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Old 05-05-2009, 01:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PC Upgrade Questions

What's up everyone,

I have a couple of questions. I currently own a Dell XPS M1710 Laptop (2007) that I use as my primary PC. My grandfather purchased it for me through his business before I went off to college. While I got pretty well all the upgraded specs from the base model the accountant ordering it decided to cheap out on the HDD. I had asked for a 250gb HDD and he decided I didn't need that much space and instead downgraded me to an 85gb HDD. I'm really not trying to sound like a spoiled ******* or anything because I was still extremely grateful to get such a nice notebook but I need more space. I download tons of media and filled that up within a couple weeks. I have since purchased an 300gb external HDD (WD Passport) but that as well has been filled recently.

Anyways getting to my questions. I'm looking to purchase a new internal HDD for my laptop but I need some advice.

First of all what model's would you all suggest? I'm looking for something middle of the road in quality. Anywhere from 250gb to 400gb.

Second, is it possible to basically copy all the data on my current HDD to the new internal HDD so that when I fire up my notebook after installing and copying the data from my previous HDD that it would basically be like I never changed HDD just have more space?

Anything else you guys think I should know?

On to another topic. I'm thinking about picking up another external HDD because needless to say even with a new internal HDD I'm sure that will be filled as well eventually. Looking to pick up something around 1tb. I've been looking at newegg at some of there cheaper models (I know I shouldn't cheap out too much but what can I say I'm a poor college student) but just wanted to see what model you all might suggest and if you've had any success with a certain model and/or the brand. Here are the ones I'm interested in:

Newegg.com - Hard Drives,External Hard Drives,1TB and higher,$75 - $100,

Lastly, I've been thinking about upgrading my memory from 2gb to 4gb but I've heard some say that it is pointless to go beyond 2gb if you're only running the 32-bit version of Windows Vista which is what I'm using. What do you all think?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Upgrade Questions

Use either Ghost or Acronis to image over the HDD.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Upgrade Questions

Newegg.com - Seagate Momentus 7200.3 ST9320421AS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Notebook Hard Drive (Bare drive) - Laptop Hard Drives
$89.99 w/free shipping. Avg seek 4.17ms.

Use this to connect the new drive to the laptop to clone the drive:
Newegg.com - Rosewill RCW-608 USB2.0 Adapter For IDE/SATA Device (Include Protection case) - Adapters & Gender Changers

Once you have the drive cloned (I use Ghost myself) you just swap out the new drive for the old one.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Upgrade Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by carnageX View Post
Use either Ghost or Acronis to image over the HDD.
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotter View Post
Newegg.com - Seagate Momentus 7200.3 ST9320421AS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Notebook Hard Drive (Bare drive) - Laptop Hard Drives
$89.99 w/free shipping. Avg seek 4.17ms.

Use this to connect the new drive to the laptop to clone the drive:
Newegg.com - Rosewill RCW-608 USB2.0 Adapter For IDE/SATA Device (Include Protection case) - Adapters & Gender Changers

Once you have the drive cloned (I use Ghost myself) you just swap out the new drive for the old one.
Thanks for suggestions.

===================================

Any advice on the memory question?
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Upgrade Questions

32-bit can only handle about 3.5Gb of memory, period. That includes and video/graphics memory int he system. 4GB would not be fully used, but 3GB probably would be. DDR2 is cheap right now, so getting 4GB to keep it in dual channel would be your best option.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Upgrade Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotter View Post
32-bit can only handle about 3.5Gb of memory, period. That includes and video/graphics memory int he system. 4GB would not be fully used, but 3GB probably would be. DDR2 is cheap right now, so getting 4GB to keep it in dual channel would be your best option.
Thanks for all the help. Really appreciate it.

=========================

Last and final question. Any help on the external HDD?

Thanks again.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Upgrade Questions

I have another question that I overlooked in my first post. My XPS has two HDD or at least that is the way it seems. I have my C:\ Drive (labeled: OS, obviously for operating system) that is 65gb and then a D:\ (labeled: recovery) which is 10gb. I really have nothing of any importance on that drive if that makes any difference. However, and I'm sure I sound like a noob, I don't think I have more than one HDD on this notebook. After looking over the manual they only cover the one HDD which is removable on the right side of the notebook. Here are my questions...

Is the D:\ drive using the same HDD as my C:\?

If so should I make an image of the D:\ as well? (Like I said I have absolutely nothing of any importance on it really)

Is this just another internal HDD that is non-removable or something?

One last stupid question...Will I have to format the new HDD or does it come pre-formatted?

I ordered the new HDD last night. I went with Trotter's recommendation and just want to make sure I've got this down before I go ahead and swap the HDD.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Upgrade Questions

C: and D: are both on the same physical disk, but separate partitions. D: drive is simply a restoration partition to set your computer back to its original factory configuration. If you use Ghost or another drive cloner, you should be able to copy both partitions over.
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