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Limitation of Pentium II MMX with large hard drive

Posted on 2003-03-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
Hi I have a Pentium II MMX with a Intel BI440ZX motherboard and I want to install a large hard drive (60-80 Gigas).
The motherboard especifications say it´s OK (the limit was abou 135 gigas)
But I´va called the shop where I want to buy the hard drive and they told me because it´s a pentium II the limit is 20Giga. To me it doesn´t make any sense. Is there really a hard drive size limit based upon the processor? If so what it would be my limit?
Question by:Ettore

Accepted Solution

journeyman2003 earned 100 total points
ID: 8165622
I've never heard of a Pentium 2 not working with a large hard drive provided that the bios can handle the 80 gigs.
Go to the hard drive manufacturer site and you can download a diagnostic floppy and mostly these will have a dynamic overlay which may make it unnecessary to flash the bios.
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Assisted Solution

jhance earned 100 total points
ID: 8165690
I certainly hope you'll avoid this "shop" in the future.  Their "advice" is absolutely WRONG!  The CPU has no bearing on the maximum size of HDD you can install in the system.  The limiting factors are the BIOS and in some cases the IDE controller hardware.

Some older BIOSs (and your PII MB MAY fall into this category) cannot support larger HDDs without a BIOS update.  In some cases the MB manufacturer may not have updated the BIOS.

In other cases, the limit is 137GB due to BIOS but more often due to IDE controller hardware limits.  Not all IDE hardware can support the 48-bit addressing scheme needed to go beyond 137GB.

If you have a MB that says it supports drives up to 137GB then my guess is that it means what it says.  But even if it does not, there are any number of PCI bus IDE controllers that will enable you to use a 60-80 GB or even larger drive in your system.

Please DON'T buy from a shop that staffs with idiots.  Get your new drive from a reputable vendor!
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