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How to Install a Hard Drive (Page 4/6)

Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Posted: November 20, 1999

Hard Drive Jumper Settings

The jumper settings on the back of your hard drive are particularly important, because not only to they impact speed, but they also determine if the drive will work at all. Each hard drive is different in this respect, so I can't give you any particulars, but here are some basic rules of thumb:

- Set the drive so it is in the appropriate mode for where it will be on the IDE chain (as either master or slave)
- The more cylinders the better, so if your hard drive gives you the choice (with mine I could choose from 15 and 16), choose the higher number

(And now the copout line...) Consult your hard drive manual for more information on this subject.


More power! *Grunts*... I know, Home Improvement probably wasn't your favorite show while it was on the air (even though it probably should have been... he was the king of all tweakers... I mean, how many people do you know with a riding lawnmower that does 60?), but it does properly illustrate my point well. What point is that, you might ask? Well...hard drives are power hogs. And the more power, the better. You see, when a computer starts to need more juice than its power supply can handle, weird things start to happen, and one of those things is data corruption.

Your standard, 235 watt power supply (that's what comes with most of your OEM deals) can support a normal, single processor configuration with your usual assortment of a CD-ROM drive and a hard drive, along with your video card and all those other nice things. But once you start adding extra stuff (120 cfm. fans, extra hard drives, etc.), you start suffering from power drain. And your hard drive is the most prone piece of equipment to fail because of such a power drain.

So what's the remedy? Get a bigger power supply. I personally recommend a 300 watt power supply (or 350 watt, if you are an extremely avid overclocker...but we'll get to that later). This should cure most of your missed disk write woes (you know the ones I'm talking about... you worked on that report for 12 hours and saved it, and when you came back to it, the whole thing was scrambled) and save you time in the long run.

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