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New disc drive for old dependable PC

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a b V Motherboard
March 29, 2010 8:29:15 PM

Hi,
My question concerns the hard drive size issue with old motherboards. I have an old Pentium III PC with Windows XP and Office 2000. Office 2000 is the reason to keep this system operational. It needs a new hard drive. I have ordered a replacement Western Digital 160 Gb ATA Ultra 100 drive and an Adaptec 1233 Ultra ATA 133 Controller card. I have read that there is a 137 Gb limit on the hard drive size on these old motherboards. I plan to use the latest drivers and partition the new hard drive to 50 and 110 Gb. The 50 GB partition is for the OS and the other partition for general data. Is there anything else I should do before I start dismantling the PC?

More about : disc drive dependable

a b V Motherboard
a c 362 G Storage
March 29, 2010 9:21:29 PM

There MAY be a 137 GB limit on older mobos when you are using their built-in HDD controllers, beause they may not support the key feature required, "48-bit LBA". HOWEVER, you say you will not do that - you are going to use an Adaptec Ultra ATA 1233 PCI card. See its website page and specs here:

http://www.adaptec.com/en-US/support/sata/ata/ASH-1233/

Under "Device Support" it specifically says it DOES have this feature to make use of HDD's over 137 GB. So your HDD controller has it and your HDD obviously will (it is over 137 GB). The remaining piece of the system is your OS - it also must support 48-bit LBA.

Now, Win XP did NOT have this feature in its first version, but it was added in Service Pack 1 and all later SP's. So if you have ANY Service Packs installed on your Win XP, you have it all in place. If not, I urge you to update your Win XP to SP3 BEFORE you install your new hardware. Then you will have no problems at all using the 160 GB unit as ONE Partition of the full HDD size. You don't have to, of course. If you want to Partition as you suggest there is nothing to prevent that - you can do as you wish, vou have all the capability you need here.
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a b V Motherboard
March 29, 2010 9:24:19 PM

The controller card should be able to handle all 160GB. If you're hooking up the 160GB drive directly to your motherboard though, then you should download the WD life guard tools and use that first.
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a b V Motherboard
March 31, 2010 1:29:18 AM

Paperdoc said:
There MAY be a 137 GB limit on older mobos when you are using their built-in HDD controllers, beause they may not support the key feature required, "48-bit LBA". HOWEVER, you say you will not do that - you are going to use an Adaptec Ultra ATA 1233 PCI card. See its website page and specs here:

http://www.adaptec.com/en-US/support/sata/ata/ASH-1233/

Under "Device Support" it specifically says it DOES have this feature to make use of HDD's over 137 GB. So your HDD controller has it and your HDD obviously will (it is over 137 GB). The remaining piece of the system is your OS - it also must support 48-bit LBA.

Now, Win XP did NOT have this feature in its first version, but it was added in Service Pack 1 and all later SP's. So if you have ANY Service Packs installed on your Win XP, you have it all in place. If not, I urge you to update your Win XP to SP3 BEFORE you install your new hardware. Then you will have no problems at all using the 160 GB unit as ONE Partition of the full HDD size. You don't have to, of course. If you want to Partition as you suggest there is nothing to prevent that - you can do as you wish, vou have all the capability you need here.

Hi,
I did not notice the "Devise Support". I just made sure that it had Windows XP drivers. I do have Service Pack 3 installed. The second partition was just in response to this 137 Gb issue. That is good to know though. Thanks.
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