Replacing ATA/33 drive with ATA100

I would like to replace the original Quantum Fireball ATA/33 6GB drive with a 60GB Western Digital ATA/100 drive with 2MB of cache.  The computer is a 500MHz PIII HP desktop with a 100MHz bus, using Windows 2000 Workstation Professional as the OS.

My questions are:

1. Will it work or, will it damage either the drive or the computer hardware?

2. If it is OK to change, what % gain would be in data access/transfer rate? (since all my work is database related)

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For a P3/500 it is probable that the bios won't support such a large harddisc properly. Check carefully, because you can suffer data loss later even if everything seems to work properly at first.
Windows 2000 itself won't be a problem, but the thing is that even the latest operating systems need to rely on the bios for the very first boot sequence steps.
You may check if there is a newer bios available supporting such large drives (one of the most common 'barriers' is 8GB, followed by 32GB), visit the manufacturer homepage to check.
If your mainboard bios does not support such large drives, you can always add a PCI controller card with its own bios and hook up the drive there. This will result in about 25-30 USD extra costs but guarantee hassle-free usage of the drive. And depending on the IDE ports on your mainboard, it may even result in a noticeable speed increase.
1 It should work. Can't see how it would damage anythinng

2 The % is hard to determine. Boot time should be faster and any disk access should be faster. But most of your database work is probably loaded in memory so overall once you launch the programs involved the disk is pretty much out of play until the database has some write functions to perform or needs to once and while read something from the disk
How much RAM do you have. 512MB's might help you as well if don't already have that much.
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