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137Gb Drive Limitation/48 Bit LBA Addressing - Unable to see full Drive capacity.

Evening all!

I have a Sony Vaio VGN-S360 (PCG-6FIL) Laptop.  This is a great little computer that has a few more years of life left in it. Certainly a lot better then most net books being sold today and it’s only a tad bit larger.  I just installed a 320gb WD pata hard drive.  I’m only able to see 137gb of that drive.  I’ve tried a lot of different things and haven’t been able to find a solution.  I want to be able to see the full 320gb and be able to use Acronis true Image to image the old drive to the new drive.  

I have been able to install an Ontrack drive overlay but Acronis doesn’t like that. I get an incompatible partition with Ontrack installed.  I’ve done some reading and see the limitation is related to not being capable of 48 Bit LBA addressing and not having ACPI Support in the bios.

I have checked for the latest Bios upgrades and nothing is available from Sony.  

Just wondering if anyone has any suggesting to accomplish my goals of accessing the full 320Gb and being able to use Acronis to image the old drive to the new drive.  

I would seriously entertain the idea of using a hacked bios to overcome this limitation if the hardware is capable.  

Looking for any and all ideas.
Thank you
Randy
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sattech2000
Asked:
sattech2000
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2 Solutions
 
dbruntonCommented:
This may be the OS rather than the Sony.

See here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303013 on how to enable it in Windows XP.

Also see http://www.largeharddrivesupport.windowsreinstall.com/winxp.htm#1%20-%2048%20bit%20Bios%20Support%C2%A0  If Sony hasn't enabled their BIOS to support it then you may be out of luck.  May pay to check with Sony.
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BBGNCommented:
what OS are you running?  if its XP have you performed a windows update?  

heres an MS fix for similar symptoms...

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303013
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sattech2000Author Commented:
Opps, It's windows XP service pack 3 with all updates installed as of today.  I will check into those links in a little bit.  I did check a few out earlier but they were pre sp1 related.  
Thank you
Randy
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nobusCommented:
first - does the biso see the drive correct size?
second - never install a disk overlay soft- it will cause later problems (backup..) as you've seen
3rd : here all the info on disk size barriers : http://reviews.cnet.com/dvd-drives/toshiba-sd-r6112-dvd/1707-3212_7-30641803.html
your problem is a BIOS problem - check out the suggested fixes !
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nobusCommented:
and check also if there is a bios update availabele, and that it fixes your problem - before updating the bios !
here the link :  http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/swu-download.pl?mdl=VGNS360&upd_id=1817&os_id=7
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sattech2000Author Commented:
All of the links above refear to pre SP1.  I have SP3 installed so that's not an issue.  
I also have the latest BIOS installed from Sony.  
I have used drive overlays in the past without a problem and understand the potential risks that are involved.  I will say that I do not like doing that but if nothing else works then what choice is left?

I contacted Sony and they said they do not recommend upgrading the hard drive. I said thank you, have a nice day.  

nobus: The Bios only see's 137 Gb.  That tells me It's not OS related unless something is not set correctly for ACPI.  I could be wrong though.  Your link about disk size barriers refers to something completely unrelated. However I think I now have a basic understanding of the 48bit lba and ACPI bios limitation.  

I think I'm going to venture in the direction of hacking the BIOS unless someone else has another idea.  I completely understand the risks involved.  Any information on that besides don't do it would be helpful.  

Thank you
Randy

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dbruntonCommented:
From http://www.biosman.com/  (this company supplies BIOS updates)

Do you have a BIOS update that will enable my motherboard to support larger hard drives?

Answers!

1. If your motherboard' manufacturer's website does not have a BIOS update to download that specifically mentions support for large hard drives, (48bit support), then we do not have it either. You can try WIM's BIOS page. He does have some enhanced BIOS's. (free)


WIM http://www.wimsbios.com/

The other BIOS company for updates is http://biosagentplus.com/ but I would email them first to see if they can help.
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nobusCommented:
>>  Your link about disk size barriers refers to something completely unrelated   <<  i fil to understand this - it explicitly addresses the 137 Gb barrier; and you just said the bios only sees 137 Gb, so...

You can try to partition the disk in 120 Gb parts

and if you hack the bios - keep us posted; because it's not very simple !
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
I would rather sell the laptop and get new one than playing with BIOS. In case you fail you loose entire laptop as the BIOS hack failure is a dead MB.
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sattech2000Author Commented:
by nature i'm a gambler.  The risk/reward in this case is worth it.  If it works then i'll be more confident the next time.  If it doesn't then i'll learn from my mistakes and not repeat them the next time.  either way I will learn a lot about the bios and will certainly make educated decisions as I proceed.  I'm not going to just blindly jump in there and start messing around.  I see a lot of resources out there that get pretty technical and I find that very interesting.  This is how I learn.  
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Ok. Respectful note. Wish you good luck.
Nox
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nobusCommented:
and as said - keep us posted - always interesting issue
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sattech2000Author Commented:
Hmmm This was listed as abandoned witch it's not.  It's still a work in progress but I can't ask anymore questions until I accept a solution so i'll accept a comment of mine.  
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nobusCommented:
i fear you can't do that without  receiving objections, since good suggestions were made
i'll recap : the 48-bit size barrier is IN THE BIOS - not in the OS.
if the bios can't work with it - that's it.
if a bios update tells you  that it handles the 48-bit issue - then ok...
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