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Accessing More Than 137gb On Large Hard Disks (read)

By Tedster · 20 replies
Nov 6, 2005
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  1. Noobs -

    When installing an ultra large hard disk (bigger than 137gb), you must ensure your BIOS and service packs are up to date.

    Operating systems and system BIOS have separate limitations that are related to specific hard drive capacities that affect how your hard drive will be supported.

    137GB barrier:

    The previous standard for IDE/ATA interface uses 28-bit addressing which cannot recognize more than 137.4 GB of storage. To overcome this capacity barrier, larger hard drives have adopted a 48-bit addressing system which must be used in newer computer systems with updated controller chips/cards, BIOS codes, and operating system service packs.

    W2K and XP users must have the latest service packs installed to access more than 137GB.

    Certain operating system utilities such as scandisk and defrag do not work properly with hard disks more than 137gb.

    To avoid problems, partition your hard disks with 137gb or less.
    If you still desire more than 137gb in a partition your hard disk must have the latest service packs and BIOS updates along with a 48bit controller card (if it isn't built into your motherboard. Newer motherboards needn't worry.)

    32GB barrier:

    If your BIOS was released before June 1999 your system may stall with drives larger than 32GB. The only solution is to update your BIOS.

    Most hard disk manufactuers provide a partition CD which allows users to low-level format hard disks and create paritions if desired. This may be a work-around to those who do not have or do not want the latest service packs.

    SATA drives:

    If running SATA with XP, it is NOT recommended to run SATA along with IDE/ATA. (Use one or the other.) XP sometimes gets confused where to look for the OS and normally defaults to IDE/ATA. You must have the appropriate SATA drivers when installing a SATA drive(s) on your system. XP does not default to SATA formatting otherwise.
  2. patio

    patio TS Guru Posts: 480

    Should be a sticky...

    patio. :cool:
  3. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,049   +11

    And Win2k users need to add EnableBigLba to registry.

  4. Eddy Rassy

    Eddy Rassy TS Rookie Posts: 68

    If you have a Maxtor hard drive larger than 137GB
    Upgrade the operating system to either Windows 2000 with Service Pack 3 (or newer) or Windows XP with Service Pack 1 (or newer) and download the Maxtor Big Drive Enabler software patch.The Maxtor Big Drive Enabler, once executed, will update the Windows registry for large drive support.
    I did it, it works.........
    this link:
  5. lukeyu

    lukeyu TS Rookie

    The ability to see only 137 gigs of a large hard drive is a limitation of the computer's BIOS. This limitation is found in motherboards which are more than a few years old, newer motherboards do not have this limitation. Windows may see the full size but some software works outside of Windows and is dependant on the computer’s BIOS. In order to have the computer's BIOS see the full drive size, which will allow the software to see the full drive size, there are several options.

    The best option is to search the motherboard or the BIOS software website for information on "flashing" the BIOS. This should upgrade the firmware to see past this limitation. You can also install a hard drive controller card. There is also software which often comes with large drives that can "trick" the motherboard to see the large drive. I do not recommend this, or products are incompatible with this software.
  6. hoshantm

    hoshantm TS Rookie

  7. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,182

    If you're running XP, have you installed at least Service Pack 1 ?
  8. superoe

    superoe TS Rookie

    i've played around with my computer's bios, could that be a reason for it to not recognize a 200 usb hdd ?


  9. Nakhar

    Nakhar TS Rookie


    I just bought a seagate baracuda st3250823as and gigabyte's ga-k8n-sli mainbord (sata disk and mainboard with 4 sata slots). the problem is that mainboard and windows only see 137 gb, and i cannot overcome this problem. Even when i use disk wizartd it only see 137gb and not even a byte more, i downloaded a newer bios, got a f6 version now, previous was a f4, but still it doesn't work. Maybe you'll find a sollution for this problem??
  10. Nakhar

    Nakhar TS Rookie

    Yes i have service pack(2), it's integrated with my windows(xp pro) installation.
  11. Eddy Rassy

    Eddy Rassy TS Rookie Posts: 68

  12. kyle90316

    kyle90316 TS Rookie

    Well i think this might be my problem, when i try to install xp on my sata drive it does the setup files reboots but does not install it goes back into the setup screen to install the setup files, my SATA drive was OEM so i dont have a driver disc could someone tell me if this is my problem, and if so what to do.
  13. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,254   +538

    Kyle, the SATA/RAID controller drivers don't come with the SATA hard drives, they come with the motherboard. If you don't have them, go to your motherboard's website and you should find them to download. Usually you need a floppy to install them.
  14. kyle90316

    kyle90316 TS Rookie

    so, can i use the disc my mobo came with or have to use the floppy.
  15. newtopc

    newtopc TS Rookie

    Maxtor 6B160PO

    Ello all,
    After looking at some of the thread's here was just thinking if i could do anything to my h/d to make it big i have a Maxtor 6B160PO when i got it i was told it was a 160gb h/d, after putting XP on it i now only have 127gb. Dose that sound right to anyone ?
  16. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,765   +175

    Sounds right... unless you didn't run the MAXBLASTER CD under Windows XP, but don't expect much difference in size back.

    MAXTOR Current HDDs (the ones I own)

    reported on the box: 60GB UATA 133 - XP Pro Reports as: 57GB
    reported on the box: 120GB UATA 133 - XP Pro Reports as: 114GB
    reported on the box: 200GB UATA 133 - XP Pro Reports as: 189GB
    reported on the box: 300GB PATA 133 - XP Pro Reports as: 289GB

    Note: I would recommend under XP Pro run MAXBLASTER CD to format the 200GB to 300GB or higher. There is a 500GB now from MAXTOR. Since Seagate owns MAXTOR don't know how long these drives will be around.
  17. Jono91

    Jono91 TS Rookie Posts: 52

    I have Samsung 200Gb HD and have updated the BIOS and the EnableBigLBA registry edit, but can still only access 127Gb. Just wondering if there is a tool or a fix or something for samsung HD's. Thanx
  18. fuufuu

    fuufuu TS Rookie

    ^I have the same problem, and i can't seem to find any program that looks like it would work, and my computer wont let me install SP2, it did before but not now =X.
  19. Jono91

    Jono91 TS Rookie Posts: 52

    maybe you have a dud copy of windows ;)
  20. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,049   +11

    No, it should be 149 GB. As said already, you'll need at least XP SP1 when installing.
  21. Jono91

    Jono91 TS Rookie Posts: 52

    I just found a fix from samsung, ill try it out and post it here if it works

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