Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

ATA100 40GB on a BH6 motherboard

Last response: in Motherboards
September 16, 2001 11:29:18 PM

I just got a ATA100 40GB harddrive, I am planning to install it on a Abit BH6 motherboard. Can someone tell me something about what will I encounter after installing it. Does the board support ATA100, how big of a harddrive can this board read, and how much memory can I put in it. If the board doesn't support ATA100, Can I buy a IDE card that will support the ATA100, so that it will make this board better. And I already fill up all of the IDE channel (all 4), I need to buy a IDE controller card anyway, can someone tell me something about it. Price, and what to look for.

Thank You
a b V Motherboard
September 17, 2001 12:47:25 AM


I also had an Abit BH6 (Rev. 1) motherboard and wanted to upgrade my harddrive. I purchased a 27GB IBM Deskstar 75GXP and had no problems with the installation. Unfortunately, the BH6 only supports ATA33. I purchased a "Promise Ultra 100" controller card so I could run at the ATA100 specification. I really enjoyed the card, and noticed a performance improvment - could also have been the speed of the new harddrive though, (7200 RPM vs. 5400 RPM). I believe these cards retail in the neighborhood of $50-$60 dollars. One warning - make sure you use FDISK in DOS to set up your new hardrive if you plan on using the Promise controller. These cards do not recognize third party installation software. I had to reformat my drive when I purchased the card - what a pain in the ass!

Good luck!

Hardware Junkie
a b V Motherboard
September 17, 2001 5:27:55 AM

Your motherboard only has an ATA33 controller. Not a problem since the drive is backwards compatable, and ATA100 only adds about maybe 5% to the performance (due to the fact that most drives cannot exceed around 40MB/s data rate except in cache burst). But since you need to add another controller anyway, might as well be ATA100.

Back to you Tom...
Related resources
September 17, 2001 5:38:08 AM

Thanks for the information. By the way, I have more question for you. I would like to know the Full name of the Controller Card. And How much RAM were you able to add onto the board. I was told that I can only have 300 something MB, and I read from the website that I can have up to 700 something.
September 21, 2001 6:30:13 PM

have you noticed that 40 GB hard disk <i>IS NOT</i> recognised on a 40 conductor cable??? and since the 80 conductor cable is keyed not many ATA33 IDE headers support it. so you might need to replace the board if you need to use a 40GB hard disk. else stick to 20GB!

had experienced it with older i430VX and VIA TX-100 boards. intel chipset on BH6 is the same a that with the i430VX (PIIX4) so I doubt it. I had used Seagate U5 40 GB hard disks.

i would like to know whats the status out there guys.


<font color=red>No system is fool-proof. Fools are Ingenious!</font color=red>
a b V Motherboard
September 21, 2001 7:14:23 PM

NO, I have not noticed this, because any such occurance violates the standard. It's a BIOS issue that limmits drive size, not a cable issue. And you still have two options for attaching a pin-keyed cable: break that pin (it's not needed anyway) or drill out the key on a molded cable.

Back to you Tom...
September 21, 2001 7:36:08 PM

i dont think its a BIOS issue. BIOS limits the disk sizes at 528 MB, 8.4 GB and at 137 GB. if it works with a 10.2 GB or 20.4 GB hard disk, it should work with a 40 or 60 GB one.

Actually I dont have many samples and models of hard disks but a lot of boards that dont work with 40 GB hard disk. if it is a model specific issue I will look into it by trying some more models.

there is no reason as to why a 40+ GB HD would need a 80 conductor cable when it is supposed to be backward compatible.

will keep you posted. till then, try using a Seagate U5 40.4 GB on a old 430TX/VX board with a 40 conductor cable.


<font color=red>No system is fool-proof. Fools are Ingenious!</font color=red>
a b V Motherboard
September 21, 2001 9:22:07 PM

I have a BX board with a BIOS limmit of 30GB. That falls right throught the hole in your theory. 30GB just happens to be somewhere between 20GB and 40GB as it turns out. Maybe I should recheck my math?

Back to you Tom...
September 22, 2001 9:06:54 AM

have you tried a 40 GB on it???
I have tried that 40 GB disk on a ALi Aladin5 board older model without ATA66 support as well as a later model with ATA66 support. I cannot use the 80 conductor pin cable on the older board. Both boards have same version of BIOS as I did flash it while checking the problem.

that disk is detected on the newer board, while it is not detected on the older one!

its possibly not a problem of southbridge either, it happened with the Intel PIIX4 on a 430VX board as well as VIA TX-100 board, 586B southbridge.

interesting problem, but it was not me to discover it. a fellow technician told me of this issue when I had to upgrade a 4.3 GB hard disk on a older machine of my client with a 40 GB one. till then I had not worked on older machines with 40 GB drives, why would one???


<font color=red>No system is fool-proof. Fools are Ingenious!</font color=red>
a b V Motherboard
September 22, 2001 12:12:42 PM

No, I haven't a 40GB drive to try on it. BUT it is written on the motherboard venders website in their Faq's.

Q: I installed a 40GB drive and it wasn't detected by BIOS, what should I do to fix this?
A: The M003 motherboard does not support hard drives over 30GB, even with the latest BIOS. There will be no further BIOS revisions. Please contact your hard drive vender for further support. Most venders offer a disk partitioning software that can be used to gain access to the full size of your drive.

Now that's on a BX, so I KNOW it's a BIOS issue. Oh, BTW, the M003 is the Blaster Board. Manufactured for Creative by Shuttle. Shuttles version of the board DOES support hard drives over 30GB with the latest BIOS. But a previous version of Shuttle's BIOS had a 30GB limmit.

I have also tried loading Shuttles BIOS on it, it worked fine but did not recognize onboard sound features. Creative was simply too lazy and cheap to get the newer version of BIOS for their own board!

It's not even an AGE issue, because Shuttles version of the board is older (Creative simply had their own sound chip added)

Back to you Tom...