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Hard drive size limitation???

I have an ancient Gateway GP6 400. It's been working flawlessly for 12 years but has become useless for general purpose computing due to it's limited RAM. Reluctant to scrap a working computer I'm interested in putting in a big hard drive, loading Ubuntu LTS and rebuilding the thing as an automated backup server. I have come across a post mentioning that the BIOS for this computer has an upper limit on the size of the hard drive (17 GB or some such thing). If this is indeed the case, then my plans are doomed. How can I confirm this limitation? Or perhaps someone out there just knows.

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Check and verify

The OS you're using is as important to the physical bios data(version). You may need to update your system bios in order to improve the HD sizing issue(capacity0. In best scenario for you, that's probably 120gb HD or the max. at 127GB. Since, this is a 12yr. system, it maybe too late but checking the Gateway support website, locate your model# and navigate in the legacy section and find out. Otherwise, the other fix is to get a bios chip replacement, but that too may not be cost effective if bios update isn't possible. Its up to you. I don't recall a 17gb size limit.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Check what?

I don't think the OS will be an issue as I intend to install the current Ubuntu server software. I checked Gateway and naturally the GP6 400 isn't listed anymore in their support area. So is there any way to check to see the hard drive size limit other than trying a score of different sized drives and seeing when it breaks?


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That's it

If you can't find a Gateway bios update or you want to spend $ on a new bios chip that supports larger HDs, then you've reached the end. The $ is better spend via eBay or Craigslist for an used system that's more capable yet not that costly. You may even have luck of the if given away.

tada -----Willy Happy

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My question remains unanswered.

Forgive me, but am I not being clear? My existing BIOS either has a drive size limitation or it doesn't. How do I figure out whether it does or it doesn't? And if it does have such a limitation, then how do I figure out exactly how big of a drive it supports? Are you saying that the BIOS download page would likely include this specification and that's why getting a new BIOS would be useful? (I.e., not because it would necessarily increase the size limit, but rather because it would include the information I seek in accompanying documentation.)

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IMHO, I wouldn't bother with any upgrades or such because it will be very limited quite quickly.

However, since Gateway support is not extistant on this model, problem. If the bios can't be updated, problem. If the bios chip can't be replaced, problem. If the cost is too great, problem. If you buy/find an I/O card with HD ports with better capacity access, maybe. In other words even if using some Linux version, you're going to have issues. For all this hassle, get another used system -OR- motherbd. that's more capable for any cash spend would be more worthwhile. If none of this answers your question, then sorry. Your options are limited and quite frankly are dated as well, so any real usefulness is again limited in retaining this system. One thing I found is this system is limited to 384kb of RAM for even Linux is low-ball. Other than to play with for experience is rather lackluster.

In plain terms, time to kick it to the curb or recycle.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Is this a Pentium II-400 or 350 MHz?

Take my word for it that FREE PENTIUM 3 and 4 machines are spotted weekly on curbs and on FREECYCLE (see google) and the Free area of Craigslist.

You can find better for free.

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