Tech Support banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Thinking about buying a new hardrive, I dont really know too much about computers, and was wondering what type of hard drive would be the best choice? I also wanted to know if any type of hardrive would work, regardless of what type of system I had (windows 98, or XP - Pentium or AMD etc.)

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
I've used Western Digital and Maxtor, and have had the best success with Maxtor hard drives. The new hard drives with the 8MB buffers are very good, so look for that feature.

As for which type, it depends on what your motherboard / controller supports. I've used the standard parallel interface hard drives in the past, but am currently building a new system with the faster serial interface variety. My old motherboards didn't have the ports to attach the serial drives, but my new motherboard does. You'll need to provide us with more system information.
:winking:
 

·
Guru
Joined
·
1,315 Posts
You need to be careful, though, if you are putting this into an old system, which I assume you are. Most of the newer hard drives are towards 100GB or more.

Let me give you an example. On this 1999-era PC which I am typing this on (HP 8590C), I happen to know for a fact that the biggest drive it can handle, is about 32GB. Stick in a bigger drive than that, and it will appear to work, but when the O/S tries to write to the higher addresses, because of BIOS limitations the address gets truncated, wraps around, and disk data at the lower addresses will get overwritten instead. So I'm stuck at 27GB.

You might want to check the PC manufacturer's website to see if there are any questions there about upgrading hard drives in your specific PC model.

Hope this helps,

-clintfan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
"You need to be careful, though, if you are putting this into an old system, which I assume you are. Most of the newer hard drives are towards 100GB or more."

This is very true, however, using a new PCI controller card and formatting the new large drive with Data Life Guard Tools from Western Digital will ensure that your system will see the whole drive (up to 137 GB maximum).
 

·
Guru
Joined
·
1,315 Posts
Are you saying that Data Life Guard somehow "tricks" the old, inadequate mobo BIOS into thinking the physical drive size isn't really greater than 32GB? I guess I don't see how hanging a drive off another HBA would help the mobo's existing BIOS handle larger disk addresses.

-clintfan
 

·
Citizen of the world
Joined
·
51,041 Posts
Actually, if you use the Promise PCI controller, there's no need to use drive overlay software, it recognizes large drives. I have installed several 200gig drives using the Promise controller. I actually don't like using drive overlay software, it works fine when you do it, but later if you move the drive to another system, or do other installations, it sometimes comes back to bite you.

To answer clintfan's question, yes. Maxtor, WD, and Seagate, to name the ones I've actually used, have drive overlay software that will allow you to put any sized drive into an ancient system with a BIOS that only recognizes much smaller drives.
 

·
Citizen of the world
Joined
·
51,041 Posts
Maxtor and WD ship them in the retail package of any drive over 120gig.

What we really need to know is what specific motherboard do you have, and what is the date of the BIOS. A BIOS of 1999 or earlier will likely not recognize drives larger than 32gigs, and the BIOS will have to be 2002 or 2003 to recognize drives larger than 128gigs. As I mentioned, the Promise IDE controller overcomes these limitations, but you may not need it.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top