Internal Hard Drives

July 10, 2010 at 18:58:09
Specs: Windows XP, Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.60GHz 2.59GHz, 512 MB of Ram
Ok I have a Gateway 500XL model computer with Win XP and mostly standerd stuff still besides the power, video and sound card. Now I want to get a new internal hard drive for it and I don't want to buy something that wont work. I am not sure what interface I need SATA or PATA. All I know is I want the most memory for the lowest price and be able to plug it in and have no issues. Please help. Thank you.

System info: Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.60GHz 2.59GHz, 512 MB of Ram

See More: Internal Hard Drives

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July 10, 2010 at 19:59:07
I'm sure your system would support up to a 120GB PATA HDD (either ATA100 or ATA133), but I'm not sure if it will support larger capacities. It would depend on whether the BIOS supports 48-bit LBA or not. You'll have to do some googling to find out.

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July 11, 2010 at 05:29:58
I already have a 120GB hard drive which was standerd on the system. I would hope in 2003 when my computer was pretty top of the line that there was and still is larger Hard Drives I could get. Thank you very much.

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July 11, 2010 at 05:54:15
I upgraded the HD in my system, from 60GB IDE to 500GB Sata and have had no issues.

I purchased a SAMSUNG HD501LJ [500GB] about 12 months ago now and it seriously was the best buy. I paid around $50.00 for it and am more than happy with the quality. It is a reliable HD and is effortless to install.
My current system is an Intel D865GLC mobo, 2.66ghz CPU, 1.75GB Ram.
2 X LG DvD Burners, 1 X 1 1/4 Floppy and the two Hard Drives. I use the 500GB as my main and the 60GB as my photo backup drive.
Other than that, I am running a fairly stock system, but get unbelievable reliabilty from it.

If you are interested in a SAMSUNG HD501LJ [500GB] Hard Drive, then have a look here:

Amazon sells BRAND NEW ones for $50.00 :)

Here are the basic specs:
Spinpoint T166 SATA series T166 series capacity : 500 GB interface : SATA 3.0 Gbps buffer memory : 16 MB.

Hope that is of some use, GOOD LUCK MATE :)

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Related Solutions

July 11, 2010 at 07:18:47
"I upgraded the HD in my system, from 60GB IDE to 500GB Sata and have had no issues"

DJ, since your board supports SATA, it would also support 48-bit LBA & therefore HDDs larger than 120GB. This guy's system is at least 7 yrs old & it supports PATA (IDE) only.

"I already have a 120GB hard drive which was standerd on the system"

It doesn't mean your motherboard/BIOS supports HDDs larger than that. You're going to have to do some research.

I think you both need to read up on 48-bit LBA:

And you can try using the HDINFO Tool to see if it can identify whether your BIOS supports 48-bit or not. If it does, the sky's the limit...if it doesn't, 120GB is the limit:

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July 11, 2010 at 07:39:42
Lord Galamushi

Apparently, some configurations of the 500XL came with a hard drive larger than 137gb, so getting a hard drive larger than that is not a problem - your bios version / main chipset supports 48 bit LBA. .


Mighty 3GB Processor! 230GB Hard Drive!

I can't find any info about your model on the Gateway site.
The few links I found to info about your model on the web that link to the Gateway site no longer work,


I found a mention of it soon to be introduced dated in late 2002:

Gateway Readies 3.06-GHz PC
Desktop models 700XL and 500XL scheduled to ship next week powered by Intel's newest Pentium.

Tom Krazit, IDG News
Nov 12, 2002 4:00 pm

so it's probably about seven years old, and I saw no mention of SATA in the many "hits" I looked at,

so - the hard drive drive you have is probably IDE (a.k.a EIDE, PATA) .

What's the model of it shown in Device Manager ?
Searching with that will reveal whether it's IDE.

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July 11, 2010 at 08:13:08
Well Jam I got the tool and it said that my current hard drive didn't support 48 -bit but that means nothing since I wanted to know about the BIOS on the motherboard and the program is not free to find out that.

That being said I went to gateway both online and by phone and neither one could tell me about a computer "This Old" Oh well for buying "LIFETIME SUPPORT" whats the point if they can't even tell you about your computer 7 years later.

I'll go with a safe buy based on your advice. This should do. Both cheep and just enough to get me by:

If I want more I'll just have to buy another External USB hard drive. Last one failed after 3 years and I lost 320GB of data. I am sure I can always go larger externally right?

Although as I found out you always have to back up everything, even on your backup.

Thank you for the help.

Tubesandwires, thanks for the research the intel pentium 4 was the newest CPU at it's time and I made sure that was what was put into this model. I can't remember if I had them put it there or if it was already like that, but this computer was bought late 2003. Some componets were the upgrades but like I said above I'll play it safe since this computer is just getting older.

I was hopeing to slowly be able to just continue to upgrade it but it looks like the motherboard is now out dated and that means half the stuff that plugs into it won't be able to go into a new motherboard. (Video & Sound cards, Ram and hard drives ) but as long as it all fits into this tower it's still cheeper to upgrade all that stuff then to buy an all new computer.

Thanks again everyone.

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July 11, 2010 at 08:35:05
Just a thought for you. I know that I am running one HD through the SATA and the other through IDE, but I am running 2 Hard Drives.
If you set your main HD as the Master, purchased another 120GB HD and set it as the Slave and then connected them both to the one IDE cable, in theory that would give you a total of 240GB.
The Master could be used as the main operating HD and the Slave could be used purely as a 'Storage Device'.

Don't quote me on any of this, I'm just going on the method that I have mine set up.
Please excuse me if I am wrong. :)

PS: Just for your record:

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July 11, 2010 at 08:57:23
Lord Galamushi

Apparently there are at least 4 possible motherboards that can be in the 500XL, but if yours DOES have 4 ram slots, that can only be the newest one and it DOES support 48 bit LBA.
Whether your present hard drive supports 48 bit LBA is NOT RELEVANT - of course it doesn't - it's smaller than 137gb !
Your mboard is probably the same as for the 500XL example system at the first link in response 5 - it came with a 230gb hard drive. (There is no mention of SATA in that ad.)

"..... I went to gateway both online and by phone and neither one could tell me about a computer "This Old" "

That's not surprising to me.
If I can't find any info about the 500XL on the Gateway web site, then they probably can't either.
Sometimes brand name system or mboard web sites lose the info about some of their older models over the years (e.g. HP, Gigabyte), or they just don't bother providing support for their older models, or they have lost all the older info (e.g. ECS).
The Gateway site does have info about 500 series models a lot older than the 500XL, however.

Apparently here are at least 4 possible mboards.

Crucial lists 5 possibilities for the 500 series, two of which use SDram (the original SDram) not DDR ram (DDR SDram), but they do not list 500XL specifically, so one or more of those may not apply.

500 Series (DDR PC2100)
2 ram slots, max 512mb per slot, PC2100 or PC2700

500 Series (DDR PC2700)
2 ram slots, max 1gb per slot, PC2700 or PC3200

"My mother board has 4 slots I have two 256 DDR "

This probably applies to your mboard....

500 Series (DDR PC3200)
4 ram slots, max 1gb per slot, PC3200

Memory Giant DOES list 500XL specifically.

500XL (SDRAM PC133)
3 ram slots, max 512mb per slot, PC133

That's the only only one Kingston lists ram for (500S/500XL; Intel 845 main chipset)

500XL (DDR)
2 ram slots, max 1gb per slot, PC2100 or PC2700

500XL 2.66GHz (or faster ?)
2 ram slots, max 1gb per slot, PC2700

"My mother board has 4 slots I have two 256 DDR "

This applies to your mboard....

500XL (DDR400)
4 ram slots, max 1gb per slot, PC3200 :

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July 11, 2010 at 11:04:27
Tubesandwires you are awsome. I was also asking about Ram in another place and this is my motherboard:

500XL (DDR400)
4 ram slots, max 1gb per slot, PC3200 :

And as you pointed out it DOES support 48 bit LBA.

Which means I can go higher. Still not sure about PATA or SATA for internal hard drives. PATA for sure.

Thanks again.

Going to try this hard drive:

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July 11, 2010 at 13:09:27
Search on the web using the model number of the hard drive you already have - that will tell you whether its IDE or SATA.

RIGHT click on My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager
Double click on Disk drives - the model is shown there.
If searching using the whole model number doesn't work, sometimes you need to not use some of the letters or numbers of the the model listed at the end of the characters.

Or, remove the left side panel on the case as seen when you're looking at the front of the case, and see whether the data cable to the hard drive is 40 pin (usually it's a wide ribbon cable) or the narrow SATA data cable.

I found no detailed info about any of the possible mboards (that use DDR ram) for your model.
Your mboard may or may not have (a) SATA drive controller(s) / headers for SATA data cables as well.
Your mboard was made at a time when some mboards had only IDE drive controllers, others had both IDE and SATA drive controllers, but the SATA support was for max 150mb/sec burst speeds, not the SATA II 300mb/sec burst speeds later mboards are capable of.
If your mboard has SATA data cable headers, you could buy a SATA hard drive, however, all new SATA hard drives have SATA II specs. Some older mboard main chipsets that support only SATA specs (150mb/sec burst speeds) will recognize SATA II drives anyway as SATA drives and run them at 150mb/sec max, but some other older main chipsets will not recognize a SATA II drive at all, unless you install a jumper on the drive to limit it to being seen as a SATA drive (150mb/sec max burst speed). Therefore, buy a model that has the pins on it that a jumper can be installed on to limit it to being seen as a SATA drive. Not all harddrive models have that capability (e.g. Seagate SATA II drives do - the 500gb ones I've bought have the tiny grey jumpered installed on them when you get the new drive - it's already set to SATA specs.)

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July 11, 2010 at 13:53:14
Device manager says:

* USB 2.0 SD MMC Reader USB Device

Googled it and looked around. Nothing about both SATA and PATA. So PATA is the for sure bet.


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July 11, 2010 at 15:31:09
If you search with all of: WD1200BB-53CAAI
you get no "hits".

As I pointed out, sometimes you need to search using less than that.
In this case, the part of that after the dash may indicate where and when it was made and which batch it was in, or similar. You're not going to get a "hit" on the web for the whole thing, unless someone else posted info about exactly the same string.

Search using: WD1200BB

Note that you get many "hits" where the second part of the string is variously different.

It's an IDE (EIDE) drive:

"Nothing about both SATA and PATA."

Most modern hard drives are either SATA or PATA (a.ka. IDE, EIDE).
What I was talking of is the mboard might support both IDE and SATA drives.
There was no such term as a PATA hard drive until SATA drives came out.
PATA = Parallel ATA - all hard drives that use standards previous to SATA standards transfer data via a parallel method. SATA = Serial ATA - the data is transfered by a serial method.
ATA = AT Attachment - the first IDE hard drives were used in IBM AT computers.
IDE = Integrated Drive Electronics - the drive's controller is on the board on the drive - drives previous to that had to be connected to a drive controller card or a controller chipset built into the mboard as well as have a board on the drive (and two data cables) .
EIDE = Enhanced? IDE
All IDE hard drives made since the late 90's or so are EIDE.
The IDE data header on the mboard is merely a convenient way of connecting the data connection of the drive to the mboard's bus. Early AT mboards and clones didn't have that, and you connected the IDE data cable to a card in a slot. Some early IDE drives were on a card you installed in a regular mboard slot - no data cable to the mboard or to another card.
When you disable an IDE controller in the mboard's bios, you're merely logically disconnecting some connection the header needs to communicate with the drive's board.
The mboard's main chipset must support communicating with whatever the type of drive controller it is on the drive, of course.

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July 11, 2010 at 16:52:43

If you have an open PCI slot you could install a PCI based hard drive controller card. If you want to get the best bang for the buck SATA hard drives are the way to go. You will most likely need a controller card to run a SATA hard drive of any size.

SATA hard drives are all type SATA II now. However, controller cards that can run SATA II speeds are more expensive. I would recommend you buy a SATA I controller card and a SATA II hard drive of whatever capacity you wish.

I don't recommend buying any hardware from ebay. Look at the links below for both items. Read the reviews for the item before buying.

If you buy an OEM or bare drive you may need to get mounting screws and a power adapter from Molex to SATA power.

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