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Windows 7: Second Internal HD, Or,... ?

11 Nov 2015   #1
Robert11

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
Second Internal HD, Or,... ?

Hello,

Will be ordering a new Dell XPS 8900 Desktop.
Comes with a 1 TB HD. No option to increase.

How "hard" is it to install another 1 TB inside the case ?
If relatively straightforward, might you folks please suggest what I
should purchase (probably via Amazon) that would fit into the Dell XPS 8900 slot ?

Or, simply to go with an external HD, and not worry about installing one internally ?
Pros and cons ? Caveats.

External one less likely to become infected than another internal HD ?

Thoughts on would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Bob


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11 Nov 2015   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Installing a hard drive in a Dell is easy, they usually have plastic rails you attach to the hard drive with 4 screws, they should be inside the PC, get an internal hard drive. Get whatver size you think you need.
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11 Nov 2015   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Robert11 View Post
Hello,

Will be ordering a new Dell XPS 8900 Desktop.
Comes with a 1 TB HD. No option to increase.

How "hard" is it to install another 1 TB inside the case ?
If relatively straightforward, might you folks please suggest what I
should purchase (probably via Amazon) that would fit into the Dell XPS 8900 slot ?

Or, simply to go with an external HD, and not worry about installing one internally ?
Pros and cons ? Caveats.
Are you intentionally avoiding an SSD for the operating system and applications?

I think the XPS is near the top of the line for Dell. If you are spending that kind of money, I'd hope you can get an SSD in it somehow.

Dell may charge an arm and leg for the SSD, but you could certainly install one yourself later.

What's the purpose of the second 1 TB drive? Backup? Original data? What's going to be on the first 1 TB---strictly OS and applications?

More details on your intent might help us to give a better answer.

Internals generally react more swiftly because you avoid the USB connection to an external and have one less source for headaches. Less clutter on your desk and a greater selection of drives from which to choose. The only reason I'd use an external is if I needed the portability or felt that it added some flexibility to a backup plan.
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11 Nov 2015   #4
Robert11

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
From OP: More Re Second HD

Hi,

Thanks all for the help; much appreciated.

A second HD would be primarily for backup.
Zillions of Photos and videos of Grandson, etc.

One possible advantage of an external HD, I guess, is that you can disconnect it when not
using it for the backing up, so if you get infected by some mal ware (a sad experience I had
with that Crypto Locker ransom one) you would be safe from having everything wiped out. Hopefully.

So, if I decide to install a second internal HD, is it simply a matter of plugging in a connector that I assume will be inside, somewhere, of the new Dell XPS 8900 ?

Or, do I have to set the Master Slave relationship between the two HD's as I seem to remember having to do many years ago ?

Anything else involved ? Will the PC recognize it automatically, e.g. ?

BTW: Western Digital still thought of highly ? Anyone meaningfully better ?
What's the difference between their Blue, Black, and Red internal HD line ? Which to get ?

Thanks,
Bob
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11 Nov 2015   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold

[QUOTE=Robert11;3175686]

So, if I decide to install a second internal HD, is it simply a matter of plugging in a connector that I assume will be inside, somewhere, of the new Dell XPS 8900 ?

You need 2 cables--one for power and one for data. The power cable connects the drive to your power supply. The data cable connects the drive to the motherboard. The cables look different and are not interchangeable.

You'd shut the PC completely off, open the case, locate a drive bay (location to install the drive), attach the drive with 4 screws, and attach the above mentioned cables. Leave the case open until you know the drive is functional.

Cables are typically provided with motherboards, with retail drive packages, or sold separately. They are NOT provided with OEM drives---which you may well end up getting if you go with an internal. The 2 cables might cost 6 or 8 bucks.

Likewise, OEM drives typically do NOT include the necessary screws.



Or, do I have to set the Master Slave relationship between the two HD's as I seem to remember having to do many years ago ?

The master/slave thing does not apply to SATA drives, which is what you have, UNLESS your PC is quite an antique--10 years old or so. The old style cables were wide and flat like a man's belt. Those are gone in the SATA era. All SATA drives are in effect masters.


Anything else involved ? Will the PC recognize it automatically, e.g. ?

It should spin automatically, but it must be partitioned and formatted before it can be used. That's done from menus and mouse clicks in Windows Disk Management after you restart the PC. Takes minutes. Normally, you'd just use a single partition on a data drive and then sub-divide your stuff with the folder structure of your choice.

BTW: Western Digital still thought of highly ? Anyone meaningfully better ?
What's the difference between their Blue, Black, and Red internal HD line ? Which to get ?

WD is as good as any and better than most.

I'd go with Blue for a data drive. I'd go with Black if I intended to put Windows on the drive. I think Blues are now available in sizes above 1 TB. For a long time, Blues were limited to 1 TB max.

The difference between Black and Blue is mostly in the warranty. Blacks may have some speed advantage that would matter very little for a data drive. You might even consider Green--that's what I use for an internal backup drive.

Don't get caught up in brand choice. They are rank commodities and can all fail at any moment with no warning at all.

/QUOTE]
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11 Nov 2015   #6
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

I would just like to add that I would avoid an external drive. They are much slower because of the USB interface, and seem to be more fragile. I see so many posts here about how a person's external has failed.

All hard disks will fail, but externals seem to have a very short lifespan from what I have seen here.

Just my $0.02
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11 Nov 2015   #7
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Using HDDs installed internally for backups is a very bad idea. If a virus invades your computer and destroys your data, your backup will also be lost. If your PSU shorts out and fries all your HDDs, your backup will also be fried. If your computer gets stolen, there goes your backup. The only safe backups are ones that are stored off your computer.

Your data should exist in three places to be safe, such as on your computer, on an onsite backup that gets connected to your computer only when updating the backup, and on an offsite backup that frequently gets swapped out with the onsite backup.

I prefer to use internal type HDDs for my backups since they are usually more reliable. I have a built in dock in my computer I plug my backup drives into when updating my backups. Alternatively, one could use an external dock or an enclosure with internal type HDDs.

Yes, external HDDs, especially USB 2.0 connected ones, are slower but which would you rather have? A faster backup or a safer backup?
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11 Nov 2015   #8
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Good points, Lady F.

I especially agree with this:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
I prefer to use internal type HDDs for my backups since they are usually more reliable. I have a built in dock in my computer I plug my backup drives into when updating my backups. Alternatively, one could use an external dock or an enclosure with internal type HDDs.
I use internal HDDs mounted in an enclosure that I can take away from the PC. In my post above when I was talking about unreliable externals, I wasn't referring to internal drives being used this way. I was referring to the pre-made externals that seem to be everywhere these days and are quite small and portable. I don't think they are made well enough to last. Give me a good WD black in a separate enclosure or dock any day.
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11 Nov 2015   #9
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mellon Head View Post
Good points, Lady F.

I especially agree with this:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
I prefer to use internal type HDDs for my backups since they are usually more reliable. I have a built in dock in my computer I plug my backup drives into when updating my backups. Alternatively, one could use an external dock or an enclosure with internal type HDDs.
I use internal HDDs mounted in an enclosure that I can take away from the PC. In my post above when I was talking about unreliable externals, I wasn't referring to internal drives being used this way. I was referring to the pre-made externals that seem to be everywhere these days and are quite small and portable. I don't think they are made well enough to last. Give me a good WD black in a separate enclosure or dock any day.
I use WD Blacks for my internal drives in my desktop machine and Greens for my backup drives. While the Blacks are excellent HDDs, they are a bit overkill for backup drives that run for only a few minutes a day, then set in a drawer until the next day. However, one of the reasons for having two backups is even backup drives can fail so having that extra backup can save the day.

I'm a bit cautious (ok, anal) and I keep two onsite and two offsite backups for each drive in my computer. While it's a bit overboard for more people, it did save me a lot of time and work one time when one of my internal drives got corrupted and corrupted my backup drive (the latter being a classic case of being stupid). Since I knew what data I had added since the previous backup, all I had to do was copy that data to scratch drive (I have several 2.5" drives knocking about unused), reformat the corrupted internal and backup drive, then recovered my data from the second backup drive. After copying the data on the scratch drive to the restored internal drive, I updated the backups on both of the onsite backup drives.

This happened to me on a Saturday. I keep my offsite backups in my safe deposit box at my credit union. I also maintain a Carbonite cloud backup. If I hadn't have had that second onsite backup, I would have had to wait until Monday to access one of the offsite backup drives and download the data that had been added since I put the backup drive in the safe deposit box from Carbonite, about 10-12 hours altogether, starting on Monday. Having that extra onsite backup, being lucky enough to know which files hadn't been backed up, and being able to copy them from the corrupted drive to a scratch drive meant I was able to fully recover my data in around seven hours on Saturday (and not have to make two trips to my credit union: one to get the backup and another to put it back). Even if I hadn't been able to rescue the unbacked up data from the corrupted drive, I still could have recovered it from Carbonite in an additional two or three hours.
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 Second Internal HD, Or,... ?




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