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Computer Hard Drive Question

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Wildside, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. Wildside


    Jan 12, 2004
    theater of pain
    I already have a pc which I use for normal everyday applications. Is it possible to add another hard drive which could be used solely for music recording? If so, roughly how much would this cost? Thanks.
  2. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    It ought to be. Almost every PC made in the last ten years or so has two IDE slots on the motherboard, each of which accepts an IDE cable that connects to a possible 2 IDE devices.

    So you can have up to 4 IDE devices in a PC.

    An IDE device is typically a hard drive or CD-ROM/DVD.

    All you'd have to do is install the second drive, following the manufacturer's intructions, making sure that each drive is set properly to Master, Slave, or Cable Select (again, follow the instructions).

    When you boot up, if you've kept your original drive the Master, then the OS will come up as normal, but there will be a new drive for you to partition and format. If your current drive just has one partition (it's C:\ and your CD-ROM is listed as the D:\ drive), then your old drive will be C:\, the new drive D:\, and other devices will follow alphabetically.

    Then just tell your music apps to use the new drive path for their programs and files.
  3. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I'l think you'll find a lot of people use 2 hard drives. I do. The normal C drive is for spreadsheets and other non music data. My D Drive is much larger and is use entirely for storing music files.
  4. mnadelin


    Apr 6, 2003
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Certainly. As far cost goes, it depends how much you want to spend, how much space you want and what deal you can find. I got a 250GB drive a few weeks ago for $160. Like the other guy said, set it to slave and put it on the same IDE cable (the grey ribbon looking thing) if possible. If you have to put it on the other cable, that could by slightly different if it's unused. Chances are it won't be a problem though. Installing it is fairly straightforward. Windows should recognize it as an unformatted drive, so if you use XP, format it for NTFS and if you use Win98, use FAT32. Hopefully this helps.
  5. you should consider installing a Serial ATA controller in a PCI slot. Standard EIDE is on it's way out - SATA is the future. It's a lot faster and only a fewdollars more than the EIDE version.

    If you think you will be running multitrack software in the future, you're going to want SATA.Here is a good choice for an add-in card
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I use external drives connected through USB 2.0. Just for storing music/video/pics though. I don't record to it. I can take this drive and connect it to any computer running Windows XP. Only thing is I want just a little faster transfer speed so I'm going to upgrade to Firewire.
  7. Wildside


    Jan 12, 2004
    theater of pain
    What's the main difference between a SATA and an EIDE? I plan on using something like Cakewalk Sonar for recording. Will this SATA drive be able to coexist with my windows xp software and other hard drive? Thanks again for the help, I'm not too computer savvy but it seems like the best way to get some recording done.
  8. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    To all computer geeks: I am over simplifying things enormously here for our non-computer savvy person.

    The difference between SATA and EIDE is nothing that you need to worry about if your motherboard supports them both. Learn all you ever wanted to know about Serial ATA HERE

    Windows XP doesn't care what the underlying hardware is as long as it has the proper drivers for it. If the system needs new drivers to access your new hardware, it will either install them auto-magically or it will prompt you for drivers. The drivers are what makes it possible for the OS to use/talk to the hardware that makes up your computer.

    Personally, I record directly to an external firewire drive. It's easy to move projects from one system to another and/or bring projects to bandmate's studios so share/work on ideas.

    I bought a 160GB EIDE hard drive and an external EIDE to IEEE 1394 (firewire) case for $160 a few weeks ago.

    I record with Sonar 3 Producer. I've had projects with as many as 60 tracks work without a problem on the external firewire drive.
  9. regular ATA (which includes EIDE, ATA 100, ATA 133) is a parallel bus design, whch allows 2 drives on one 80 strand ribbon cable, and each drive has a 40-pin connector. Once the drives got up to the 133Mbs speed (this is the speed that data travels along the wire, NOT the speed that drive reads/writes) engineers realized they would not be able to make them much faster so the Serial ATA design started to appear, where you only get one drive per cable (a 7 wire design) but the slowest ones are 150MBs. New designs are being proposed that allow up to 600MBs. Most computers sold today have both PATA (EIDE) and SATA included, and for folks with older systems adding one of those extra PCI controller card will get them up to speed for SATA. Windows doesn't care whether you use PATA or SATA or both, except that the SATA will be faster. Now CDR/DVDR drives are coming out for SATA, and after a while (probalby several years still) you won't be able to find new EIDE drives anymore, just like you can find SCSI 1 today and there's not much out there for SCSI 2 (it's mostly SCSI 3)

    SATA costs a bit more than EIDE so if you're trying to keep the price as low as possible, go with EIDE and save up for the new stuff. At least today you still have a choice