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Adding a hard drive



Im helping my friend upgrade his computer, and would like to add a new hard drive. He already has two hard drives, so i am not sure how to add a third. I've heard about RAID arrays, but im not sure how to do this. Is there anyway to add a third hard drive without a RAID array? if there isnt, then what would i need to do to set up a raid array?
First off, welcome to the forums mrg :)

What other drives are present on his computer already?
You can have two drives on the primary IDE channel, and two more on the secondary channel. So, for example, if he has two hard drives connected as master and slave on the primary channel, and an optical drive (CD-ROM/DVD-ROM/CD-RW etc) connected as a slave on the secondary channel, he could use the third hard drive as a master on the secondary channel.

If all channels are already in use, he could get a PCI expansion card that supports extra IDE channels. The third hard drive could then be connected to that. For example, the Promise Ultra100 TX2 would do the job.

You don't need to setup RAID if you simply want to add extra drives.


Thanks for the help, i think he only has one optical drive so it shouldnt be a problem connecting a third hard drive.
Using the second connection for the IDE controller that is running the optical drive will work but it has a problem.

The optical drives are slow and limit how fast the data on the second IDE controller will transfer data. That means the hot new HD will run very slow compared to the older ones on the first DIE controller. It's best to just ditch one of the older, slower drives.

I assume you'll be getting an 80 gig or higher (WD is running a rebate $59 for a 80 gig drive). So overall storage shouldn't be an issue. What I do with my 3rd oldest HD is image my operating system partition onto it warp it in bubble pack in case the better one gets trashed. Then I just pop the old one back in.

When they become my 4th oldest drive I donate them to someone who needs a bigger drive but can't afford it (by then they're not worth the hassle of selling).

Make sure you have enough power supply capacity for the bigger, faster new drive 300W should cover anything reasonable you do in the upgrade unless you are going for a super system then 350-400W.
What LeeJend says is true. I forgot about that :)

Adding the new drive to the same IDE channel will slow down the transfer rate of the hard drive, and in the worst case, could disable DMA mode on the hard drive (if the optical drive is old and runs on PIO).

As mentioned above, either ditch one of the old drives, or move the oldest hard drive on the same channel as the optical drive, since the oldest drive will probably have the slowest transfer rate anyways.


If your Mobo is compatible you can bypass the IDE configuration and use SATA / RAID.
A hard drive connected via serial ATA runs at twice the read speed compared to a standard 7200 IDe drive and can be looped into a RAID setup.


Thanks for all the help, my friend isnt too worried about speed so its no big deal hooking it up with an optical drive. i didnt know it until now, but one of his hard drives is only 7gb so if he has to he could easily get rid of that one.

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