I’ve decided to add more hard drive space to one of my desktop computers, so I bought a Seagate SATA internal drive for it.
At the same time, I need more hard drive space in my Linux computer which I use for file storage, i.e. backup of my other computers.
The complication was that I don’t have a SATA adapter in my Linux box.
My solution was a multi-step process:
- I installed the new 1 GB SATA drive temporarily as an external drive using an External Drive Enclosure. This is a neat piece of equipment for anyone who needs to temporarily connect hard drives — it’s a plug-and-play adapter with a slot on the top that can take a full-sized 3.5″ SATA drive or a notebook-size SATA drive. Plus, unlike all the adapters of the IDE world, it looks good <grin>
- I inserted the bare drive into the slot in the top of the Thermaltake adapter, plugged it into a power connection, plugged the USB 2.0 cable to the desktop computer and powered on the Thermaltake unit. [It took longer to write that than it did to do it!]
- Windows immediately recognized the drive and configured itself.
- I formatted the new drive as one big NTFS partition.
- I copied the contents of an existing 320 GB SATA drive to the new 1 TB drive.
- Then, I deleted the contents of the 320 GB SATA drive.
- Now, I started thinking about how to use the empty drive in my old Linux system, and I realized that I did not have a SATA adapter in it. The computer has an old Pentium III 933MHz processor, so that’s way to old for SATA to have been built into the motherboard. Of course, I could add an adapter, so I didn’t worry too much.
- But, I realized that I could use the 320 GB SATA drive to replace an existing 200 GB IDE drive in the desktop. Now, things started to get tricky.
- First, the old SATA drive was one big partition. No problem, but I wanted to configure it similarly to that of the IDE drive, which had my D:, H: and I: drives. So, my first step was to delete the partition.
- I started the Windows XP Disk Management console by Start > Run > diskmgmt.msc<enter>
- That showed me all the drives that were connected and allowed me to select the drive and gave me the option to delete the partition.
- That’s where I hit a problem — although the drive was empty, Windows would not let me delete the partition. The option was not greyed-out, but when I tried it, Windows told me the partition was in use. It gave me the option to force the deletion, though.
- I rebooted and immediately retried tot delete the partition, to see if that would solve it. It didn’t, so I selected the option to force the deletion, which did ok.
- I also wanted to make the new drive use the same drive letters that were current in use on the IDE drive (D:, H: and I:), so I used another feature of the Disk Management console to change the drive letters on the IDE drive to S:, T: and U:. Windows told me that it could make the change, but that it wouldn’t really occur until I rebooted, so I proceeded and then rebooted.
- Now, I created the FAT32 D: partition on the SATA drive to replace the FAT32 partition on the old IDE drive. As part of creating the partition, I had to select the drive letter that I wanted the Disk Management console to assign, so I picked D:. Windows created the partition and immediately began formatting it.
- Then, based on the content of H: and I: (now T: and U:), I decided to combine their data into one partition. I created a single NTFS partition out of the rest of the drive and assigned it drive letter H:. Windows formatted it automatically as part of the creation step.
- Finally, I used one of my daily tools Karen’s Replicator to copy the files from the old D: (now S:) to the new D: and the old H: and I: (now T: and U:) to the new H:. Karen’s Replicator has a huge advantage over using Windows Explorer to copy files. If there is any problem, Windows Explorer just stops without warning and often without any message. Karen’s Replicator keeps a log of its activities and will log what went wrong, and then continue with the next file.
Now, with all my data moved around, I can open the case, remove the IDE drive and insert the new SATA drive — and be finished!