Hard Drives

linhans

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Hi. I am a new user and hope someone can help me with this question. We built a computer with 3 hdds. I believe 1 sata and 2 ide. We are running XP. Right now, we are only really using 1 of the 3 hdds. We need to know if there is a way we can use our 1 copy of XP on all 3 drives. Does it migrate from one drive to another. 2 of the drives are 160gb and 1 is a raptor 97gb I believe. I can get more detailed info if needed. I think we need to load a separate OS of one kind or another to each drive. My b/f says that our 1 OS can be used for all three. I hope this is enough info. If not, let me know and I`ll dig up more. Thanks. :)
 

g-paw

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There would no reason to run XP on more that one drive, if you want to run 2 different OS like XP and Linux then you could use two drives. I'd use the smallest one for the OS and programs and the other 2 for storage. Unless there is a reason to run 3 drives internally, I do on one machine using one for storage and the other for video editing, otherwise I only run 2, You could buy a case and make one of the drives an external drive if you don't need 2 storage drives. What is the size of each drive?
 

telim

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You can easily remove any 2 of the hard drives without worry; provided your OS is installed on the drive you ARE NOT removing.

You don't need an OS on each hard drive unless you are building 3 computers from those 3 hard drives.

There is no such thing as a 97GB raptor. 36, 74 and 150GB are you choices.

What exactly do you want to do with the 2 hard drives you aren't using? Take them out? Use them in a diff computer?

We need a little more detail. Perhaps your boyfriend could post here?
 

yakyb

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goto start
right click my computer
goto manage
then goto disk management
you will need to format the other two drives then you will be able to use them no problems

its as simple as Right click on the drive then click format

i guess this is what you mean by the vague description of what you put above
hope it helps
 

merc14

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XP is your operating system and once you install it on a drive you can't remove the drive. XP will be on the C: driveor C: partition). I suggest you install XP on the single Raptor with the other two drives not plugged in.

After you have XP installed and patched and all your drivers installed, turn off you rPC and unplug it. Now install the two IDE drives into the case. Make sure you have one set to master on the little jumper panel on the back, and one set to slave. Plug the IDE drives into the ribbon cable and plug the ribbon cable into the motherboard. The master drive should be plugged into the master plug on the cable (usually the end of the ribbon). Install power plugs into he drives. Plug you PC back in and turn it on.

What you will see is the two drives will pop up as D: and E: or more likely E: and F: since you have a CD Drive in the loop. They will be considered as separate partitin and treated as such.

There may be some issues with BIOS boot order and such.
 

linhans

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Thanks for replying. I have more info from b/f. We have Maxtor 160g, Western Dig 79g raptor and Seagate 160g hdds. His idea in having the 3 is to use 1 for online activity, 1 for gaming and the other for storage hoping that isolating the online harddrive will prevent cross-contamination from online junk. What we want to do is use our 1 OS which is XP for all of them. I want to remove 1 and use it for external storage i.e. backups and such. Can XP be used on even 2 of the drives or is a separate OS needed? I asked at Micro Center and their tech said that each harddrive needs it`s own OS. Does this help? It`s rather hard to explain. Thanks for being patient with this newbie.
 

merc14

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You can load XP on two disks but XP does not like to run with another version of itself active. Eventually something will get screwed up and you'll have corruption. One way around this would be to never have the two OS drives connected simultaneously. Unplug one drive and reboot from the other.

Honestly, there is very little reason to do what you're thinking about. A good firewall, virus software and a spyware program should provide adequate protection. There are programs you can buy that will allow you to run the browser on a virtual machine that would separate it from the rest of the system but that is kind of overkill as well.

Personally, I would load XP on the Raptor and run the Seagate as the second drive. Put the Maxtor in an external case and back up your vital data to it and then turn it off so it won't get infected.

Another way to do things i make C: a 10GB-25Gb partition and load just XP onto that. Load nothing else on there. Make the rest of the drive Partition D: and load your programs on there. EWhen that drive is all swuared away and all your drivers are loaded on D: install the Seagate and label that as E:. Store all your stuff on there. things like photos and documents etc. Don't install any programs on it.

To do this you'll have to open Disk Managemnment, R-Click on the Optical drive and change its designation to X: or Y: to get it out of the way. Otherwise it will make itself the next letter in-line.

So you'll have C: at 15GB with just the OS on it, D: wit the remaining space ofr app your programs and dribvers (things that would need to be reloaded with a reintsall of XP anyways) and E: as the onboard storage. When you reinstall XP in the future just unplug the Seagate and the data will be safe. Outside the PC you'll have the Maxtor.

This will allow you to defrag the OS quickly and keep it together, protect the system from the viruses that attack C: only and safely segregate data on a separate drive.
 

g-paw

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Thanks for replying. I have more info from b/f. We have Maxtor 160g, Western Dig 79g raptor and Seagate 160g hdds. His idea in having the 3 is to use 1 for online activity, 1 for gaming and the other for storage hoping that isolating the online harddrive will prevent cross-contamination from online junk. What we want to do is use our 1 OS which is XP for all of them. I want to remove 1 and use it for external storage i.e. backups and such. Can XP be used on even 2 of the drives or is a separate OS needed? I asked at Micro Center and their tech said that each harddrive needs it`s own OS. Does this help? It`s rather hard to explain. Thanks for being patient with this newbie.
Agree with merc14, putting XP on 2 drives will eventually cause problems. I agree with partitoning but I always put the OS and programs on the same partition given if you have to do a clean install of the OS, you'll have to install all the programs anyway but no compelling reason to do it one way or the other.Backing your data on an external drive and turning it off will protect the data. If you bf is going to sites where he is likely to get malware, he would be better off putting together a cheap computer to do this. You can always network the computers and transfer any files from the machine likely to get infected to the other machine after running an anti virus program to make sure they're clean. I won't speculate on what your bf wants to do that will likely lead to malware but what ever it is, I wouldn't do it on my primary machine.
 

merc14

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g-paw-
I like XP on its own partition because it defrags in about 5 minutes,. I put the virus and utilities on a small 4GB partition and then all my programs on the tird. When I reinstall XP (which I do often) I wipe the whole drive (2x80GB RAID 0) and start over. All my data is on a standalone 250GB drive Plus the backup 320GB drive in an external.
 

g-paw

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I always defrag when I know I won't be using the computer and always do it in Safe Mode. Sometimes I'll run it overnight so how long it takes isn't an issue for me. I always partition my drive putting the OS and programs on C and data on the others. I also have at least 2 drives in each computer for back up, 3 in the one I use for video editing. Also back up on an external drive. With this level of paranoia I think I'm certifiable. :D

I definitely agree, regardless of how you do it, you should always store your data on a drive or partition other than the one(s) you have the OS and programs on. It's beyond me why everyone doesn't do this. I learned about partitioning when I got my first computer. It was a Dell with a whopping 6GB hdd that had 3 partitions because for some reason the OS couldn't read more than 2GB. Went nuts on Dell when the next machine I bought wasn't partitioned. That's when I learned about Partition Magic, back when Dell support was really good and would tell you things. Guess these young whipper snappers never had to deal with 2GB limitation and partition on big 6GB drives :)
 

linhans

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Thanks to all for the advice. I agree with all including creating external harddrive for backups. I will have b/f read this. It all makes good sense to me. :D
 

linhans

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I would like to surprise him but he doesn`t take well to surprises. Am working on him trying to get him to read all your responses. If that doesn`t work, I`ll just take the drives out myself. Thanks again for all the assistance. :)
 

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