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HDD/BIOS Question


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Hi Guys,

This isn't a problem post, for a change :blushing:

I'm looking for some advice or opinions. B)

As you know most recent Operating Systems will let you see and use HDD's which are larger than the BIOS limits of the Motherboard. I was think about taking advantage of this by using an old PII as a NAS for a local computer club I help out at.

Does anyone know of any reasons not to do this ?

Or any problems that can arrise by doing this. ?

Thanks in advance, Guys. :hello:

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there could be an issue where you can only partition a set size of the drive...however i think thats a rare thing, shouldn't happen.

I have a Pentium II server/workstation that i revamped to have Pentium IIIs...runs a 40GB drive, and it had used an 80GB drive once or twice. the board is about 9 years old, so i'm not sure if 80gigs in a single partition was even possible back then, but it worked...i'm sure that as long as it runs windows 2k or XP you'll be fine...if its got slower processors, like 450 or lower, you may want to slipstream XP with nLite, it helped my rig [stats in the sig]. you can also find tools around here to give you 32bit icons and such...

i see nothing against it, if theres a 750GB drive, i could only assume that theres a place for it anywhere.

if all else fails, you could use an idea i had a while ago that i haven't had the money to carry out. have a smaller drive boot, and have the rest go USB with IDE>USB cables, they'll be seen as external drives, so you could just have them internally with the cables going into USB ports that could be internally mounted. unless i'm mistake, external drives can have infinite size, the only restriction would be if you're using a 32bit OS vs a 64bit OS. not only would the USB help you, it would work faster than most onboard IDE of older computers. my S2DGU has 33mb/s transer rate on the IDE channels, USB 2.0 is faster than that. i'm sure it could be argued, but i don't see how it wouldn't work.

i've gotta hit the hay, if i run into something about it tomorrow i'll post it...normally the board just restricts PnP sizes, however the OS can override that, like you said. in theory it could work...i can borrow my dads 160GB drive and put it in my server to test the theory tomorrow night.

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Hi Bonestonne,

That USB idea is interesting.

But I think I'd go with a PCI UDMA or SATA card first, It would be alot cheaper. :)

I've got an old Compaq Ipaq [PIII 1ghz/512mb/250gb] that I use for work storage. The BIOS limit is something like 100gb, yet I've had a 250gb Maxtor in it for at least 3 years, without any problems at all. Thanks to WinXP and vLite.

I also have a Media Server similar to yours. ;)

Dual PIII 1ghz/1024mb/1.01TB. [The .01TB is an old Xbox 10gb Seagate HDD used for the OS only]

The motherboard has both standard IDE and HPT370 channels, which are limited to 137gb.

The HTP370 works fine, and now has all the 1.0TB. But I've had multiple drives corrupted on the IDE channels. Using both Win2K and WinXP.

I'm thinking of using an old PIII 733mhz/128mb Gateway desktop as the NAS.

I don't know enough about Linux to use it, so I was going to use Win2K. But i'm alittle worried about the standard IDE channels. :unsure:

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my server has hardly any room, the hard drives that would help me with it for its job are beyond out of my price range. 320GB ultra2 SCSI 15kRPM drives...last time i looked, between 400 and 600...more than what i could shell out. for now its got a single 40, it may get another, but my external is my main source of storage.

733mhz with 128mb of ram will run decently, as long as its PC100 or PC133 ram. the NAS you have with the 1ghz CPUs, the only thing that kept me away from them was the lack of L2 cache, which is what my computers always need. i use my computers to help me DJ, whichever one is best for the situation, one looks good, one is very powerful, and the other is an AMD, small and fast, but hot. so whichever suites the event goes.

if theres a problem with storage size, you could always get a PCI IDE adapter, those normally have a higher limit than onboard, sometimes even faster.

i use Windows 2k every now and then, its a very nice OS...i think that as long as you don't have any excessively large partitions, it should work fine. i used 2k on a 40GB drive, it would most likely work all the way to 80GB i think, my pentium 4 had ME on a 60 gig drive when it was made, so 2k should be able to handle about that much.

i'd say that if anything, maybe have another 128mb of ram if possible, because if multiple people access it at once, you don't want it to get swamped.

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