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usb hard drive size, hardware or software restricted

Last response: in Storage
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March 13, 2006 9:25:31 AM

Hi Everyone, I was thinking of buying a 300Gb hard drive in a external usb case and was wondering if when put into an older motherboard usb is the size restriction of that motherboard (eg: 137Gb) passed onto the usb as well or does it then become a software issue? and is this the same on all motherboards as i wish to store all my music on this 300Gb drive as well as software and then just use it for building older machines (saves having to put cd's into the cd-rom which usually only have 4* speed. and also to use for taking around to friends who might not have the more modern motherboards.
Thanks
March 13, 2006 10:28:53 AM

The short answer is Software Issue :wink:

The long answer:

USB and FireWire hard drives are not affected by motherboard BIOS capacity limitations. The FireWire 1394a, USB 1.1, and USB 2.0 protocols natively support 48-Bit LBA (Logical Block Addressing). The 48-Bit LBA standard is for addressing support of hard drives larger than 137GB. There may be an Operating System limitation related to drives over 137GB.

By default Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows Millennium, and Windows 2003 support 48-Bit LBA.

All Mac Operating Systems later than 9.0 support 48-Bit LBA natively.


For Windows 2000, Service Pack 3 (or later) must be installed to add 48-Bit LBA support to Windows.

For Windows XP, Service Pack 1 (or later) must be installed to add 48-Bit LBA support for Windows.
March 13, 2006 2:36:31 PM

there's a similar problem with SATA drives on windows XP, where either the proper drivers or SP1 are needed to see the entire drive. Not sure about 2000 or previous windows OSs.
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