Chapter 3. Adding Hard Drive Territory to Your System

In This Chapter

  • Understanding virtual memory

  • Selecting the proper drive

  • Choosing an internal or external drive

  • Adding a second internal drive

Here's what I call the Elbowroom Hypothesis: Both mankind and his computer tools will expand to fill whatever room they're given. If you're bent on becoming a PC power user, I can assure you — in fact, I can downright guarantee you — that the largest hard drive you can buy today will eventually be filled in the future. As you discover in this chapter, even Windows 7 itself demands a chunk of hard drive territory — when you install it and when it's running. Hence the explosion in hard drive capacities over the past ten years or so.

Luckily, you can upgrade your PC's hard drive with ease by either connecting an external drive or upgrading your current internal hard drive. Alternatively, you can simply cast yourself to the four winds with abandon and keep your current internal drive and add a second drive. This chapter is your road map.

The Tale of Virtual Memory

"Wait a furshlugginer minute here, Mark — you cover memory upgrades in Chapter 2 of this very minibook. Why bring it up now?" Good question, and the answer lies in the fact that the pseudo-RAM called virtual memory actually exists on your hard drive rather than as memory modules on your motherboard.

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