Need Suggestion for additional internal hard drive.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I haven't changed an internal hard drive in years but my main concern is getting the correct type of hard drive to add.

My friend has a Dell Dimension 8300 from abut 2004 that he want's to add a hard drive to.
He has only a 80 Gig drive in it and wants to get some thing it the 160 to 250 Gig range to add as a second drive.

My problem is I'm no a hardware person and I want to make sure that I recommend something suitable.

I think it has a IDE or Sata drive in it.

Can anyone suggest a good deal on an appropriate drive for this computer?
We are going to add a Gig of ram (to make 2) at the same time, and try and stretch it for another year or so before he has to buy a new one. He's had some recent expenses and just doesn't want to go for it right now but he's running out of hard drive space.

He has an external drive for data but some of the new games take up to 27 Gigs of space alone.


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Noob Whisperer
Well according to this it looks like you have both IDE and SATA
Primary IDE channel = 40-pin connector on PCI local bus
Secondary IDE channel = 40-pin connector on PCI local bus
Serial ATA drive = two 7-pin connectors
SOURCE: Documentation
What you have available would of course depend on what he has connected to what.
I would recommend the SATA option as it is more likely something that he can grow with (IDE connectors are slowly but surely disappearing) and have always been very pleased overall with the offerings from Seagate although Western Digital makes suitable drives as well for the most part.
As far as size I would suggest shopping your budget constraints at places like NewEgg and see what they have that fits the bill. In that old case I would stick with 7200 RPM as they are less likely to produce heat issues then some of the more faster high performance models.
Additionally that board's SATA ports are likely SATA I (1.5 Gbits) as opposed to SATA II (3.0 Gbits) or SATA III (6.0 Gbits), but that shouldn't be a concern as I know SATA II is backwards compatible and I believe even SATA III drives will run on SATA I ports, just at the slower speed.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Thanks for the information.
I'll check it out.

I'm finding it hard to get a handle on what he actually has in there now.
We may wait until we put in the ram, so I can look inside and see what the setup really is, then order the hard dive.

I looked at video cards too, but his card isn't as old as the computer I think it's a Geforce 9600 series. It's AGP and I don't see anything that looks a lot newer then that available anymore.

Everything I looked at was out of stock.

Joe S

Excellent Member
Mike he might want to add up his upgrades and compare it to the cost of a new PC now. HD prices are up and some of the Dell ram isn't cheap and then a new video card. It may be getting close to the cost of a new basic PC like E Machine without monitor.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

You may be right, but he wants a computer like mine (Falcon Northwest) and is willing to wait a while to get it.

I think the video card is probably not necessary but the ram is, and the bigger hard drive will help him get by.
All the new games are so big. I remember when we thought that a game that took 15 or 20 megabytes of disk space was big.

He want's to run Age of Conan now that it has gone free to play and it takes 27 Gigabytes of disk space.
He already has Lord of the Rings Online and Wow installed.

Just the ram and the hard drive should be under $200.
I found the ram for $70, it's the hard drive that I'm not sure about.

I have to admit that I'm surprised that he can run some of the stuff he does on his old Dell, I had a computer like that several computers ago.

But he's 75 and has to be a little careful with his money, but not too careful, he also has a big BMW motorcycle that looks like something out of a Sci Fi movie.

The windshield even changes angle with speed automatically.

I don't know how long he's going to be able to keep riding it, (he's already had both knees replaced) if he sells that in the next year he'll have plenty of money for a new computer.



Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
The price of conventional hard drives actually went up dramatically due to a supply shortage originating in Thailand. However, this may all end soon and the market may be flooded with low priced drives again. Currently, a good Seagate SATA3 500GB with 12MB cache is still near $100.00 USD on NewEgg. There is a very good probability your friend is not using SATA3, however, but fortunately for all, it is backwards compatible. However, paying $100 for 500GB seems strange, considering that 1TB drives were around that price not too long ago.

Intel slashes sales forecast on hard drive shortage - Dec. 12, 2011

This opens an opportunity for solid state drives to come down in price. I would really consider going with Seagate, but now is not a good time to purchase a new hard drive.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Thanks for the info, I think he has decided to go ahead and upgrade the ram and see if it helps enough to be worth investing in the Hard Drive.

Maybe by then the prices will come back down.


Extraordinary Member
Interestingly enough external harddrives seem to be cheaper than bare bone drives. Maybe that would be a solution for the interim. Here is a website worth checking from time to time.
Storage Devices Deals -


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
He has an 500 Gig external hard drive, so data storage isn't really a problem.

The problem is that he only has an 80 Gig internal drive and just his installed software is eating that all up.

He is actually running Wow from his external drive, and it works but it's too slow for things like Lord of the Rings Online or the Tomb Raider games.

Now he wants to install both Age of Conan and Skyrim a total of over 30 additional Gigabytes and he just doesn't have the space to do it.

I talked to him today and he's thinking of waiting to after the holiday bills are paid, and see if he can come up with the money to buy a new computer.

In the mean time he may just upgrade the ram.

If the motherboard will support a SATA II drive, get a 500 gb and clone the old drive to the new one, and retire the old drive.
(If the mobo will only support a SATA I drive, a SATA II HD has to have a jumper installed to limit it's data transfer rate.)

Dell's are not known for having a PSU any larger than absolutely necessary to get the stock PC off the store shelf and out the door.
Adding another internal HD and not replacing the PSU could be Trouble.
The one part I've had to replace, more than anything else, in Dell computers over the years, has been the PSU.
Adding ram also increases the load on the stock PSU.

Bigger hard drives are also Faster hard drives, so you want the larger HD as the OS + Data drive.
It should however, be partitioned into two sections, one for the OS and data and the other one for backups and storage.

Happy Holidays!

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