Hi. I need a new Hard Drive for one of my PCs - this one's a bit long in the tooth now, though I have made various upgrades over the years. The M/B is an Asus A7N8X and the old HDD is a MAXTOR 6L060J3 (P-ATA, not SATA of course, which latter the M/B does not support). I want to replace the second HDD (same Maxtor) with a 500GB drive - a Western Digital WD5000AAKB seems most likely. I am not sure whether the old Maxtor is ATA-133 or ATA-100: I assume ATA-133, as I can't see any reference to a Maxtor 6L060J3 ATA-100 on the internet. The proposed WD drive is ATA-100.
My question is this. Am I safe in assuming that my Asus A7N8X will support the WD 500GB drive? I read somewhere that "ATA-100 controllers can normally only support hard drives up to around 137GB, whereas ATA-133 can support sizes that are 100,000 times larger (144PB)". If my Maxtor drive is ATA-133 (how do I tell?) then a 500GB drive should be no problem. But if the M/B only has ATA-100 controllers (again, how do I find out? The Asus manual doesn't say) then I'm not going to be able to add a 500GB drive (am I??). Or is the information about this limitation wrong?
I'm a bit worried as I already had to return one (generic) 500GB drive I tried - it would only ever run in PIO mode. That wasn't due to an issue related to any of the above, was it?
You will be fine with the 500 drive as long as its an ATA-100 and not SATA as you said.
ATA-100 controllers operated at 100MB/s speeds - ATA-133 were at 133 MB/s speeds. No difference on size of drive supported.
The 137 GB limit was a problem with Windows XP pre-service pack 1. After that there were no problems with large drives.
I am running an ATA-100 250GB drive on an old Athlon 1.4 running a VIA KT266 chipset. It works just fine as a second drive. Only have problems booting from it due to the bios.
If you had problems with PIO mode then it was probably a cable issue or you just needed to change the setting in the OS to use DMA or it was a bad drive from the start.
OK, thanks, I'll go ahead and buy the WD drive then.
The PIO issue was, I think, the drive: I bought new cables, switched the Primary & secondary IDE connections, used a script to force DMA, and a host of other things over the space of a month, before returning the drive. And my old maxtor never had any issues like that - so, hopefully, the new HDD will be fine too. But I am not lucky - I do seem to have to return an awfully high percentage of faulty hardware I buy!
BTW, how do I find out what ATA the M/B supports and what ATA spec a hard drive is? Do I have to rely on manufacturers' blurb?