Can I install the additional 250 GB disk on this system?

I have a Sony VAIO VGC-RC110G (Dual-Core) 3GHz, 1GB Memory, 250 GB Disk Windows XP Home (32 Bit).
System came with one 250 GB Serial ATA disk. The system had disk bays for three additional disks and I subsequently purchased 3 additional 250 GB disks for a total of 4 250 GB disks (1 terra byte). I installed the additional disks one at a time. The first 2 disks installed without incident, however, when I attempted to install the third disk it would not install. Is there a limit to the amount of disk space I can have with the XP Home (32 Bit) system. I now have 750 GB of disk space installed and operating without problems.
cjm31Asked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Or maybe the third disk is defective - I've had brand new disks be DOA on me before...
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Fattah089Commented:
Hello cjm31,  There is no limit of diskspace with Windows XP.  How are your hard drives hooked up?  You have 1 Serial ATA and the rest IDE? What are the Jumpers set to? The Jumpers could be your problem.  Make sure none are set the same.  

Let me know so i cna provide you with more information.

Fattah089

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IanThCommented:
no there is no limit in this way
maybe the sata controller was not enabled
as only 2 sata drives go on a controller then obviuosly you had used bith of its connectors and the third one was on a different sata controller

go into you bios and see if its enabled
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cjm31Author Commented:
I currently have three 250 GB disks installed and working correctly. I did not set (or reset) any jumper setting when I installed any of the disks.  (I have the 4th drive installed in the disk bay but it is not attached to the system for power or data). The disk bays are arranged in two sections with two drives in each section.  I removed the cover of the disk bay and the first drive (which came with the system) has a white jumper installed in the far right position (jumpers are configured as four sets of two wires) the other three disks do not have any jumpers. The second and third drive seem to have the same setting - none.
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cjm31Author Commented:
Actually three drives are operating correctly, the first drive came with the system, and the other two I installed, so the third drive should be on the second controller, right?
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cjm31Author Commented:
Is there some way to verify if the disk is operating correctly?
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Fattah089Commented:
Correct cjm31,

You should have every hard drive on a seperate jumper.
In your bios it should read something like this.

IDE PRIMARY MASTER:          (hard drive listed here)
IDE PRIMARY SLAVE:            (hard drive listed here)
IDE SECONDARY MASTER:    (hard drive listed here)
IDE SECONDARY SLAVE:      

You should see 3 listed there. (not your sata)
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willcompCommented:
Are all the drives SATA drives?  If not, which are SATA and which are IDE?
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CarlosMMartinsCommented:
"Is there some way to verify if the disk is operating correctly?"

Once it shows up on the startup BIOS screen, you'll add it to your system using:
control panel -> administrative tools -> computer management -> disk management
(I'm not using an english version window, so the "wording" can change a bit)

Once you create partitions/format, it'll show the disk status.
After that, you can use software verification tools, and/or SMART status monitor to check the disk status regularly.
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cjm31Author Commented:
You should have every hard drive on a seperate jumper.
In your bios it should read something like this.
IDE PRIMARY MASTER:          (hard drive listed here)
IDE PRIMARY SLAVE:            (hard drive listed here)
IDE SECONDARY MASTER:    (hard drive listed here)
IDE SECONDARY SLAVE:      
You should see 3 listed there. (not your sata)
-------------------------------------------------------------------
My BIOS reports:
SATA PORT 0  WDS - WD2500JS-98M
SATA PORT 1  WDS - WD2500JS-00M  
SATA PORT 2  WDS - WD2500JS-00M      
SATA PORT 0  Not Installed
------------------------------------------------------
I plugged in the 4th Drive and the BIOS now says
SATA PORT 0  WDS - WD2500JS-98M
SATA PORT 1  WDS - WD2500JS-00M  
SATA PORT 2  WDS - WD2500JS-00M      
SATA PORT 0  WDC   ROM MODEL HA - 8.0 GB
Any suggestions.
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willcompCommented:
Swap cables on drives 3 and 4 and post what BIOS reports.  There are 2 Port 0's, so that may be problem or drive electronics may be faulty.  Swapping cables should provide the answer.

Since all are SATA drives, there are no master/slave jumpers to set.  Each drive is on its own channel.  The only jumper setting used for WD SATA drives is pins 5 and 6 to limit transfer rate for compatibility with older SATA controllers.
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cjm31Author Commented:
Sorry, I made a mistake in both instances the SATA Port 0 entry should have been SATA Port 3. What is the ROM Model HA - 8.0 GB entry? I rebooted the system and went to "Computer Management" screen, Device Management, Disk entry, and the same entry WDC ROM MODEL HA was there for the 4th entry.  I ran the "Scan for Hardware Changes" tool and the "ROM MODEL HA" entry was deleted and there was no 4th entry.
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cjm31Author Commented:
... Swap cables on drives 3 and 4 and post what BIOS reports.  There are 2 Port 0's, so that may be problem or drive electronics may be faulty.  Swapping cables should provide the answer.

I attempted to switch the data cables, however, there is no leeway in the cables and I cannot switch the data connectors.
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willcompCommented:
Swap drive position then.  Only way to tell for sure is to connect drive to a known working cable and port.
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cjm31Author Commented:
I swapped the 3 with the 4 drive and the BIOS now says:
SATA PORT 0  WDS - WD2500JS-98M
SATA PORT 1  WDS - WD2500JS-00M  
SATA PORT 2  WDS - WD2500JS-00M      
SATA PORT 3  WDC   ROM MODEL HA - 8.0 GB

These are the same settings as the original positions.  
I just remembered that my System Security Software formatted a partition on the “C” drive to store recovery data that may be what the SATA Port 3 entry information is about. But why would this show up only when the new 4th drive is attached?
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CarlosMMartinsCommented:
Just to clear this out, you have no CD/DVD rom drive?
If you have, where is it connected to? IDE? - you can also try disconnecting, just to see if it makes any difference detecting your 4th sata disk.
(it shouldn't be affecting it, but it wouldn't hurt to try)
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willcompCommented:
Try another SATA cable on Port 3.  BIOS is not reading drive properly that is attached to that port.  Bad port, bad cable, or bad mojo is at work.
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Fattah089Commented:
I think you should test out each hard drive seperately.  Plug up each one by itself and see if it loads up and let us know.
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cjm31Author Commented:
OK good idea, I'll test drives seperately. However, I have some traveling to do and I won't be back for a few days. I will advise what I find when I get back.
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cjm31Author Commented:
I'm back, I switched drives, I replaced a "good" drive with the one that was questionable, using the "good" cables.  The guestionable drive registered as SATA 2 WDC - ROM MODEL - HAWK 8.0 GB. and there are only 2 drives on the My Computer screen.  Does this mean that there is something wrong with the drive itself? Does anyone know what the ROM MODEL - HAWK entry means?
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