Adding another drive or two to a SFF computer with only two bays.

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by thanatoid, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. thanatoid

    thanatoid Guest

    Hi gang,

    I have a Compaq (HP) EVO D510 Small Form Factor - it has only
    two 5¼ bays - one for the CD drive and one for the hard drive.
    It has two IDE channels - one drive is on each, as you might
    expect.

    AFAICT, the BIOS is proprietary. Before I open the machine and
    start messing around, I thought I'd ask here...

    I am wondering if it might be possible to connect a 2nd hard
    drive to one (or both) of the IDE channels. Would it just be a
    matter of changing/adding extensions to the existing cables, or
    is it just NOT possible, either because the BIOS will get
    confused/comatose or because it will not be possible to find
    correct cables. I would /think/ just using a standard ATA and
    power cable with splitters (AOT the single units which came with
    the machine) should work.

    The power supply is only rated at 175W, but drives use little
    power and this would be a very temporary arrangement anyway.

    Needless to say, the drive(s) would have to sit on top of the
    machine with the top cover on or off depending on where I can
    fit the cables (there is a setting to disable cover security so
    that's purely an "aesthetic" problem and it does not bother me).

    (I once added a CD ROM drive to an old HP 486/66 Vectra, and cut
    a hole for the cables in the top of the case, and that's where
    it sits. The Vectra already had a standard cable with 2 drive
    connectors.)

    BION, I have gotten fairly good and quick support from HP in the
    past, but they can't deal with anything "outside of the box" (in
    this case, /literally/), so I don't think it's worth even asking
    them about this.

    Any advice will be appreciated.

    t.
     
    thanatoid, Apr 1, 2010
    #1
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  2. thanatoid

    Desk Rabbit Guest

    Are the USB ports not working then?
     
    Desk Rabbit, Apr 1, 2010
    #2
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  3. thanatoid

    chuckcar Guest

    Hard drive bays are usually 3 1/2" now. That would be for a DVD/CD RW
    one would expect.
    Then you can hook up two other drives.
    Of course it's possible. *Any* ide controller can handle four drives. At
    the least.
    Typical underpowered consumer desktop. You'd be better of getting a new
    case with a decent power supply and bays for your drives. and put the
    computer in that. I'd only do it if you're out of warrenty however.
    Otherwise stick with the computer and take it as a lesson of what you
    get for under $1000.
    It's *not* a purely aesthetic problem. Drives are susceptible to g force
    shock and vibration. To say nothing of them falling. Just mount them.
    With at *least* four screws each.
    As I said, spend the hundred or so dollars and get a new case or wait.
     
    chuckcar, Apr 1, 2010
    #3
  4. thanatoid

    chuckcar Guest

    Sorry, I forgot to mention, you almost certainly will have to buy power
    plug splitters to power the drives as well as proper ide cables in any
    case.
     
    chuckcar, Apr 1, 2010
    #4
  5. thanatoid

    Jordon Guest

    And add Loctite Green to the screws and slather some JB Weld in
    the drive bay while you're at it.
     
    Jordon, Apr 1, 2010
    #5
  6. thanatoid

    Aardvark Guest

    WTF?????
     
    Aardvark, Apr 1, 2010
    #6
  7. *Please!* *DON'T* feed the Grammer-Gnat-zees.

    --

    I AM Bucky Breeder, (*(^; ; and *NO*,
    that is NOT a Jedi light-sabre in my pocket;
    and nope, I'm NOT particularly "happy" to see you.

    Repent! The end is near....
    So, smoke 'em if you got 'em.
     
    Bucky Breeder, Apr 1, 2010
    #7
  8. thanatoid

    Jordon Guest

    I've had several computers that had a MB backplane with no
    access to the drive bays making it close to impossible to
    get at the hard drive screws.
    And that an external hard drive can crash at the same exact
    time as the one in the case, making them useless for backup.
    And that CD's or DVD's are the only way to go, which makes
    daily incremental backups kind of a PITA.
     
    Jordon, Apr 1, 2010
    #8
  9. thanatoid

    POGO PUNY Guest

    does that interfere with u'r DIRTY DIAPER taste?
     
    POGO PUNY, Apr 1, 2010
    #9
  10. thanatoid

    chuckcar Guest

    That's the *least* of the problems with this group.

    Thanks anyways.
     
    chuckcar, Apr 1, 2010
    #10
  11. thanatoid

    thanatoid Guest

    Yes, I did think about doing that... But *forgot* I had when I
    was writing the post! Brain cells not getting any younger...

    Thanks for the reply.
     
    thanatoid, Apr 1, 2010
    #11
  12. thanatoid

    thanatoid Guest

    See reply to philo. I just forgot about that option.

    Thanks.
     
    thanatoid, Apr 1, 2010
    #12
  13. thanatoid

    thanatoid Guest

    It's a 6 or 7 year old computer. But I think you're right, the
    HD bay is 3.5, since there is no HD adapter bracket which I had
    to use in my 1977 box.
    Even with the bizarro HP BIOS? I am almost sure - but thought it
    worth asking - that the weirdo HP BIOS will not see the extra
    units on the channels.

    I hope you're right. I guess I'll just have to try it.
    I thought of getting a different power supply, but it being a
    /very small/ brand name computer, the power supply is unique and
    very bizarre and has totally non-standard connectors. The reason
    I want to stick with this machine until I go all Linux is that I
    can still run 98SELite on it, although I do have XP on another
    partition for a hardware-specific reason.
    If I could, I would. Look up the EVO D510 SFF, they have a very
    nice page on the HP site, with all the diagrams etc. It was made
    to be tiny and non-expandable. I am very limited in my choices
    due to where I live.

    I'd love to, but it's not an option. The MB only works with this
    power supply, and there are no MB's with 98 drivers any more,
    and I already have 3 computers and getting a 4th one would be a
    little insane. Even though philo said even a MB with NO 98
    drivers /should/ basically be able to run it, I am not quite
    ready to start experiencing with that or with virtual boxes. I
    have enough on my plate at the moment.

    Thanks for the reply.
     
    thanatoid, Apr 1, 2010
    #13
  14. thanatoid

    thanatoid Guest

    C'mon Evan... Things are bad enough as it is... You're better
    than this...

    And, FWIW, all the drives /I/ have ever seen have 6 holes, since
    case brackets vary in design and "screw holes" placement.
     
    thanatoid, Apr 1, 2010
    #14
  15. thanatoid

    thanatoid Guest

    It is NOT impossible for that to happen.
    I don't know how old you are, but while I will not, /you/ MIGHT
    see the day when thinking of what you want the computer (which
    is running your entire life) to do will make it do it with no
    other effort on your part whatsoever, but for now, if you want
    good results, you have to do a little work.

    Tape backup is probably best, but very expensive. And there is
    NO difference between an external and an internal HD except the
    external one has the advantage of being able to be dropped, and
    the extra $50 or more for the $3 plastic Chinese case and cable.
    There is just no more money in burners and discs any more, so
    the Empire thought of a new way to screw everyone, and it is
    working beautifully. A friend of mine just bought a 1.5 TB
    external drive and it died within a week.
     
    thanatoid, Apr 1, 2010
    #15
  16. thanatoid

    thanatoid Guest

    Bucky Breeder
    That's "Grammar Nazis".

    ;-P
     
    thanatoid, Apr 1, 2010
    #16
  17. thanatoid

    thanatoid Guest

    Even, you're a smart guy... I know text Usenet is committing
    suicide, this group being a perfect example, "they" just have to
    sit back and watch and laugh, but please...

    I hate to tell you, and please, no offense, but chuckcar is
    showing more manners and maturity than you are at this point.
    Post contents notwithstanding - and everyone gives both good and
    bad advice in this group anyway.
     
    thanatoid, Apr 1, 2010
    #17
  18. thanatoid

    thanatoid Guest

    Oh yeah, that goes without saying. But thanks for mentioning it
    in case I had NOT thought of it.
     
    thanatoid, Apr 1, 2010
    #18
  19. thanatoid

    Jordon Guest

    Neither is being struck by lightning twice.
    I fail to see your point. What does my age (54) have to
    do with anything? I was relating things that Chucktard
    has said in the past.
    I am very happy with my backup strategy. I do full backups
    on two servers once a week. I have incremental data backups
    every day that go back three months. I have copies of these
    backups in three places, two of which are in different buildings
    at work and one I take home with me every day. Only the full
    backups are compressed. The daily data backups are just file
    copies and retain the original file name/folder name structure
    but are in root folders named with the date. All backups are
    on hard drives of some sort, one of which is a NAS running raid
    1.
     
    Jordon, Apr 2, 2010
    #19
  20. thanatoid

    chuckcar Guest

    Go into the BIOS. There should be an ability to set the drive type (not
    used anymore as drives are significantly more than 120MB these days).
    You want to set it to either autodetect or set it as an optical drive.
    Hmm. Any surplus computer stores in your town? You might be able to pick
    up some needed pieces. The power cable adapters would be first on the
    list of course. See the thing is that these power supplies just don't
    last, because their power rating is so marginal. I had a tower (I swear
    that's the *only* word for it - 1' thick and 3' high) that had a 250W
    power supply - this was *before* 95 came out on the market.

    Well, it sounds like you've going in the right direction, but I'd see
    about a set of rails so you can mount the drive in the 5 1/2" bay.
    That's the word to use: rails. The splitter for the power plug for the
    drive you can get anywhere. They *are* standard.
     
    chuckcar, Apr 2, 2010
    #20
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