Hard Drive Upgrade An Install Guide On How To Upgrade Your Own PC Hard Drive A hard drive upgrade is not difficult. The step-by-step instructions here show how I did a hard drive upgrade for one of my own computers which is a legacy version of my PC. The hard drive upgrade strategy I used is to first install the new hard drive as a second hard drive, then copy (clone) the old hard drive contents to the new hard drive, and then remove the old hard drive, leaving the new hard drive installed in its place. These steps are written for upgrading a hard drive installed as the master, but can be adapted for any hard drive upgrade. Instead of adding a second hard drive to increase capacity, chances are that installing a hard drive upgrade is a better option than to add a second hard drive. What You Need For A Hard Drive Upgrade The new hard drive for the upgrade. I chose to upgrade my IBM Deskstar 75GXP 45GB hard drive with an IBM Deskstar 120GXP 80GB hard drive. In addition to having a greater capacity, the new hard drive is also much faster and much quieter! I purchased the OEM version (so called "white box") of the hard drive because it's cheaper. The OEM version does not include mounting brackets, but many computer cases don't need them, including the Antec KS-282 computer case I'm using. The OEM version does not include mounting screws, which I do need, but these are easy to obtain from Radio Shack or Home Depot. Here is typical OEM packaging. Bubble wrap with the hard drive sealed in an antistatic bag. Click on any picture to see a larger image. Here is how the hard drive looks outside of the packaging, including top and bottom views. Click on any picture to see a larger image. While I think highly of the IBM/Hitachi line of hard drives, there are other brands that have good reputations and make suitable alternatives. What You Need For A Hard Drive Upgrade (continued) Mounting screws for the new hard drive. It's not a good idea to try and re-use (or share) the screws from the old hard drive since the strategy involves having both the old hard drive and new hard drive installed at the same time. And it's not a good idea to try and let one of the hard drives just sit around loose on something since bolting the hard drive into the case provides vibration control essential for the proper operation of the hard drive. For the new hard drive I selected, there are places for 6 screws, three on each side. On the IBM Deskstar 120GXP 80GB hard drive (and this was also true for my old IBM Deskstar 75GXP drive), some screws could be longer than others. In fact, three of the six screws could be longer since they had more clearance to the hard drive itself. For my hard drive upgrade and install, I used a total of six round-head machine screws, size 6-32. Three of the screws were 1/4 inch in length and three of the screws were 3/8 inch in length. It's also fine to use all six screws at the 1/4 inch length. I purchased the screws from Radio Shack (search on the catalog number 64-3012). Of course, need I say it, a flathead screwdriver is needed as well. Click on the picture to see it enlarged. An antistatic wrist strap. An antistatic wrist strap should be worn any time work is being done inside the computer. The alligator clip should be attached to a nonpainted metal surface on the computer case. The antistatic wrist strap prevents static delicate components inside the computer. As an extra precaution, it's a good idea not to shuffle around while working inside the computer case. If you need to change position then let go of any electronic component, change your position, get comfortable again, then touch the nonpainted metal surface of the computer case with your hand before touching anything else. Touching the nonpainted metal surface of the computer case with your hand is another way to harmlessly release any static buildup. But this is an extra precautionary step - you should still always wear the antistatic wrist strap while working inside the case for any reason. Anti-static wrist straps are not expensive. Dealsonic carries them under Accessories. A hard drive fitness test utility. A utility called Drive Fitness Test (DFT) is available for IBM/Hitachi hard drives as a free download from the IBM/Hitachi Storage Technical Support Download page (IBM and Hitachi have merged their Storage Divisions). It's used to certify the integrity of IBM hard drives. Although it's not absolutely necessary to use a hard drive fitness test utility as part of the hard drive upgrade, it's certainly a good idea. After all, we're talking about the integrity of the data on the computer! The ideal time to use it is now, prior to use of the new hard drive, when the full battery of tests can be run, including the ones that write data. However even the read-only tests are worthwhile. Download the appropriate hard drive fitness test for the brarnd of hard drive. For IBM/Hitachi hard drives, the Users Guide for the Drive Fitness Test is also available from the downloads page. It includes instructions on how to create a Drive Fitness Test floppy disk. There are additional utilities available on the IBM/Hitachi Storage Technical Support Download page. One which may be of particular interest to those with older computer systems is the Feature Tool utility. Among other things, it can be used to change the predefined capacity of the hard drive. Older computers may have a BIOS limitation that prevents the hard drive from being recognized at full capacity. Here are links to hard drive utilities from other commonly used manufacturers. Manufacturer Utility Comments Data Lifeguard is a suite of utilities that includes Western Data DLG Diagnostic which performs similar functions Digital Lifeguard to the IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test. Maxtor Powermax The version available at this writing, version 4.06 dated June 2, 2003, states it does not work in computers that use NVIDIA chipset motherboards, meaning it doesn't work with the nForce2 chipset used on the EPoX 8RDA+ and other popular motherboards. Sheesh. They say they're working on a updated version that will support NVIDIA chipsets. Gee, good idea. The version named DiscWizard Starter Edition is DiscWizard the right one for building a new computer. The page Seagate Program also includes other helpful downloads, such as the Suite specifications and jumper settings for all Seagate drives. Uninstall GoBack. I have Roxio's Goback 3 Deluxe installed on all of my computers. The hard drive upgrade procedure I used and describe here will not work with GoBack installed. The problem is the Norton Ghost Boot Disk will detect that GoBack is on the hard drive and will refuse to do the clone. The Symantec Knowledge Database includes an entry for Error: GoBack Partition Detected. Specifically, the error message states "You are attempting to clone a drive with a GoBack partition without the GoBack drivers loaded. You can either do a sector by sector copy or abort the operation. We suggest you abort and reboot loading the GoBack drivers". Notice I did not just disable GoBack, I uninstalled it. The GoBack history of disk changes is lost anyway whenever GoBack is disabled, and I know GoBack is inserting itself at a very low level in the disk input/output operations, so may as well uninstall it and be sure it's out of the way. Turns out that was the right thing to do as the Symantec Knowledge Database entry Ghost compatibility with GoBack reaches the same conclusion. Run "DiskScan" and "Disk Defragmenter" on the old hard drive to ensure all is well with it before it is cloned. To run DiskScan, click on Start, then Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools and then finally DiskScan. After running DiskScan, next run Disk Defragmenter which is also located under the System Tools menu. Make a backup of the old hard drive. This is just to be safe and it should be something that's being done on a routine basis anyway, so now's a good time to get a current backup. It's highly unlikely that anything will go wrong, but if it does then don't say I didn't warn you. There are different types of backups. Obviously the type of backup called for in this case is the kind where the backup media is different than the old hard drive. What You Need For A Hard Drive Upgrade (continued) Norton Ghost - a hard drive clone utility. A hard drive clone utility is used to copy (clone) the old hard drive image to the new hard drive as a clone (identical) image. I use Norton Ghost. I've cloned hard drives using both Norton Ghost 2002 and Norton Ghost 2003. I purchase Norton Ghost as part of Norton SystemWorks 200n Professional Edition for betweem $10 and $25 through eBay! The picture below shows a "CD only" version of Norton SystemWorks 2002 Professional Edition. It's perfectly legal and legitimate to purchase as "CD only". One reason it's so cheap as "CD only" is because it does not include the paper copy of the manuals. All the documentation is still provided on the CD-ROM and that's fine for me. It's possible to purchase Norton Ghost separately in a retail box, but it's much more expensive that way. Buying the utility suite Norton SystemWorks 200n Professional Edition gets you a number of useful utilities, including a full-featured version of Norton AntiVirus. Click on the picture to see the picture enlarged. Feel free to obtain whichever version of Northon Ghost makes sense to you, 2002, 2003 or 2004, without concern to what it will mean to following this guide. While the Norton Ghost pictures and steps I provide are from the 2002 version, the pictures and steps for the 2003 version are pretty much the same. If you use Norton Ghost 2003 and see some small difference then that's nothing to worry about. Although I haven't used Norton Ghost 2004, my guess is that the pictures and steps are also quite close for it as well. Other hard drive copy methods, such as XCOPY, are unreliable. The best explanation I've seen for why this is so is given by Upgrading your hard drive at Dan's Data. Norton Ghost Boot Disk. This is a floppy disk that's created with Norton Ghost. Norton Ghost Boot Disk contains the software that will clone the old hard drive to the new hard drive. The way it's invoked during the hard drive upgrade procedure is by rebooting the computer with the Norton Ghost Boot Disk installed in the floppy drive. So to create the Norton Ghost Boot Disk, I first installed Norton Ghost on my computer while it still contained only the old hard drive. In my case, Norton Ghost was installed as one of the suite of utilities included when I installed Norton SystemWorks 2002 Professional Edition. I'll describe the steps I followed to create a Norton Ghost Boot Disk. For more information, see the Symantec Knowledge Database entry How to create a DOS system disk for Ghost. Create a system floppy disk. Insert a blank floppy disk into the floppy drive. Double-click on My Computer, then right-click on the "A:" drive icon. Select "Format" on the menu that pops up. This brings up the "Format" window as shown. Check the "Copy system files" box and then click the "Start" button. After the formatting is complete, leave the system floppy disk in the floppy drive. Bring up Norton Ghost. To bring up Norton Ghost, execute Norton SystemWorks and select Norton Ghost on the Norton SystemWorks menu. This causes the Norton Ghost menu options to be displayed as shown in the picture. Clicking on "Norton Ghost Boot Wizard" brings up the boot disk options. Here is what's shown for Norton Ghost 2002. Here is the same screen for Norton Ghost 2003. Pretty much the same. What You Need For A Hard Drive Upgrade - (continued) Here are the boot disk options shown for Norton Ghost 2002. I created my Norton Ghost Boot Disk by selecting the "CD-ROM Boot Disk". Clicking on this option highlights it in blue as shown. Clicking the "Next" button continues. And here are the boot disk options for Norton Ghost 2003. I'll not be showing the 2003 screen-shot in addition to the 2002 screen-shot in most cases since they actually look the same, but this one lists the options a little differently so I'll make an exception. Select "Standard Ghost Boot Disk" and click the "Next" button. The first time I got this far, the "Use MS-DOS" option in the window shown below was low-lighted so it could not be selected. To change this so it's an allowed option as shown in the picture, click the "Get MS-DOS" button with the system floppy disk in the floppy drive. This will cause Norton Ghost to retrieve the MS-DOS system files from the floppy disk and keep them. After the first time, this window always looks like the picture. I chose "Use MS-DOS" for the DOS version and clicked the "Next" button. I didn't change anything on this window. I just clicked the "Next" button. I didn't change anything on this window, either. I just clicked the "Next" button. What You Need For A Hard Drive Upgrade - (continued) Looks ok to me. I clicked the "Next" button. Norton Ghost is ready to format the floppy disk. I used the same floppy disk that I used to give Norton Ghost the MS-DOS system files. Notice the checked options are low-lighted. I clicked the "Start" button. After the formatting of the floppy disk completes, this window is displayed. Notice the checked options are now high-lighted. I clicked the "Close" button. Norton Ghost begins copying the files to the floppy disk that are needed to make it a Norton Ghost Boot Disk. Here's a picture taken while the copy was still in progress. What You Need For A Hard Drive Upgrade - (continued) Norton Ghost displays this screen when the copy is complete and the floppy disk is now a Norton Ghost Boot Disk. Remove the Norton Ghost Boot Disk from the floppy drive. It will be used later during the hard drive upgrade. I clicked the "Finish" button. Then exited Norton SystemWorks. What You Need For A Hard Drive Upgrade (continued) For reference purposes, here's the size of each partition (c: through j:) before it's been upgraded. This windows is brought up by double-clicking on "My Computer" and the selecting "Details" under the "View" menu. General Considerations For Upgrading The Hard Drive At this point, I'm ready to begin upgrading the hard drive. I've made the two floppy disks I'll need, one with the IBM Drive Fitness Test utility on it and another which is the Norton Ghost Boot Disk. The computer is turned off and the computer case is still closed. Although I won't mention it further, I'll be wearing the antistatic wrist strap any time I'm working inside the computer case. When working inside the computer, it should always be powered off. Furthermore, after the computer is powered off, disconnect all of the cables and other connections into the computer, including the telephone line connection for the modem, the printer connection, the monitor connection, and everything else. Also unplug the power connector from the PC. It's important that nothing external to the computer be connected while you are working inside so that nothing can provide any kind of electrical current to the computer. It's not getting electrocuted that's the concern, it's that some tiny electrical charge might come in at the wrong time and destroy a component. It's not uncommon for a computer to draw a little bit of electrical current while it is plugged in, even when it has been powered off, so that's why it's important to unplug the power connector, too. If you're not used to disconnecting everything then you'll want to at least carefully note where each connection was attached. For example, until I learned my way around with the connections I used a short strip of masking tape to scribble a little note for each connection and then I wrapped the tape around the cord before I disconnected it. Each connection should only connect one way, so there's no need to remember how the connection was oriented before it was disconnected. But chances are you've got a nice little collection of connections into your computer, so you don't want to be looking at a confused pile of disconnected wires when you're ready to power it back on! Not everything has to be re-connected when the computer is powered on until you're done. But connections should only be made while the computer is powered off. The only connections needed for the hard drive upgrade procedure are the keyboard, mouse, monitor and power cord. When powering on the computer, it's a good idea to power on the monitor first before the computer and let the monitor have five or ten seconds to warm up. That way you can see everything that is displayed on the monitor from the moment the computer is powered on. Find a nice comfortable work space. I just use the middle of the floor. BIOS Changes For The Hard Drive Upgrade The BIOS on the ABIT KT7A motherboard in use in my PC at the time I did the hard drive upgrade is entered by pressing the DEL key shortly after the computer is powered on while the BIOS splash screen is being displayed. Here is the main BIOS menu for the ABIT KT7A motherboard. Before checking other BIOS settings, you might want to take one last look at the hard drive characteristics of the old hard drive. The menu item selected in red, "Standard CMOS Features", takes you to the hard drive characteristics when you hit enter. The "Standard CMOS Features" menu looks like this before the hard drive is upgraded. The value shown for "IDE Primary Master" is the value for the old drive. Currently no slave hard drive is installed so no value is shown for "IDE Primary Slave". If you cursor to the value for IDE Primary Master and hit enter then you can see the hard drive characteristics, as shown here. Notice, the capacity is 45GB (shown as 46116MB). Ok. That was interesting. But it's the values of BIOS parameters on other BIOS menus that are of even more interest at the moment. Most of the BIOS parameters were of no particular consequence for the hard drive upgrade. However, I was careful to ensure that the "Virus warning" parameter was set to "Disabled". If it's not set to disabled then the BIOS will generate a warning when the new hard drive first boots indicating that an attempt is being made to modify the master boot record. If this happens then it's ok to tell the BIOS to allow the modification and things proceed normally, but it's disconcerting for the warning to pop-up all of a sudden, especially since the BIOS is generating beeps as fast it can while the warning is displayed. Another important BIOS setting was to set the "First Boot Device" to be the floppy drive. There are places during the hard drive upgrade procedure where I needed the computer to boot from the floppy drive after being powered on. And the computer does not need to run off and try to boot from the hard drive until the hard drive upgrade procedure is complete. In fact, it's a good idea to make it impossible for the computer to try to boot from the hard drive by setting all other boot device options, such as the "Second Boot Device" and "Third Boot Device" options, to be the floppy drive as well. After saving my BIOS changes and verifying they worked (i.e., the computer checks the floppy drive on boot), I shutdown the computer. Add The New Hard Drive - Set The Hard Drive Jumpers At this point, the computer is powered off and I'm ready to add the new hard drive as a second hard drive. Since there is only one hard drive installed at the start of the upgrade, the old hard drive is already installed as the master hard drive on the first IDE cable. The new hard drive is added as the slave hard drive on the first IDE cable (the same IDE cable as the old hard drive, but using the slave IDE connector). The first step is to set the jumpers on the back of the hard drive into the slave position. These pictures show the back of the hard drive which also contains a label indicating what each jumper settting means. To get a close-up in which you can actually read the jumper label in the picture, I've taken two separate close-ups of the label and placed them side-by-side with the first showing the left- hand side of the label and the second showing the right-hand side of the label. Clicking on any picture makes an even larger image. For details of what each jumper setting means, see this Deskstar 120GXP Jumper Description at the IBM/Hitachi Storage Technical Support site. It can be confusing to know how to set the jumpers just from looking at the label. As you read across the left-hand and right-hand pictures, you'll notice that a setting for "DEVICE 0 (MASTER)" appears twice. Same for "DEVICE 1 (SLAVE)". But the first mention applies to "16 HEADS" and the second mention applies to "32GB Clip". The Deskstar 120GXP Jumper Description does a good job of clearing up the confusion, so rather than repeat it here I'll just strongly recommend you give it a look. Here are links to jumper information for other popuplar hard drive manufacturers. Western Digital Jumper Setting Information Maxtor. Once there, click on the particular hard drive model. Then select "Jumper Settings" and/or "Jumper Guide" in the [Technical Specifications] field. Seagate Jumper Setting Information. Look near the bottom of the page. The default, shipped, jumper setting for the IBM Deskstar 120GXP 80GB jumpers is in the "16 showing the jumpers circled in red. The IBM Deskstar 120GXP 80GB hard drive has nine jumper pins and two jumpers. The jumpers are white and rectangular in shape and are shown inserted over two pairs of pins. Notice the pins covered by the jumpers match the jumper label diagram as shown in the side-by-side pictures for "DEVICE 0 (MASTER)" next to "16 HEADS" . This is the correct jumper setting to use for the hard drive after the hard drive has been cloned and it is ready to become the Master hard drive. But at this point in the hard drive upgrade procedure the new had drive is being added to my computer as the slave hard drive. Although the jumpers are small, you should be able to use just your fingers and move the jumpers such they are set into the slave position. In my case, that means setting them as shown here. Again, it can be confusing because the same picture shows, and right above the jumpers themselves, a jumper diagram labeled "DEVICE 1 (SLAVE)" which shows a different jumper setting. But that "DEVICE 1 (SLAVE)" jumper setting is for "32GB CLIP". Some computers (i.e., older computers) cannot use the whole 80GB and this jumper setting "clips" the hard drive down to a 32GB slave hard drive. My computer can use the full capacity of the hard drive. You'll notice the jumper positions in this picture match the jumper diagram for "DEVICE 1 (SLAVE)" next to "16 HEADS" shown in the previous side-by-side pictures. Not all hard drives have the same jumper options and labeling as the Deskstar 120GXP. For on top of the hard drive rather than on the rear. In addiition, there is only one jumper since the Western Digital does not support re-configuring the number of heads in the drive or the total size of the drive. Add The Second Hard Drive (continued) The hard drive has holes on the side which are used for the mounting screws as shown here. Like most hard drives, the IBM Deskstar 120GXP 80GB has places for 6 screws, three on each side. On the IBM Deskstar 120GXP 80GB hard drive (and this was also true for my old IBM Deskstar 75GXP 45GB hard drive), some screws could be longer than others. In fact, three of the six screws could be longer since they had more clearance to the hard drive itself. For my hard drive upgrade and install, I used a total of six round-head machine screws, size 6-32. Three of the screws were 1/4 inch in length and three of the screws were 3/8 inch in length. Click on the picture to see it enlarged. Here's a picture taken inside my PC before the new hard drive is installed. The case I use, the Antec KS-282, holds the 3.5 inch drives such as the hard drives inside a "drive cage". The drive cage is handy since it makes installing the hard drives a little easier. This picture shows the drive cage circled in red and the old hard drive which will eventually be replaced circled in blue. Click on the picture to see it enlarged. Here's a closer view showing the contents of the drive cage before the new hard drive is installed and still containing the old hard drive. The backside of the old hard drive looks similar to the backside of the new had drive since both are IBM Deskstar hard drives, just different models. You can see the backside of the hard drive is in three sections. The leftmost section is where the IDE cable connects. The jumper pins are in the middle. You can see the jumpers on the old drive are set in the master position, which makes sense since it's the only hard drive in My PC. The rightmost section is for the power connector. Click on the picture to see it enlarged. Install The Second Hard Drive (continued) Let's look again at the interior shot. I've circled the slave IDE connector. There are three connectors on the IDE cable and they are color coded. I've circled in red the gray connector on the IDE cable. This is the connector for the slave hard drive. The master hard drive connector is black and is still plugged into the old hard drive in the drive cage. The connector on the IDE cable which connects to the motherboard is colored blue. Click on the picture to see the picture enlarged. The new hard drive will plug into this gray connector as the slave device. And you'll need a free 4-pin power connector like the one shown to connect the new hard drive to the power supply. Click on any picture to enlarge it. Like many things that connect inside the computer, both the IDE connector (the gray one, in this case) and the power connector are "keyed" by their shapes or some other means so that they cannot be plugged in "upside down". For example, if you enlarge the picture of the gray connector it's easy to see that the center of the connector includes a plastic bulge and a blocked out pin receptable to prevent it from being plugged in incorrectly. This picture shows the backside of the hard drive where the connectors plug in. There are three sections on the backside of the hard drive. The leftmost section circled in red is where the IDE cable connects. The jumper pins are in the middle. The rightmost section circled in blue is for the power connector. Click on the picture to see it enlarged. Install The Second Hard Drive To install the new hard drive as a second hard drive in my PC, the drive cage must first be removed. The drive cage contains both the floppy drive and hard drive. In order to remove the cage, both the floppy drive and old hard drive had to be completely disconnected by unplugging the power connector for each and the drive cable for each. I could then open the release lever and physically remove the card cage as shown. Click on the picture to enlarge it. Now it's easy to slide the new hard drive in on top of the old hard drive and insert the mounting screws to hold it in place. Like most things that need multiple screws to install, it's a good idea to not fully tighten any of the six screws until they are all partially inserted. This picture shows one side of the case so you can see that's what I'm doing. Click on the picture to enlarge it. After all the screws are partially in, it's ok to fully tighten each one. Install The New Hard Drive (continued) The IDE cable that was disconnected from the old hard drive is shown here. The black connector on the end plugs into the master hard drive. The gray connector plugs into the slave hard drive. The way I am doing the upgrade, the old hard drive is still jumpered as the master and the new hard drive has been jumpered as the slave. Now the drive cage can be reinstalled, the old hard drive and floppy drive connected to cables and power connectors as before, and the new hard drive connected to the gray IDE cable connector and the free 4-pin power connector. Click on the picture to see it enlarged. Installing The Second Hard Drive With the installing of the hard drive complete, the computer can be prepared for being powered on. Insert the IBM Drive Fitness Test floppy disk into the floppy drive. This will be the first floppy needed during the hard drive upgrade. Having it inserted in the floppy drive when the computer is powered on will ensure the computer finds something when it gets as far as booting from the floppy drive. At this point in the hard drive upgrade, it's only necessary to re-connect the mouse, keyboard, monitor and power cord. And I left the computer case off since I knew I'd be getting back inside the computer shortly. I powered on and entered the ABIT KT7A BIOS by pressing the DEL key while the BIOS splash page was displayed. Here again is the main BIOS menu for the ABIT KT7A motherboard in use in my computer. I'm in the BIOS to verify that the computer recognizes the new hard drive as the slave. Going to the "Standard CMOS Features" menu now shows both the old hard drive and the new hard drive configured into the system. The old hard drive, the IBM Deskstar 75GXP 45GB, is configured as the Primary Master and shows as "IBM-DTLA- 307045". The new hard drive, the IBM Deskstar 120GXP 80GB, is configured as the Primary Slave and shows as "IC35L000AVVA07-0". Now by selecting the value for IDE Primary Slave and hitting enter it's possible to see the hard drive characteristics of the new hard drive, the IBM Deskstar 120GXP 80GB hard drive. Notice, the capacity is 82GB (hmm, 2GB more than advertised - bonus!). Hard Drive Fitness Test Before using the new hard drive, it's a good idea to check it out now using the diagnostic utility for the hard drive to ensure it's 100% good. The Drive Fitness Test is the utility for IBM/Hitachi hard drives. Other manufacturer's have utilities that provide similar functions. Insert the IBM Drive Fitness Test floppy disk into the floppy drive. Exiting the BIOS lets the computer continue and it boots from the floppy disk. The IBM Drive Fitness Test User's Guide is available along with the utility itself on the Hitachi Downloads And Utilities page (IBM and Hitachi have merged their storage technology divisions). It's very good so I won't repeat it here, but I strongly suggest you give it a look and make a hardcopy. The IBM Drive Fitness utility offers several tests and I ran all the ones that looked relevant. First I ran the "Quick Test". It took only a minute or so and finished successfully. Second I ran the "Advanced Test" which took about 30 minutes and also finished successfully. These first two tests are read-only tests, so they make no changes to the hard drive. The third action I took was to perform an "Erase Disk". An "Erase Disk" does write to the disk so any previous contents are overwritten. Since the hard drive is blank as far as I'm concerned, that's ok by me. The "Erase Disk" action to about an hour and finished successfully. Finally I ran an "Exerciser" test, indicating it should perform two loops. This took about 90 minutes to complete and also finished successfully. The new hard drive is "good". Now it's important to note that the "Erase Disk" test writes to the hard drive and at this point both the old hard drive and new hard drive are installed. If the old drive is accidentally selected for the "Erase Disk" test then that would be a catastrophe! There are two ways to make such a result an impossibility. The first is not to run the "Erase Disk" test. That's an acceptable option, but not the best one in terms of verifying the integrity of the hard drive. The second is to just disconnect the master hard drive and make the new hard drive the master temporarily to run the Drive Fitness Test. It's easy to do since both hard drives are physically installed in the computer. Simply unplug the IDE connector and power connector from the old drive. Then change the IDE connection on the new hard drive to be the master IDE connector instead of the slave IDE connector, and change the jumpers on the new hard drive from the slave position to the master position. There's no chance of accidentally writing to the old hard drive since it's not plugged in to the computer. Once done with the Drive Fitness Test, set things back to the way they were. Of course, the computer should be powered off to rearrange the cables. Copy Old Hard Drive To New Hard Drive With Norton Ghost Boot Disk I'm ready to copy (clone) the old hard drive to the new hard drive with the Norton Ghost Boot Disk. I'll detail the steps I took using the Norton Ghost Boot Disk to clone the hard drive, but the Symantec Knowledge Database entry "How to perform a disk to disk clone" is very good so you may want to get a paper copy of it as well, especially if your own hard drive upgrade procedure varies from the strategy I used. Insert the Norton Ghost Boot Disk into the floppy drive and re-boot the computer. It's safe to reset the computer and cause a re-boot if it is currently waiting idle at a DOS prompt or if no changes have been made to the BIOS and the computer is waiting idle in the BIOS menu system. After the Norton Ghost Boot Disk boots up, the Norton Ghost splash screen will be presented. The license number as shown in the red circle is needed later so I wrote it down (it's not needed later with Norton Ghost 2003). I've purposefully blurred my own license number in the picture, as if the picture is crisp enough that you could have read it anyway. It's not that I don't trust you, you understand. Clicking "OK" causes the Norton Ghost Boot Disk to bring up the next screen. Norton Ghost 2003 begins by prompting for whether or not the drives should be marked as usable by Norton Ghost, to which I selected that they should be. The following three overlaying menus are presented, one at a time, beginning with the leftmost menu. Clicking "Local" on the leftmost menu brings up the middle menu. Clicking "Disk" on the middle menu brings up the rightmost menu. Click "To Disk" on the rightmost menu. The prompt for the license number appears. The license number as shown on the earlier page must be entered. Seems a bit silly that it works like this, but whatever. In fact, this prompt was removed in Norton Ghost 2003. Clicking "OK" brings up the next screen. Copy Old Hard Drive To New Hard Drive (continued) Norton Ghost prompts for the source hard drive (the old hard drive). In my case where the old hard drive has a smaller capacity than the new hard drive it's easy to be sure the right one is selected. Of course, that should be the case with most hard drive upgrades. For my upgrade I clicked on drive "1" and then clicked on the "OK" button. Norton Ghost prompts for the destination hard drive (the new hard drive). Since there are only two hard drives, it must be the other one! The size confirms it. I clicked on drive "2" and then clicked on the "OK" button. Clone Old Hard Drive To New Hard Drive (continued) Norton Ghost shows the "Destination Drive Details", meaning it shows what the destination drive partitioning (the new hard drive) will look like after the hard drive clone completes. In most cases the old hard drive has a smaller capacity than the new hard drive. Norton Ghost handles this by giving each partition on the new hard drive the same percentage of total hard disk space as it had on the old hard drive, so each new partition is proportionally larger than it's old hard drive counterpart. You can see this under the "New Size" and "Old Size" columns. Norton Ghost does not allow you to change the new partition sizes. It may look like the values in the rectangles under the "New Size" column can be modified, but any changes made are not kept. Clicking on the "OK" button at the bottom of the screen (not shown) brings up the next window. This prompt from Norton Ghost indicates it has all the input it needs and gives one last chance to think about it before the old hard drive is copied (cloned) to the new hard drive. Clicking on "Yes" starts the copy (clone) operation. Clone Old Hard Drive To New Hard Drive (continued) Norton Ghost updates a progress screen while the hard drive clone operation is in progress The screen includes a time estimate of how much longer it will be before the hard drive cloning is completed. When Norton Ghost has completed the hard drive clone operation, this "Clone Complete" window appears. Clicking on "Continue" takes Norton Ghost back to it's first menu. Clicking on "Quit" exits Norton Ghost and goes to a DOS prompt. Final Steps In The Hard Drive Upgrade Turn off the computer. Now all that needs to be done is to remove the old hard drive from the case, change the IDE connector on the new hard drive to be the master IDE connector (the black connector), and to change the jumpers on the new hard drive to indicate the hard drive is the master. Put the computer case cover back on and reconnect all the connections, including the power cord. Power on the computer and enter the BIOS. Here's how the new hard drive looks in the ABIT KT7A BIOS now that it's the only hard drive in my PC. Restore the value of the BIOS parameters "First Boot Device", "Second Boot Device", and "Third Boot Device" to the way you like. Save the BIOS changes and exit the BIOS. The computer should boot up normally to the desktop. Here's the size of each partition for the hard drive after the upgrade. Notice that each partition has been proportionally increased. Run "DiskScan" and "Disk Defragmenter" on the new hard drive A respected and commonly used utility for measuring hard drive performance is HD Tach, which is a free download. It's a good idea to run HD Tach just to ensure everything checks out ok. The performance results you get may vary due to factors such as the speed of the Front Side Bus (FSB) and the ATA supported by the computer. If you do run HD Tach then first run Disk Defragmenter and do it before GoBack is re-installed. If you had to uninstall GoBack then it can be reinstalled whenever you like.