s instructions didn’t work for me. My original or PRIMARY MASTER Hard Drive has two partitions: Local Disk C: at 17.6gig and Local Disk D: at 1.37gig. Yes I know that that does not add up to 20gigs but the ‘missing’ 1.03gig is where the factory restore data is stored and it cannot be got at by normal means. So as I am intending to experiment with Amiga emulation I partitioned my additional Hard Drive into 3 partitions: Local Disk E: at 10gig for the Amiga emulation software, Local Disk F: at 5gig for data back-up, Local Disk G: at 5gig a a spare. However upon completion I noticed that Local Disk D: at 1.37gig had been re-named to Local Disk E: and Local Disk E: at 10gig had been renamed to Local disk D: Why this should be so I have no idea and maybe some genius out there can explain it to me. Although in situ only for a few days the extra Hard Drive works well and data transfer from one to the other is as fast as it is transferring data from one partition on one Hard Drive to another partition on the same drive.