robin28

How to select a new drive?

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Hi

Expected FAQ but have not found one yet ...

What sort of decision tree should I follow to select second drive for aging Win2k PC?

Found exact match for existing drive but 7 times price of new drive with 4 times capacity. Does it matter if new drive has much higher spec?

Thanks

Robin

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How old are we talking? What chipset/southbridge is your motherboard?

Anyway the most recent limitation that most people are facing is the 32bit LBA address limit of I think 137GB. Everything beyond that can't be seen by older controllers. You need to upgrade to one with 48Bit LBA addressing. It isn't really a problem though as long as you have an open PCI slot. You can stick a cheap ($20) controller card in to get the 48Bit LBA.

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Ouch! I had to look up southbridge. It's an HP Brio, about 5 years old. The Windows 2000 device manager isn't all that helpful about chipset and motherboard but the device manager gives this:

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System Type X86-based PC

Processor x86 Family 6 Model 8 Stepping 6 GenuineIntel ~800 Mhz

BIOS Version Award Medallion BIOS v6.00PG

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Disk Drives

QUANTUM FIREBALL lct15 20

IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers

Primary IDE Channel

Secondary IDE Channel

VIA Bus Master IDE Controller

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From what you say, I could put in an additional 80 or 120 GB drive without worrying about a limit at 137 GB.

I was concerned in case a fast modern drive might not work properly in a slower system but that's what a southbridge is for. Is it?

Thanks

Robin

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As long as the drive is PATA it should be fine.

That interface had different revisions with different speeds.

They were called either ATA1 through ATA5 or UtraATA33 through 66, 100, 133.

Most drives are backwards compatible with slower revisions.

So while the interface between the drive and computer might not be the fastest, the drive is still running at its peak and supplying data as fast as it can.

And part of what StorageReview has been trying to convey over the years is that the interface speed is not that important. It is the underlying speed of the drive itself.

For example the newer SATA drives have interface speeds of 150Gb/s or 300Gb/s. But the data from the drives isn't coming off at anywhere near those speeds. Further if the controller is connected to a regular PCI bus, it has a max throughput rate of data through there that puts a cap on any transfers.

Sounds like you have a VIA based southbridge, that is what provides the bus that the hard drive transfers data through.

I think Samsung makes some nice small drives that would fit your requirements.

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In summary, you can use any ATA drive no matter how fast; the only limitation is how large a disk the BIOS can see. Might go up to 137gig or it might be limited to 32gig. Most drives have a jumper that lets you cap the drive at 32gigs to workaround this problem if you don't want to buy a separate controller card. The major exception is Western Digital; their jumper cap limits the disk to 2gigs :blink:

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