How to add a hard drive to a computer using FDISK

Dennis Faas's picture

Do you have any idea how to add a hard drive to your system? What about using an old hard drive as a backup unit?

I get asked these sorts of questions a lot.

It's definitely not a one-line answer -- this type of stuff is highly involved. First, you have to open up your computer and decide where to put the new hard drive. Next, you have to play with jumper settings (master/slave), hook it up to the main board, turn on the system, add the hard drive to the BIOS, restart, boot into DOS... following that, run FDISK and set up a Primary or Extended (Logical) drive unit, then format the drive and install Windows!

FDISK -- what?

FDISK is a program that runs under DOS (Disk Operating System). DOS is command line driven and doesn't have any graphics. You have to type in every command for the computer execute something -- this type of involvement is not exactly for the light hearted!

I didn't fully understand a few things about FDISK until I came across the Radified web site that explained the difference between an Extended DOS partition and a Logical drive unit. It's a cool guide and you should definitely check it out (it's a bit lengthy, though.)

Believe me, it would be easier to have someone *show you* how to do all that stuff!

And, finally, after being asked about 100 times in email how to FDISK / format to prepare a hard drive, I put together a video tutorial that actually shows you how! The video covers complete hard drive installation -- from start to finish -- everything from:

  • The hard drive, and its jumpers settings;
  • How to install the hard drive in the computer;
  • How to set the BIOS to recognize the drive;
  • Booting from a startup disk;
  • Using FDISK to set up the drive, and
  • Various FDISK strategies discussed: customizing your hard drive -- what's right for you.

Hey -- if you're interested, check it out!

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