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people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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upgrade mark 2: the hard drive is in the external enclosure!
children of dune - leto 1
So as an early birthday present to myself, I went to Frye's and get an enclosure to do the transfer to my hard drive. I still dont' know what happened to the first replacement I had, so I went ahead and bought a Western digital 320 GB/7200 RPM (on sale!) and started formatting and partitioning; when everything's done and this one is transferred into my computer, I'll put the other drive in and examine it. If it is broken--since it is not returnable--well, that is why God invented screwdrivers, and I've always been curious what goes on inside a hard drive. My goals are low; today, all I want is to get Windows 7 installed on the new drive and have both partitions running correctly. So total goals are as follows:

1.) format and partition drive (OS Partition complete, second one at 53%)
2.) install Windows 7
3.) panic. write porn. it will be very bad.
4.) install Office
5.) install Firefox
6.) install all programming programs
7.) install chat programs
8.) move settings.
9.) move all personal files, folders, information, music
10.) decide what to do with media. As I've moved a lot of it to my passport drive, but that's running out of space. And my big external is sort of the main backup for everyone, so I try not to put anything on there that I can't stand to lose.
11.) decide what else to install.

So far, we are at the Partition/Format part of the show. I do like the enclosure instead of doing this bare with wires. It feels a lot more secure to see it there, and it doesn't need a power source, unlike the USB to SATA transfer cables, which right now I cannot figure out why I thought would be a better idea than this.

adventures with observations

The first SATA I was trying to do this with is--weird. I'm actually not sure if a.) there's oemthing wrong with it, b.) I just have lousy luck or c.) unknown. After losing the block power, I opened Child's computer and hooked it up with a converter to his power in there to evaluate the problem. Power was fine, and it spun up, but the logical drives couldn't read it, which argues it's either corrupted, broken, or possibly, that it's not entirely compatible with his computer and was confused.

Recommended; if you are transferring a 2.5 hard drive, get the enclosure. It cost about the same as the USB to SATA thingie, it does not require a secondary power source, and it's a goddamn enclosure and feels more secure. It also has a pretty blue light. It will also be the new enclosure of my old hard drive, which maybe I can reformat and just add all the media onto it except music? I feel I need several of these.

Note: the USB to SATA/IDE, however, if you have old IDE drives, works like whoa on IDE. I read my old laptop's IDE perfectly, and it does not require external power, just plug and go. Granted, both of these are limited by the speed of USB 2.0, but whatever. It's also plug-and-play compatible, so honestly, if you keep your drives for a while or just like to have a basic kit, I'd recommend having this just for that, which is why I don't regret it.

Note to computer designers: when can we get hot-swap secondary hard drives? I mean, I know some computers do have secondary hard drives standard, but those are usually custom and expensive and I've been reading on how, but seriously, for a laptop, that would be awesome. Actually, some Dells can actually do something simliar with the DVD/CD bay if you buy a bay enclosure to install the drive in, but seriously, the speed of SATA or eSATA combined with a removable drive--like cake and ice cream. Devote the primary to the OS and required programs, but imagine a universe where you can have three or four fast secondaries you can swap out with programs/media/data you don't need all the time. They could be color coordinated. Not to mention it would be painfully easy to backup required information easily on multiple drives in case of failure if you put a partition on every secondary with just required backup info, keep a copy of the main registry there in case of corruption, the world would be your oyster....

Actually, thinking on that, I'd use the primary basically for OS, Office, Firefox, my chat programs, and daily tasks. God. I could have an entire drive to hold just for programming. The world, it could be beautiful, man, and it would give laptops the joys of multiple internal hard drive space without, you know, needing all that space. Hmm. And also organize root level access better.

This is where I say I actually pulled the design of my motherboard and okay, I am not a professional builder, just someone with an unnatural love of tools, but I am not seeing anything to negate the benefits and there's an area that is designated for a secondary SATA (no connectors, however, and honestly, even if I could install that, the heat issue would be--well, an issue, and there are things I would need someone to teach me to do directly, and one of those would be custom heat sinks). Though I don't know if SATA or eSATA connections would support hot-swapping, come on, why not? Maybe just the removable hardware thing, but whatever, that's still faster than USB 2.0. even if you can do doubles there (which mine may be doing? It didn't say, so I plugged both in with a faint feeling of hope).

I mean, I guess you'd have to redesign the case, but give me a good set of cutters and a sautering kit and I could figure this out.

Yes, I am planning out my imaginary file system on a computer design that has not been created. I'm allowed to do that. NTFS formatting takes for freaking ever.

Curious--if anyone has any advice before I start the move, feel free to drop it here. I only did two partitions because I couldn't find any practical reason to have more, and the only reason I'm putting Windows 7 in a 25G partition is to see if that would help with speed, or at minimum, just have a single place for my OS for easier reinstallation. Speaking practically, at the best of times I'm weirdly anal about mapping my drives and keeping everything in certain specific places that are logical to me, and having like, five partitions could only lead to some kind of anal retentive breakdown (though fun; I would have fun). I also realize that speed decreases the farther from the edge, so having a slow partition when the whole point of the upgrade was to get faster would be counterintuitive.

95%. Looks like Windows 7 is in my immediate future.

ETA: So Windows 7 refuses to install via USB or IEEE. I went to google and started to type install Windows 7

...and it filled in to USB.

So, I mean, it's not like I really believe google is psychic but seriously, is google psychic?

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I have not one freaking clue what you're talking about here but if it makes you happy, then I'm happy. Because I'm hoping a happy you with a happily formated and happily partitioned drive will be able to produce endless amounts of happy porn, happy airps, and maybe even some happily edited War Games.

Got happy?

I am! This is so much fun!

Note to computer designers: when can we get hot-swap secondary hard drives?

You can! You just need to get an external hard drive dock. I have this one, and it works beautifully. Best thing I've bought in ages.

Yeah, but it still runs at USB 2.0 speeds--I keep wishing we could get a way to integrate swap with the internal speeds. Yes, I am totes a slut for speed. *g*

I hear you; I'm a total speed slut, too. The nice thing about that particular dock, though, is that it has an eSata port. Slightly slower than an internal drive, yes, but four or five times as fast as any of my external USB drives. (Edit: I forgot to say that the only reason it's slower than an internal drive is that I foolishly got a cardbus esata card for my laptop, rather than an expresscard, with which the speed should be the same as an internal drive. Need to get one of those...)

(The other nice thing about a drive dock is that bare drives are so much cheaper than external drives; I can make multiple back-ups using the dock for the same cost as buying one external drive.)

Edited at 2010-01-10 02:35 am (UTC)

So I know what my next electronics shopping trip after doing a network upgrade next month will be for. God. I want.

Okay, you got stream-of-consciousness on your side and I've got worked-all-day exhaustion on mine (and solved a really nasty computer issue on the computer used by the lady who does the paychecks and here's a tip -- always make sure the lady who does the paychecks is happy) but here's what I think you said.

As far as I know, no, you can't install 7 from anything but a CD. Check on C|net and ask the gurus, but I think that's right.

Why are you partitioning your new hard drive at all? Is there a reason for it?

Yeah, you can do the HDD dock on a laptop and it's still constrained by the USB2 speed, but right now, that's all you've got. AMD is working on a direct SATA port but it's a ways in the future. The reason that USB is slower than a SATA connection is that USB is on the southbridge (has to go through the usual channels before it gets to the chip) and the newer, SATA drives report via the northbridge, go directly to go and get $200. It's coming. Won't be long.

I'm not sure what you were talking about in the middle there -- are you working on a desktop or a laptop? If you're talking about a desktop when you were talking about the kid's machine, then you could also have had a problem with priority. If you had an EIDE (or PATA) drive that was dipped to primary on a secondary channel, it wouldn't be recognized. Wouldn't be the device's fault at all.

Did I miss anything?

Why are you partitioning your new hard drive at all? Is there a reason for it?

Experimental on one hand, organization on the second, and on the third, to keep the OS separate for easier reinstall and for disk speed. It's also slightly faster to do a defragment in pieces, and it's much easier when backing up to just say D to get the stuff I can't live without instead of flipping through folders. I'm a lot better organized this time around, too, since I have the chance to migrate at my leisure and put everything where I want it after finding where Windows 7 stores by default and changing that either in Windows 7 or in the programs attached.

I'm not sure what you were talking about in the middle there -- are you working on a desktop or a laptop? If you're talking about a desktop when you were talking about the kid's machine, then you could also have had a problem with priority. If you had an EIDE (or PATA) drive that was dipped to primary on a secondary channel, it wouldn't be recognized. Wouldn't be the device's fault at all.

Possibly hooking the first new SATA to power using the desktop burned it out, but I get the feeling it was damaged by a power surge from the power block first. It spun up okay but logical disks could not read it or connect to it at all. It's my own fault in that; laptop drives are a lot more fragile than desktop and I'm used to being able to pretty much toss those across the room no worse for wear (not actually, but the fragility issue is there). It was also, according to the nice man at Frye's who almost took a new one of that kind away from me in a fit of horror, not known for being a hardy drive and led me to the Western Digitial (on sale!). So I'm guessing a combination of my incompetence, a not-great drive, and bad luck killed it, but at least me and Child can now take it apart without regret.

If it is broken--since it is not returnable--well, that is why God invented screwdrivers, and I've always been curious what goes on inside a hard drive.

Omg taking apart computer parts is so funs. I once got to de-solder parts of an old motherboard alnfdkasfnksnf; coolest thing ever. You can find out what kinds of resistors and capacitors were used on it (looking them up is funs!) and also you find out just how well they were soldered in the first place. SIGH.

Also, it's definitely possible to install W7 via USB. I haven't done it myself, but I've watched a bunch of friends do it multiple times, using one of the guides on the Internets, I believe. W7 installs faaaaaast, dude. I WANT IT REALLY BAD. I have a full copy but I need to back up my laptop first. Le sigh.

*purrs* I am so looking forward to this.

Yeah, I downloaded the instructions for a USB boot just in case. I don't trust DVD/CD nearly as much as USB; having to pull out the tray for some reason makes me nervous, but there are always like, four USB ports available on my computer at any given time.

You will like W7. Srsly.

Google's not psychic, but I'm going to guess that most people who had enough trouble with a win7 install to turn to google for help were trying to do it via USB. Also, your browsing history may have affected the prompts, if you let google keep a record of your browsing history.

I looked at the pattern and it seems a big issue for those with netbooks and limited hard drive space to have the OS bootable from USB, or those who don't have a CD/DVD and need to do the install from USB. I hadn't thought about it, but it's a useful solution to having less than 20G of hard drive space and still wanting fuller Windows 7 functionality.

Oh oh, you can maybe help me with my partitioning question. Here's the situation: my new laptop has a shiny hard drive of 580gb, but it's one partition (okay, there's a hidden recovery one, but we'll ignore that for now). I'm used to having two partitions cause that way my media is secure in case I need to reinstall Windows.

My question: how exactly do I divide my current hd in two partitions? Do I just use Window's disc manager (free up space and make that into a partition) or do I need a special program? Will I lose any data (cause sometimes a format is needed) if I use Widows disc manager (or any other program)?


If it's not an empty drive, you need a special program to do the partition; doing it with Windows destroys data.

I think the program I've seen recommended most is Magic Partition (Partition Magic?); I'd look at that one first, especially since you have a hidden partition. If you don't want to format and reinstall everything, I'd go with a partitioning program. CNET has a complete list of them and recommendations of which to use for what.

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