dinosaur pc: external or update internal hd?

  • Thread starter curiousitygeorge
  • Start date

C

curiousitygeorge

got an older compaq ipaq intel pentium III computer, 256 mb RAM, MS
Windows XP SP2 w/ Seagate internal hard drive of 8455 mb, C drive total
space is 7.85 gb & free space is 1.1 gb. i gotta have more space fast
& can't afford new pc at moment. am thinking about buying one of
following external hard drives on sale: 1)Maxtor Shared Storage Drive
w/ 200 gb for $93 or 2) a Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 w/ 200 gb
for $80, or 3) see if I can remove the Seagate internal hard drive &
install a larger hd. one computer shop wasn't sure this older compaq
tower can handle an upgraded internal hard drive.

anyone know if this computer is capable of running a newer faster
internal hard drive or would i be better off adding an external hard
drive mentioned above? any preference on which Maxtor above would work
best?

also i read one gent's horror story about downloading maxtor's cd for
the new external hard drive.
would the maxtor external hard drive work ok w/out downloading their
cd? thanks!!!!!!!!!!
 
Ad

Advertisements

P

philo

got an older compaq ipaq intel pentium III computer, 256 mb RAM, MS
Windows XP SP2 w/ Seagate internal hard drive of 8455 mb, C drive total
space is 7.85 gb & free space is 1.1 gb. i gotta have more space fast
& can't afford new pc at moment. am thinking about buying one of
following external hard drives on sale: 1)Maxtor Shared Storage Drive
w/ 200 gb for $93 or 2) a Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 w/ 200 gb
for $80, or 3) see if I can remove the Seagate internal hard drive &
install a larger hd. one computer shop wasn't sure this older compaq
tower can handle an upgraded internal hard drive.


I've recently updated a few compaq p-III's and went from 6 gig to 20 gig
drives.
It was no problem at all...but I don't know the upper limit.

If the driver is larger than the BIOS can handle...
a cheap PCI controller will usually do the trick.
(or even the drive overlay software)

BTW: An external drive should be easy enough to do
*however* unless you have USB2 (or IEE1394) the USB1 transfer time will be
too
slow to be of much use!
 
P

philo

BTW: An external drive should be easy enough to do
*however* unless you have USB2 (or IEE1394) the USB1 transfer time will be
too
slow to be of much use!

Oh, I forgot to mention...
if you add an internal drive as a *second* drive...
bios support is not a problem...

If the bios properly identifies the drive...then leave it at that...
but if the bios does not recongnize the drive or if the bios "chokes"
merely *disable* that chaneel in the bios. VIZ: set it to 'none'

The opertaing system ...using disk management will properly see the drive.

This is not speculation or theory...I've done it a number of times.

My hobby is fixing up old machines!
 
C

curiousitygeorge

philo, the compaq tower is very tight w/ no shelf space to add a second
hard drive inside so how do i find out if 1) a new replacement internal
hard drive will run ok in the compaq tower & which internal hard drives
would work properly?, and 2) if i have usb2?---did i understand
correctly that if i don't have usb2 that an external hard drive wont be
of much use as it will be incredible slow? thanks!
 
D

DaveW

That old computer's motherboard BIOS CANNOT recognize a harddrive larger
than 10 GB. You would be wasting your money to buy a larger drive.
 
P

philo

philo, the compaq tower is very tight w/ no shelf space to add a second
hard drive inside so how do i find out if 1) a new replacement internal
hard drive will run ok in the compaq tower & which internal hard drives
would work properly?, and 2) if i have usb2?---did i understand
correctly that if i don't have usb2 that an external hard drive wont be
of much use as it will be incredible slow? thanks!

Unless someone added a USB2 card or a Firewire card...that machine would
just have
USB1.
To install a USB2 card would not be hard to do...and it would not cost much.

OTOH: If you want to install the drive internally and you only have room for
one drive
I'd play it safe and not get too large of a drive (I don;t know the bios
limit on that machine but most p-III's should be able to support at least an
80 gig drive...probably even larger)
....but even if you wanted to get a drive
larger than what the bios could support...an inexpensive PCI controller
would allow you to use it
 
Ad

Advertisements

P

philo

DaveW said:
That old computer's motherboard BIOS CANNOT recognize a harddrive larger
than 10 GB. You would be wasting your money to buy a larger drive.

That's not true...
the ones I was working on took a 20 gig drive with no problem...(and some of
them were just p-II's)
but what the actual limit it varies
 
R

Rod Speed

the compaq tower is very tight w/ no shelf space to
add a second hard drive inside so how do i find out if
1) a new replacement internal hard drive will run ok in the
compaq tower & which internal hard drives would work properly?,

There isnt any easy way on the drive size supported except trying it.

It may be possible to work out what drive size it will take if you
can list the exact model number details off the plate at the back.

It should accept a drive of less than 32G, and should accept one
bigger than that if it doesnt have an Award bios. There may be a
problem with drives over 127G, but you may not care about that.
and 2) if i have usb2?---did i understand correctly that if i don't have usb2
that an external hard drive wont be of much use as it will be incredible slow?

Yes, and its very unlikely to have USB2.

And I wouldnt use either Maxtor external even if you did add a
USB2 card, they are very poorly designed and dont cool the
drives adequately and Maxtor drives dont like running hot as well.


 
K

kony

got an older compaq ipaq intel pentium III computer, 256 mb RAM, MS
Windows XP SP2 w/ Seagate internal hard drive of 8455 mb, C drive total
space is 7.85 gb & free space is 1.1 gb. i gotta have more space fast
& can't afford new pc at moment. am thinking about buying one of
following external hard drives on sale: 1)Maxtor Shared Storage Drive
w/ 200 gb for $93 or 2) a Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 w/ 200 gb
for $80, or 3) see if I can remove the Seagate internal hard drive &
install a larger hd. one computer shop wasn't sure this older compaq
tower can handle an upgraded internal hard drive.


Your system has only USB1, it would be very very slow to use
an external HDD.

I suggest getting a new, smallish PATA drive. Before
installing it, see if there is a bios update for the system
and if so, update the bios - even if it doesn't mention
anything about larger HDD support, as they may fail to
mention it.

Put the new HDD in the system (sitting next to it if no
space, this is temporarily for the next steps). See what
size the bios reports, if it can't see the full capacity
then use the capacity limit jumper on the drive which limits
it to 32GB. If the system only has ATA33 support (which you
don't mention, a P3 era system could have ATA33, 66, or 100)
then you might consider adding a PCI ATA133 controller card,
or not - we can't know how much money you want to sink into
parts you might not reuse later, nor how likely you might be
to reuse a PATA133 controller card (they can be handy to
turn old systems like this into fileservers later, except
yours seems to not have enough internal drive mounting to do
so unless you have a few 5.25" bays you could use for that
later if desired).

After seeing the whole drive capacity or limiting it to 32GB
(and then seeing 32GB detected), clone the old drive to the
new one, then remove the old drive.


anyone know if this computer is capable of running a newer faster
internal hard drive or would i be better off adding an external hard
drive mentioned above? any preference on which Maxtor above would work
best?

Sure it can run even the newest PATA drive, it just can't
see the entire capacity so you'd limit the capacity as
needed. On the one hand, this might suggest buying a drive
barely larger than 32GB as new stock, but on the other hand,
buying a much larger drive would make it more useful later,
if moved to a different system (and faster, newer model
drives will be faster accessing that first 32GB of space
than an old one would be, and with only 256MB of memory
running WinXP you may find the system is quite often using
the pagefile a lot, HDD performance will matter).

I wouldn't get an external for this use, except if you want
an external for other reasons, you could (for the time
being) pull the drive out of the external (providing the
manufacturer didn't seal the external case closed) and put
the bare drive in the system, then later when you want to
use the drive for something else and retire the system (or
buy another HDD) you can put it in the enclosure. The main
thing you won't want is to be regularly using an enclosure
over USB1.1 the system supports.

also i read one gent's horror story about downloading maxtor's cd for
the new external hard drive.
would the maxtor external hard drive work ok w/out downloading their
cd? thanks!!!!!!!!!!

Sure, the CD is probably their Onetouch software (Or
similar) which essentially allows pressing a button on the
enclosure to make a backup. It will work as an external
drive with no software.
 
R

Rod Speed

kony said:
(e-mail address removed) wrote
Your system has only USB1, it would be
very very slow to use an external HDD.

Not expensive to add USB2 or eSATA tho.
I suggest getting a new, smallish PATA drive.

No point in getting smallish. Whats best value makes
a lot more sense and do the obvious if it ends up being
limited at 127G, use a biosed hard drive card to fix that.
Before installing it, see if there is a bios update for the system
and if so, update the bios - even if it doesn't mention anything
about larger HDD support, as they may fail to mention it.
Put the new HDD in the system (sitting next to it if no
space, this is temporarily for the next steps). See what
size the bios reports, if it can't see the full capacity
then use the capacity limit jumper on the drive which limits
it to 32GB. If the system only has ATA33 support (which you
don't mention, a P3 era system could have ATA33, 66, or 100)
then you might consider adding a PCI ATA133 controller card,
or not - we can't know how much money you want to sink into
parts you might not reuse later, nor how likely you might be
to reuse a PATA133 controller card (they can be handy to
turn old systems like this into fileservers later, except
yours seems to not have enough internal drive mounting to do
so unless you have a few 5.25" bays you could use for that
later if desired).
After seeing the whole drive capacity or limiting it to 32GB
(and then seeing 32GB detected), clone the old drive to the
new one, then remove the old drive.
Sure it can run even the newest PATA drive, it just can't
see the entire capacity so you'd limit the capacity as
needed. On the one hand, this might suggest buying a drive
barely larger than 32GB as new stock, but on the other hand,
buying a much larger drive would make it more useful later,
if moved to a different system (and faster, newer model
drives will be faster accessing that first 32GB of space
than an old one would be, and with only 256MB of memory
running WinXP you may find the system is quite often using
the pagefile a lot, HDD performance will matter).
I wouldn't get an external for this use, except if you want
an external for other reasons, you could (for the time
being) pull the drive out of the external (providing the
manufacturer didn't seal the external case closed) and put
the bare drive in the system, then later when you want to
use the drive for something else and retire the system (or
buy another HDD) you can put it in the enclosure. The main
thing you won't want is to be regularly using an enclosure
over USB1.1 the system supports.

Doesnt cost much to add USB2 or eSATA tho.
Sure, the CD is probably their Onetouch software (Or
similar) which essentially allows pressing a button on the
enclosure to make a backup. It will work as an external
drive with no software.

But maxtor external drives are steaming turds.
 
P

paulmd

got an older compaq ipaq intel pentium III computer, 256 mb RAM, MS
Windows XP SP2 w/ Seagate internal hard drive of 8455 mb, C drive total
space is 7.85 gb & free space is 1.1 gb. i gotta have more space fast
& can't afford new pc at moment. am thinking about buying one of
following external hard drives on sale: 1)Maxtor Shared Storage Drive
w/ 200 gb for $93 or 2) a Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 w/ 200 gb
for $80, or 3) see if I can remove the Seagate internal hard drive &
install a larger hd. one computer shop wasn't sure this older compaq
tower can handle an upgraded internal hard drive.

anyone know if this computer is capable of running a newer faster
internal hard drive or would i be better off adding an external hard
drive mentioned above? any preference on which Maxtor above would work
best?

also i read one gent's horror story about downloading maxtor's cd for
the new external hard drive.
would the maxtor external hard drive work ok w/out downloading their
cd? thanks!!!!!!!!!!

You got one of those microscopic jobs? I've put up to an 80GB hdd in
one of these. I'm not sure where the limit is, exactly. But it works
with 80GB. There's a common limit at 137GB.

The thing with the external option is USB1.1 is gonna be SLOW.

External is probably better, because the hardware limit may apply. But
if you can live with an 80gb internal.... that would be 10X your
present storage.
 
Ad

Advertisements

P

paulmd

philo said:
Unless someone added a USB2 card or a Firewire card...that machine would
just have
USB1.
To install a USB2 card would not be hard to do...and it would not cost much.

OTOH: If you want to install the drive internally and you only have room for
one drive
I'd play it safe and not get too large of a drive (I don;t know the bios
limit on that machine but most p-III's should be able to support at least an
80 gig drive...probably even larger)
...but even if you wanted to get a drive
larger than what the bios could support...an inexpensive PCI controller
would allow you to use it

If he has the machine i think he has, there's no PCI slots. Only USB.
 
P

paulmd

DaveW said:
That old computer's motherboard BIOS CANNOT recognize a harddrive larger
than 10 GB. You would be wasting your money to buy a larger drive.

Says Who? I've upgraded the old celeron 500Mhz models as far as 80GB,
512MB RAM. And there is a Bios upgrade available for these that lets
you upgrade the processor to at least a 1GHz p3 (133 mhz FSB) or a
1.1Ghz celeron, perhaps a bit beyond.
 
K

kony

Not expensive to add USB2 or eSATA tho.

Agreed, though one can get a 120+GB internal drive for about
$30-40 AR these days, it could almost double the cost for a
decent eSATA, and a USB2 will still be significantly slower
than an internal.


No point in getting smallish. Whats best value makes
a lot more sense and do the obvious if it ends up being
limited at 127G, use a biosed hard drive card to fix that.

By smallish I meant 250GB or less, not some teeny 20GB
thing. The idea here was that there's not a lot of useful
return spending a lot of money to keep a system that old
running.


Doesnt cost much to add USB2 or eSATA tho.

Of course not, but it doesn't cost much to upgrade the
memory over 256MB (if it'll support more, which practically
everything P3 era did), or several other areas when talking
about a machine that old... but these parts may be money
down the drain that could be put towards something else.
I'd get the eSATA card before a USB2 if either, since it'll
be more useful on the next new(er) system.


But maxtor external drives are steaming turds.


There are smellier things... plenty of people use them fine,
regardless of how trendy it is to bash Maxtor. Regardless,
an external drive enclosure and USB2 card is more $ than I'd
spend just to get more storage on a modestly endowed P3 era
system.
 
L

love2kvetch

(e-mail address removed) wrote in @q40g2000cwq.googlegroups.com:
got an older compaq ipaq intel pentium III computer, 256 mb RAM, MS
Windows XP SP2 w/ Seagate internal hard drive of 8455 mb, C drive total
space is 7.85 gb & free space is 1.1 gb. i gotta have more space fast
& can't afford new pc at moment. am thinking about buying one of
following external hard drives on sale: 1)Maxtor Shared Storage Drive
w/ 200 gb for $93 or 2) a Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 w/ 200 gb
for $80, or 3) see if I can remove the Seagate internal hard drive &
install a larger hd. one computer shop wasn't sure this older compaq
tower can handle an upgraded internal hard drive.

anyone know if this computer is capable of running a newer faster
internal hard drive or would i be better off adding an external hard
drive mentioned above? any preference on which Maxtor above would work
best?

also i read one gent's horror story about downloading maxtor's cd for
the new external hard drive.
would the maxtor external hard drive work ok w/out downloading their
cd? thanks!!!!!!!!!!

Check Pricegrabber.com, Slickdeals.net, and Techbargains.com on a regular
basis. Buy.com had 250 gig WD ext. hd on sale last week for $80 w/free
shipping after Google checkout.

If you can't get that kind of deal, get yourself a USB 2 card, buy an
internal drive that's at least 250 gig (you can get them for $50-$60
after rebate on sale), and a decent external enclosure for $25. It's
very simple to make your own external hard drive that way (if you don't
want to install a 2nd internal drive to your IDE connection on the
motherboard). You can also probably upgrade your ram for a cheap price
by checking what ram you need on Crucial.com and then searching e-bay.


(once again, find some manufacturers and check Pricegrabber (Pricewatch
is good, too. You can also check the Sunday ads - but always check the
net when you find a good retail store price. There's a chance that an
online retailer will be offering a rebate that the store doesn't).
Don't waste time with retail stores. They either won't have it in stock,
overprice the model, or try to sell you something else. Newegg, Buy.com,
PC Connection, Frye's Outpost and even Amazon are good online sites.


Since Win XP is plug and play, it doesn't matter what CD you use. The CD
is for partitioning and formatting the hard drive and many tools can do
that (Partition Magic is just one).

I would look at hard drives in the following order:

Seagate
Western Digital
Maxtor

(Dell puts Maxtor's in most of their computers so you have an idea of the
reason why - you can usually get them for the cheapest price - although I
have an old Maxtor external and it's never caused a problem).
 
L

love2kvetch

That old computer's motherboard BIOS CANNOT recognize a harddrive larger
than 10 GB. You would be wasting your money to buy a larger drive.

There are BIOS upgrades for all the older motherboards that will recognize
very large hard drives. My old PII recognizes 250 gig drives.
 
Ad

Advertisements

K

kony

Says Who? I've upgraded the old celeron 500Mhz models as far as 80GB,
512MB RAM. And there is a Bios upgrade available for these that lets
you upgrade the processor to at least a 1GHz p3 (133 mhz FSB) or a
1.1Ghz celeron, perhaps a bit beyond.


Remember that DaveW is our strongest "start over from
scratch" advocate. The curious part is where he got the
"10GB" figure since it's never been the limit on anything.
 
K

kony

On Sat, 06 Jan 2007 23:27:36 -0600,
There are BIOS upgrades for all the older motherboards that will recognize
very large hard drives. My old PII recognizes 250 gig drives.


Many yes, but not all. Manufacturers with better support
like Asus or Intel are far more likely to support over 32GB
than some... though it might've already supported over 32GB
from the factory and the bios would only be needed for post
128GB support.
 
C

CBFalconer

There are BIOS upgrades for all the older motherboards that will
recognize very large hard drives. My old PII recognizes 250 gig
drives.

You can also get PCI or ISA cards that provide the bios upgrade for
just the HD access. No worries about a bad flash. I have one
somewhere around here. From day 1 the IBM bios has had a method of
searching and installing bios extensions.
 
Ad

Advertisements

M

Mike Walsh

The most common BIOS limitations are 8 GB and 128 GB (for internal drives that the BIOS must recognize, not for USB). Since your hard drive is just under 8 GB it is possible that the BIOS has a 8 GB limit, but since it is a Pentium 3 I think the limit is probably 128 GB. If there is a 8 GB limit you can upgrade the BIOS to recognize drives larger than 8 GB and it is likely that you could also upgrade to go beyond the 128 GB limit.
I don't use external drives but I know several people that use them and think they are great. You can use the drive without installing the Maxtor software, which is mainly for automatic backups. As others have noted, an external drive will be very slow with USB 1.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top