Bios support for large and regular sized disks
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: vaac-ga
List Price: $2.00
05 May 2005 19:54 PDT
Expires: 04 Jun 2005 19:54 PDT
Question ID: 518324
My current BIOS does not seem to support large disks. What do I have to look for in a new computer to enable large disks? Will such a BIOS enable using my current less than 10 Gbyte disks? Will I be able to patition them as I do now? What changes in the FAT and root directory can I expect? My current computer is a pentium with windows 98. The BIOS seems to be a megatrend.
Re: Bios support for large and regular sized disks
Answered By: maniac-ga on 09 May 2005 18:17 PDT
Hello Vaac, I will assume that your new computer will be running Microsoft Windows XP (or perhaps 2003. If this is incorrect, please make a clarification request so I can expand the answer to address another OS. I also assume your new computer has the proper interface (I assume IDE) for the older disks and is not limited to using serial ATA, described at http://www.tomshardware.com/storage/20020812/ With your new computer, the BIOS and operating system will support both the large disks and the small disks. For a detailed explanation of the various disk drive limits, see http://www.dewassoc.com/kbase/hard_drives/hard_drive_size_barriers.htm or http://www.storagereview.com/guide2000/ref/hdd/bios/ The first reference is very long and detailed, the second is split into several sections and includes an explanation of the file systems (later in the guide) to briefly explain the difference between FAT32 (your current disks) and NTFS (the new large disks) and methods of partitioning. There is also a nice summary of FAT32 limits (and some brief comparisons with NTFS) at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;Q184006& which describes the limits of FAT32 volumes and recommends using NTFS on your larger disks. In summary, your new computer and operating system should support both your new and old disks without any problems. The other suggestion I should make is to use your new hard disk as the boot volume and the older disks for data storage only. Good luck and if any part of this question is incomplete or unclear, please request a clarification so I can make it right. --Maniac
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Excellent, but with my limited computer expertise I wuold appreciate further comments as follow: I am sorry to have taken so much time to answer you for your excellent comments. Since both questions are similar I will place the comment on both: I have dowloaded and tried to understand urls: http://www.fujitsu-siemens.co.uk/rl/servicesupport/techsupport/boards/Motherboards/MicroStar/MS6309/6309-3(ami).pdf and http://www.amptron.com/manuals/PM-9100/m571v32.pdf but while some of the information is useful even to me who am not a computer expert, these sites are more for young peoples who seek to pursue computer careers. I would therefore appreciate if you could explain in LAYMAN TERMS what the following items mean: "Wpcom" "LBA-mode", amd "Blk-mode"and "Plo-mode" If this is too complicated maybe you can answer the following: I would prefer not to use win2000 or higher, except in an arrangement where I can switch between the higher windows and win 98 or95. The reason is that I am too old to learn how to handle an operating system not based on DOS and might get stuck with problems I cannot handle. Could you explain to me what can widows 2000 and higher handle, that windows 98 cannot? Another clarification I would like to get is is about the cdrom. Before opening the computer to change the jumper and convert it from sec. slave to master I decided to change the following lines in the executive.bat of the root directory and in the executive.bat of the c:\windows\command\ebd directory. The lines: loadhigh C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\mscdex.exe /d:cd003 /m:10 /e /l:x LH %ramd%:\MSCDEX.EXE /D:mscd003 /L:%CDROM% were changed to: loadhigh C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\mscdex.exe /d:cd004 /m:10 /e /l:x LH %ramd%:\MSCDEX.EXE /D:mscd004 /L:%CDROM% respectively This caused the cdrom to load consistently (except for the 1-st two times). Is this an appropriate fix or coincidence? Also, can I now connect a 3-rd hard disk on the free connection of the daisy which has the cdrom? If not can you inform me whether the new computers have a provision whereby more than two hard disks can be connected? What are the interfaces IED and ATA and do I need both, one of them and which? Thank you very much in advance. Vaac-ga
Re: Bios support for large and regular sized disks
From: cvithlani-ga on 05 May 2005 21:11 PDT
depending on the bios and board version, you might be able to flash your bios to accomidate larger HDs. if not, a new board may be in order, but then a new cpu is needed, and then new ram. have you tried installing a third party IDE controller?
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