I'm just a guy at a house

It's a long story. :)

Jen, being the wonderful wife she is (butter, butter), bought me a new hard drive from Best Buy for my upcoming birthday. I've nicknamed it Mammoth.

It's a 300 GB Seagate SATA drive with a 16 Meg buffer, runs at 7200 RPM, and is really slick. It was only $129.



I was not sure that my computer had a SATA controller in it, but we got the drive anyway since the blueshirt said that we had 30 days to return it even if it was opened. What a bargain. Considering that the price was comparable to a 120 GB PATA (aka old IDE) drive, it was too good a deal to pass up.

I sped home and got down to installing it. Fortunately I do have 2 SATA ports on my motherboard, so I was ready to go. I have an MSI K8MM-V. The SATA ports are the orange ones at the bottom left of the picture. (Below the black square and left of the black circle.)



I enabled the SATA controller in my BIOS, hooked up the drive to the controller and power, and was ready to download the Internet! Woo-hoo!

Skrrrrreeeech! Something didn't work right though. It asked me for the driver upon first booting back into windows, so I went and downloaded what I thought was the right one. Didn't work. I searched around and got a different one. Didn't work. Finally, I dug around in my boxes of computer stuff and found the actual diskette that came with the motherboard, which contained the SATA driver. Lucky for me that one of the floppy drives (out of four) in the house works or I'd have had to go to work to get the data off. So, I installed that driver. Nada. Grrrrrrr!!!! Better sleep on it.

The next day I was reading and reading helpful stuff online about the problem and came across this page of help for people with SATA drive problems and MSI K8MM-V motherboards. They recommend using VIA's Hyperion Driver which I have a local copy of here. They also recommend removing the SATA drive and getting the driver installed successfully first. That was the key element that helped me. I did unpower the drive and install Hyperion. That worked like a charm, but when I repowered the drive and booted up, it acted as if I had the wrong controller driver again! Arrrggghhhhh!

So, I did some more research. As it turns out, the lovely K8MM-V has an older version of the SATA controller that can only talk half as fast as this new drive can. So, I had to use these instructions to step down the drive's transfer speed which essentially is just installing a jumper on the back of the drive.



I have all kinds of computer junk lying around, as I alluded to, and that included a ton of screws, spacers, jumper blocks, cables, dead mice (computer ones), etc, etc, etc. UNfortunately, what I didn't have was one of the new smaller jumper blocks that this drive needed. Yet another roadblock! I tried all the ones I had on hand and had resigned myself to waiting to get one from work, when I stumbled across one last one here at home. Though it was the larger version, it was still small enough to be wedged into the space and do the job. Yahoo!

After that, things went great. The DiscWizard for Windows that comes with the Seagate drives worked fine. Much to my surprise, as it says this NOWHERE in the manual, but the software offered to move all my data over and setup the new drive to be the boot drive, which is just what I wanted. So, I initiated that and went to bed. Copying about 75 GB of stuff wasn't going to be fast.

The next morning, I tested it out after removing the old drive. Windows booted up fine and things were good until I tried to look at some things in control panel. Several icons wouldn't open (they crashed) and the recycle bin was corrupted and wouldn't work properly. I figured at this point that I had two choices: use this Mammoth as a second drive or just reinstall windows on it if I wanted to boot off it. Now, I'm nowhere near afraid of reinstalling windows - I've done it dozens of times not to mention reinstalling Windows server - but the prospect of all that work made me decide to just use it as a second drive. That would be fine. I put back the first drive and now I have two.

So, that's what I've done. I have a lot of space and I'm happy for a while. I'm going to put all the stuff I need to burn off onto DVDs on there and eventually I'll burn those DVDs.

Thanks Jen!!!

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