Hard Disk capacity in BIOS

January 3, 2009 at 05:11:21
Specs: windows xp, 128
I have purchase 160 GB Hard Disk of Maxter brand.My system is 1GHz with 256 MB Ram.The problem is in BIOS it shows 137GB but durning installing windows xp it show 152GB.
What do you suggest should i use the hard disk in the same machine or it is batter to upgrate my machine.Does it will affect my hard disk if i use the same machine? because BIOS is showing 137GB and Windows xp is showsing 152.What is your opinion about it?

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January 3, 2009 at 07:02:37
In order to get the full capacity of the HDD recognized, the motherboard/BIOS has to support 48-bit LBA & XP needs at least SP1. It appears that you have an old system that doesn't support 48-bit LBA. A BIOS update *may* fix it. Can't help you with that though because you didn't bother to post the model number of your Dell.

"48-bit Logical Block Addressing (LBA) is a technology which extends the capacity of IDE ATA/ATAPI devices beyond a previous limit of 137.4 GB."


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January 3, 2009 at 08:08:15
DO NOT run the system that way. As was stated by jam the BIOS is not currently 48 bit LBA compliant. WinXP with any sevice pack is. However, running that way may appear to work for awhile but you will end up with data loss or corruption.

If you can't get a BIOS update that will make your system 48 bit compliant then you have two choices. Fisrt is to use a drive overlay. I would not recommend that for a number of reasons which I won't explain unless you insist. The second is to add a PCI based add in controller card. You can buy on online for about $20. There are variants so be sure to get on correct one.

BTW, your current BIOS is 28 bit LBA compliant.

The 152GB number is all you will ever get from that drive.

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January 3, 2009 at 22:32:13
thanks for your reply. Following are my BIOS information.

BIOS Type: Phoenix
BIOS Date: February 26th 2001
BIOS ID: OptiPlex GX110 -None
Chipset: Intel Whitney 82810E rev 3
SuperIO: NSC 364 rev 228 at port 002E
Manufacturer: Dell Computer Corporation
Motherboard: OptiPlex GX110

Please let me know how cn i update it? What is the method to update my BIOS?

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Related Solutions

January 4, 2009 at 12:28:32
If there is a BIOS update that will allow 48 BIT LBA compliance you need to get it from Dell.

Go to the Dell support site and enter your service tag number off the case. Look for any BIOS updates and read what they were for.

I doubt you will be able to update the BIOS to use that drive but it is worth investigating. I might add that there is some risk involved with flashing the BIOS. If something goes wrong your motherboard will quit working.

If no BIOS update is available then you can buy a controller card that installs into an empty PCI slot that will allow you to use the 160GB drive. The controller card will allow you to use any drive size.

Look at the link below for a controller card.


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January 6, 2009 at 07:54:44
Thanks "OtheHill" for the reply.Please guide me that after buying the card is there still need to update the BIOS or the card will do all and show the capacity in BIOS as well.


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January 6, 2009 at 08:25:27
No need to update the BIOS. I believe you may need to change the boot order in the BIOS settings to boot to SCSI first. That should be explained in the card documentation though. unplug the computer and open the case. Insert the card in a PCI slot. Connect the cable to the drive and the card. Plug in the computer and start up the computer. Immediately enter the BISO screens and reset the boot order to reflect booting to the card. You should re-install Windows at that time.

Just to clarify something. The 160GB hard drive in question is an IDE drive, correct? The card I linked to is for an IDE hard drive. If it is SATA then a different card would be needed.

IDE is the wide ribbon cable. Over an inch wide. SATA is a skinny cable, usually red in color.

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