Solved How best to utilize a second internal hard drive?


scott784

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I recently decided to try Windows 11. But because I wasn't sure I'd want to keep it, I decided to buy a second internal hard drive to place the new installation. Plus, I wanted a larger (main) internal drive anyway. But in the short time that I've had Windows 11, I've decided it's a keeper and I've deleted Windows 10 off the other internal drive.

So now I've got Windows 11 on my new 1 TB SSD and the second internal SSD with 500 GB (that used to have Windows 10) is just sitting there blank. This is the first time that I've had a second internal hard drive on a PC; and now I am wondering how to best utilize the added internal space? Windows lists the second (older) internal drive as "D" drive; and I've noted that I can drag and drop files over to it from my main C drive.

Question(s): is there anything I should be doing with my older internal drive to further integrate it with my new internal drive with Windows 11? All I did was delete Windows 10 on the older drive; and of course, that killed the dual boot. Are there any advantages of storing any types of backups to my now (so called) 'D' drive (the older one)? Is my 'D' drive now just a so called "slave" to my 'C' drive with Windows 11, whereby only files/folders can be stored on it? Or is there other functionality that I could consider going forward?

That kind of seems like a dumb post (as I type it). But I am just trying to get a better understanding of how my (now) dual internal SSD(s) ("without" the dual boot) should (or can) work best? I've got an "external" 2 TB SSD that I continue to use for backups. Thanks for any replies here.
 

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Stigg

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Hi Scott.

All my desktops and laptop have a secondary internal hard drive. I'd leave the driver letter as D:. That's what I have.
I don't keep any of my personal data files on the operating system C: drive.
I suggest you use your D: drive as a storage drive for all your personal data such as documents, music, photos etc.
And if you do or don't already do system backups, backup to your D: drive. It's a lot easier than using external drives.
 

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Ghot

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@scott784
You can do whatever you want with a 2nd or 3rd, etc., drive...
Here's my setup...

Disk 0 = SSD
Disks 1 & 2 = hard drives
Disk 2 is just a copy of Disk 1

I have another identical SSD, except it has Windows 11 on it.
So I just switch the cables on the SSDs, depending whether I want to be on Win 10 or Win 11

000000 Disk Management.jpg

00000 Hard Drives.jpg


Here's a free partitioning tool, so you can get creative if you want...



Here's my setup shown in Minitool Partition Wizard...

Image1.jpg


0000 THIS ONE.jpg
 
Last edited:

My Computers

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    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
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    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
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    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
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    Built by Ghot®
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    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
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    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

imanlien2020

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I have a 2TB SSD - Main(C: Drive) obvious whats on it..
and a second 2TB SSD(D: Drive) which I place my personal stuff and I place a games folder on it with all my games inside each in its own folder...When
I install my games I just install them inside its own folder and then place a games folder on my desktop with shortcuts to all the EXEs of those games in it..
Then lastly I have third drive which is a 1TB HDD(E: Drive). I know HDD..lol..I only use this drive for my system backups...I use EaseUS Todo Backup software.
But as anyone will say use them how it benefits you.
 

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    AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8 Core
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    Microsoft Edge
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    Avast Premium

cereberus

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In your case, if it was me, I would clone W11 from larger SSD to smaller SSD, wipe the larger one, and use that for data.

As suggested earlier, you can then make image backups of smaller ssd to larger but you also should copy those backups to an external drive (even older hdd is fine).

The other important point is backing up data on data drive. As a minimum backup critical data to an external drive or cloud e.g. onedrive.
 

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    ASUS Vivobook 14
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    I7
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    Yep, Laptop has one.
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    16 GB
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    Integrated Intel Iris XE
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glasskuter

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You did not mention how much data you have which makes a big difference. Do you have a big shared media collection? A bunch of old downloads you access once in a blue moon? IMO, deciding how to best utilize disk space depends on the amount of data one has and how one uses it.

I agree that it's best that the data partition be separate from the system partition, but nothing says it can't be on the the same drive. (as long as your keep regular backups.) With it's speed I can certainly understand why you would want that new Samsung drive to be your system drive. However, as strictly a system drive what are you going to do with all that unused space? You paid too much good money to end up with a lot of wasted space. If it were me I would have my system partitions and my data partition on the new faster drive. You could then use the 500 gb drive for backups of C: and the external drive for backups of D: or continue to backup everything on your external drive and make a partition called something like 'Archived Data' or 'Movies' or whatever on the 500gb drive for files you do not regularly access. You could also completely remove the 500 gb drive for use elsewhere or later.
 

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    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 22621.608
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    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
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    32 gb
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    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
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    Integrated Realtek
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    Benq 27
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    256 m.2 2230-256+1 tb hdd
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    500w
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    Logitech wired
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    Defender+MWB Premium
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    Windows 10 Pro 21H2
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    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
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    24 gb
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    Benq 27
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    2560x1440
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    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
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    500w
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    MT
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    Dell factory
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barman58

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As Windows and It's Applications tend to use a lot of temporary space when in use, I have found that an older, smaller SSD drive can make a useful "Buffer Drive"

What I do is set up the applications and Windows itself to use an older SSD for all it's temporary and working files (with my main usage revolving around Image manipulation and related tasks there are a lot of small temporary working files).

Now I use 1TB NVMe drives for my system drives as these give a good performance and adequate space. I then use an older drive as the buffer, this is usually an older 500GB SSD. This drive is nowhere as fast as the NVME, so I could simply use the spare space on the NVMe drive for temporary files / Catalogues etc. What the secondary drive gives me is the parallel access to the system drive and the Buffer drive which improves overall performance
I still use HDD Spinners for Data drives as they give a much better "Bang / Buck" ratio but the processing is done on the fast drives, (although I do utilise other methods such as Optane Memory to improve spinner performance when this is useful )
 

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    Chillblast to my design
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    Ryzen 9 5950X, 4.9GHz
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    Asus Prime X570-Pro Motherboard
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    64GB DDR4 3200MHz
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    4GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1650 Ti - HDMI, DP
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    On motherboard Feeding SPDiF 5.1 system
    Monitor(s) Displays
    32" UHD 32 Bit HDR Monitor + 43" UHD 4K 32Bit HDR TV
    Screen Resolution
    2 x 3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    1TB M2 SSD OS, 500GB Fast Access SSD, 2 x 8TB Data + Various Externals from 1TB to 4TB, 10TB NAS
    PSU
    NZXT C750 80 PLUS Gold 750W Modular PSU
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    Chillblast Silent Workstation PC Case - Black
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    Also run...
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  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro x64 [Latest release]
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17 9700
    CPU
    i7 10750H
    Motherboard
    Stock
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Stock Intel + GTX 1650 Ti
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    Stock 4 speaker
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    Stock 17"
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    3840 x 2160 HDR touchscreen
    Hard Drives
    2TB M2 NVMe
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    Stock + 2 fan cooling pad
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scott784

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Windows 11 Pro
You did not mention how much data you have which makes a big difference. Do you have a big shared media collection? A bunch of old downloads you access once in a blue moon? IMO, deciding how to best utilize disk space depends on the amount of data one has and how one uses it.

I agree that it's best that the data partition be separate from the system partition, but nothing says it can't be on the the same drive. (as long as your keep regular backups.) With it's speed I can certainly understand why you would want that new Samsung drive to be your system drive. However, as strictly a system drive what are you going to do with all that unused space? You paid too much good money to end up with a lot of wasted space. If it were me I would have my system partitions and my data partition on the new faster drive. You could then use the 500 gb drive for backups of C: and the external drive for backups of D: or continue to backup everything on your external drive and make a partition called something like 'Archived Data' or 'Movies' or whatever on the 500gb drive for files you do not regularly access. You could also completely remove the 500 gb drive for use elsewhere or later.
You make a very good point in saying that it really depends on how much data is on the PC!

The truth is, my used space on my Samsung SSD is well under 500 GB. And this new SSD has the capacity of 1TB. So yeah, I probably paid more than necessary for storage that I may never use, especially since I've now also still got the Western Digital 500 GB internal SSD in my PC as well. My home PC is only for casual multi-media use (i.e. listening to music), light gaming, word processing, e-mails, web browsing, reading/educational purposes, personal finances, etc.

Where I "really" use a lot of storage is for my movie collection. I have hundreds of them stored on a NAS. I've got a Synology NAS DS 218+ for those films (movies only on the NAS). But the NAS is in no way tied to my home PC. That was a deliberate effort (on my part) because I've got my NAS opened up for use outside of my home. And for security reasons, I don't allow any access between the NAS and my home PC. I have to be super careful about that. But that's another topic altogether and of course nothing to do with this thread.

Back on topic, perhaps in my situation, the best use for my 2nd internal drive on my PC will be for additional backups of data. Even though I don't have a massive amount of data on my home PC, I do find that backups tend to quickly fill up disc space, particularly with system images.

I appreciate all the posts here. It is insightful!
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-9700 @ 3.00GHz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Technology Z390 Gaming X-CF
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 980 Pro 1TB
    WDC SSD 500GB
    Antivirus
    Norton 360

scott784

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25
OS
Windows 11 Pro
@scott784
You can do whatever you want with a 2nd or 3rd, etc., drive...
Here's my setup...

Disk 0 = SSD
Disks 1 & 2 = hard drives
Disk 2 is just a copy of Disk 1

I have another identical SSD, except it has Windows 11 on it.
So I just switch the cables on the SSDs, depending whether I want to be on Win 10 or Win 11

View attachment 29545

View attachment 29546


Here's a free partitioning tool, so you can get creative if you want...



Here's my setup shown in Minitool Partition Wizard...

View attachment 29547


View attachment 29548
Thanks for sharing your setup as well as the recommendation for the free partition tool. Your system looks quite fancy! I understand partitioning as it relates to a single SSD or HDD. But where I guess I am a "bone head" is getting the concept of partitioning when there are two separate/physical internal drives?

In other words, by the very nature of me now having two separate/physical internal hard drives (in my case the new Samsung SSD 1TB internal drive as well as my Western Digital SSD 500GB internal drive)....isn't it already what would be called a partition in a similar way that one might use software to partition a single hard drive? The only differences I can think of are single hard drives that have hidden partitions (i.e. a backup recovery partitions, etc).

But in my case, I've currently got a 'C' drive with everything already on it (the new Samsung SSD). And a 'D' drive (the Western Digital 500GB SSD) that is currently empty whereby I could drag and drop files and folders, direct backups to be stored on the 'D' drive, etc. etc. This 'D' drive (of course) happened by default when I removed the dual boot and Windows 10 from the Western Digital SSD.

Btw, (on my former PC), I used to also switch Sata cables out in 2015 when I had Windows 7 on one drive and Windows 10 on a separate drive. But I never had both of them plugged in together. In other words, no dual boot and no partitioning. I would just pop the PC case open and plug and unplug one internal hard drive for the other. This was on my old PC and was a different scenario all together.

Thanks again for any further explanation as it relates to partitioning with two internal SSD(s) that are used together.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-9700 @ 3.00GHz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Technology Z390 Gaming X-CF
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 980 Pro 1TB
    WDC SSD 500GB
    Antivirus
    Norton 360

Ghot

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@scott784

If it was me I'd use the 500GB for my Windows, and use the 1TB for storage.
Then you can partition the 1TB to help with keeping stored items... findable.

Like on my storage disks, I used the partitions to help keep things sorted.
The first partition has copies of installed programs, and my actual game installs.
The 2nd partition has my Windows backups.
Then the 3rd and 4th partitions are for my media. Like movies, music, pictures, TV series... etc.

Like this is the 1st partition on my storage drive.
I then use Folders to further sort stuff.
A bit of planning now, will pay off down the road.


Image1.png

The RED box is my currently installed games.
I don't install any games on the C:\ drive. That keeps the amount of data on the C:\ drive low (<40GB),
so my backups and/or restores are fast. Backup = 2.5 min, Restore = 2 min.



And this is part of what's in just one folder (000 Windows 10 x64 PROGS XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX)
Stuff fills up fast. :)



Image1.png
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22621.608
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE (BIOS 4201)
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    DRW-24B1ST CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Cooler Master ATCS 840 Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot®
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

Rahulji

Member
Local time
8:47 AM
Posts
38
OS
Windows 11 21H2
@scott784
You can do whatever you want with a 2nd or 3rd, etc., drive...
Here's my setup...

Disk 0 = SSD
Disks 1 & 2 = hard drives
Disk 2 is just a copy of Disk 1

I have another identical SSD, except it has Windows 11 on it.
So I just switch the cables on the SSDs, depending whether I want to be on Win 10 or Win 11

View attachment 29545

View attachment 29546


Here's a free partitioning tool, so you can get creative if you want...



Here's my setup shown in Minitool Partition Wizard...

View attachment 29547


View attachment 29548
Hi, what you find better in that "free partitioning tool" than in Windows? thanks
I found it very similar.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 21H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    AMD
    CPU
    Ryzen 5
    Motherboard
    Asus
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce
    Monitor(s) Displays
    DELL
    Keyboard
    MS

Ghot

Well-known member
Pro User
VIP
Local time
2:47 AM
Posts
4,258
Location
PA, USA
OS
Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22621.608
Hi, what you find better in that "free partitioning tool" than in Windows? thanks
I found it very similar.


It does a few things that Disk Management can't do.
But you can use whichever one you want. :)



Just for example...



Image1.png



And if you want the bootable version of Minitool Partition Wizard (older version ISO).
For those times you can't get into Windows...

 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22621.608
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE (BIOS 4201)
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    DRW-24B1ST CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Cooler Master ATCS 840 Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot®
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

Berton

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
12:47 AM
Posts
1,079
Location
Buffalo, Wyoming
OS
Win11 Pro RTM
I have several HDDs I've used GPARTED to fully delete partitions Windows can't. New Desktop computer 3 weeks ago with Win11 Pro on a 512GB NVMe drive so I added a 3.5" 2TB HDD. The case also has space for 1 or 2 x 2.5" drives. The power and data cable for the added drive was already in place so being of rather dubious sound mind I accepted the assignment of the BIOS, left the NVMe as Drive 1 and the 2TB as Drive 0 then in Windows reassigned the ODD as Drive E and the 2TB as Drive D:\DATA for storage. Nothing changed with the Boot C: drive. Having started building computers in a shop in '94 I'm not OCD enough to work on things until I get them broke.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5
    Memory
    8GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    21"
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD NVMe, 2TB WDC HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender/Microsoft Security

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