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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 September, 2004, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Click Tips
Rob Freeman
Rob Freeman, the man in the Click office whose head seems permanently shoved inside his computer, sorts out some more of your hardware problems.

A while ago, we looked at how you can copy data from your old computer after you've bought a new one. That led to a flurry of messages with tips and questions on upgrading hard disks. Some of them were so good we decided to go back to the subject.

First off a question, from Amit Dhakulkar in India:

In my computer I have already two hard disks, a CD-R, and a CD-RW, but now I want to attach another hard disk to my system. With all the slots filled, how can I do this?

Other viewers have suggested using an external drive case to add more storage capacity.

This is also known as a hard disk "caddy". Inside is an empty space for the disk and power socket; it connects to your main computer via the USB connector.

They are not just useful for adding a hard disk - because the type of connection in this casing is IDE, you can use it to connect other IDE devices, like a CD or DVD writer.

So it can be useful for expanding your system for more than just extra disk capacity - although beware, you need to get a bigger box if you want to use a CD.

And because it is a USB connection, you could also use one with a laptop, or an older computer which does not have the space inside to take a new disk.

Speaking of laptops, there is a caddy version specially made to be a bit more mobile: the kind of hard disk you will find in a laptop is much smaller.

Now, back to data transfer. Jay Parmar in Ahmedabad, India, asked:

What is the best way to transfer a large file from my computer to someone else's?

This is exactly what I use these caddy devices for - they are excellent as a way to move a large amount of information from one place to another.

Plus, they are a very good way to back up data.

Mel Price in the UK has recently bought one of these, and says:

Windows XP found the drive and made the settings automatically. No messing about with the inside of my PC.

I've now got a portable 60 gig drive I can plug into any machine, anywhere. Very easy for technophobes like myself.

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