Subscriber Harold wrote me to say:
Message: Great newsletter! I have an 2000 gateway computer with XP OS. On bootup I keep getting a message that one of the registry files was corrupted and had to be overwritten with a backup. This has continued even after re-format and re-install all software. I have even gotten locked out by getting to the welcome screen in bootup and not have any icons to click on. I removed the hard drive and put it into my usb hard drive thingy and copies the repair ‘Sam’ file over the one that Windows uses and then was able to get back into the system. If I replace the HD should I get an ATA, or SATA, IDE or EIDE? Should I keep it under a certain size – say 120GB?
If your computer is newer than about 1998, you shouldn’t have a problem with any hard drive size – and it probably is if you’re running XP and use a flash drive. The BIOS was modified in the late 1990’s for larger drives — but even Windows XP required Service Pack 1 before it supported anything over 132 GB.
If your computer was new in 2000 or later — especially if it came with XP — I wouldn’t hesitate to put a 160 GB drive in it. You’ll probably pay more for a 120 GB than a 160 in today’s market. The 120’s have much lower demand so they’ll force a higher price from anyone who really wants one.
Regarding IDE/EIDE/ATA/Parallel-ATA/PATA — all the same thing in today’s world..
SATA is different though, and your computer will have to have a SATA controller and you’ll have to load the SATA driver for that controller into Windows — whether this is the boot drive or a second or later drive.
Get whichever kind your computer currently has. I’m still using parallel ATA drives (with the big wide IDE cable with 80 small wires) in my computers. I just installed my first SATA drive as an add-on under Windows earlier this year.
My motherboard had built-in SATA connectors and I had SATA power connectors on my power supply, but I still had to download and install the SATA drivers to get Windows XP SP2 to recognize the drive.
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