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What Maximim Size INTERNAL Hard Drive can I install?

by skycatcher / November 27, 2009 12:18 AM PST

If I want to see how much 'Memory' my PC can handle, I can browse to and run their scanner - this will tell me the maximum amount that my PC can hold and exactly what type to buy.

How can I do the same to find a PATA 'Internal Hard Drive' for my PC?

I am unemployed so I can't afford to waste money buying a HDD that my PC can't handle. For example:- XP can handle 2 Terra-bits but my old Dell Dimension 3000 can only run a Max HDD size of 160 Gigs. I have older PCs and need to increase their HDD size - but can't get the info from the manufacturer on Max HDD size. I am already running the most up-to-date BIOS upgrade that their web site holds. Some BIOS's can only handle 40 Gigs, others can handle 137 Gigs - but how can I tell without 'Trial and Error'? This is not a storage issue, I already have an External USB drive for that. I just need the Largest and Fastest INTERNAL PATA HDD that my old PC will run.

Is there a scanner out there that can do the job?

Many thanks - Mike

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I'm going with no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 27, 2009 12:32 AM PST

But since you didn't post the make, model of the machine, members can't share if they had such. Don't pass up posting the important details since the discussion fills with "What is it?"

Ok, go look at http://www.48bitlba.ocm for articles and tools.

Here's the fast IDE drive I used on a cheap box -> I chose that one because of size and seek time.

Sorry but no checking of in or out of stock as this is a world forum so you get to search for such drives in your country.

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by skycatcher / November 27, 2009 1:29 AM PST
In reply to: I'm going with no.

Thanks Bob - I have several (all different) old PCs to upgrade but the one I'm working on at the moment is...

PC - RM Window Box
M/B - Micro-star International. 2003. SiS 650GL-6A6IXM4LC-00
BIOS - Phoenix Award BIOS v6.00PG. UK date 29-01-2003
OS - Windows XP Pro - Service Pack 3, fully updated.

RM usually customise their Award BIOS's

Have located the HDD you recommended for around

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Yes...the ones I've used have all been PCI and most
by VAPCMD / November 27, 2009 5:04 AM PST
In reply to: Update....

were PATA (IDE) made by Promise Technology. Here's a listing of some PCIs made for IDE.

They also have them that handle both DIE and SATA which might give you even greater drive choices and options.

When you boot up...or go into the BIOS, what does the setup screen show for the hard disk drive size ? I'm asking because I've never heard of a system limit of 160GBs. If you had an MSI's the kind of info should see the MB and BIOS....


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Looking at this board.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 27, 2009 2:02 AM PST
In reply to: I'm going with no.
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The largest usable internal HDD in any given system depends
by VAPCMD / November 27, 2009 1:18 AM PST

on the system BIOS and the OS . . . down to the service pack.

One way around an old or outdated system BIOS... is a hard disk controller with a BIOS that allows large HDDs. That circumvents the HW problem ... you still need to address the OS limitations.

Re a utility that tells you exactly what's the largest HDD you can install in any system (and access all the space), there isn't one that I know of.


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