Upgrading HDD on Xp Mediacentre computer


G

Guest

Currently installed HDD:

250Gb SATA

Single partition C drive

82% full

Installed XP Mediacentre 2002 Sp3





Upgrade HDD

500Gb SATA

Proposed 2 partitions, 35Gb for the OS and the rest for data files.





Upgrade HDD steps



1.. Using Acronis create a disk image of the single partition on the old
HDD. Copy the image to DVD or a removable hard disk.


2.. Connect up new HDD to computer.


3.. Partition the new HDD into a 35Gb primary active partition (E) with
the rest of the HDD (465Gb) also becoming a primary partition (F).


4.. Format both partitions (E) & (F) on the new HDD with NTFS.


5.. Transfer all data files from the old HDD to the (F) partition on the
new drive.


6.. With partition magic shrink the single partition on the old HDD down
to 35Gb.


7.. Perform a defrag on the 30Gb partition on the old HDD.


8.. Using Acronis create a disk image of the 30Gb partition on the old HDD
and copy it over to the 30Gb partition on the new HDD.


9.. Disconnect old HDD from computer and reconnect new HDD to use the old
HDD cable.




Questions:



Will drive letters on the new drive revert back to C & D with only one HDD
connected?



Can the DVR recording software included as part of XP Mediacentre be altered
to save its recording to the second partition on the new drive?



Will the defragging the 30Gb partition on the old drive make the OS more
responsive?



Is there anything that I should have included in the Upgrade HDD steps?
 
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D

DL

Why do you want data files on a seperate partion of the same drive?
Personally I would connect the new drive, use acronis to clone, on
completion shutdown.Disconect the old C, reboot.
Assuming all ok, shutdown, reconect old C as slave, reboot, format old C
Then if neccessary set about moving data (My Documents) to your prefered
location
 
G

Guest

Well, at the moment the original HDD in the machine is 82% full, mostly
because of recorded TV programs & pictures. The machine came from Dell with
only one partition. The speed of the machine is really slow now, and
defragging the HDD does not alter the fragmentation by much.



By splitting the HDD into two partitions one for OS and the other for data
files, I hope to achieve a faster system. When I defrag the OS partition for
example greater disk efficiencies will be achieved, then if the OS is mixed
in with large data files that are difficult to shift. I have done this HDD
partition split on my Win98 laptop and it works well.



I have another question:



In step 5 of my procedure, [Transfer all data files from the old HDD to the
(F) partition on the new drive.], should I transfer the data files to a
different removable HDD, and only transfer them to the new HDD once the
image file of the 30Gb OS partition as been copied [step 8]? Because I think
I have read somewhere that the HDD starts storing data on the faster outer
most tracks first. Obviously I would want my OS files to occupy this space.
 
K

Ken Blake, MVP

Well, at the moment the original HDD in the machine is 82% full, mostly
because of recorded TV programs & pictures. The machine came from Dell with
only one partition. The speed of the machine is really slow now,



There can be several reasons that the machine is slow. Malware
infection and performance-robbing programs autostarting are the two
most common), but your single partition is not one of them.

and
defragging the HDD does not alter the fragmentation by much.



By splitting the HDD into two partitions one for OS and the other for data
files, I hope to achieve a faster system.


Sorry, that won't make it faster. If anything, it will make it
slightly slower, since it will put files farther apart on the disk
than necessary and therefore increase the time it takes for heads to
travel.


When I defrag the OS partition for
example greater disk efficiencies will be achieved, then if the OS is mixed
in with large data files that are difficult to shift. I have done this HDD
partition split on my Win98 laptop and it works well.



I have another question:



In step 5 of my procedure, [Transfer all data files from the old HDD to the
(F) partition on the new drive.], should I transfer the data files to a
different removable HDD, and only transfer them to the new HDD once the
image file of the 30Gb OS partition as been copied [step 8]? Because I think
I have read somewhere that the HDD starts storing data on the faster outer
most tracks first. Obviously I would want my OS files to occupy this space.



DL said:
Why do you want data files on a seperate partion of the same drive?
Personally I would connect the new drive, use acronis to clone, on
completion shutdown.Disconect the old C, reboot.
Assuming all ok, shutdown, reconect old C as slave, reboot, format old C
Then if neccessary set about moving data (My Documents) to your prefered
location
 
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D

Daave

My comments are inline.

SpamMePlease(NOT) said:
Well, at the moment the original HDD in the machine is 82% full,
mostly because of recorded TV programs & pictures. The machine came
from Dell with only one partition. The speed of the machine is really
slow now, and defragging the HDD does not alter the fragmentation by
much.

Several points.

If your machine came from Dell, there should be more than one partition.
I am aware that if you are in Windows and look in My Computer, you will
indeed see only one partition (C: drive). However, Disk Management
should show more (unless you or someone else deleted the partition
that Dell originally placed there. For sure, Dell originally gave you a
hidden diagnostics partition. I personally like keeping these, but YMMV.
Some Dells also have a hidden recovery partition. But if you have a Dell
XP reinstallation CD, I doubt that is your case.

If the speed is slow, upgrading to a larger hard drive (without
performing a Clean Install) won't yield much improvement. It would be
better to address the slowness *now* (with the current hard drive still
in the PC). 82%, although up there, is not necessarily too bad, since
this means you have 18% free (45 GB), which is still acceptable. Of
course, once you're at 15%, that's not enough to work with...

Suggestions (including deleting temp files and old System Restore
points) will be at the end of my post.

Finally, although defragging produces a very noticeable effect in
systems like Windows 98, you won't notice a huge improvement in systems
like XP. But, yes, you should still do it!
By splitting the HDD into two partitions one for OS and the other for
data files, I hope to achieve a faster system.

I doubt this will be noticeably faster. However, if you choose to keep
your OS and *all* installed programs on one partition, if you choose to
image that partition, it won't take as long as imaging the entire hard
drive. Then again, you will still need a system to regularly back up all
your data. :)

For a helpful explanation of partitioning and backup strategies, please
read this article by Ken Blake:

http://www.computorcompanion.com/LPMArticle.asp?ID=326

(This is why DL suggested you keep your existing structure of one
partition. However, Ken also discusses the merit of having two
partitions, where one has the OS and programs.)
When I defrag the OS
partition for example greater disk efficiencies will be achieved,
then if the OS is mixed in with large data files that are difficult
to shift. I have done this HDD partition split on my Win98 laptop and
it works well.

But it is doubtful that these "greater disk efficiencies" will address
your slowness issue sufficiently. :)
I have another question:



In step 5 of my procedure, [Transfer all data files from the old HDD
to the (F) partition on the new drive.], should I transfer the data
files to a different removable HDD, and only transfer them to the new
HDD once the image file of the 30Gb OS partition as been copied [step
8]? Because I think I have read somewhere that the HDD starts storing
data on the faster outer most tracks first. Obviously I would want my
OS files to occupy this space.

DL said:
Why do you want data files on a seperate partion of the same drive?
Personally I would connect the new drive, use acronis to clone, on
completion shutdown.Disconect the old C, reboot.
Assuming all ok, shutdown, reconect old C as slave, reboot, format
old C Then if neccessary set about moving data (My Documents) to
your prefered location

As previously mentioned, you can either do this or just have one
partition. If you decide to dedicate one partition to your OS *and
programs!!!*, since your hard drive is very large (500 GB), I would
definitely make your OS/programs partition larger (at least 60GB). Then
again, 35GB might be enough space, but why not give yourself lots of
breathing space? :)

I would instead use the new hard drive's cloning software/procedure. (Of
course, it can't hurt to image your hard drive first as a precaution.)
Then again, my suggestion is useful if you decide to stay with one
partition (which I still think is a good idea). And if you decide to
regularly image your hard drive, remember that incremental images won't
take that long -- even considering all your data (since incremental
images are only concerned with *new* data).

If you really want to have a separate data partition, you should copy
all the data files safely to an external hard drive, then delete them
from your PC's hard drive. *Then* you can image or clone your hard
drive. Once your PC is running with the new hard drive, you can use a
third-party partitioning program to create a special partition for your
data, then copy the data back from the external hard drive to it.

But you might have better results with performing a Clean Install (if
the methods below don't help you with your sluggishness).

Huh? Primary should be C:, correct? Oh, I think I see what you are
doing. That's not how I would do it. I would remove the old hard drive.
Also, like I said earlier, I would make sure C: is 60GB (or 500 GB
:) ).

This method really seems to be too much work! :)

Like I said earlier, you need to address your sluggishness. Of course,
if you decide to perform a Clean Install, you will instantly have a fast
PC. That might actually be your wisest course of action. If you want to
avoid doing this, here are the usual causes of sluggishness:

1. Malicious software (malware). You need to rule this out first! This
page has excellent information:

http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Viruses_Malware

2. Certain programs that are designed to combat malware (e.g., Norton
and McAfee). Ironically, they can slow things down because they simply
use way too many resources. Sometime they cause conflicts with other
programs. And their default mode is to scan your entire hard drive each
time you boot up. Fortunately, there are other antimalware programs
available that use far fewer resources (e.g., NOD32, Avast, and Avira).

3. Too many of certain types of programs always running in the
background -- with or without your knowledge. (Then again, many programs
that run in the background have trivial consequences.)

To determine every program and process you are currently running, use
the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) and click the Processes tab. You should
be able to sort by CPU usage or Memory usage to get a good ideas which
ones are the resource/memory hogs. You should write down the names of
all the processes for future detective work (or take a snapshot and
print it out).

Use these sites to determine what these programs are and to learn how to
configure them not to always run at startup:

http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_content.php#THE_PROGRAMS
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/startups/
http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist.htm

Sometimes it is recommended to use msconfig to configure the programs to
not run at startup. A better, more thorough program is Autoruns:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

But before you do this, you should use the preference settings of the
program in question. Otherwise, for some programs, they will return to
the startup list anyway!

If you do wish to use msconfig, it may be accessed this way:

Start | Run | type "msconfig" (without the quotation marks) | Enter (or
OK)

4. Not enough RAM, which causes the PC to overly rely on the pagefile. A
quick way to determine if this is happening is to open Task Manager
(Ctrl+Alt+Del) and click the Performance tab. Then note the three values
under Commit Charge (K): in the lower left-hand corner: Total, Limit,
and Peak.

The Total figure represents the amount of memory you are using at that
very moment. The Peak figure represents the highest amount of memory you
used since last bootup. If both these figures are below the value of
Physical Memory (K) Total, then you probably have plenty of RAM.
In case you want to explore this further, you may run Page File Monitor
for Windows XP:

http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_pagefilemon.htm

5. You might also want to check that your hard drive's access mode
didn't change from DMA to PIO:

http://www.technize.com/2007/08/02/is-your-hard-disk-cddvd-drives-too-slow-while-copying/

and

http://users.bigpond.net.au/ninjaduck/itserviceduck/udma_fix/

Also, this post by Shenan sould help you deleting temp files and other
bits that take up unnecessary disk space. Defragging should only be done
after you slim down! Here it is:

http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsxp.general/msg/e1928d9e6d8fbf1a?hl=en
 

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