Largest HDD I can use in old Thinkpad 390X?

June 19, 2009 at 13:39:05
Specs: Win 2000, 400MHz
hi, do you think there would be a limit to the size
of hard drive i could put in an old thinkpad? would
an 80gb or 120gb work?

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#1
June 19, 2009 at 14:33:30
Best idea is use IBM's documentation. Should contain info.

Many newer drives offer two ways to get it to work. One is a tsr app that cheats the bios, the other is a jumper to limit cylinders.


Also may be bios update to allow larger drives. Don't assume that if you can format it therefor ok.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10


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#2
June 20, 2009 at 22:34:18
Why did you start this topic in the Vista forum?
This model (400mhz, max 512mb ram) certainly does not meet Vista's min. requirements.

This computer supports only IDE (a.k.a. PATA) hard drives.

According to this, your model probably supports a 40gb drive for sure.
http://www.robskorner.org/thinkpad/...

A 60gb drive should be recognized correctely - if the bios version recognizes a 40 gb drive, that indicates the bios version doesn't have the bug(s) that prevent over a 32gb drive from being recognized properly - it will probably recogonize up to at least a 64gb drive, since as far as I have gathered there is no size limitation between the two sizes.

The date in the Maintenance manual for your model referenced at the end of that is 1999. The bugs that limit how large a drive your bios recognizes properly varies according to the brand of code used. Some bugs limit the max size - some (e.g. some 32gb ones) freeze the bios while booting if the size is exceeded. If the bios was based on an Award version, if the bios version was made or updated so it was after about mid 99 it will support recognizing up to 64gb drives, but it won't support recognizing drives larger than that properly unless the bios version was updated and made after about early 2000 - the bios code has a bug in it - it starts counting over again after 64 gb.

So - you could install a 80 gb drive - it may be recognized as 80, or 80 - 64 = ~16gb, or you could install a 120gb drive - it may be recognized as 120, or 120 - 64 = ~56gb.

In those cases, if the bios only recognizes ~16gb or ~56gb, if the drive has size limitation pins, you could install a jumper on those - that would limit the size the bios sees to 32gb or 64gb.
You can find our whether the drive has the drive size limitation option, and what size that limits the bios to seeing, in the jumper and drive specifications for the drive model on the manufacturer's web site, if that info is not on it's label.

There's no way you can use a hard drive larger than 128gb in Windows/the bios/137gb manufacturer's size and have the bios/Windows recognize any more than 128gb because the overall bios version and the main chipset cannot support that, even if you can find a bios update that does support recognizing up to 128gb.



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#3
June 25, 2009 at 13:25:47
hi, i think its in the vista forum because when i registered or first
posted it asked me for my pc details and my desktop has vista
and i guess it defaults to this...?

i have fitted a 120gb. when i used fdisk it would only recognise
48gb, but once inside xp i was able to format the rest of the
unpartitioned drive.


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#4
June 26, 2009 at 09:37:39
".. i think its in the vista forum because when i registered or first
posted it asked me for my pc details and my desktop has vista
and i guess it defaults to this...?"

The defaults don't determine which forum you post in.

You can select New Topic at the top of any Forum list on this site.
You're supposed to..........
- choose a Forum that applies to your situation - that's chosen by YOU, either by you choosing which forum list you click on the New Topic button in, or by you choosing a suitable Subcategory (Forum) after you click on New Topic.
- if the other default settings, which are the ones you initially supplied by default, regarding OS, CPU, RAM, etc, do not apply to the subject of your topic, you're supposed to change them to suit what the Topic is about

"i have fitted a 120gb. when i used fdisk it would only recognise
48gb..........

You stated in your first post specs the OS is 2000 - you posted this Topic in the Vista forum - now you're saying you used Fdisk, and you're using XP for the drive!

If XP can recognize the size of the entire drive, ~111.758 binary gb, in Disk Management, then I suspect you used 98 or 98SE's Fdisk, and your mboard bios version will recognize drives up to 128gb binary size (137gb manufacturer's size) fine.
.......

Scenario 1 - the Fdisk disk version you used is the original one for 98 or 98SE - it has a >64gb recogniton bug - if XP's Disk Management sees the entire physical drive capacity , your mboard bios version does not have a size recognition bug.

XP (and later, and 2000) doesn't have Fdisk!
If you actually used Fdisk, which Fdisk did you use?
If you did use Fdisk, which is completely unnecessary for 2000 and up - Setup will partition the drive if it has no data, or if you choose to delete existing partitionsand make a new one - ....
- Win 98 and 98SE's Fdisk has a bug that prevents drives or FAT32 drive partitions > 64gb from being recognized properly - it starts counting from zero after 64gb has been exceeded. There is an updated Fdisk for 98 and 98SE that has doesn't have that bug.
......

Scenario 2 - The Fdisk version you used does not have a size recognition bug, but your mboard bios version does.
This probably doesn't apply to your case.

- if you used ME's Fdisk, it doesn't have that bug
OR - if you used a modern third party Dos OS's Fdisk, or a manufacturer's free hard drive prepartion program's Fdisk, it probably doesn't have that bug.
In that case, that Fdisk can only report the size the bios version recognizes, and the bios version must have a > 64gb hard drive recognition bug.
XP (and above, and 2000) would not be able to recognize the size of the entire drive in Disk Management any larger than the mboard bios version recognizes, at least for this old main chipset.
......

Scenario 3 - you merely looked at the drive with Fdisk, and the mboard bios version has a >64gb size recognition bug.
This probably doesn't apply to your case.

Or do you mean you booted with the XP CD and Setup only recognized a ~48gb total size for the drive??
That indicates your bios version has a > 64gb hard drive recognition bug - in this case the bios starts counting from zero again after 64gb has been exceeded.
XP (and above, and 2000) would not be able to recognize the size of the entire drive in Disk Management any larger than the mboard bios version recognizes, at least for this old main chipset.
..............

The ~48gb size.

Hard drive manufacturers always specify the size of a drive as a decimal size, but that's bogus, because your operating system , and most if not all mboard bioses, recognize a drive as it's binary size.
Either way the size is stated, the drive has the same total number of sectors and bytes, or very close to that.

Your manufacturer's stated size is ~120gb, but that's with them using the decimal 1gb=1,000,000,000 bytes.

There are 1,073,741,824 bytes in a binary gb.
(1,024 bytes per kb x 1,024 kb per mb x 1,024 mb per gb)

~120gb divided by 1.073,741 = ~111.758 binary gb - 64 binary gb = ~47.758gb is detected by the bios version
OR you used 98 or 98SE's original Fdisk version, and it's bug subtracted 64gb from the size of the drive.
......

".... but once inside xp i was able to format the rest of the
unpartitioned drive."

If XP can recognize the size of the entire drive, ~111.758 binary gb, then your bios version doesn't have a >64gb hard drive size recognition bug, and you must have used a Fdisk version that does have the bug to merely look at it, OR you made a FAT32 partition with that Fdisk version on the drive before you ran XP's Setup.

There are software tweaks for some old main chipsets that can get around a bios detected drive size limitation, but that probably does not apply to the main chipset on this particular mboard, and in any case XP (and above, and 2000) would not have the ability built in to overcome the bios version size limitation.

If you DID make a FAT32 partition with that Fdisk version on the drive before you ran XP's Setup......
if you had booted with the XP CD and deleted existing parrtitions made by Fdisk, you could have had XP make one full size NTFS partition on the drive if you wanted to.

However, if you have only one hard drive, it's not recommended you make just one partition on the drive - you should make at least two - the second one, or multiple other ones, can be partitioned and formatted after Setup has finished in Disk Management.
........

If you wanted to use FAT32 partitioning, XP (and above, and 2000) won't let you do that for a partition larger than 32gb (binary) - but you can use 98's, 98SE's (with the updated Fdisk) , or ME's Fdisk, to use FAT32 partitioning on the whole drive (up to 128gb, binary),
OR you can use third party drive preparation software, which probably doesn't have the 128gb binary size limit.



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