Your hard drive is your computer's filing cabinet, and that cabinet can fill up quickly. Fortunately, additional storage can be had for a song, and you'll generally get the most gigabytes per dollar by adding another internal hard drive.
When upgrading, you can either transfer the contents of your current system to a larger-capacity hard drive, or you can simply add more cabinet space. If you're doing the former, there are several ways to arrive at the solution, though we won't discuss them here. Most techniques require third-party software that is not supported by Microsoft. If you email me, I can recommend a few.
The latter solution requires just a few steps and can be covered adequately in the pages that follow.
To add more storage to a system, you must crack open the computer case on a desktop computer or gain access to the drive bay on a laptop. Most laptops only have room for a single hard drive, so adding a new internal drive usually isn't an option. If you're installing an Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) device, you must decide whether to designate the drive as a Master or Slave, which you do with a jumper setting on the drive. On most systems, there are two IDE connectors for fixed storage devices, with the primary hard drive on IDE channel 1, and the CD drive on IDE channel 2. Refer to the drive's documentation for instructions.
If, on the other hand, you're attaching a second Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive, you don't have to worry about this master/slave designation. Serial ATA is a newer hard drive technology that offers several advantages, including speed and reduced power consumption. It will eventually replace older IDE drives, and it is already in use on many newer systems. With SATA, each drive is connected to a single destination on the motherboard. Because the SATA devices do not share an interface, there is no need for master/slave jumper settings.
After the drive has been connected to the motherboard, you can see it in the Windows Disk Management tool. To access this utility, open the Control Panel, open the Administrative Tools, and then choose Computer Management. (Here's an easier way: if you have the My Computer icon on the desktop, just right-click and choose Manage.)
With Computer Management open, expand the Storage node and then select Disk Management. You'll get an interface like the one you see in Figure 4-1.
Figure 4-1. Most disk management tasks can be done from here.
If you've correctly installed a new physical hard disk, you should see it in the list of storage devices. Its capacity should be recognized, and the status should be set to Online. In the right side of the drive's display, the available space will appear as "Unformatted."
So, after the drive has been added and recognized, you're ready to start transferring all your mp3's to that disk, right? Well, not quite yet. There are still a few more steps before that drive can actually receive files, as you will see in the chunks to come.