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Old 22nd June 2006, 10:16 AM   #1
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Default Adding a second HDD to a laptop

Hi!

I have this tiny and "obsolete" Mitsubishi Amity CN, P133, 48MB ram. I dont want to partion the small HDD (1.2G), bu t i want to install a second disc to try other OS without removing my windows system, and without dismantling it to remove the HDD. I don't want to cut the upper plastic of the case above the HDD and make a lid there...
Are there any options, please?

Thank you
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Old 22nd June 2006, 11:04 AM   #2
Wynand is offline Wynand  South Africa
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If you can boot from a USB device, why don't you get a USB HDD?

My system has that option, but it's a bit newer and a normal PC.
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Old 22nd June 2006, 11:34 AM   #3
Jennice is offline Jennice  Denmark
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A P133 is not likely to have a USB, or at least not a bi-directional USB1.1 (connecting a USB disk or memory-stick to a USB1.0 port, will mess up the file table, and (for some memorysticks) cause irreversable file format damage.

Does the laptop have a PCMCIA port? (A PC this old will probably not have a 32bit interface, often referred to as a PC-card slot.

You may be able to dint some (old?) PCMCIA controllers for USB1.1 or USB2, but I am not dure if they'll be available at boot / power-up.

In other words... I think you're in for a tough time.
Additionally, these old systems are not likely to handle the large hard drives available today. At best, they'll be recognized, but not likely to offer their full (rated) capacity to the user.

I have an old P200 desktop, which won't use the fdull capacity of a 40 GB disc, and drives have't exactly gotten smaller since then.
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Old 22nd June 2006, 11:49 AM   #4
Wynand is offline Wynand  South Africa
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I see your point.

Maybe the best option is what he doesn't want to do...open it up and put a bigger HDD in.

What's the biggest partition these older PC's / operation systems can handle. Isn't Win95/8's max 2GB?

The reason I ask is this.

Say you got a 10Gb HDD and the biggest partition you can make is 2GB, would the PC allow you to make more than 1 2Gb partitions. I would think it possible.
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Old 22nd June 2006, 11:54 AM   #5
Wynand is offline Wynand  South Africa
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I've done a search.

Fat16 in WinXP --> Max 4GB
Fat16 in WinME, Win98 --> 2GB

Fat32 --> 2TB
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Old 22nd June 2006, 12:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replyes

No, it doesn't have USB, and all the PCMCIA cards i find need at least a Pentium233 to work(it has 2 pcmcia type II slots.) It would be great to have USB, even 1.1 for simple connections, like a USB HDD case i bought and put an old 800MB disk on (my personnal "pen-drive"). I don't even have CD-ROM and can't confiure the darn network properly

I don't need muuuch bigger HD space, i just want to swap between several OS to see wich ones i like best without having to take it apart to change the HDD or reinstalling Windows again on the setup i have.
For instance, a friend told me to get a cheap PCMCIA HD, but it won't boot up, as the only options my BIOS gives me are A: and C:
I don't even have the space to put a small flat ide cable and a switch to toggle between and external HDand the internal one, as it's very cramped on the inside.

I'm screwed, aren't i?
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Old 22nd June 2006, 12:49 PM   #7
ido8bit is offline ido8bit  Australia
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The easiest way to do this would be to install a larger drive and partition it.

If you really don't want to do this consider the following.

Firstly, forget using an external USB device of any type. Most PC card USB adapters are Cardbus (32 bit), your laptop will have PC card (16 bit) slots at best. Even if you find a PC card USB adapter you will not be able to boot from it as the USB ports on such a card will not be available until the drivers have loaded (with Windows).

If this laptop has a removable CD-ROM drive you may be able to add your 2nd hdd in the CD-ROM slot. Some laptops were available with this option. In others it is possible to convert a spare CD-ROM caddy to hold an additional hard disk. Depending on the laptop a device connected to the CD-ROM slot may appear as the slave device on the primary IDE channel or as a master device on the secondary IDE channel. Note than in a laptop as old as yours the CDROM drive may not use an IDE interface at all, so verify this before you try soldering an IDE connector onto a CDROM caddy

The other option is a PCMCIA hard disk. Older drives are usually around 300MB, newer ones are 5GB. Using these drives the PC card slot acts an an IDE port, so no drivers are needed. Some laptops are able to boot from these, some are not. Along the same lines it is possible to make an adapter from a PCMCIA connector to an IDE connector and connect a standard IDE drive, but that still leaves the problem of where to put it and where to power it from. I intend on converting one of the PCMCIA slots in my Toshibia T2450CT (even older than yours) and mount the 2nd hard disk in the battery bay.

Finally if what you plan on installing is only small you may be able to use a compact flash card in an adapter. Again a CF card can be configured as an IDE device, but you may need to modify for the adapter for it to be treated as an IDE device. I plan on trying this with an even older HP OmniBook that typically boots from a Flashcard.

Any of these options is going to be a lot more work than simply installing a larger hard disk in the existing bay and partioning it.

If you really want to try other operating systems without affecting your current system in any way it is probably cheaper and easier to simply buy another old laptop.
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Old 22nd June 2006, 01:11 PM   #8
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If you want to try another OS (I assume some flavour of Linux or BSD), you can get a "Live CD" that runs from CDROM

(Knoppix is one)
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Old 22nd June 2006, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
If you want to try another OS (I assume some flavour of Linux or BSD), you can get a "Live CD" that runs from CDROM
"Obuntu"
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Old 22nd June 2006, 04:28 PM   #10
karma is offline karma  Canada
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Knoppix works great
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