Replacement Hard Drive for Dell Dimension 8400 PC System

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Replacement Hard Drive for Dell Dimension 8400 PC System

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I purchased a Dell Dimension 8400 Desktop system more than 5 years ago.....i've had hardly any issues with it at all, until recently.

One of my HDD ironically the one that has the OS on it...had its first bout of unreadable files and bad segments. At the moment it's only a few.......but from what i have read, its' like the first signs of a failing HDD..so rather than waiting for it to completely die, i might take steps to switching over to a new HDD

I would like purchase a HDD that is compatible for my system......the other HDD which is really for storage of date files, music films etc is in good shape.

The 2 original drives were ---> Maxtor  7200 rpm 80Gb 6Y080MO

From what i understand, they don't sell those anymore....and the ones I could pick up might be refurbished ones. Are there any compatable new model HDD i could purchase and used as my OS drive.

Also i have 4 memory slots in this PC for a max of 4Gb Memory ...it houses 4 x  1Gb RAM Memory cards. I only have 1 in use at the moment....searching through this Dell site...i found a bargain buy of 2 x  1gb RAM Memory cards supposedly for my Dimenion 8400 PC

http://accessories.euro.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=uk&l=en&s=dhs&cs=ukdhs1&sku=A1476356&mfgpid=1226019&~ck=dellSearch&baynote_bnrank=0&baynote_irrank=3

Is it possible for me to run with 3Gb memory....or does it have to be even amount like2Gb  or 4Gb?

Also...apart from openng the Computer and physically looking at the actual Memory card.....is there way I can check the model/serial /make of that Memory card via Windows (System devices)...to make sure its the same as that ones specified in that above offer.

 

Thanks... any reply will help Smile

Verified Answer
  •  RedBaron7

    You can use any 3.5", 7200rpm, SATA internal hard drive.

    The hard drives purchased from either local, or online computer stores are new, [unless otherwise noted] and have a three, or five year manufacturer's warranty.

    Check out the Western Digital and the Seagate brands, at www.newegg.com

    DDR2 memory needs to be installed in matching pairs for the best performance, to install 3gb of DDR2 memory you should use 2 x1gb modules and 2 x 512mb modules.

    The memory HERE is certified to be compatible with your 8400 and has a lifetime warranty and free S&H on orders.

    Use either Crucial's Memory Selector, or their System Scanner Tool, to find the correct memory.

     Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  •  RedBaron7

    If my existing HDD's are Maxtor 7200 rpm 80Gb ....and I aim to keep the slave drive......does it matter how big the new OS HDD will be? I mean can it be 150 Gb 3.5" SATA internal drive and different make to Maxtor (I understand Seagate bought out Maxtor)

    No, it makes no difference and you are right Seagate did buy Maxtor.

    Its' been a while since i've tampered with systems i.e replacing HDD. My HDD's are set NTFS

    What's the procedure to change HDD's....it will become the OS HDD. I guess unplug and remove old HDD, install new one in....boot up, load XP Windows disk...and install OS. XP should pick up most of the Hardware installed....or do i unplug some?

    The details for replacing a Dimension 8400 hard drive are HERE

    Install new drive.

    Load XP

    Followed by install the drivers and applications in the following order,

    Desktop System Software [if applicable]
    Chipset
    Video 
    Network Interface Card [NIC]
    Audio
    Modem [if required]
    Then all other drivers and applications.

    Followed by installing the Anti Virus utility, updating the definitions, followed by all the critical Microsoft updates.

    You should have a Drivers and Utilities disc with the 8400 drivers.

    If you are not using RAID, or do not have an internal floppy drive, enter the system setup, scroll down to drives, press Enter or + to expand the drive menu then down to "SATA Operation", press Enter.

    Change the SATA operation mode to "RAID Autodetect/ATA" press ESC to save and exit the BIOS.

    Then windows should install without a problem.

    Do I leave Slave HDD drive plugged or unplugged.....i want it recognised and data preserved (NTFS), as i have a "back-up" of my currrent drive 's data files & settings saved there there.(email address books, history,photos etc)...and alot of exe. files to help re-install most of my existing programs (outside the big ones which need disks)

    Yes, it's best to remove the SATA data cable from the second hard drive, prior to loading XP and after loading XP, drivers, applications and after the system is working to your satisfaction, reconnect the data cable to the second hard drive.

    Are there any steps to watch out for?

    If you have any problems, post back using this thread.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • RedBaron7

    DDR2 RAM is backwards compatible and will run at the lower speed of the RAM already installed.

    The directions for installing DDR2 RAM in the 8400, are HERE

    Better to keep the default 2 x 512mb modules in slots 1 & 2 and install the 2 x 1gb modules in slots 3 & 4.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • RedBaron7

    ahhh....would it have to use SATA 150 HDD and not SATA 300.......or can i use either without burning out my computer?

    Rene.

    Both SATA 150 and SATA 300 hard drives will work in the Dimension 8400, but SATA 300 drives, will run at the SATA 150 speed.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

All Replies
  •  RedBaron7

    You can use any 3.5", 7200rpm, SATA internal hard drive.

    The hard drives purchased from either local, or online computer stores are new, [unless otherwise noted] and have a three, or five year manufacturer's warranty.

    Check out the Western Digital and the Seagate brands, at www.newegg.com

    DDR2 memory needs to be installed in matching pairs for the best performance, to install 3gb of DDR2 memory you should use 2 x1gb modules and 2 x 512mb modules.

    The memory HERE is certified to be compatible with your 8400 and has a lifetime warranty and free S&H on orders.

    Use either Crucial's Memory Selector, or their System Scanner Tool, to find the correct memory.

     Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Thanks for your reply Shesagordie

    If my existing HDD's are Maxtor 7200 rpm 80Gb ....and I aim to keep the slave drive......does it matter how big the new OS HDD will be? I mean can it be 150 Gb 3.5" SATA internal drive and different make to Maxtor (I understand Seagate bought out Maxtor)

    Its' been a while since i've tampered with systems i.e replacing HDD. My HDD's are set NTFS

    What's the procedure to change HDD's....it will become the OS HDD. I guess unplug and remove old HDD, install new one in....boot up, load XP Windows disk...and install OS. XP should pick up most of the Hardware installed....or do i unplug some?

    Do I leave Slave HDD drive plugged or unplugged.....i want it recognised and data preserved (NTFS), as i have a "back-up" of my currrent drive 's data files & settings saved there there.(email address books, history,photos etc)...and alot of exe. files to help re-install most of my existing programs (outside the big ones which need disks)

    Are there any steps to watch out for?

    (PS.  I think I have the Memory cards sorted....thanks for that, I used the scanner tool)

  • Newegg...won't be any good as I'm based in the UK.

  •  RedBaron7

    If my existing HDD's are Maxtor 7200 rpm 80Gb ....and I aim to keep the slave drive......does it matter how big the new OS HDD will be? I mean can it be 150 Gb 3.5" SATA internal drive and different make to Maxtor (I understand Seagate bought out Maxtor)

    No, it makes no difference and you are right Seagate did buy Maxtor.

    Its' been a while since i've tampered with systems i.e replacing HDD. My HDD's are set NTFS

    What's the procedure to change HDD's....it will become the OS HDD. I guess unplug and remove old HDD, install new one in....boot up, load XP Windows disk...and install OS. XP should pick up most of the Hardware installed....or do i unplug some?

    The details for replacing a Dimension 8400 hard drive are HERE

    Install new drive.

    Load XP

    Followed by install the drivers and applications in the following order,

    Desktop System Software [if applicable]
    Chipset
    Video 
    Network Interface Card [NIC]
    Audio
    Modem [if required]
    Then all other drivers and applications.

    Followed by installing the Anti Virus utility, updating the definitions, followed by all the critical Microsoft updates.

    You should have a Drivers and Utilities disc with the 8400 drivers.

    If you are not using RAID, or do not have an internal floppy drive, enter the system setup, scroll down to drives, press Enter or + to expand the drive menu then down to "SATA Operation", press Enter.

    Change the SATA operation mode to "RAID Autodetect/ATA" press ESC to save and exit the BIOS.

    Then windows should install without a problem.

    Do I leave Slave HDD drive plugged or unplugged.....i want it recognised and data preserved (NTFS), as i have a "back-up" of my currrent drive 's data files & settings saved there there.(email address books, history,photos etc)...and alot of exe. files to help re-install most of my existing programs (outside the big ones which need disks)

    Yes, it's best to remove the SATA data cable from the second hard drive, prior to loading XP and after loading XP, drivers, applications and after the system is working to your satisfaction, reconnect the data cable to the second hard drive.

    Are there any steps to watch out for?

    If you have any problems, post back using this thread.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  •  RedBaron7

    Sorry about that, but the forum is based in the US. Wink

    You should be able to find the same SATA hard drive at any online vendor, or local computer store in the UK, check out Maplins website.

    If you not certain about the model of the drive, post back with a link to it.

    Bev.

    Ps. I'm an expat, living in Texas.

     

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Hi again Sagordie

    I ran the Crucial Memory tool ...and it recommended 2 x 1GB, 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-5300 memory module   for Dimension 8400

    (DDR2 PC2-5300 • CL=5 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-667 • 1.8V • 128Meg x 64)

    at the moment it looks like I have 2 x 512Mb 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-4200 memory module   533Mhz

     

    Can I use 2 of these PC2-5300 (looks like 667 Mhz) ....with the 2 existing PC2-4200 (533 Mhz) ? ........maybe i should the 2 x 1Gb in slots 1 & 2.....and the 2 older 512 Mb ones in slots 3 & 4

    My only conceren the diferent frequencies and the serials (5300  versus 4200) 

  • RedBaron7

    DDR2 RAM is backwards compatible and will run at the lower speed of the RAM already installed.

    The directions for installing DDR2 RAM in the 8400, are HERE

    Better to keep the default 2 x 512mb modules in slots 1 & 2 and install the 2 x 1gb modules in slots 3 & 4.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  •  

    Hi Bev  -t his is my very last question....promise! Stick out tongue

    I found this Seagate HDD , I just wondered if you could take a look at the spec and see if I can use it on my Dimension 8400 system

    http://www.dabs.com/products/seagate-160gb-barracuda-7200-12-sata-300-7200rpm-8mb-5K3H.html

    Made sure it was 3.5", 7200 rpm and 8mb Cache

    Although my system was originally set up for RAID 0 (is that for imaging 2 drives identically?...what a waste of HDD)., I changed it more or less straightway to act as 2 independent drives,....i remember  i had to reformat, do some partitioning on the 2nd HDD and load Windows XP again.

    So through the Bios i would need to select " SATA operation mode to "RAID Autodetect/ATA" press ESC to save and exit the BIOS."

    My original HDD's are Maxtor 6Y8080MO Serial ATA 80Gb 8Mb Cache

    (if it is not correct HDD to use...do you have any recommendations?)

    Rene'

     

     

  • http://www.dabs.com/products/seagate-250gb-barracuda-7200-12-sata-300-7200rpm-8mb-5K3J.html?refs=50410

    This is similar...just that its 250 gb

     

  • ahhh....would it have to use SATA 150 HDD and not SATA 300.......or can i use either without burning out my computer?

  • Rene.

    The SATA 160gb hard drive, you gave the link too, will fine for the 8400.

    When you are installing XP, unless you use the hack I posted, you will need to load the SATA drivers, from an internal floppy drive, at the F6 prompt, the hack bypasses this, but if you intend to use an array, then you must load the SATA drivers.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • RedBaron7

    rene.

    The 250gb SATA drive in your link will work just fine in the 8400, in fact the drive seems to be the better buy.  Yes

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Hmmh - I'm having porblems with my floppy drive at the momenet...does not work inside Windows.....who knows it might work in DoS.

    What hack? ....array? (is that 2 independent HDD's....and not that RAID imagining?)

  • RedBaron7

    ahhh....would it have to use SATA 150 HDD and not SATA 300.......or can i use either without burning out my computer?

    Rene.

    Both SATA 150 and SATA 300 hard drives will work in the Dimension 8400, but SATA 300 drives, will run at the SATA 150 speed.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • shesagordie

    Rene.

    The SATA 160gb hard drive, you gave the link too, will fine for the 8400.

    When you are installing XP, unless you use the hack I posted, you will need to load the SATA drivers, from an internal floppy drive, at the F6 prompt, the hack bypasses this, but if you intend to use an array, then you must load the SATA drivers.

    Bev.

    I've understood all your replies.......just those 2 final highlighted parts above......then i'm all set to make the purchases. I guess the hack refers to new HDD drivers? Where would i get those?