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Beginners Guides: Fundamentals of Upgrading a PC

Beginners Guides: Fundamentals of Upgrading a PC - PCSTATS
Abstract: Once you have got the idea of upgrading into your head, the next step is to figure out how to go about it.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCstats Mar 13 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCstats

HDD's Continued

If the hard drive appears, but is missing a significant amount of space (say you are seeing 20GB instead of 40GB) you are probably being limited by your mainboard and will need to go to the drive manufacturer's website to download an installation utility. Every hard drive manufacturer has a version of this available. Maxtor's Maxblast3 software is one example. The purpose is to enable older mainboards with a built in HD space limitation to overcome this.

As this software will also partition and format the drives for you, it can be quite useful.

Assuming all is well with the newly installed hard drive, all that remains is to partition and format it. A partition is a logical grouping of the space available on a disk that any operating system can recognize, while formatting a partition enables a specific file system (FAT32 with Windows 98, or NTFS for NT/2000, etc.) to read from and write to that partition, creating a logical drive (C: in Windows is a logical drive).

In general, any OS that supports the file system a partition is formatted with can read and write to that partition. To partition and format in Windows XP/2000, right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage.' Once you are in the management screen, select 'disk management'.

A screen showing your existing drives, including the new one, will appear. At this point Windows should open a wizard to help you partition and format your new drive. If it does not, right click the new drive in the lower pane and select 'initialize drive.' Now you must partition the drive.

Right click on the new drive and select 'new partition' to launch the partition wizard. You will be prompted for how much space you wish to allocate to the new partition. For the sake of argument, let's say we use the whole thing. You will then be asked for a drive letter which Windows will use to represent that partition, and prompted to format the drive.

Generally it's best to format with the NTFS file system unless you need to give other computers with earlier versions of Windows, (or another OS installed on the same computer) access to the new drive.

For Windows 9x/ME users, you will need to use the FDISK utility, (found in the C:\windows\command directory) to partition the newly installed hard drive and assign it a logical drive letter so Windows can format it. Be careful with FDISK, as it is quite easy to erase your existing partitions if you are not sure of what you are doing.

Upon running FDISK, you will be presented with the following screen.

Select (5) to view a list of all drives available on the system, then select the new hard drive. Hit (1) to create a primary (first) partition on that drive. Select (y) to use all the space on the drive and make the partition active. Now exit Fdisk and reboot. Now you will need to format the drive.

After Windows loads, open 'my computer,' you should see the new hard drive present as a logical drive (D:, E:, etc.). Right click the new drive and select 'format.' Make sure quick format is not selected and hit ok. After the procedure finishes, your drive will be ready for use.

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Contents of Article: PCstats
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Fundamentals of Upgrading a PC
 Pg 2.  Using Diagnostic Software
 Pg 3.  Using the POST Screen
 Pg 4.  Inside the BIOS
 Pg 5.  Opening the Case
 Pg 6.  Power Issues
 Pg 7.  Upgrading Memory
 Pg 8.  Installing a new hard drive
 Pg 9.  — HDD's Continued
 Pg 10.  Installing a new optical (CD) drive
 Pg 11.  Upgrading the CPU
 Pg 12.  Finishing with an Upgrade

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