I had a plan. My first cheque came in from Cramsession, and decided I was going to use part of it for some much-needed system upgrades. In particular, a new case/power supply, new 40GB hard drive, and a CD Burner.
It seemed simple enough. Saturday morning, after waking up and going for a walk with K, I bundled myself into the car, and drove myself to one of the many computer stores in Edmonton.
The case and CD Burner were no problem, but the guy had just sold out of 40 & 60GB hard drives the day before... and only had an 80GB left. "No problem," I said, and grabbed what I needed, then decided to drive around to some of the other computer stores in town for a 40GB drive.
As it turned out, the guy who had the 80GB hard drive had the best prices in town! Where he wanted $165 for an 80GB Seagate drive, everyone else wanted $170 for a slower 40GB Maxtor. The decision was quickly made to go back and get the 80GB drive. Sure, it was a little more expensive than what I'd budgeted for, but the guy did give me a break on the case & CD burner beforehand.
Merrily, I went back home and started installing stuff. The Case and CD Burner install went smooth as silk. The computer's much happier in its now cooler case (that actually closes! and doesn't weigh 50 lbs!) and the CD Burner/DVD player is quite nice.
The Hard drive was another matter entirely. As it turns out, the BIOS that was shipped with my motherboard (Asus K7M) didn't support higher than 32GB... and release BIOSes for it didn't support higher than 65GB! Over the span of two days, I tried flashing BIOS update after BIOS update in order to find that magic combination that would let me get the damned thing working!
At the end of the two days, I discovered a "Beta" link for the K7M. (For those of you in the same situation as me, here's the link to the BIOS). Though there was NO information about the BIOS, I decided it was worth a try.
Lo and behold, it worked like a hot-damn. The HD installed just dandy, and I was ready to go. According to an email from Asus tech support, this BIOS will support up to an 80GB hard drive... so if you want anything larger than that, you'll need to buy a newer motherboard.
Funnily enough, installing the new HD really improved my system's performance. Windows boot-up is almost half the time of what it was before.