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  #1  
Old 09-26-2005, 11:01 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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External hard drive....next chapter...

Well, I purchased a 2.5" enclosure, and decided I would use the old 12GB hard drive from my old Dell Latitude Laptop (400mghz). I've been screwing around with it all weekend, trying to make it work. First I did an Fdisk on the 12GB drive while it was still in the old laptop (coundn't figure out how to do it when it was out of the machine, besides it still had Win XP on it, and I had no idea how that would effect things.) Got it re-partitioned, and formatted. (the old laptop would only let me format it in FAT 16) Took it out of the old machine, put it in the enclosure and plugged it into the USB port on my newer HP Pavilion laptop. The enclosure has one LED (green for power/idle, and red for read/write) Initially it's green, then it turns red and just stays there....forever. I get the new hardware icon in the taskbar, but the drive isn't visible in either My Computer, or Disk Management (got to disk management by right clicking on My computer>Manage>disk management)

I played around trying different things......the computer will not shut down, and/or windows XP will not boot up with the external drive attached to the USB port. I don't know if I screwed something up with the FDISK or what.

I have a new 40GB drive on the way, so I thought if I can't figure out how to make this 12GB drive work as an external, then I'll try the NEW 40GB and see if that works. If all else fails, then I'll seek "professional" help at one of the local computer shops.

I just had a thought.....maybe something with the old laptop hardware and the FAT 16 file system? I have a newer Dell laptop that I might just try putting the hard drive in and seeing what happens there........ at this point I'm just grasping.

Any thoughts and/insight are more than welcome!

It's one of those things where I suspect I'm just missing a minor detail, but can't put my finger on it.


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Last edited by Ed Caffrey; 09-26-2005 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:21 AM
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My thoughts : A cowboy from Montana messing with a computer.......EEECK ! LOL. :-)

Ed, I have no help for you but thought I would throw that in. Good luck on your Computer problems.

Shane


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Old 09-26-2005, 11:26 AM
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Ooooooooh! Fdisk should only be used with great care. Some disk drives can be screwed up by that. There was a time when that was not so, but all these drives have their own logic on-board now. I nearly learned this the hard way a few years ago when I was about to do something very similar. I double checked things with the guy who ran the company IT network and he warned me not to use Fdisk. (He HAD learned the hard way!)

FAT16 is not an efficient format, but not a reason for the failure.


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Old 09-26-2005, 11:29 AM
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Skivie slipped his response in as I was typing. While I wasn't going to SAY that, .....

On the bright side, we all look forward to seeing the new "Hard Drive Damascus"!


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Old 09-30-2005, 10:02 AM
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Well, I finally got it figured out! As it turns out, the hard drive enclosure that I had has bad electronics! I got my hands on a second one, plugged in an old hard drive (out of an old laptop) Win XP picked up up right away, then it was just a matter of going into "disk Management" and partitioning the drive in NTFS format, and it was done. Instantly I've got another 40GB of portable storage space on the computer.

If anybody wants to get extra storage, cheaply, just go to Ebay and search for a "2.5" hard drive enclosure" then find yourself whatever capacity 2.5" hard drive you need. I won the enclosure for a bid of $0.01 and paid $8.50 shipping. You can also find BRAND NEW hard drive on ebay for less than $1 per GB.

Looking on the internet a 40GB portable hard drive will run you around $120....but doing it with the parts, I did it for only about $50!


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Old 09-30-2005, 11:49 AM
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Glad there was a happy ending. Still, be very careful what you Fdisk!


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Old 11-09-2005, 04:35 AM
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A few thoughts about your old HD in an external enclosure. The laptop HD will run much slower than a regular desktop unit drive. There will be a big difference in RPM's alone.

HD's are on sale now dirt cheap. Around $.50 per Gig or even less. Keep an eye on www.tigerdirect.com for one source. They recently offered 250 Gig HD's for under $100.00.

If you should choose to just install a second HD in the desktop, make sure the second HD is at least as fast as the first drive. You can even put in a PCI RAID 0 card and your two internal HD's will operate really fast in stripe array.

Just my .02 worth.

Steve
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2005, 10:56 AM
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RAID functions....still confusing to me

Steve,

The RAID functions are something that I need to learn more about. I've tried to do a little studying about it, but not having any experinces with RAID makes it confusing to me. When configured for RAID, do both hard drives act as one? Or do they still show up as seperate drives? I've read that in one of the modes (correct term?) RAID will write the same data to each drive? Does that mean that one drive is basically a mirror of the other? And if so, isn't that a waste of hard drive space? Like I said, it's still confusing to me. If you'd be willing, I'd sure be happy to hear an explaination on each of the modes and how to set them up.

The new motherboard that I've asked for has onboard RAID function, and if it will speed things up, I think I'd be foolish not to use it. The only bummer is that the new hard drives I purchased are IDE, and eventhough the new board supports them, it also has SATA and I hate to waste that resource......darn it!


IF "Santa" brings me that new board and CPU, maybe I'll keep my eyes on Ebay....sometimes you can snag a real good deal on there for hard drives. The two 120GBs I purchased came from Ebay, and eventhough one is a Western Digital, and the other a Seagate, they seem to be working great. Both where new in the box, and I got them both for less than $100!

That brings up another question..... I've been running AMD Athlon processors for the past several years (I've had nothing but disasters with Intel processors) anyway, The Motherboard/CPU combo I've asked for includes a Sempron 64 3300+ cpu. Where did "Sepmron" come from? Is it the old "Duron" processor renamed? I get the impression that the Athlon XP has been renamed "AMD 64", and the "Duron" renamed "Sempron" ?
I chose the combo I did because it is fairly economical for now, and is capable of being upgraded later.
I wanted to post a link up, but can't get on Tigerdirect's website right now. I'll get a like up later, and get your opinions on what I've chosen.


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  #9  
Old 11-09-2005, 11:00 AM
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Here are the links to the upgrades I asked Santa for...... I'd welcome your opinioins and insights....

First choice


Second Choice


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Last edited by Ed Caffrey; 11-09-2005 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 11-09-2005, 12:24 PM
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Ed,

RAID can be fairly confusing, depending on what type you are thinking of the way data is stored is different.

RAID 0 is stripping. Basic rundown is it puts half the data on one drive and half on the other, increases performance, but no data protection/redundancy

RAID 1 is mirroring. You put the same data on both disks. Read speed is higher, write speed is the same. Disk capacity is half of the disks you bought.

RAID 4 Block level stripping like RAID 0 with a parity disk. If a Data disk fails, the Parity disk can be used to re-create the data disk. Can impact performance due to the parity disk bottleneck.

RAID 5 is byte level parity and stripping. Basic rundown is like RAID 0 with error correction over a number of disks. This way if one disk goes down, the information to re-create it is on the other disks. Usually has a larger number of disks and your storage is space is hit, but less than in RAID 1.

RAID 10 Make a bunch of RAID 1 arrays, and stripe RAID 0 over them.

There are other levels but they are not common to implement. Usually on modern motherboards, RAID 0 is used to increase performance and backups are done for data retention.


The AMD CPU question. I think I understand this, but only because I am drooling over a 64 bit AMD machine.

From what I understand, the Sempron is the upgrade to the Duron. The Sempron 64 is now the low consumer grade of the 64-bit AMD line.

From what I can tell, AMD has the following line for desktops
Sempron 64 -> Athlon 64 -> Athlon 64 X2 (dual core) -> Athlon 64 FX

And then they have the Opteron for servers.

I just read a review that had the bottom Athlon 64 X2 beating the most expensive Intel EE (dual core) for most things, including video, audio, photoshop, etc.

--Carl
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  #11  
Old 11-09-2005, 03:36 PM
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Thanks Carl!

I'll be looking to learn some more about this from you during breaks/lunch at Lyle's. I see where the "stripping" would be of benefit. I suppose the others have their uses, but until I understand more about them it seems like just a big way to use up two hard drives.

Also, thanks for the explaination on the processors.....that's the most logical explaination I've seen to date. I'd love to build a system with the 64 FX-2, but that's a bit outta my price range right now. I'll start with the sempron and then step my way up as I can afford it.


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  #12  
Old 11-10-2005, 01:13 AM
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Ed:

Carl gave a good run down on RAID configurations. I can only think to add that RAID5 needs at least 3 hard drives. RAID 0 or 1 needs 2 HD's.

Big networks use RAID 5. I work with them alot.

Home or small business users usually stick with RAID 0 or 1. I prefer RAID 0 (striped) because it is fast. If I do my backups I can always recreat my drives. The drives will show up in My Computer simply as drive C.

RAID 1 mirrors the drives. It keeps duplicate data at the cost of speed.

Many modern motherboards come with RAID 0 and 1 already supported. You have to go to an expensive motherboard to get onboard RAID 5 and then you need three HD's.

I think I'm getting long winded now. You see, I know computers and networks, but I'm just learning about knives.
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Old 11-11-2005, 12:59 AM
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Cavetech,

If your long winded, I must be ready to run for political office. I would add that to get the benefit from RAID 5, you really want 5 or more disks. I would also agree that RAID 0 is usually the way to go unless you are really paranoid.

--Carl
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Old 11-12-2005, 03:05 AM
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Hi Carl:

I agree with that. Nothing like hot swappable, too. I assumed we were talking about home or small busness issues with cost as a big factor. What the heck, lets go with RAID 5's and clustered servers.............

Can anyone tell me how to polish the scales on my DDR-BL? What equipment, buffing wheel/s to buy and buffing compounds? I've never done buffing and would be greatfull for specifics aimed at a beginner.

I searched for buffing, but didn't find the specifics to this mystery.

Thanks,
Steve
nettech3@cox.net

Last edited by cavetech; 11-12-2005 at 03:08 AM. Reason: Insertion of name & e-mail
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