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BX Chipset Work With A 200 GB HDD?

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It's unlikely that BIOS will support 48-bit LBA needed for hard drives over 128/137GB. The size of the HDD can be limited by either both or neither OS or BIOS.

One cannot say whether or not it will work for certain. In some cases, it will, in some it might not. One can say for certain that the BIOS on it's own won't be able to utilise the full capacity, but a recent OS (e.g. XP SP1+) or drive overlay software may allow you to.

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I have a BX6 Rev 2.0 mobo and have the latest bios 'qr'.

- http://fae.abit.com.tw/eng/download/bios/bx620.htm

I want to purchase a 200gb hdd and make the old computer my data server. I'm wondering if this will work or not with my server.

Also is the size of a hdd you can run limited by the bios or the os?

Thanks for any help.

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As well as the 137 gig issue as has been pointed out, the other one is that of UDMA33 being the maximum transfer mode with the BX's onboard IDE.

This will most assuredly bottleneck any modern desk.

You shouldn't have any problem using a 200 gig disk with a cheap PCI controller though.

greg

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The only tip I can offer is this.

I ran windows XP PRO SP2 on a old P-150 for a bit. I added a large harddrive, I think around 160 gig. The Bios only saw it as a 8 something gig drive, but windows would load and see the whole drive without any problems, I was able to use the entire drive. So the bios may limit you, but a modern OS should see the drive.

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Forgot to add.

I had to install windows using a windows xp sp2 included on disk newer version. The older windows xp disk without sp2 for some reason did not see the entire drive, I figure they fixed some drive size limit with sp2.

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Wouldn't using an overlay help him with a large disk (software included in the hard drive box)? I just installed a large drive on a piece of crap just last week, & had no issues. Maybe it wasn't a 200 gigger though. Or maybe the BIOS wasn't a limiting factor in my case. Christ, I can't remember stinker anymore....

Edited by Ron_Jeremy

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As well as the 137 gig issue as has been pointed out, the other one is that of UDMA33 being the maximum transfer mode with the BX's onboard IDE.

This will most assuredly bottleneck any modern desk.

You shouldn't have any problem using a 200 gig disk with a cheap PCI controller though.

greg

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Looking at the performance database current ATA-100/ATA-133 max out at right around 60MB/s on the outer tracks. On the inner tracks, they drop down to 40MB/s. So yes, it's going to bottle neck the disk in sequential transfer. Yes, it's going to severely bottleneck the disk in buffer accesses. In short burst-type access, it's probably not a bottleneck as access times can pull a modern disk down into the single digit MB/s range. So yeah, you'll most definately take a performance hit running it at ATA-33, but it's not going to be crippling.

A cheap controller card is $17, a basic Promise controller card is $25. Just how much is that performance worth? A 200GB hard drive is only $97, does it really matter if it doesn't perform up to its full potential in a system using a BX chipset? Maybe if this is to be a NAS box with gigabit ethernet.

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Thanks for your opinions.

I'm going to go ahead and order the Maxtor Diamond Max 10 200GB w/ 16mb of cache and see if it works for the full 200gb or not. If it doesn't I suppose I'll have to get a cheap controller card. I'm not really too concerned with the speed as all I'll be doing is using the drive for storage and to watch movies off of. The computers been working great so far as I got a tv-out video card and hooked it up to a new HDTV and have been playing tv-shows on the big screen.

Currently I have a 40GB Maxtor in there that's limited to UDMA 33, with a 10/100 NIC. The only problem I have with it is when watching a movie off another computer on the network once in a while the video will stutter, not sure if this is because of the UDMA 33 limit or the comps just too slow...

Anyway I'll update this post when I get the drive in a few days.

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Currently I have a 40GB Maxtor in there that's limited to UDMA 33, with a 10/100 NIC. The only problem I have with it is when watching a movie off another computer on the network once in a while the video will stutter, not sure if this is because of the UDMA 33 limit or the comps just too slow...

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It's not the ATA/33 bus holding it back in this case. First, your network is 100mbit which tops out around 12MB/sec (less with windows file sharing). That's already slower than the ATA/33 bus. As for the stutter, what's going on there is seek delay due to having 2 I/O streams. Transfer rates drop way down with multiple streams (note: much of the video I/O is buffered, so it's not like contention is occuring all the time with just 2 streams, hence the stutter is only occasional. With more computers all watching videos, contention plays a much larger role). Check out the old iometer scores for your drive and look up the MB/sec metric for random I/O. You may be surprised how low it is compared to sequential transfer rate. For a home media server, though, I think the diamondmax 10 is a fine drive. The 16MB cache should help to eliminate the stutter for 2 computers watching at the same time. (In fact, I use a 300GB SATA diamondmax 10 for my media server and don't have problems with stutter. I did, however, when my media drive was a WD2500JB).

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If your OS is on another disk, it may detect the disk at it's correct size, regardless of any BIOS limitations but this isn't certain. You're right about trying to install the disk and see if it works. PCI IDE controllers don't cost much but it's still a waste of money if you don't need one.

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Forgot to add.

I had to install windows using a windows xp sp2 included on disk newer version.  The older windows xp disk without sp2 for some reason did not see the entire drive, I figure they fixed some drive size limit with sp2.

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It seems that the reason you needed WinXP SP2 is that it includes the patch so Windows can reference hdd's larger than 137GB.

- http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/ar...s/Q303/0/13.ASP

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Well I got word back from Abit and they say that the BX6 R2 only supports a max HDD of 75gb.

- http://fae.abit.com.tw/eng/faq/generic/check75gb.htm

I'm still going to install the drive though anyway and see if Windows XP SP2 will be able to detect it. Hopefully it will.

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That seems to be an old page from back in the days when a 75GB drive was the largest you could get. I know I've used a 120GB drive in my BX board. I think mine maxes out at 128gb bytes (128 * 1024^3). With a PCI addon card, it detects my 250GB drives without a problem.

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Yup, I too have the ABit BX6r2, and happily using a Samsung SP1213N (120 GB).

Make a 128 GB partition on the drive (or a bit smaller to be on the safe side), provided that the BIOS/Windows will see it as a such drive. Or get a new PCI controller (or eBay for used one).

Cheers,

Jan

Edited by Jan Kivar

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Hey, actually it works perfectly fine. Had the latest 2000 bios and installed it in a newer computer system and formatted it into 2 different partition(10, 180) and then put it in the bx2 system and installed a new version of xp sp2.

Everything's working great so far.

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You're asking for data corruption there, the bx chipset wont be able to access more than the 1st 120GB, if the OS tries to access further it could likely wrap around and delete the beginning of the disk by mistake... on the best case it may only mark those clusters past 120GB as bad and unusable in the file system. Meaning that if you move the drive to a new controller you'll have to reformat the partition to regain those clusters.

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I don't think the chipset (or the PIIX4E, more specifically) would be the problem, since the drivers (standard MS) support 48 bit LBA. Nonetheless a little verification of proper operation can't hurt. BTW, since the drive carries the OS as well, that Promise controller may have been a good idea after all.

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Even with the latest BIOS at the time- about 2 years ago-, my Asus P2B (also on the i440BX) wouldn't see the 80GB drive I put on it. I'd grab a controller card, even if it's purely for performance reasons.

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Our group has a whole bunch of Asus BX boards in various revisions up to a rare socket370 version with a second on-board ATA66 (CMD) controller, and years of tweaking and upgrades have shown that none of them get past the BIOS limitation. i440BX chipset's ATA33 controllers are limited to 128(137)GB IDE drives.

See these for 48-bit LBA support on intel mb products:

http://www.48bitlba.com/faq.htm#FAQ2

http://support.intel.com/support/chipsets/...b/CS-009281.htm

Edited by tracker

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No BX/PIIX4 system has BIOS support for LBA-48. Microsoft clearly states their 2K/XP IDE drives will NOT use LBA-48 in that situation.

People think they can work around the problem by partitioning using another tool, but this always results in corruption when you write beyond 128GB.

Intel's IAA will do LBA-48, but it does not support the PIIX4.

Anyone tried setting the drive type to NONE in BIOS setup?

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