I have just completed a week long campaign to update the standard 40Gb Western Digital hard drive in my Dimension 2400 Dell PC. A few months back I started recording at 24bits and 44.1kHz, up from 16 bit 44.1kHz so I am burning disk space at approximately twice the rate. It should have been a quick install using the Seagate Disk Wizard to copy all my current data across to my shiny new 250Gb Seagate internal drive. I got this from Best Buy, as I had a $100 gift certificate to burn, and this drive was on sale for $99.

So I complete my drive Install/Data Transfer, and it takes over 6 hours (note 6 hours) to copy the files from one hard drive to another. I plug in the new hard drive and the first thing I notice is that my beautiful 250Gb hard drive only shows 127Gb! Surely this was a mistake! However, Disk Manager confirms that I only have 127Gb. After going through the Seagate manuals apparently I need to ensure that I have all the latest Windows Service Packs available to ensure that I can enable 48 bit Logical Block Addressing (LBA) support. 48-bit LBA support enables drives to be allocated in excess of 137Gb.

It should be noted that my DAW has been disconnected from the outside world since its purchase. There is nothing more frustrating than starting to record, and then having Windows go and respond to some network activity and drop the recording mid groove. So I began the long process of updating the windows OS, and while I was there I updated Windows Media Player (I was on  version 8 I think) and IE.

So again I started the 6 hour transfer process, and wow, I have over 200 Gb spare capacity for additional recording. This story should have ended here, however, I try to play some music in WM Player and I hear clicks, pops and stutters all the way through the music. I open up SONAR (my recording software) and its doing the same thing! Pure frustration! This behavior seems related to the hard disk so I take it back to Best Buy and get a replacement and start the 6 hour transfer process ... again ... and again I get the clicks and the pops.

At this point I do not believe I can get 2 hard drives with the exact same problem so I figure it must be my EDIROL UA-1000 Audio Capture sound card. So I update the drivers for the sound card with still no luck. At this point I start grasping at straws and begin looking at Disk Read\Write stats, along with Page Fault Delta information. All in the hope that my nightmare will be over. I did a couple of Defrags and even look at what it would take to optimize the Virtual memory allocation through the Paging File (Pagefile.sys).

Then I noticed the that I had not changed the IDE cable when I put in the new drive!!! There was a change from the 40-conductor IDE cable to the 80-conductor IDE/ATA cable (picture on right). The new cable is pin compatible with the old drive and so would not present a 'square peg in a circle' situation. The old cables do, however, present a problem with signal quality and reflection. Hard drive intensive activities would be the only real way to realize that there was an issue. I think I would prefer it to not work at all!

"The superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity and many deeds of the past, in order to strengthen his character thereby." - John  Milton