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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Question Installing internal hard drive

    I'm looking for some experienced Lounge advice - again! Had thought of adding this to my original post re. hard drive health, but decided it was better in a new thread.

    Background:
    • I am a user of a computer, not a technical expert and have never opened a PC case.
    • I have just ordered a new internal hard drive which needs to be installed into an open bay in my HP PC. It will become my new "C" drive and the current hard drive will become an internal backup. The installed drive has been steadily degrading in Health (from 97% to 49% since August) and Loungers have advised replacing it just in case.
    • my usual tech help guy has retired and isn't available to help me with this.


    Question:
    Would it be advisable to attempt this hardware task myself, with help from the Lounge (and maybe the HP support site, which has step by step directions)?

    I know I need to determine the length of SATA cable I need and purchase it. My biggest worry is the warning about static electricity and possibly frying my whole system!

    Am trying to get a feel as to whether this is a learning experience or a darn stupid idea!

    Thanks for any suggestions or input!

    Linda

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    First off, give us the exact make and model of your PC, and I'll search for a schematic diagram on the case layout and motherboard.
    This will provide a look at your computer without actually opening the case, for now. After looking at the diagrams it's often easier
    to get an idea of how long your cables will need to be, and what configuration your drive bays are in.

    Dell and HP often provide these buried in their websites that can be quite helpful when attempting to change out parts and so on.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  4. #3
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Hi Linda, the second thing I would do is make a system backup of the drive to be replaced, preferably using Acronis TIH One Click back-up method. Then do a back up of any partitions. First read this, HP.pdf
    I don't recommend using your old drive. It's much easier using a USB HDD.
    REMEMBER, the bigger C:drive is the more it holds and backups take ages to complete and are very large.
    Here's how I do things:-

    My 2 pc's have rather small hdd's (1 in each), My C: Drive's are 45gb with nothing I can't replace put in it. I have 4 large external hdd's where I store everything I don't want to lose. I also have copies on D: Drive (Partitions) for quick access to them.
    I use Acronis 2010 and only do 'One Click' back-ups which is a 'Systembackup'. All done to separate folders, named as the back-up date.
    e.g. if I intend testing a program, I do a back-up first, then if its to be removed, I do a 'Restore'. This is one of two ways to remove a program completely & safely, without damaging my pc's registry. The other way is a clean install.
    Back-ups & Restores are done within Windows as recommended by Acronis.
    George's PC Specs. / Laptop. Desktop.

  5. #4
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Linda:

    If you have never opened a PC case and you are non-technical, this will be a chore for you, even with the expert help that everyone here will give you. However, you can learn a lot from the experience. If you disconnect the current drive and then connect the new drive, and THEN install Windows, you can't go wrong, because in a worst-case scenario, if you mess something up during the install (not likely, but possible), all you need to do is swap back to your original drive, and you're back in business.

    The easiest thing to do would be to do a backup of the old drive, swap drives, and then do a restore to the new drive.

    However, the best thing to do would be a clean install of Windows onto the new drive. Even though it sounds daunting, I believe that you can do it.

    If that's what you choose to do, here's how to do it:

    Do a complete backup of your system.

    Power down, remove the old hard drive, and connect the new hard drive in its place. Put the old hard drive in a safe place. Power up.

    You'll need to decide which version of Windows to install. After installing Windows, you will need to do a Windows Update and install all of the latest updates from Microsoft.

    You will then need to install an anti-virus / anti-malware program, update it, and then make sure it is continually running in the background. If you're not sure which one to install, install Microsoft Security Essentials for now. (It's free.)

    You will now need to install whatever software you want to install.

    Now you can power down and connect your old drive. It will become the secondary drive, since you have installed Windows on the other drive. It will be easy then to copy stuff from the old drive to the new drive.

    If you are sure that you made a good backup, you can clean everything off of the old drive and then use it for backups, like you said.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2012-12-12 at 15:27.

  6. #5
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    Reply #1

    WOW! Regardless of how often it happens - and it happens often! - I'm constantly amazed (and delighted) by the knowledge and support you all offer. Thank you!

    I'm going to reply to Clint first; then, digest the other replies and post back ... I'm actually getting excited about maybe being able to accomplish this myself, slowly and one careful step at a time!

    Clint: The computer is a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion p6620f purchased December 2010. Other specs:
    • 6 GB memory
    • 1 TB hard drive, the problem child (38 bad sectors, 48% today)
    • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
    • AMD Phenom II 820 quad-core

    Is that enough? ... and many thanks.

    Linda

  7. #6
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Linda:

    I think Clint would agree with me that you can install your same copy of Windows onto the new drive. The age of the computer, the amount of memory, and the size of the hard drive, are all more than enough.

    Also, after you have completely finished with all of the steps I outlined above, it would be a good idea to format the old drive before using it. This will likely clear up all of the bad sectors. That is, unless it is a physically bad drive, in which case you don't want to use it.

    Before you do the format, double and triple check that you are formatting the old drive. It would be a disaster to accidentally format the new drive after you have taken all of the time to set everything up.

    Jim
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2012-12-14 at 11:38.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Linda:

    If you have never opened a PC case and you are non-technical, this will be a chore for you, even with the expert help that everyone here will give you. However, you can learn a lot from the experience. If you disconnect the current drive and then connect the new drive, and THEN install Windows, you can't go wrong, because in a worst-case scenario, if you mess something up during the install (not likely, but possible), all you need to do is swap back to your original drive, and you're back in business.

    The easiest thing to do would be to do a backup of the old drive, swap drives, and then do a restore to the new drive.

    However, the best thing to do would be a clean install of Windows onto the new drive. Even though it sounds daunting, I believe that you can do it.

    If that's what you choose to do, here's how to do it:

    Do a complete backup of your system.

    Power down, remove the old hard drive, and connect the new hard drive in its place. Put the old hard drive in a safe place. Power up.

    You'll need to decide which version of Windows to install. After installing Windows, you will need to do a Windows Update and install all of the latest updates from Microsoft.

    You will then need to install an anti-virus / anti-malware program, update it, and then make sure it is continually running in the background. If you're not sure which one to install, install Microsoft Security Essentials for now. (It's free.)

    You will now need to install whatever software you want to install.

    Now you can power down and connect your old drive. It will become the secondary drive, since you have installed Windows on the other drive. It will be easy then to copy stuff from the old drive to the new drive.

    If you are sure that you made a good backup, you can clean everything off of the old drive and then use it for backups, like you said.
    If he has been told his drive may be failing it is not a good idea to use it for backups as you can be certain that when he comes to need to restore from a backup that will be the time the drive fails complely.
    Could use it for backups of non essential stuff though.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    HP Pavilion p6620f Desktop PC Product Specifications

    The links I have provided should more accurately display the innards of your case and the specs of your model series.
    I highly recommend immersing yourself in as much information as possible regarding the task your looking
    to undertake. (successfully replacing a hard drive)

    Planning and getting as much information before hand is the key to success in any endeavor.

    Compare your case to the images in the included PDF link. Start simply by just opening your case to get
    a look at the layout. Become familiar with your own case layout as a first step.


    *You will have a total of 3 internal drive bays measuring 3.5 inches.
    *If you are merely replacing a hard drive, then you can use the SATA and power cables that are already present.
    *If you were planning on adding more drives, then you will need at least the same length cable.
    *Your non modular PSU will already have extra power cables for additional hard drives. It will look like this...
    PSU power cable 2.jpg
    Also note the length of your SATA cables. When you go to open the case
    you can measure and purchase the same sizes.

    HERE is a PDF that will be more specific to your make and model; HP Pavilion p6600 Desktop PC series
    The above PDF will walk you through opening your case and locating the hard drive cages. Hard drives are stored in "cages"
    on your computer. You will have room for 3 drives within it. Your Power supply will have a few extra power cables for additional drives.
    Take note of the photos in the PDF and compare them to what you are seeing in your case layout
    .


    Other Information:
    The name of your motherboard is: N-Alvorix-RS880-uATX (Alvorix)
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-12-15 at 18:43.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

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  11. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    This is an image of your motherboard, the SATA ports will be circled.
    Motherboard SATA ports location..jpg


    Opening the Case, part 1.jpg
    Opening the case, part 1

    Opening the Case, part 2.jpg
    A look at the Case layout

    Replacing drive cage.jpg
    The Drive cages
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  12. #10
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    Clint et al,

    Thank you all for the tremendous amount of specific helpful information and computer-specific links. I think I'm going to give it a try, but will do LOTS of reading and preparation before beginning.

    2 questions:
    1. should I and, if so, how do I test the new hard drive's condition before installing it to be sure it isn't faulty?
    2. do I need to purchase a "static protection" device of some sort to ensure I don't fry anything inside?

    Again, much appreciation for all your guidance. I'll post back regularly on progress and/or with questions.

    Linda

  13. #11
    5 Star Lounger
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    P.S. Adding another question based on this post:

    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Linda:

    I think Clint would agree with me that you can install your same copy of Windows onto the new drive. The age of the computer, the amount of memory, and the size of the hard drive, are all more than enough.

    Jim
    Question #3: Understand Jim's recommendation and reasoning behind it, BUT I would be much more comfortable just backing up old drive and restoring to new - less complicated and much less time consuming, a key consideration right now.

    Is this restore method a bad idea? What do the other Lounge helpers here think?

    Linda

  14. #12
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post
    Clint et al,

    Thank you all for the tremendous amount of specific helpful information and computer-specific links. I think I'm going to give it a try, but will do LOTS of reading and preparation before beginning.

    2 questions:
    1. should I and, if so, how do I test the new hard drive's condition before installing it to be sure it isn't faulty?
    2. do I need to purchase a "static protection" device of some sort to ensure I don't fry anything inside?
    Again, much appreciation for all your guidance. I'll post back regularly on progress and/or with questions.

    Linda
    1 You could connect the new drive to your computer and test it prior to removing the old one.
    2 I would suggest an anti-static wrist band with the wire attached to the metal frame of the case.
    (If you were experienced in this area, then simply discharging static electricity before hand, and occasionally keeping
    one hand on the frame would be sufficient. But you are not and the wrist band is as good advice as anyone can offer.)
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  15. #13
    5 Star Lounger
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    Thanks, Clint. I'll get one before opening the case! Sounds much safer!!

    Addition: Found this one on newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16899261005.

    Could you please take a quick look and see if it's a "go". (I understand this is an"above and beyond" request - just want to be sure!)

    Thanks,

    Linda
    Last edited by IreneLinda; 2012-12-18 at 10:07.

  16. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Yeah, that'll work. In fact it's the same one I've got.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  17. #15
    5 Star Lounger
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    Wow, thanks for your super fast reply. Sounds like I picked the right one!!

    Linda

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