Upgrading Data Storage - these days the hot topic in storage is -- SSD!
Upgrading Data Storage -
Your Data Storage - Hard drives, CD/DVD drives, Flash
or Pen drives, SSD, and Tapes.
Hard drives are one of the greatest bargains today, the most bang for your
buck. Although the price per byte is cheaper, it is not the cheapest upgrade you
to help you get a new hard drive or SSD installed...
Considerations - What type of drive? What capacity, How many?
Hard drives -
Types: Current drive interface types are
IDE (ATA) or SATA (Serial ATA) you need to know
what interface type you need before you buy. If you have an older computer more than
likely it has a IDE controller, newer computers are coming with the SATAII or
SATAIII controllers embedded along with the IDE for CD/DVD drives (backward
If you have a IDE and want to purchase that 500 gig SATA drive you will need a
couple of things before you can make it run. You will need a SATA controller,
some manufactures are including the controller with their drives, some are not.
You will also need an interface cable and a power cable converter.
As with other upgrades what do you want you new drive to do? Is it for increased
storage for data and programs? Is it for your OS, will it be the Boot drive?
If you are upgrading for just storage,
then go for the SATA and the biggest you
can afford. I have Doom 3, Half Life 2, these programs come on DVD's and they
are compressed files, in addition Half Life 2 goes out to the internet and down
loads updates every time I play the game (well it tries, I don't let it). The
reason I put these facts in is that my 20 gig hard drive was to full to load
these two games, my choices were delete something or upgrade. Upgrading data storage was the
If you are upgrading for the OS you may want to consider
the biggest you can afford, also you will have to stay with the
controller embedded in your main board, I have not seen a bootable SATA add-on
controller at this time.
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CD and DVD -
CD/DVD - All DVD drives will read the CD format so why buy a CD Drive? If you
are replacing a CD with a DVD consider buying a Writeable DVD, the latest Dual
Layer DVD Burner costs less than a regular CD drive in today's market! A DL DVD
that will create DVD movies, 8.7 gig of data storage will also read and write cd's! With rewriteable cd or dvd you can use this device for your backup, if you
back up your data selectively.
Flash memory devices -
The wonder of technology - Flash drives (or pen drives) are the latest and
greatest from the memory innovators and manufactures. These devices store data
on a chip that retains the data when the power is removed. You can get these
devices in different capacities. The only draw back I can see with a flash drive
is that they are very small and can be misplaced, this could be a security risk
if you put personal data on one.
SSD or Solid State Drives
Like the flash or pen drives the SSD uses the same
technology to store your data. The difference comes from the size (which it will
change), power requirements, and capacity. These drives come mainly in the SATA format
so if you have a computer that has only IDE interfaces you will need a SATA
interface controller. At this time the highest capacity is
6 Tetra Bytes
(TB) and it costs
over $900 $1200 (depending on manufacture) but with time the capacity will increase
and the price will drop. I have written a
And the upgrade page is
upgrading data storage to a SSD.
Adding a tape drive to do backup of your data is a wise choice. With the latest
hard drives moving towards 6 TB you wonder if you can afford a tape drive
that will back up all that data in a timely manner. In a word: No. If you
selectively backup data only you can get by with a fairly cheap drive with a 10
to 30 gig capacity... (fairly cheap means how important is your data?) After
considering your options you may want to use a DVD to back up your data.
Update 11/01/13 - When this article upgrading data storage was written the IDE interface was
King, now SATA is the preferred interface for most mass storage from hard
drives to optical to memory drives (SSD) and then the move from the original
SATA specification which had backward compatibility to the IDE interface to the
pure serial interface specification.
What this means is if you have an older drive or
motherboard the newer SATA II and III may not work with them. That is a SATA II
or III motherboard will not accept a old SATA drive with out the older drivers
required to see the older drive. Conversely an older motherboard may have
problems seeing the newer SATA II or III drive, there is a possibility that you
may find drivers to load that will see the device, check Intel's web site for