Can I use a new 200GB EIDE internal hard drive on an old (3+ years) IDE PC?

Posted on 2006-06-02
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
..Well?  Can I?
Question by:tenover
    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution


    It depends upon whether or not the BIOS in your older computer supports an IDE drive that is that large.  If you update your BIOS first, then the answer is probably.  Go to the website for the manufacturer of your motherboard and look for bios updates.
    LVL 10

    Assisted Solution

    First hurdle is the BIOS as Expert4XP said above.

    Second hurdle is you need at least Service Pack 1 for WinXP to use the full 200GB.
    LVL 70

    Assisted Solution

    Three years old isn't that old -- it almost certainly supports 48-bit logical block addressing.   But as noted above, there are two elements to this:  (1)  a 48-bit LBA compliant IDE controller; and (2)  48-bit LBA support in the OS.   XP did not provide this support until Service Pack 1.   One issue to be aware of is that if you install the drive and LATER need to restore your system, the original installation media may not have the Service Pack applied -- that will cause a problem.   The best thing to do after you install the drive is to IMAGE your OS, so if you ever need to restore it, you can use the image -- which will already have the service packs applied (as well as your programs, updates, etc.).

    IF your system does not support 48-bit LBA, you can still use the drive by adding a PCI IDE controller with 48-bit LBA support.  This is an excellent one (be aware that many inexpensive add-in controllers do NOT support 48-bit LBA):
    LVL 87

    Assisted Solution

    Even if your BIOS doesn't support 48-bit LBA mode, you can still use new large disks by either using a disk-overlay software (these are available from the HD manufacturers and are usually included on the floppy that comes with the disk if you buy it boxed), but I don't really advise you to do it that way, just as a last resort, as this overlay software can fool other utilities and software to treat the drive wrongly. It is better to add an extra IDE controller like mentioned above. But as gary says, 3 year old PC's should really support 48LBA...

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