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I'm not sure if this is here the right place to ask, anyway i'll try it. I have an old motherboard (Asus P2B Intel 440BX AGPset) and i want to know whats the maximal supported (E)IDE harddisk size?

And in general, how do you determine that, because I have an old laptop too, and I'm not sure what harddisk size it supports.

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migrated from serverfault.com Nov 24 '09 at 5:44

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I still own a 440BX-based MB, and I remember last updating its BIOS in 2003, to make it "see" 137GB HDDs. Before that update the limit was either 40 or 80 GB. I believe it has Award BIOS v. 4.51 or something like that.

Also, do not forget that your OS will see the HDD in full capacity. BIOS limitation should only affect ability to boot from an "oversized" partition, so if you make a /boot partition bootable (under Linux) or your bootalbe c:\ drive less than e.g. 80 GB, you shouldn't have problems with 1.5TB HDDs. Unless your BIOS hangs trying to detect the HDD, that is. If it does hang, than this quote from http://help.lockergnome.com/linux/Maximum-Hard-Drive-Size-older-Motherboard--ftopict485311.html could help:

I had similar problems, but longer ago, with old Pentium machines. I think the MB limitation was 8GB, but my disk was much bigger. The MB, whenever tried to find the disk, hanged. So I figured out the geometry of the disk (good chance it is written on it), and simply reduced the cylinder count, so the apparent disk size became less than 8GB. I entered this info into the BIOS by hand. The BIOS was now happy, and it booted the computer. I placed (IIRC) a small partition at the beginning, /boot/, and then the rest was everything else. Linux will recognize your disk. Important, keep the head/sector count. Change (reduce) only the cylinder count.

Anyway, you may add a PCI PATA/SATA adaptor, which will definitely lift the size limit.

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he won't have any trouble with 1.5TB HDDs; you won't find an IDE connection on anything bigger than 750GB or so... –  quack quixote Nov 23 '09 at 23:45
    
true, didn't think about that :) –  chronos Nov 23 '09 at 23:47

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