ASUS M3A - How many hard drives?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Rhino, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Rhino

    Rhino Guest

    I have an ASUS M3A mainboard with two 750 GB hard drives. Both are nearly
    full so I'd like to add a third, larger hard drive, probably a 3 TB drive
    since they have become fairly affordable at $150 for an internal one.

    Are there any negatives associated with adding a third drive to this
    computer, especially one that is larger than the others? Is there any reason
    why it would be better to make the new drive external than internal?

    Also, would I put the third drive on the same 80 conductor ribbon cable as
    the existing two drives - I haven't had the case open in a while and can't
    remember if there is a third connector on the cable - or would I need to run
    a second ribbon cable from the motherboard? Is it even possible to have a
    second ribbon cable from the motherboard? I am very weak on matters of
    hardware so forgive my question, which may be very foolish.

    The main thing I'm storing on these drives is large standalone data files if
    that makes any difference.

    I'm running Windows XP with no immediate plans to upgrade to Win7.
    Rhino, Nov 30, 2011
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  2. Rhino

    Chris S. Guest

    Your board supports 2 IDE (flat ribbon) drives. Also 4 SATA drives. Your new
    drive will be SATA and will work fine.

    Chris S., Nov 30, 2011
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  3. Rhino

    Rob Guest

    As Chris said, you should be fine, but the new drive will be SATA.
    You do need to open the case and check that the power supply has
    spare SATA type drive power connectors.
    If not, you'll need a converter cable like this:

    and don't forget a SATA data cable, if you don't already have one -
    new drives don't often come with one.

    Rob, Nov 30, 2011
  4. Rhino

    GMAN Guest

    I agree about the warning of needing to possibly buy a power cable and
    possibly a data cable. But i have yet to buy a retail Seagate or Western
    Digital drive in the box that didnt come with the data cable.
    GMAN, Nov 30, 2011
  5. Rhino

    Mike Andrews Guest

    I'm not sure why you both said the new drive would be SATA; PATA drives
    still are available, and indeed I had to buy one just last week. There
    may even be cases where PATA is preferable to SATA, though the OP's case
    probably is not one.
    Mike Andrews, Nov 30, 2011
  6. Rhino

    Rob Guest

    1TB or above PATA drives don't exist. Largest PATA you can get is 750GB.
    Rob, Nov 30, 2011
  7. Rhino

    Rhino Guest

    Perfect! Thanks Chris. I'd found that same page but I'm so hardware
    challenged that I wasn't sure if I was understanding the information

    Any thoughts on the pros and cons of getting an internal drive vs. an
    external one?
    Rhino, Nov 30, 2011
  8. Rhino

    Rhino Guest

    Good catch, Rob. I didn't know whether I could take it for granted that a
    new drive would come with everything I needed to connect it.

    Do you have any thoughts on the pros and cons of an internal vs. an external
    drive? I'm leaning toward internal because I've got lots of room in the case
    and it's going to cost less than the same sized drive in an external format
    but maybe there are some cons that I'm not considering.
    Rhino, Nov 30, 2011
  9. Rhino

    Paul Guest

    It would depend on whether the drive was for primary storage,
    or was a backup device. Considering the reliability of
    large drives like that, a second large drive wouldn't hurt.
    Then, one could be internal, and one external. You unplug the
    external one, after the backup operation is completed.

    Unplugging the backup, protects the backup drive from lightning.
    The contents of the computer can be destroyed by a direct lightning
    hit (following along the power wires). If your backup drive is
    disconnected at the time, it might survive.

    If the data is really important, you keep the backup drive off-site
    completely. That's to protect against fire or other disasters.

    If the drive is being used for primary storage, then having it inside
    the computer makes a lot of sense. Then, there is less wiring and
    need for physical space, outside the computer case.

    Paul, Nov 30, 2011
  10. Rhino

    BobT Guest

    Interesting price--I haven't seen them that cheap for the last month
    or so. Remember, if you want to be able to access all of the 3TB, you
    will have to format it under GPT rather than FAT. And I don't think,
    with the M3A, that you will be able to use it as a boot drive.
    BobT, Dec 1, 2011
  11. Rhino

    Rhino Guest

    Thanks, that gives me the info I need.

    I'm already on a UPS so I think I'm safe against lightning. At least I hope
    Rhino, Dec 1, 2011
  12. Rhino

    Rhino Guest

    Well, I can't swear to the price. I was looking at them a few months back so
    prices may have gone up again but they were about $150 the time I looked.
    Rhino, Dec 1, 2011
  13. Rhino

    Mike Andrews Guest

    By no means. If you hang out in the amateur radio newsgroups and mailing
    lists, you can get some really good advice on lightning protection. If your
    house takes a direct strike, the UPS probably will be little or no help.
    Mike Andrews, Dec 1, 2011
  14. Rhino

    Paul Guest

    That kind of surge protection is not absolute.

    You're not safe.

    An external backup drive, disconnected when not in usage, is a good idea.

    The ATX power supply, can fail, and deliver +15V on the +12V rail.
    That can damage all the hard drives at the same time. That would be
    another example of a fault, but in that case, no lightning was involved.
    (It's basically a failure in the regulation inside the supply. That
    power supply you bought for $29.95, could fail that way.)
    Again, an external backup drive, powered by its own AC adapter, is your
    best bet. All the drives inside the computer case could be ruined,
    but your backup copy is still safe.

    Some people keep a backup drive in the deposit box at the bank, but
    that's carrying things to extremes :)

    Paul, Dec 1, 2011
  15. Rhino

    Chris S. Guest

    Had a client that did that. When his system crashed, the bank was closed!

    Chris S., Dec 1, 2011
  16. Rhino

    Bob F Guest

    That was before the asian floods.
    Bob F, Jan 5, 2012
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