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  • Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

    I have a Dell 8600 with a Pentium 4, 3.2 GHz, 1 gig RAM, and a small HD. I am running XP SP2.

    Tomorrow I plan on installing a new Maxtor 500 GB HD and 4 gig RAM. I will be following the instructions from Dell on how to perform both functions. Is there anything else I should do?

    I am not stupid but I am a computer lay person. Thanks in advance.
    "Umm Deputy these aren't my pants" - Common alarm cry of the North American Crackhead
    [tg-c1][ma-c1][defense]

  • #2
    Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

    I am not sure, but there may be issues with xp and 4 Gbs of ram, it may not recognize it all (you may only see 3.5 or 3). Someone else will have to confirm/deny that, but I believe I recall reading that somewhere before.

    As far as installing ram and a hard drive itself it should all be pretty straightforward. Hard drive is basically just connect and go (format fresh drive once hooked up and inside iwndows), although you may have to set the jumpers properly master/slave which I assume you know already. Ram is also plug and go, although I have had issues of bios not recognizing the optimum speeds for ram in the past, just something you may want to look into once installed (had the ram set to 800 @ 5-5-5-18 timings as opposed to 4-4-4-12 timings which is what they were advertised as). Building and modifying systems just becomes easier and easier, but occasionally there are issues. Hope it all goes well, have fun and don't get intimidated by computers! If you have any specific questions before you proceed with the installation or after please ask.

    Would you mind posting more information about your ram (link, or manufacturer/specs) i'm just curious.

    EDIT: although should a no brainer, ground yourself before you touch any parts, don't want to fry anything before you get a chance to play with it :D (i have grown accustomed to touching something metal before I pick up any new part ><). Ground yourself on something Metal, like the Stove or the Metal Frame on the Computer Case, and make sure the power is off and the power plug removed preferably during installation.

    Anyway, I'm going on and on, with things you may already know, but better safe and informed then sorry right :).


    I love gaming, mmmmmmmm

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    • #3
      Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

      You usually won't see more than 3.2 GBs worth of the 4 GBs worth of RAM due to the 32-bit limitation.

      Make sure you wear a anti-static strap (clip the clip onto your case's metal chassis). Then put both of your hands on the metal case before touching any components within the system (just to be sure you're not still carrying some static charge).

      Try not to drip sweat onto any of the components.

      RAM has a small slotted "groove" between the pins. That ensures that the RAM only fits in one way. Try not to "rock" the RAM modules into your motherboard. Keep the it balanced all the way in if you can. The plastic retention clips will make a "snap" sound that signals that your RAM is installed (make sure both are secure on either side of the DIMM).

      As for your hard drive, use fine thread screws only. The use of coarse thread screws will damage the screw holes of your hard drive making it either impossible to (re)install and/or impossible to remove.
      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
      Former 9th & 13th

      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





      SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

      TG Primer and Rules

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      • #4
        Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

        4GB is a waste, since video card memory gets mapped in the 4GB availiable-range. So, if you have a 512MB card, you can't get over 3.5GB ram. You can install four, but 512MB will be inaccessable because those addresses were given to the video adapter.

        As long as you have the right kind of ram, stick it in. Mind the dual channel arrangement if your system supports it. Drives just plug in, no problems unless you have IDE drives and don't set the jumper to Cable Select.

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        • #5
          Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

          I thought I would have issues with the 4gb RAM but I thought, "What the hell. 3.5 is better than 2. Thank you all. I will give you an update tomorrow.
          "Umm Deputy these aren't my pants" - Common alarm cry of the North American Crackhead
          [tg-c1][ma-c1][defense]

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

            3G is a waste - 2G will serve you fine. But keep an eye on your process explorer and report back what your mileage is. Do the 4G help?
            Maxtor drives suck. Never again. Keep a backup!

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            • #7
              Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

              Originally posted by Pickle View Post
              I have a Dell 8600 with a Pentium 4, 3.2 GHz, 1 gig RAM, and a small HD. I am running XP SP2.

              Tomorrow I plan on installing a new Maxtor 500 GB HD and 4 gig RAM. I will be following the instructions from Dell on how to perform both functions. Is there anything else I should do?

              I am not stupid but I am a computer lay person. Thanks in advance.
              All the stuff everyone else said. If you are keeping your existing drive and simply adding the 500GB as additional space, make sure your existing drive has the jumper set to Cable Select (CS) as well as the new drive you're adding.

              You will hit the 4GB barrier with available memory address space and only see 3.5GB of it, but depending on how you use your machine it will be nice having that extra memory for breathing room. After running 4GB in my machine I couldn't possibly go back to 2GB.
              Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

                If you are adding the 2nd hard drive as a slave and keeping your original windows instillation, you'll most likely have to reactivate windows when you add the RAM. You can't activate it online either, you have to call them and get some crappy long number code. Doesn't take that long, but annoying nonetheless.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

                  All good advice. Touching the metal case should be enough to dissipate any static charge.

                  You will most likely have to re-activate windows a stated, so you might as well just do a fresh installation. Unplug your old hard drive and keep it as is until you have everything moved to the new one.

                  That way, if you forgot to back something up, you will have it on the old HD.

                  I am a big fan of partitioning. If I were installing a new HD, I would make a partition for XP (about 50 gigs) A second 50 gb partition, and the rest of the space in a third partition.
                  Install XP to the first one, and use the Big one for installing your big apps, digital music, etc.

                  The other opartition is for either 1) a second install of XP or 2) an install of a different OS (vista, linux, whatever). Why have two installs of XP? well... with 2 installs, you can use the main one for all of your important stuff -- whatever that may be. The second one can be used strictly for gaming.

                  With a gaming-only install you can be free of all of the background processes of your normal install and you can update device drivers and tweak other settings without worrying that you will trash your operating system. Or if you do want to upgrade your machine to vista, you will still have good old XP on there to play all of the games that refuse to run properly under vista.

                  That's my advice. Just remember how much you paid for it :)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

                    All of this is good information and I am totally paying attention. I have just made an OS back up disc. I will following this thread from my wife's lap top.
                    "Umm Deputy these aren't my pants" - Common alarm cry of the North American Crackhead
                    [tg-c1][ma-c1][defense]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

                      Since you are still using XP, I might as well throw this additional "performance" advice in:

                      Partition about 8-10 GBs as your main C partition and install Windows into it (and nothing else). This helps speed up Windows a bit. I've tried it in the past (Win 2000) and it does help, but I'm not sure if it helps on XP.
                      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                      Former 9th & 13th

                      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                      SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                      TG Primer and Rules

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

                        Unfortunately I had my head up my arse when I picked up the hard drive and I wasn't paying attention. I picked up the wrong one. Back to Fry's tomorrow for the SATA drive. I knew better too...I jsut wasn't paying attention.

                        I installed the memory with no problems. Seems to be running better.

                        With just finishing school and doing these upgrades I may be able to start playing again.
                        "Umm Deputy these aren't my pants" - Common alarm cry of the North American Crackhead
                        [tg-c1][ma-c1][defense]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

                          lots of ways to partition your hard drive. if nothing else, I suggest you think long and hard about how you will use your partition.

                          If you are like me, you re- install your OS every 3 months. because of this, I have a 50 gig partition that I have just for important files that I need when I do a clean install.

                          I also have 100 gig partition for fraps work.

                          then I have a 150 gig partition for my os and files.

                          putting windows on a small partition is a bit risky these days imo. too often program have to install on the C: drive or they expect certain things to be in the C drive. the performance gain of having windows on a small C drive is eliminated from a proper installation and maintenance.

                          “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough!” Benjamin Franklin

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                          • #14
                            Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

                            Aye, I kept a very small C partion for awhile, and had some annoyances. The idea is great, but if you keep things orderly, you can set your C partition a lot higher without too much worry. I had a partition set up for OS, one for games, and one for regular applications. I haven't noticed much/any difference between that setup and a straight C for OS/anything and a document/media file partition setup.

                            Keep in mind how big your OS footprint is. I think XP is 4 GB+-ish now? And Vista is like 15-ish I think, not 100% sure. So factor that in, along with all your "necessary," apps.

                            And yeah, I'd try and stay away from Maxtor drives. They were recently bought out by Seagate (a great company), simply to be sold as a low-end hard drive. At the end of the day, a hard drive is a hard drive, and all companies will ship out faulty drives.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Installing new HD and RAM. Tips?

                              "Since you are still using XP"

                              Since you aren't insane or a noob...

                              Seagate was great until they betrayed us all. Maxtor needed to be dismantled for its sins, and instead they try to dress it up in a nice suit and make us think it's a professional and not a bum.

                              If you use your desktop as a crap pile, you want more space on C, especailly if you dump ISOs on it. Out of disk space is a major fail. However, mostly it's about sorting. If you have a partition for each kind of thing, your stuff stays in order. Especailly if your tiny C prevents you from using it as a crap pile.

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