Will my PC support a 137 GB + SATA hdd?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by ohblu, Jun 20, 2011.

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  1. ohblu

    ohblu Registered Member

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    I just read that computers with a BIOS dated before Sept. 2002 cannot support a hdd larger than 137 GB due to no 48-bit LBA support. But then I read that if Win XP SP1 is installed that it can support it. So I'm confused. What will it support?

    Additionally, my computer came with an IDE hdd. I want to replace it with a SATA. I assume that if I buy a new PSU (I have to anyway) and get an adapter, that I can use the SATA drive, is that correct? Or does this BIOS thing prevent that?
     
  2. Spysnake

    Spysnake Registered Member

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    Do you have SATA connections on your motherboard?
     
  3. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    the sata to ide adapters are problemetical at best, I tried 2 different ones and they sometimes worked and sometimes didn't. There pci IDE card adapters but those also won't show up in the bios, and when I tried to install a boot drive on them the computer wouldn't boot. These pci adapters are best use on data drives in my opinion from my own personal experience.

    Recently I had a laptop (2003 model), it also wouldn't recognize any drives larger than 137gb (in bios a 160gb drive showed up as 137gb) the workaround for these types of large drives (if no bios updates for the motherboard is available) is to partition the drive, make the first partition primary and less than 120gb . Windows has a habit of writing critical system files on the primary partition, if the primary partition is larger than 137gb, some of those files can be written in an area beyond the 137gb boundary that windows will not look for during bootup and computer will not boot.
     
  4. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    We need to know the exact brand and model of your PC or motherboard, if custom built. If the board has SATA support, then, obviously, you will not need an adapter.

    XP will support SATA, but not natively, like Windows 7 does. So typically, when you install XP, you have to pay attention to the prompts, and when prompted to install SCSI drivers, you insert a floppy to install the SATA drivers (as found on the motherboard utilities disk, or PC/motherboard downloads page).

    Unless really old, your motherboard maker should have a BIOS update to include support for larger drives. If not, install the drive in another computer, then partition the large drive into chunks smaller than 137Gb, then return it to old computer.
     
  5. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    This may work, but I don´t understand the rationale behind it. The system addresses the sectors from 0 at the beginning of the disk, and the count is not reset to 0 at the beginning of each partition. So, if the system can´t address more than 137 GB, it should not matter how many small partitions there are in the disk.
     
  6. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Some depends on the controller and some on the operating system - you must have XP SP1 or newer, for example. But if you partition a 500Gb drive into 5 100Gb partitions on another computer, the first computer, with a little luck will see 500Gb worth of space in chunks smaller than 137Gb.

    It is not the ideal solution - by any means. More modern hardware and OS would be better, for sure.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  7. ohblu

    ohblu Registered Member

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    I haven't had an opportunity to post back here since I started this thread.

    The computer is a HP Pavilion 750n from early 2002. The IDE hard drive died and I'm not sure if I should just get another IDE hard drive or try to use a SATA. I figure that all the parts, including a new power supply, will cost between $80 to $100 or so. A new computer, with most of what I want would cost at least $800, but closer to $950. I figure I should probably try fixing the HP because it's cheaper and it's still pretty darn fast.

    The motherboard is a P4B266-LA and the last BIOS update is from March 2002, but I didn't install it. So the mobo doesn't have any SATA connectors on it. I don't want to have to use a pci IDE card adapter because I only have one slot available and I was going to use it for something else.

    I could buy a IDE hard drive, but they're becoming obsolete, so if I could use SATA, I would prefer it. I suspect the quality is better too.

    I have a computer book here that states that if the BIOS doesn't support drives larger than 137 GB, then as long as I install XP SP1, it should have no problems seeing the whole drive. But should I still partition it, to be on the safe side? Because I have an older computer with XP SP1 (originally Win 98 or 2000) and it doesn't have 48-bit LBA support according to what is shown in Everest Home Edition.

    Are there any websites that really go into detail about this stuff? I can't find any books (which I prefer) that go into the kind of detail I'm looking for. I've never done any of this stuff before, so I need to make sure I know exactly what I'm doing before spending $100 on parts.

    As far as the SCSI drivers go, I have no idea if such a thing exists. I wasn't aware that I would need them. I may be in over my head. :doubt:
     
  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Not really. HD quality - in terms of reliability and long life - has been high for many years.

    You don't need "SCSI" drivers. SCSI drives were commonly used in servers and XP is aware of drives that use the SCSI interface.

    SATA came about way after XP, so it knows nothing of that interface. However, XP will support SATA, if SATA drivers are installed. The confusion comes from the prompt to install alternative (from EIDE) drivers - it says "SCSI" - but that is the time you install the "SATA" drivers.

    Should you partition anyway? That's a personal decision. You will find arguments either way. But as long as Windows has lots of free disk space to work with, it does not care.
     
  9. cm1971

    cm1971 Registered Member

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    I have one that came with an Abit motherboard (I no longer have the motherboard) and it works great. In fact I am using it now and have never had an issue with it. I have read before that people have had issues with some of them but this one I have been using has worked extremely well.
     
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