Question Selecting and installing new drives for XPS 8900

ritagoldberg

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Sep 21, 2014
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My XPS 8900 has one hard drive with space left and a smallish SSD drive that has run out of space. According to the manual, this computer can hold three hard drives and one SSD. I'm therefore thinking that the easiest solution to the SSD problem will If I install a second hard drive and figure out a way to use that as a supplement to the SSD. So I have some questions.
  1. If I install the second hard drive, can I copy some of the files from the SSD to this drive and continue to use the SSD as the boot drive?
  2. If I copy all the SSD's files to the new drive, will it then become the boot drive? Will this result in a painful slow down of the boot up process?
  3. Maybe I should just ask what you experts suggest is the best approach. I need more space, and the SSD holds most of the programs and other information. How should I handle things if I get a second hard drive and use it in conjunction with the SSD?
I previously asked about getting a second SSD, but that does not seem to be a possibility. I should have looked more closely at the manual.
 
Last edited:

drtweak

Illustrious
1) Yes you can. What you can do is install the new drive, format it. Then lets say it is the new D Drive. Create a folder called Users and then inside there a folder that is the same as your users folder name that you find in c:\users\yourusername.

Now open up This PC. You will see the folders like Documents, Videos, Desktop etc. Right click each one and go to properties. Then click on Location. Change the C to a D and click Ok. If it ask again click yes. This will move that folder to the new hard drive, but keeping the SSD the boot drive.

2) You can't just "Copy" them. You have to use software like Macrium Reflect or Aronos True Image to clone it over. Once that is done you have to 1) Put the HDD in the SATA 1 Slot or some may start at SATA 0 or go into your BIOS and change the boot order to the new drive.

I would do what I said in the first part. That is what I do. Keep apps on the SSD but keep the files on the HDD. Unless you are opening some huge files, you won't see a difference when you open the actual word documents once word is open, but you will see a difference if say word is install on a HDD vs SSD. You can install programs to the D Drive. A lot of games don't really benefit from a SSD except for the initial loading. Once the game is loaded it won't matter.

Also it does have 3 SATA ports, but the thing is 1 of them may get disabled by using a M.2 SATA SSD. Meaning one will be for the hard drive and the other for the DVD drive. If you don't care about the DVD Drive you can use those cables and hook up another SSD/HDD.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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#1. Yes. I wouldn't even bother moving your Libraries to this new sdrive. Windows and applications have gotten really good at manipulating multiple drives. Just create a couple of folders on this new drive, and start saving stuff there.

#2. Cloning is a possibility, give the right conditions. What is the size/make/model of the original C drive, and the new drive?
 

ritagoldberg

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Sep 21, 2014
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Thank you!!! This is great information, and I'll be acting on it as soon as I figure out a couple of things and buy the drive.

Meanwhile, here are some more questions.
  1. I'm thinking about buying a 3.5 inch, 2 TB 7200 rpm internal SATA drive. Is this what you would suggest?
  2. Is there any particular make or model that you would recommend?
  3. I see that there are several different kinds of SATA cables, but almost everything available is 18 inch, SATA III, 6.0 GPBS. Is this what I should look for?
  4. How about mounting screws? I see that new drives normally come neither with cables nor screws. Will all drives of the same size (3.5 inches) require the same type of screw or is there something I should be aware of?
  5. That's good info on the DVD drive. I hadn't thought of that.
As you see, I'm not very knowledgeable, although I'm willing to learn. Many thanks to you for your help as well as anyone else who has suggestions for my little project.
-------------------

1) Yes you can. What you can do is install the new drive, format it. Then lets say it is the new D Drive. Create a folder called Users and then inside there a folder that is the same as your users folder name that you find in c:\users\yourusername.

Now open up This PC. You will see the folders like Documents, Videos, Desktop etc. Right click each one and go to properties. Then click on Location. Change the C to a D and click Ok. If it ask again click yes. This will move that folder to the new hard drive, but keeping the SSD the boot drive.

2) You can't just "Copy" them. You have to use software like Macrium Reflect or Aronos True Image to clone it over. Once that is done you have to 1) Put the HDD in the SATA 1 Slot or some may start at SATA 0 or go into your BIOS and change the boot order to the new drive.

I would do what I said in the first part. That is what I do. Keep apps on the SSD but keep the files on the HDD. Unless you are opening some huge files, you won't see a difference when you open the actual word documents once word is open, but you will see a difference if say word is install on a HDD vs SSD. You can install programs to the D Drive. A lot of games don't really benefit from a SSD except for the initial loading. Once the game is loaded it won't matter.

Also it does have 3 SATA ports, but the thing is 1 of them may get disabled by using a M.2 SATA SSD. Meaning one will be for the hard drive and the other for the DVD drive. If you don't care about the DVD Drive you can use those cables and hook up another SSD/HDD.
 

drtweak

Illustrious
Thank you!!! This is great information, and I'll be acting on it as soon as I figure out a couple of things and buy the drive.

Meanwhile, here are some more questions.
  1. I'm thinking about buying a 3.5 inch, 2 TB 7200 rpm internal SATA drive. Is this what you would suggest?
  2. Is there any particular make or model that you would recommend?
  3. I see that there are several different kinds of SATA cables, but almost everything available is 18 inch, SATA III, 6.0 GPBS. Is this what I should look for?
  4. How about mounting screws? I see that new drives normally come neither with cables nor screws. Will all drives of the same size (3.5 inches) require the same type of screw or is there something I should be aware of?
  5. That's good info on the DVD drive. I hadn't thought of that.
As you see, I'm not very knowledgeable, although I'm willing to learn. Many thanks to you for your help as well as anyone else who has suggestions for my little project.
-------------------
Going with Seagate or Western Digital are both fine. I would go with the Barracuda or WD Black series. Both should be 7200 RPM

A SATA cable is a SATA cable. None of those drives really break SATA I Speeds. SATA II and III were mainly due to SSD's, but now with much faster M.2 connections that is why we had not had a new sata reversion in 10 years.

They use one of the two basic screws used in PC's. One is a larger screw with a larger thread size (Same screws used to screw in Addin cards and motherboards) and then smaller more fine threaded screws (Used for CD ROMs/Floppys/SSDs)

You can always get a addon SATA card as well to give you an extra sata port or two if needed.
 

ritagoldberg

Honorable
Sep 21, 2014
17
0
10,520
1
Going with Seagate or Western Digital are both fine. I would go with the Barracuda or WD Black series. Both should be 7200 RPM

A SATA cable is a SATA cable. None of those drives really break SATA I Speeds. SATA II and III were mainly due to SSD's, but now with much faster M.2 connections that is why we had not had a new sata reversion in 10 years.

They use one of the two basic screws used in PC's. One is a larger screw with a larger thread size (Same screws used to screw in Addin cards and motherboards) and then smaller more fine threaded screws (Used for CD ROMs/Floppys/SSDs)

You can always get a addon SATA card as well to give you an extra sata port or two if needed.
This is just what I needed. Thank you! I'll buy the drive and see how far I get with the installation. No doubt I'll be back for more help in a week or ten days...
 

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