Reformat old drive in another computer?



[qanda]This thread is about the HP Hard drive - 160 GB - ATA-100. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]I have an extra DELL 4300 P-4 computer, which two of the four CMOS battery clips broke off, while I was trying to reset the DOS Black screen telling me to type in the admin password, or depress control-delete to bypass this function, well it would never go away, I am trying to reformat this 160GB HD and use it as storage for other extra 5011CL Compaq 1.2GB computer. Someone mentioned the jumpers is a way to refresh the HD, not removing the battery.

On the Dell 4300, Do I remove the jumpers, put them back in,then try to reformat the computer?


If It’s wiser to just trash the 4300, keep the 160GB HD, install it onto the Compaq as storage, which already has the WinXP onboard,then try to reformat just the 160 without erasing the 80GB Compaq’s HD?

I was told that if I have the other compaq running Windows XP, I can not simply hook up the MAXTOR 160 ATA 100/133 to the Compaqs’ 80 Ultra DMA and expect it to work,that first, I have to reformat the HD. Can’t I do this when the computer recognizes the second HD as the Slave?


I’m not sure about the advice to remove jumpers to ‘refresh’ a hard drive. I don’t even know what that means. They may be talking about the cmos, some mother boards have a jumper that has to be removed, along with the battery and then put back but you would have to check your manual or the Dell website to see if that is an option for you. I don’t know about trashing your Dell, if it’s just a matter of resetting the cmos, I would keep it. As for putting the hard drive in the Compaq, there is nothing to prevent you from doing so. As you said, set the jumper to slave and you should be good to go. If you want to format, that’s not a problem, just make sure you select the correct drive.


As Whappo states the drive jumper must be set to slave and connected correctly if it’s connected to same IDE cable as boot drive for BIOS to recognize the drive. The old drive may be left as Master if it’s connected to the second IDE controller. In either case the old drive will need to be both repartitioned and reformatted to use its full storage capacity. This is due to Dell BIOS, drivers and utilities stored on a separate partition from the C drive.


Hi and Thanks! Whappo you said…

I’m not sure about the advice to remove jumpers to ‘refresh’ a hard drive.

What I meant was this,

I don’t care if I lose anything on the bigger 160GB Maxtor ATA 100/133, that’s why I was trying to find the mobo jumpers on the Dells’ 4300 Motherboard, to get rid of that annoying password prompt, so I could wipe/ reformat this 160GB, then install on the Compaq.
I know the Dell P-4(845) 4300 Memory max is 512 / PC133, Te Compaq 5011CL is 768 max,but only using PC-100 with a Celeron 1.2 CPU. I just wanted to use the 160 in the Compaq, since I broke off the Dell 4300’s CMOS battery clips,so now the battery is a little lose with two retaining clips left, so I figured since I already have WINXP installed on the Compaq, just add more memory and the extra 160GB for storage.

I already have a main self-build MSI Platinum Mobo, Intel quad 6600. 3.33 DDR Ram, 74GB WD Raptor(apps) and WD 500 HD for storage on board,then another 500GB WD External HD…just in case. using WindowsXP Pro, I was just looking for a backup puter.

I did not know I could reformat JUST THE 160GB using the Disk management in the Compaq, and keeping all the apps and storage already on the Compaq’s 80GB existing HD.

The Compaq I was going to use as applications, and the 160GB I was going to use as storage on the Compaq and then trash the dell 4300. This was given to me, so it’s an old puter.

Do I have to reformat both partitions on both HD’s, and re-install Windows,apps,data, and start over again on the compaq?

With the existing 250w power supply on the Compaq 5011CL,and current Motherboard, without flashing the bios, you think this would be a stable computer using as a backup and storage? I have never flashed anything in my life.

Again, thank you for your help.


You don’t need do nor should you do anything to the existing Compaq drive. You don’t need to do anything with jumper on the 160GB drive if it’s connected to separate IDE channel on another IDE cable, but you need to set jumper on the 160GB drive to slave if it’s connected on same IDE cable to same IDE channel as the existing 80GB drive. Neither the BIOS nor Windows will recognize the 160GB drive unless it’s jumpered correctly. Once the 160GB drive is correctly jumpered and connected as well as recognized by the BIOS, simply boot to current 80GB drive and run Disk Management to remove both partitions on the 160GB drive, create a new single partition and format it.

The power supply should be sufficient. I’m running 2 systems running Win2k each with 250w power supply that have 2 hard drives, 2 optical drives, floppy drive, and memory card reader with no problems.