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How to check bios is 48 bit?

Last response: in Storage
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February 26, 2010 12:32:28 AM

I want to add a new 250 HD. Computer was built in 2002. How do I check the BIOS to see if it is 48 bit? I doubt it is, but want to check.

Thanks.

More about : check bios bit

a c 329 G Storage
February 26, 2010 2:57:22 PM

Very likely your machine built in 2002 does have 48-bit LBA Support in the BIOS that runs your mobo's HDD controllers and ports. Surest way to check is to go to your mobo maker's website and look at their details of the capabilities of the BIOS.

BEFORE you do that, there is a VERY simple rule that may answer your question. ALL SATA drives and ALL SATA controllers include 48-bit LBA Support - that feature was a part of the SATA specification system. Now, on a mobo that has both IDE and SATA ports, you are not necessarily guaranteed that the IDE port portion has this feature, but the SATA ports certainly do.

So, if you still question the IDE portion, start by noting exactly what BIOS version you have - both the version number and the date on it. Get this from the text info at the top of the screen as you start the boot POST process. Then go to your mobo's manufacturer's website. Look there for several things:
1. Find details of the BIOS you have already. Does it say it has "48-bit LBA Support" or support for disks over 128 GB (or 137 GB)? Just plain "LBA Support" without specifying 48-bit, or "Support for large hard disks" is not sufficient. If you have it already, you do not need any update. Now, you MIGHT find some other reason to want a more recent BIOS, but unless you do don't update for no good reason. There are risks in the process.
2. Is it even possible for you to update the BIOS you have? In other words, do they provide the necessary software utility and clear instructions on how to download and install a new BIOS version in your machine?
3. If you can do it, do you have the required hardware? Some of the processes require using a floppy drive and diskettes, even if the drive is installed only temporarily.
4. Is there a newer BIOS version available for your mobo? Does it have the features you want?

Don't forget that you need 48-bit LBA support also in a third component - your Operating System. In the Windows world, all versions beginning with Service Pack 1 of Windows XP have this, but not before. So if you have Win XP with NO SP's installed you need to change things. How you do that depends on what your plans are for hard disk use.

IF you plan to be booting from your HDD over 128 GB size, you SHOULD install a version with 48-bit LBA Support included. If you don't, the installation WILL work, but it will only create a Primary Partition of 128 GB or less and install to that. The remaining space on the HDD will still be available for use to establish more Partitions AFTER you upgrade your OS to a newer version.

If you are not trying to boot from a large HDD, you can install an older (first version) Windows XP to a Partition under 128 GB. After that is installed you upgrade it to a newer version by installing a Service Pack - any SP will do. After that upgrade is done your Windows will be happy to handle all sizes of HDD's, and you certainly will be able to create and use Partitions of any size on any disk. But without using third-party utilities, you won't be able to go back and CHANGE the size of your already-installed C: boot Partition.
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