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Author Topic: What is the biggest hard drive I can use  (Read 3177 times)

Offline Sandra

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What is the biggest hard drive I can use
« on: June 13, 2003, 17:54 »
I am currently thinking of getting a new hard drive,possibly as big as 120 gig.

Having had a problem with a 40 gig drive in my old PC with a FIC motherboard with an AMD 450 cpu,which was fixed by flashing its BIOS,I am now thinking of replacing it with a 120 gig so that I can run it as a server.

I have been told that if it will now "see" a 40 gig drive then it will probably be ok with a 120 gig one.

I have found this article this afternoon which goes along with that,(I think), and may be useful for others to read as it shows the developments in maximum capacities from way back when Clive was a youngster  ;)

Large Capacities = New Problems?

Generally speaking, people are delighted when given the chance to upgrade to a larger hard drive, especially because the larger model is usually the latest and the fastest as well. But you might also remember the problems we've faced at certain capacities in recent years - for example, the 528 MB barrier (at 1,024 cylinders) could only be broken with the introduction of Logical Block Addressing (LBA). Later, FAT32 was introduced as an alternative to NTFS (Windows NT/2000/XP), in order to allow partitions that exceeded 2 GB.  

At 4 GB, most BIOS versions had problems addressing drives. The same happened recently at 32 GB, and something similar is waiting to happen at 128 GB (limit of the ATA specs). What these addressing problems have in common is that they can only be solved by updating the BIOS (which, unfortunately, doesn't always work), or by replacing the IDE controller. This could be an argument for buying a 100 or 120 GB right now, since bigger models (> 128 GB) will likely cause some problems with computers that are already several months old.

There's something else that can easily annoy the more impatient user: formatting a 120 GB hard drive. The Windows quick format functions are fast, but they do not test the functionality of each sector - Windows 98 in DOS mode does this for standard FAT32 formats, and Win NT/2000 does this during OS installation for NTFS. The latter method is the only way to make sure that the drive works properly, but the downside is that it takes more than half an hour. This is something to consider when planning to install such a hard drive.

I hope that you have found this as informative and helpful as I have  :-*

Offline Clive

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Re:What is the biggest hard drive I can use
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2003, 19:10 »
My first hard drive was 80Mb and that was considered to be enormous in 1992.  I was constantly having to delete software in order to make space for new programs.  The one I have now is 80Gb and that appears to be more than adequate for my requirements.
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Adept

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Re:What is the biggest hard drive I can use
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2003, 20:26 »
My first hard drive was 10Mb in capacity  :o

It was a 5.25" drive but it was also double height, which means it was the size of two CD-ROM drives on top of each other.

I now have a 1GB microdrive for my digital camera, 100 times the capacity and probably 100th of the size and 100th of the cost too!

Doesn't technology change in 17 years?  ::) 8) :D

Offline Clive

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Re:What is the biggest hard drive I can use
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2003, 20:31 »
What machine was that Adept?
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Offline Robotochan

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Re:What is the biggest hard drive I can use
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2003, 20:32 »
Your all old school, first HDD I had was a 7.9Gb which has slowly dropped to about 7Gb  ;D
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Offline Clive

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Re:What is the biggest hard drive I can use
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2003, 20:36 »
Serenity will love you for calling Sandra "old".   :lol:
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Adept

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Re:What is the biggest hard drive I can use
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2003, 20:36 »
I can't honestly remember Clive :-\ I'm pretty sure it was some kind of server, but what the operating system was, I can't be sure ...

Probably Xenix, which was BillG's flirtation with Unix. Later it became SCO Xenix. Or maybe it was an early Novell Netware ???

I'm fairly sure the drive was SCSI rather than MFM (which came before IDE).


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