4600: Maximum size of 2nd hard drive?

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Hello. I have a Dell Dimension 4600 desktop that came shipped
with a 160GB SATA Western Digital hard drive. I wanted to install
a second SATA drive, so I bought a Hitachi 250GB SATA drive and put
it into the second bay and hooked it in. I have also updated the BIOS
to the current version A12.

I cannot seem to get BIOS/WinXP to recognize the new drive. In BIOS,
I selected the "Secondary SATA Drive" to be AUTO (it was OFF
previously). BIOS responds by saying the drive has an unrecognizable
format.

Anyone know what the problem is? My guesses:

(1) The Dimension 4600 cannot handle a 250GB sized drive
(2) I have the BIOS parameters chosen incorrectly
(3) The hard drive isn't hooked up correctly (there are no jumpers
with SATA so I can't hardly see how this could possibly be the case)


Has anyone installed a SATA drive as large as 250GB on their Dimension
4600s? (clone or otherwise)

Thanks,
JB
10 answers Last reply
More about 4600 maximum size hard drive
  1. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Joe Blow" <joseph_blow16@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:4pUKd.72438$ld2.25375194@twister.nyc.rr.com...
    >
    > Hello. I have a Dell Dimension 4600 desktop that came shipped
    > with a 160GB SATA Western Digital hard drive. I wanted to install
    > a second SATA drive, so I bought a Hitachi 250GB SATA drive and put
    > it into the second bay and hooked it in. I have also updated the BIOS
    > to the current version A12.
    >
    > I cannot seem to get BIOS/WinXP to recognize the new drive. In BIOS,
    > I selected the "Secondary SATA Drive" to be AUTO (it was OFF previously).
    > BIOS responds by saying the drive has an unrecognizable
    > format.
    >
    > Anyone know what the problem is? My guesses:
    >
    > (1) The Dimension 4600 cannot handle a 250GB sized drive
    > (2) I have the BIOS parameters chosen incorrectly
    > (3) The hard drive isn't hooked up correctly (there are no jumpers
    > with SATA so I can't hardly see how this could possibly be the case)
    >
    >
    > Has anyone installed a SATA drive as large as 250GB on their Dimension
    > 4600s? (clone or otherwise)
    >
    > Thanks,
    > JB


    How does the BIOS report this? Are you sure you don't just have to
    Partition and Format it?

    Clearly the machine can support the drive. Even my 4550 supports 250GB
    drives.

    Tom
  2. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote in message
    news:zxWKd.794$P87.764@bignews6.bellsouth.net...
    >
    > "Joe Blow" <joseph_blow16@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    > news:4pUKd.72438$ld2.25375194@twister.nyc.rr.com...
    >>
    >> Hello. I have a Dell Dimension 4600 desktop that came shipped
    >> with a 160GB SATA Western Digital hard drive. I wanted to install
    >> a second SATA drive, so I bought a Hitachi 250GB SATA drive and put
    >> it into the second bay and hooked it in. I have also updated the BIOS
    >> to the current version A12.
    >>
    >> I cannot seem to get BIOS/WinXP to recognize the new drive. In BIOS,
    >> I selected the "Secondary SATA Drive" to be AUTO (it was OFF previously).
    >> BIOS responds by saying the drive has an unrecognizable
    >> format.
    >>
    >> Anyone know what the problem is? My guesses:
    >>
    >> (1) The Dimension 4600 cannot handle a 250GB sized drive
    >> (2) I have the BIOS parameters chosen incorrectly
    >> (3) The hard drive isn't hooked up correctly (there are no jumpers
    >> with SATA so I can't hardly see how this could possibly be the case)
    >>
    >>
    >> Has anyone installed a SATA drive as large as 250GB on their Dimension
    >> 4600s? (clone or otherwise)
    >>
    >> Thanks,
    >> JB
    >
    >
    > How does the BIOS report this? Are you sure you don't just have to
    > Partition and Format it?
    >
    > Clearly the machine can support the drive. Even my 4550 supports 250GB
    > drives.
    >
    > Tom
    >


    The system BIOS should at least recognize the drive by make and model number
    as long as auto-detect is enabled. Swap SATA cables with the original drive
    and re-enter BIOS (might swap power connects as well, just to be sure one
    isn't flaky). Also verify that any drive jumpers are in place, perhaps.

    Could also ALT+F default the BIOS and force IDE configuration upon exiting
    and see what happens.... ?


    Stew
  3. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    S.Lewis wrote:
    > "Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote in message
    > news:zxWKd.794$P87.764@bignews6.bellsouth.net...
    >
    >>"Joe Blow" <joseph_blow16@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    >>news:4pUKd.72438$ld2.25375194@twister.nyc.rr.com...
    >>
    >>>Hello. I have a Dell Dimension 4600 desktop that came shipped
    >>>with a 160GB SATA Western Digital hard drive. I wanted to install
    >>>a second SATA drive, so I bought a Hitachi 250GB SATA drive and put
    >>>it into the second bay and hooked it in. I have also updated the BIOS
    >>>to the current version A12.
    >>>
    >>>I cannot seem to get BIOS/WinXP to recognize the new drive. In BIOS,
    >>>I selected the "Secondary SATA Drive" to be AUTO (it was OFF previously).
    >>>BIOS responds by saying the drive has an unrecognizable
    >>>format.
    >>>
    >>>Anyone know what the problem is? My guesses:
    >>>
    >>>(1) The Dimension 4600 cannot handle a 250GB sized drive
    >>>(2) I have the BIOS parameters chosen incorrectly
    >>>(3) The hard drive isn't hooked up correctly (there are no jumpers
    >>>with SATA so I can't hardly see how this could possibly be the case)
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>Has anyone installed a SATA drive as large as 250GB on their Dimension
    >>>4600s? (clone or otherwise)
    >>>
    >>>Thanks,
    >>>JB
    >>
    >>
    >>How does the BIOS report this? Are you sure you don't just have to
    >>Partition and Format it?
    >>
    >>Clearly the machine can support the drive. Even my 4550 supports 250GB
    >>drives.
    >>
    >>Tom
    >>
    >
    >
    >
    > The system BIOS should at least recognize the drive by make and model number
    > as long as auto-detect is enabled. Swap SATA cables with the original drive
    > and re-enter BIOS (might swap power connects as well, just to be sure one
    > isn't flaky). Also verify that any drive jumpers are in place, perhaps.
    >
    > Could also ALT+F default the BIOS and force IDE configuration upon exiting
    > and see what happens.... ?
    >
    >
    > Stew


    Thanks you guys. I tried your suggestions.

    First of all, I don't have the option of switching the power cables,
    because there are two types (SATA and Legacy) and my 4600 came only
    with 1 of the SATA type (I think) and 4 of the Legacy type (I may
    have this reversed; this type is has a 4-pin connection). The original,
    primary hard drive used the SATA type power connection. This is a
    Western Digital 160GB drive.

    The best I could do was switch the connectors to the motherboard. This
    made no difference whatsoever. In fact, I'm currently running the
    machine with the other motherboard connector in the primary hard drive,
    and it's working fine, so this connection cannot be the problem.

    I am truly at a loss as to why this second hard drive is not recognized.
    When I set the secondary drive to "AUTO" instead of "OFF" in BIOS, the
    BIOS says the drive is "unknown."

    One question -- suppose I tried to put in a hard drive that is too large
    for the motherboard to handle, say 500GB. Would BIOS say that the drive
    is "unknown"? I mean, does BIOS reject the inappropriate drive
    outright, or would the drive still be recognized in general, but I just
    wouldn't be able to format all of it?

    Thanks for the help.

    JB
  4. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Joe Blow" <joseph_blow16@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:nn%Kd.72475$ld2.25473242@twister.nyc.rr.com...
    <snip>
    > I am truly at a loss as to why this second hard drive is not recognized.
    > When I set the secondary drive to "AUTO" instead of "OFF" in BIOS, the
    > BIOS says the drive is "unknown."
    >
    > One question -- suppose I tried to put in a hard drive that is too large
    > for the motherboard to handle, say 500GB. Would BIOS say that the drive
    > is "unknown"? I mean, does BIOS reject the inappropriate drive outright,
    > or would the drive still be recognized in general, but I just
    > wouldn't be able to format all of it?
    >
    > Thanks for the help.
    >
    > JB

    Unknown is normal. That's the way they show up on all my machines. Then
    you just reboot and partition and format.

    Tom
  5. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote in message
    news:zG3Ld.1565$BQ2.462@bignews6.bellsouth.net...
    >
    > "Joe Blow" <joseph_blow16@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    > news:nn%Kd.72475$ld2.25473242@twister.nyc.rr.com...
    > <snip>
    >> I am truly at a loss as to why this second hard drive is not recognized.
    >> When I set the secondary drive to "AUTO" instead of "OFF" in BIOS, the
    >> BIOS says the drive is "unknown."
    >>
    >> One question -- suppose I tried to put in a hard drive that is too large
    >> for the motherboard to handle, say 500GB. Would BIOS say that the drive
    >> is "unknown"? I mean, does BIOS reject the inappropriate drive outright,
    >> or would the drive still be recognized in general, but I just
    >> wouldn't be able to format all of it?
    >>
    >> Thanks for the help.
    >>
    >> JB
    >
    > Unknown is normal. That's the way they show up on all my machines. Then
    > you just reboot and partition and format.
    >
    > Tom
    >


    There is indeed a second SATA power connector on the power harness. That
    machine as a "Y" adapter off of the main PS harness with two SATA connects.

    If the drive remains an "Unknown device", the drive could be bad, or the
    SATA (blue) cable, or the power connect - or something is not plugged
    properly.


    Stew
  6. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Format the new drive!


    Joe Blow wrote:
    >
    > Hello. I have a Dell Dimension 4600 desktop that came shipped
    > with a 160GB SATA Western Digital hard drive. I wanted to install
    > a second SATA drive, so I bought a Hitachi 250GB SATA drive and put
    > it into the second bay and hooked it in. I have also updated the BIOS
    > to the current version A12.
    >
    > I cannot seem to get BIOS/WinXP to recognize the new drive. In BIOS,
    > I selected the "Secondary SATA Drive" to be AUTO (it was OFF
    > previously). BIOS responds by saying the drive has an unrecognizable
    > format.
    >
    > Anyone know what the problem is? My guesses:
    >
    > (1) The Dimension 4600 cannot handle a 250GB sized drive
    > (2) I have the BIOS parameters chosen incorrectly
    > (3) The hard drive isn't hooked up correctly (there are no jumpers
    > with SATA so I can't hardly see how this could possibly be the case)
    >
    >
    > Has anyone installed a SATA drive as large as 250GB on their Dimension
    > 4600s? (clone or otherwise)
    >
    > Thanks,
    > JB
  7. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Kenneth J. Harris" <kharris@suffolk.lib.ny.us> wrote in message
    news:pWcLd.4831$531.1089@fe08.lga...
    > Format the new drive!
    >


    Partitioning or formatting the new drive should have nothing to do with BIOS
    recognizing it.


    Stew
  8. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Joe Blow wrote:

    >
    > Hello. I have a Dell Dimension 4600 desktop that came shipped
    > with a 160GB SATA Western Digital hard drive. I wanted to install
    > a second SATA drive, so I bought a Hitachi 250GB SATA drive and put
    > it into the second bay and hooked it in. I have also updated the BIOS
    > to the current version A12.
    >
    > I cannot seem to get BIOS/WinXP to recognize the new drive. In BIOS,
    > I selected the "Secondary SATA Drive" to be AUTO (it was OFF
    > previously). BIOS responds by saying the drive has an unrecognizable
    > format.
    >
    > Anyone know what the problem is? My guesses:
    >
    > (1) The Dimension 4600 cannot handle a 250GB sized drive
    > (2) I have the BIOS parameters chosen incorrectly
    > (3) The hard drive isn't hooked up correctly (there are no jumpers
    > with SATA so I can't hardly see how this could possibly be the case)
    >
    >
    > Has anyone installed a SATA drive as large as 250GB on their Dimension
    > 4600s? (clone or otherwise)
    >
    > Thanks,
    > JB


    Problem solved. It must have been a bad drive. I tried out another one
    with 250GB capacity and it worked just fine. However, I noted that my
    Dell 4600 claimed the maximum drive size it could partition was
    something like 236.7GB, so I lose 13+ GB for some reason or another.

    It's pretty funny when I think back to 1998. At that time I spend a
    thousand bucks for a machine with a 6GB hard drive. Now I'm unfazed
    in the slightest at losing 13 gigs!

    JB
  9. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    You're just seeing the difference in Windows and drive manufacturers. 236
    GB done in proper base 2 math = 250,000..... bytes (you get the idea).

    Tom
    "Joe Blow" <joseph_blow16@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:JVGLd.95578$kq2.20458@twister.nyc.rr.com...
    > Joe Blow wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> Hello. I have a Dell Dimension 4600 desktop that came shipped
    >> with a 160GB SATA Western Digital hard drive. I wanted to install
    >> a second SATA drive, so I bought a Hitachi 250GB SATA drive and put
    >> it into the second bay and hooked it in. I have also updated the BIOS
    >> to the current version A12.
    >>
    >> I cannot seem to get BIOS/WinXP to recognize the new drive. In BIOS,
    >> I selected the "Secondary SATA Drive" to be AUTO (it was OFF previously).
    >> BIOS responds by saying the drive has an unrecognizable
    >> format.
    >>
    >> Anyone know what the problem is? My guesses:
    >>
    >> (1) The Dimension 4600 cannot handle a 250GB sized drive
    >> (2) I have the BIOS parameters chosen incorrectly
    >> (3) The hard drive isn't hooked up correctly (there are no jumpers
    >> with SATA so I can't hardly see how this could possibly be the case)
    >>
    >>
    >> Has anyone installed a SATA drive as large as 250GB on their Dimension
    >> 4600s? (clone or otherwise)
    >>
    >> Thanks,
    >> JB
    >
    >
    >
    > Problem solved. It must have been a bad drive. I tried out another one
    > with 250GB capacity and it worked just fine. However, I noted that my
    > Dell 4600 claimed the maximum drive size it could partition was something
    > like 236.7GB, so I lose 13+ GB for some reason or another.
    >
    > It's pretty funny when I think back to 1998. At that time I spend a
    > thousand bucks for a machine with a 6GB hard drive. Now I'm unfazed
    > in the slightest at losing 13 gigs!
    >
    > JB
  10. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Tom Scales wrote:

    > You're just seeing the difference in Windows and drive manufacturers. 236
    > GB done in proper base 2 math = 250,000..... bytes (you get the idea).
    >
    > Tom


    Whoops! Forgot about that. Thanks.

    I guess it can be said that with my Dell 4600, at least, the maximum
    drive size is 250GB. I wasn't really sure about that before.

    JB
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