Can I add a bigger hard drive to my computer?

Yes, although the result may not be quite what you would expect. With an add-in adapter card, most PCs built in the last few years can handle hard drives up to 128 gigabytes (GB) in size, and can handle up to eight IDE devices. One such device is typically used for a CD-ROM, which leaves free spaces for a second hard drive or a tape drive. However, only later versions of Windows 95B and Windows 98 can handle the large drives in their full capacity. Previous versions require the drive to be divided up into 2GB segments, creating many additional drive letters. Users with earlier versions of Windows 95 (such as users who upgraded from Windows 3.1) can upgrade to Windows 98 to see the drive as one large drive. Although it is easier to add the new drive as a second drive instead of replacing the first, the user must remember to install new programs to the new drive letter in order to utilize the extra space.

For users who want to end up with only one drive letter, ITS has software utilities that allow rapid copying of the existing drive to a new drive. However the user must still upgrade to Windows 98 to access the entire drive with one drive letter.

August 1999

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