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Hi, I have a been given a 2nd hand harddrive that I want to install as a slave. The problem is I am unsure what is installed on this harddrive. Do I have to format this drive? Or should I just plug it in?

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Last Post by ZeekeDaGeek
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I would try plugging it in and see if Windows picks it up, if it can read the partition it will put it as a secondary drive for you...if not you might try booting from 2K/XP cd and format it.

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I would try plugging it in and see if Windows picks it up, if it can read the partition it will put it as a secondary drive for you...if not you might try booting from 2K/XP cd and format it.

How would I go about doing that? Im using windows 98 and I only have the upgrade of this disc, does that matter?

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Hi, I have a been given a 2nd hand harddrive that I want to install as a slave. The problem is I am unsure what is installed on this harddrive. Do I have to format this drive? Or should I just plug it in?

If it is FAT32, Windows 98 will see the contents, no problem -- unless it's too high a capacity for your BIOS. Most 1999-and-earlier PCs had a 32 GB capacity limit. Can you give us the brand and model number of the drive? Also, the age and processor speed of your PC, for compatibility verification.

If it was used for Windows NT/2000/XP, it may have the NTFS file system on it, in which case Windows 98 can't see it directly. Do you know what it contains? There are ways of reading NTFS drives under earlier versions of Windows.

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I have no idea what it contains. I plugged it in and the computer didnt recongnise it, it just said explorer had done an illegal operation....etc.

The hard drive is a Quantum fireball plus AS 10.2gb. My computer is just an 266mhz made in 1998.

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The hard drive is a Quantum fireball plus AS 10.2gb. My computer is just an 266mhz made in 1998.

Some PCs of that vintage will not recognize a hard drive bigger than 8.4 GB, or will only recognize 8.4 GB of a larger drive due to BIOS limitations.

Make sure that your second drive's jumper(s) are set correctly for slave. Run a Windows 98 boot floppy (or boot into MS-DOS mode) and do an fdisk from the command prompt. The slave is physical drive 1 (the boot drive is 0). Check to see if drive 1 has a partition table, or if the system even sees it.

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If you don't know whats on the drive, then you probably don't care if the data is lost. I'd say go ahead and reformat partition it.

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You may want to try taking your existing hard drive off of the IDE connecton all togeather and see if the new drive will boot up by itself. If it has an os installed on it, you may get some results. Even if it doesn't have any information on it, you can boot your computer using a win 98 boot disk and explore the drive in DOS if the drive isn't partitioned NTFS.

FDISK will tell you what if anything the hard drive is partitioned as and if it's something you can't use, then go ahead and Re-Partition and format it to something useful IMHO.

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Just in case it's already partitioned as either NTFS or FAT, has data on it, and has no OS installed (i.e. it was a slave before and was used as, say, an MP3 database,) then i suggest you check to make sure the jumpers are set to slave and place it on the first IDE cable right next to your primary drive. Power up and see if Windows will detect it. Try it on more than one system (if at first you don't succede, change hardware around a bit.)

You never know what kind of great things you can find on a mystery drive. Don't risk losing data that you might find interesting.:cheesy:

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You may need to get into your CMOS setup so the computer can "see" the drive. If your comp doesn't auto detect drives, it won't see it until you "force it" to.
My $.02

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