View Full Version : Upgrading-hell...

Silent Warrior
07-29-2006, 04:07 PM
Ugh... You know how it is. One day you think 'Wouldn't it be nice with a faster CPU?'. Sure. But why not upgrade to a quite recent CPU-generation while you're at it, so you won't have to do it again anytime soon? Good idea, let's. While we're at it, newer RAM (well, in my case the RAM I used before is pretty much extinct anyway) and newer graphics-card tech wouldn't be a bad idea.
So, off I go to buy a motherboard, a CPU, some RAM and a sparkling new X1900XT (and THOSE things are BIG - and weighs more than the mobo and CPU/cooler combined!). And when I get home and start to assemble the pieces, what gives? The motherboard wants a 24-pin main power-thingy, and I had only 20. And, hey, that PCI-E-card wants special rigging too! Well, darn. New PSU it is.
And... Hey, where the <blip> did all the IDE-connectors go?
There was only ONE IDE-connector (and a million SATA-connectors), and I have a grand total of 4 IDE-drives - 2 HDD, 1 CD-RW, 1 DVD-R. Which obviously means I damn well need TWO connectors. And the store just couldn't find an AM2-motherboard with 2 IDE-thingies. :irked: :frust: :hot: :skull:
The store told me to try a PCI IDE-controller, which is where I'm at now. While waiting for that card to arrive at the store, I tried to start with both HDDs connected. Looked ok, until XP blindly refused to start and just rebooted at me. Yummy. After speaking to people here and there, I was adviced to reinstall XP. Oooookay... That means I'll need one HD and one CD/DVD-drive on the same cable. Now, which HD is which again? In what order am I to connect the IDE-cable? Why the devil are the drives so far apart? Believe it or not, but I eventually got XP installed on the correct HD. Eventually. It took a LOT of doing! Damn jumpers and cable-select straight to hell!
Then to install this driver and that. Blarg.
In time I got down to trying to have Windows recognize that IDE-controller. No luck yet... I THINK I've just managed to get XP to use the bundled drivers. That I kept trying to install them as an IDE-controller instead of SCSI/RAID-dito :rolleyes: didn't make things any easier. However, according to the manual, some BIOS-thing should jump me at system start-up, but it hasn't done that yet, and with all the reboots I've made to complete driver-installations, I'm starting to doubt it ever will. And the store doesn't open until Monday due to summer.
I'm currently sitting with the smaller HD and the CD-RW. Where are all the games that would likely benefit from this upgrade? Where are all my patches? All my MP3s/MP4s? Yup, on the SECOND HD. And a few of those games (well, 4, of which only one is actually installed) are on DVD. And for some strange reason the HD-space on the first HD is shrinking rapidly - but there's a perfectly good reason for that. If all else fails, I have almost 10 Gb of fan-made NWN-content to ditch.

Today's morality: Your next HDD will be SATA.

07-30-2006, 07:42 AM
This is why you check the specs of your new components carefully to make sure everything will fit together before buying :p My new PC only a week old has 4 IDE HDs in (without needing a PCI IDE controller), with 3 of them coming from the old computer :p

And my next HD is more likely to be external (USB or Firewire) than SATA :D Speaking of which, you could get an external caddy to plug your old IDE drives into to convert them to USB or Firewire instead if you want - those aren't hard to find around here :p

Doesn't your DVD writer burn CDs as well? Seems odd if it can't :p

07-31-2006, 12:06 AM
Yeah, PATA is pretty much going to go away. SATA and SAS are in now for a while. (although pure SCSI is still going pretty strong)

Your shrinking HDD space could be due to temporary files or system restore.

Silent Warrior
07-31-2006, 06:23 AM
cl_out: Yep, it sure can burn CDs. It is also stuffed so far away geographically from C: that I'd rather wait to get this configuration working than brave having a HDD dangling about.
I'll look into those IDE->USB-thingies. Can you perhaps point me to a specific manufacturer?

Samuraid: You're right, I expect. XP seems hellbent on making a restore-point whenever I try a new driver for the IDE/SCSI-controller. (I'm a bit confused about that now...)

[Edit] Or I could just look for that converter on my own. How's this (www.addonics.com/products/io/adideu2.asp), for instance?
Or maybe this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000CCZP0Q/202-2849075-1889446?v=glance&n=560798&s=electronics&v=glance), and shipping won't hit me so hard. I hope.

07-31-2006, 08:42 AM
In case of the second one, make sure there's still power supply of some sort for the HD, otherwise you can only use it internally and not externally :p I don't really know of any named brands specialising in this stuff, not think it's necessary for a cheap converter like that anyway :p

Silent Warrior
08-01-2006, 07:05 AM
Blargh. I got it working anyway. Yanked out the CD-RW altogether, put one HD on the RAID-controller, one on the regular IDE-cable along with the DVD. I still have one apparently defect PCI-slot, but I can get by without it. All well and good. Once everything is installed again, that is.

08-01-2006, 05:27 PM
If you're going to use an external drive as a boot source to run your OS off don't get USB. Too much overhead and the bus uses processing power. Firewire all the way.

You can always get external enclosures for your HDDs/Removable media drives. Again, firewire for the HDDs unless you don't plan on accessing that drive a lot. Newegg has really cheap external enclosures. All you need is a lot of power outlets to power them up externally.

Silent Warrior
08-12-2006, 07:25 AM
Eh, firewire...? Buggrit! I don't have a FW-port!
As it turns out, I had meant to put Windows back on that other HD and play games on it... I'll see what kind of firewire can be brought to bear, then.

[Edit] *Groan* The reason I wasn't too keen on the RAID-controller was that it ate up one of suddenly too few PCI-slots, and to get firewire I'll need ANOTHER controller-card... Like this one ( (I hope the URL goes to the right place.) That's about half the price of the RAID-controller. It says USB2 is a bit faster than firewire, though. Are you SURE I should stay away from USB?
Hm... I can also get a separate chassis-thing with Firewire/USB/whatever-ports on the back ( That would still mean I need a controller-card... but at least it converts IDE to firewire (and more).

Why the hell didn't I just get a SATA-drive and start all over...
... Uh, hey! I HAVE the money for that now! (I paid a wee bit much for a horn-seminar recently, and got back the change recently.) And since this mobo is crawling with SATA-connectors, I could keep things connected the way they are now! SATA-drive with XP, IDE with Ubuntu (with a DVD-R next to it), once XP is installed on the SATA, swap the Ubuntu-drive for the other drive with all the Good Stuff(tm) on it, copy *.*, wait for about a week while it works at it, scrap that IDE-drive and rejoice! Howzat for a plan? :redface:

08-12-2006, 08:27 AM
Firewire's more stable high speeds more than makes up for the small max speed difference between itself and USB2, especially when you're chaining several devices :p

Silent Warrior
08-12-2006, 08:41 AM
I see. Well, I think I'll shell out the extra cash and get my first SATA-drive. My mother seems to be pushed by my dear father in the direction of getting an external HD, for photo-storage mostly, to be carried from her laptop to the stationary thingy. The desktop-PC has a fw-connector, so does the laptop. I'll be sure to mention that.

08-12-2006, 08:43 AM
The laptop might have a smaller 4-pin firewire connector instead of the 6- or 8-pin you get on desktops, so you might also need a different type of firewire cable to connect it to :p I guess if you're lucky and the HD has both 4- and 6- pin connectors though, like my DVD±RW drive, then it might not matter and you just turn the cable round and use the other port :p