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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Cannibalizing a computer of doubtful heritage

    I've inherited a computer (or really, the sum of the parts of one) that was supposed to be recycled. I was asked if I could zap the hard drive first, so it was left on my patio (literally). When I found it, I realized that it's a Dimension 4600 just like my older development PC, which means I could probably swap out some memory (I have 1.5 GB now) and add the formatted disk drive as a secondary instead of junking it. So I have two questions:

    1) Given that the models are the same, is there any reason I can't just pop in the 1 GB memory modules from the junked computer? One odd thing: There is a pair of 1 GB in one memory bank slot pair, while there is just one unlabled one in the other pair—I thought they were supposed to be installed in pairs.

    2) The junker's Maxtor DiamondMax 20 160GB drive has instructions on the back for the jumper. One option shows the jumper in position 0 with the label "Master = On, Slave = Off" and another option with the jumper in position 1 labeled "Cable select." The jumper is currently in the "Cable select" position. The instructions recommend this position for Ultra ATA. Questions: I guess this means that the boot order is selected from the BIOS as opposed to leaving the jumper off to make it a slave (it would have helped to define what they meant by "Off" in that diagram). However, this computer was primarily used by teenage boys, with all that this implies, and I'm frankly a little freaked out at the thought of starting my computer with the drive connected unless I'm absolutely sure that this drive can't boot until I unleash a thermonuclear reformat on it.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    1) Given that the models are the same, is there any reason I can't just pop in the 1 GB memory modules from the junked computer? One odd thing: There is a pair of 1 GB in one memory bank slot pair, while there is just one unlabled one in the other pair—I thought they were supposed to be installed in pairs.
    I don't see why not, and it certainly won't hurt to try it.
    Various layouts are accepted on many board; dual channel memory, triple channel, or quad channel. Find the specs for the Dell Dim4600 and it will
    provide the layout possibilities.

    If your concerned about viruses or malware just connect the drive and use a boot disk to format it. There's no need to actually boot to/with it.
    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.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Here is a detailed description of the Maxtor jumper settings:
    http://knowledge.seagate.com/article...S/FAQ/196299en

    Note the description of how Cable Select works. After setting the jumpers and cabling the drives, go into Bios and see if there's a setting for hard drive boot priority. If not, make sure your original hard drive is listed as the primary drive.

    Jerry

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    The only reason you would need to be concerned with "master/slave" or "cable select" is if you used one cable for both of your hard drives, or more specifically, one cable for two IDE devices (hard drive, CD drive, etc). (Of course, if you have only one drive on a cable, that drive should be set to "master", not "slave".)

    I never use cable select; I always set the jumpers so that one drive is guaranteed to be the master, and the other is guaranteed to be the slave. That way, I always know what to expect. And if you set the jumpers for master on one drive and slave on the other drive, the BIOS settings will automatically match what you have set.

    If you want to wipe the "teenager" drive (and it sounds like you do), do the following steps:
    * Give the good drive a unique name (so that you will know which one NOT to wipe clean).
    * Reboot into Safe Mode Command Prompt (you will be in DOS mode -- unlikely that the "teenager" drive could cause any harm there)
    * Format the "teenager" drive

    Give your current hard drive a unique name:
    In My Computer, right click on your C: drive, and choose Properties. On the General tab, type in a new name for the drive, and click Apply.

    Safe Mode Command Prompt
    Shut down the computer, and connect the "teenager" drive. Now restart the computer in Safe Mode Command Prompt.

    Wipe the "teenager" drive
    Once you are fully logged in, type DIR, and you will see which drive is which. You'll know which is the "good" drive, because of the name you gave it a couple of steps ago. The other drive is the one you will want to wipe clean. Type FORMAT D: <enter> (use the drive letter of the drive you want to format).

    Use the formerly "teenager" drive
    Once the drive has been formatted, you can shut down and restart Windows the normal way, and the drive which formerly was the "teenager" drive is now the "dad" drive.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2013-02-01 at 14:36.

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks...that gets me closer. One difference and one big problem:

    The difference is that I was reminded that my main drive is a SATA (small blue cable going straight to a 4-pin on the motherboard, while the teenager drive is an IDE (I believe—it uses the standard wide ribbon cable). I grabbed the drive's old cable from the junk computer and plugged it into the port next to the similar one being used for the CD drive, so that only the old disk is on the ribbon cable.

    The problem is that I can't get the PC to recognize the drive at all. I went into Setup and set all the other drive options from "Off" to "Auto" but the bootup produces a "not found" message for all three possible drives on the setup screen. I had pulled the jumper from the drive, which should have set it to "slave" but in reading your reply, I probably should have used the "master" setting or "cable select" since it's the only one on the cable. After I send this I'm going to shut down and put the jumper back on, but any comments would be appreciated in the meantime.

    ***

    Back again, and setting the jumper to "Master" did not change the result — the system isn't seeing the drive. I'm double-checking with the former owners to see if it was actually working at all, but the implication from previous conversations is that it was.
    Last edited by imjcarls; 2013-02-01 at 16:28.

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Either "master" or "cable select" will work. But I would highly recommend that you first go to the link posted above by Jerry, so that you can be aware of any variations in the jumper settings due to various factors.

    Your BIOS will distinguish between SATA and IDE. You won't need to set anything in BIOS in regard to that issue.

    You don't need to set any jumpers on the SATA drive, only on the IDE drive.

    You may find that the SATA drive will be more reliable than the IDE drive. I had an IDE DVD drive, and it failed. I put in another IDE DVD drive, and it failed. I then put in a SATA DVD drive, and it's been problem free for over a year now. My conclusion about that is that IDE support is beginning to slip away.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2013-02-01 at 16:26.

  7. #7
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    "You may find that the SATA drive will be more reliable than the IDE drive."

    Ironically, I had a SATA drive in a different PC and it ran out of extra sectors to replace bad ones after a couple of years. So I replaced it with a bigger one, and it failed, too. So it may just be a crap shoot until you get one that lasts longer than a few weeks. In the meantime, the disk in the Windows 98 system that these all replaced has been humming along since 1999.

    The previous owner confirmed that the system was actually working, except of course being left out in a light drizzle on my patio. One might think that would be a critical problem, but it sat in a corner for at least a month and a half before I pulled the disk out (having never turned it on) and its original memory works fine. However, my XP system won't recognize it. I reset all the BIOS "disk setup" changes except the one for "master IDE drive" and then reset all of them to the "off" default without any success. I wonder if there is a cheap (i.e., free) test someone can do if I take it to a store.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    The previous owner confirmed that the system was actually working, except of course being left out in a light drizzle on my patio. One might think that would be a critical problem, but it sat in a corner for at least a month and a half before I pulled the disk out (having never turned it on) and its original memory works fine.
    Your likely dealing with a dead drive.
    Mechanical hard drives have sensitive moving parts that don't respond too well to high humidity and moisture.
    If moisture got in there, you'll have to open it up and dry it out thoroughly, and even then there's no guaranty you'll ever see life from it again.
    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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