Friday, 22 May 2015 00:00

Preparing your hard disk drive

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Let’s start from the very beginning. Suppose you purchased a hard disk drive and a ribbon to it separately from your computer.
(The thing is that when you buy a ready-to-use computer, you get a ready-to-use hard drive.)


A couple of words about how to handle it. Hard disk drive is a complicated device that on top of electronics contains also sensitive mechanics. That is why it has to be handled carefully, i.e. shocks, falls and extreme vibration may damage its mechanical part. As a rule, drive’s board contains many tiny elements and is not sealed off by solid covers. That is why make sure it is always safe.

First thing you need to do when you get your hard disk drive is to read the instruction manuals enclosed to it in a box – it most probably will contain a lot of useful and interesting information. Having said that, make sure to take note of the following:

  • name of the manufacturer that make this particular type of hard drive,
  • presence and option for installation of jumpers that determine the setting (installation) of disk, for example, determining such parameter as disk’s physical name (they may be there and they may not be there),
  • number of heads, cylinders, sectors on disks, precompensation level and type of disk. These data shall be entered in reply to setup program request.
    All that information will be necessary during disk formatting and preparation of computer to work with it.
  • In the event if a PC won’t be able to determine the parameters of your hard drive installing a hard drive without any documents may be a challenging task.

Many hard disk drives have labels containing the name of the manufacturer, type (make) of device and other useful information.

Additionally, hard disk drive cover may contain information on the number of heads, cylinders and sectors as well as the level of precompensation.

It is fair to say that often hard disk drive contain only name labels. But even in this case one can find the necessary information either in the reference book or by calling to the company’s local dealer or office. In such case it is important to get answers to the following three questions:

  • how should be jumpers installed to use hard disk drive as master \ slave?
  • how many cylinders does the disk contain, how many sectors per track and what is the value of precompensation?
  • what disk type among recorded in ROM BIOS suits the best to this particular hard disk drive?

If you are in possession of this information you can proceed to installation of hard disk drive in your computer.

Follow the below steps to install a hard disk drive in a computer:

  1. Completely disconnect the power supply to the base unit and then remove the cover.
  2. Connect hard drive’s ribbon cable to the motherboard’s controller. If you install the second disk, you may use the ribbon cable of the first hard disk if it contains additional connector, at the same time you should remember that it may affect the speed of different hard disk drives.
  3. If required, adjust jumpers according to the way you will be using your hard disk drive.
  4. Set the hard drive on an empty space and connect the ribbon cable from motherboard’s controller to hard drive with red stripe towards power supply, energy supply cable.
  5. Securely fasten the hard disk drive with four screws from both sides, carefully lay the cables inside the computer so that when you close the cover it won’t cut them,
  6. Close the base unit.
  7. If your PC has not identified the hard disk drive, you may change computer’s configuration with Setup to make sure your computer knows that a new device has been connected to it.

Last modified on Friday, 22 May 2015 15:04
Data Recovery Expert

Viktor S., Ph.D. (Electrical/Computer Engineering), was hired by DataRecoup, the international data recovery corporation, in 2012. Promoted to Engineering Senior Manager in 2010 and then to his current position, as C.I.O. of DataRecoup, in 2014. Responsible for the management of critical, high-priority RAID data recovery cases and the application of his expert, comprehensive knowledge in database data retrieval. He is also responsible for planning and implementing SEO/SEM and other internet-based marketing strategies. Currently, Viktor S., Ph.D., is focusing on the further development and expansion of DataRecoup’s major internet marketing campaign for their already successful proprietary software application “Data Recovery for Windows” (an application which he developed).

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