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Can I upgrade my HD to 80GB ultra ata/133 hard drive?

By JasmineGab ยท 13 replies
Jul 9, 2003
  1. Does anyone know if I can upgrade my Compaq Presario Hard drive to 80GB Ultra ATA/133 @7200RPM? I'm running out of Hard drive space and constantly get a message saying that I have little space left. I have to constantly defrag my system and erase most of what I download off the internet. My computer is old and I think it only has about 30GB which most of my software takes up. I'm looking to turn my computer into a modern computer by updating my hard drive. Everything else works fine. I have great speed and hardly ever run into problems so I'm not looking to replace my computer just update it.


  2. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,519

    That upgrade should be just fine, seeing as you already have support for 30GB hard drives, then 80GB will also work. You'll only have problems (depends on your system, which you haven't supplied details on) if you decide to go above 137GB, as that would require an ATA133 controller.
  3. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 3,874

    You shouldn't have a problem installing it, just make sure you install it jumpered as a slave, that way you can have your old one and your new one. This is of course if you have room left on your ribbon, but if it is an old computer I would assume that you do.

    BTW, :wave: Welcome to TechSpot :wave:
    Hope you stick around. ;)
  4. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 564

    if he doesn't have

    an ata 133 connection on his mobo.......he'll need to get a promise controller.......that's assuming an old proprietary compaq running ata 100....the cables and the connections won't be the same due to pin count
  5. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,519

    All versions of ATA have the same pin count and are compatable with each other. ATA66, ATA100, and ATA133 can also allow for faster data transfer (than ATA33) provided that you use the correct cable (new cable has double the number of wires, but still has the same pinouts). Failure to use the correct cable or controller card simply means that the max data transfer speed will drop to the speed determined by the slowest component (cable, controller, hard drive).
  6. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 829

    If your computer is that old, by default, you won't be able to use ATA133. You'll need a controller. I'd suggest you'd get a ATA100 drive.

    My thoughts.
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,452   +7

    There is a hard drive limitation somewhere above 30GB, so there may be a need need a BIOS upgrade, otherwise you will be just fine.
  8. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 3,874

    Yes nods, it is at 32GB
  9. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,519

    Taken from StorageReview.com ...

    33.8GB Barrier (also known as 32GB Barrier)
    This is a relatively new hard disk barrier that showed up in early 1999. It is yet another in a long series of limits caused by the inability of a BIOS version or type to handle a particular number of cylinders, much like several smaller barriers have been. It is often called the "32 GB size barrier", which is approximately correct anyway.

    In this particular case, some versions of Award BIOS cannot handle drives that have more than 65,535 cylinders. Since hard disk parameters usually use 16 heads and 63 sectors, this works out to a capacity of about 33.8 GB or 31.5 GiB before trouble occurs. As of about June 1999, this problem had been corrected, so it is most likely to show up on systems purchased before that month.

    I must say that I find this to be a rather strange hard disk barrier, because hard disks above about 8 GB in size no longer really use discrete geometry for access; they are instead addressed using LBA and a flat sector number from 0 to one less than the number of sectors on the drive. This 65,536 cylinder problem must be a remnant of some older code, or something related to compatibility with older hard drives. Regardless of its origin, many system owners will have to deal with it.

    To get around past hard disk barriers, most modern hard disks are now no longer addressed using discrete geometry (cylinder, head and sector numbers) but rather logical block addressing and a sector number. In the case of the ATA interface, 28 bits are used for the sector number interface between the operating system, BIOS and the hard disk. This means a hard disk can have a maximum of 2^28 or 268,435,456 sectors of 512 bytes. This puts the ATA interface maximum at 128 GiB or approximately 137.4 GB.

    >> LBA was available with ATA33 interface onwards, hence support for hard drives up to 137GB.
  10. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 564

    yes nic

    but, ..............if he hasn't a socket on the mobo to connect, then what?............a controllercard with the proper connection (double the pin count, and the propercable, right?)......or, he's boned, regarding ata 133
  11. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,519

    Taken from StorageReview.com ...

    Ultra DMA (80-Conductor) IDE/ATA Cables
    There are a lot of issues and problems associated with the original 40-conductor IDE cable, due to its very old and not very robust design. Unterminated flat ribbon cables have never been all that great in terms of signal quality and dealing with reflections from the end of the cable. The warts of the old design were tolerable while signaling speeds on the IDE/ATA interface were relatively low, but as the speed of the interface continued to increase, the limitations of the cable were finally too great to be ignored.

    In the ATA/ATAPI-4 standard that introduced the Ultra DMA transfer mode set, a new cable was introduced to replace the old standby: the 80-conductor IDE/ATA cable. The name is important: the new cable has 80 conductors (wires)--it does not have 80 pins on each connector, though, just 40. This means that the new cable is pin-compatible with the old drive. No change has been made to the IDE/ATA connectors, aside from the color-coding issue (see below).

    The obvious question, of course, is this: what's the point of adding 40 extra wires to a cable if they aren't connected to anything? Well for starters, the 40 wires are connected to something, just not their own pins on the interface connectors. The extra 40 wires don't carry new information, they are just used to separate the "real" 40 signal wires, to reduce interference and other signaling problems associated with higher-speed transfers. So the 40 extra conductors are connected to ground, interspersed between the original 40 conductors of the old cable. Any stray signals that would "cross-talk" between adjacent wires on the 40-conductor cable are "absorbed" by these extra ground wires, improving signal integrity. The extra ground wires can be either all of the even-numbered wires, or all of the odd-numbered wires in the cable.
  12. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 564


    i had a seperate and distinct slot for that cable with a visable and distinct pin count, as my mobo had an onboard controller.......and, having read and seen what and how that cable reduces errors and increases speed, did not lead me to believe the drive could be backwards compatible, interesting, yet pointless to someone who couldn't access these features, yet procures the product? what's the point?..........what's the diff anyway? 3%........just get a 7200 drive........go ata 100 unless you're going to physically transfer the drive to your next upgrade, or have the onboard controller to handle it.............of courese, by that time .....ata 150
  13. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 914

    Re: huh

    No ATA device has a different pin count. You may have confused an onboard SCSI controller (which can come in a variety of forms, including 50 and 80 pin connectors).

    ATA33 devices use 40 pins, and ATA66/100/133 also use 40 pins.

    You do NOT have to use an 80 conductor cable on ATA66 and above devices although you will not be able to use UDMA modes above 2 without.. if you forced it you come up with many problems. All ATA devices in terms of cabling are "backwards compatible", although software settings may override this and cause problems, which is why it is important to realize what kind of cable you are dealing with.
  14. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 914

    Re: huh

    The truth of the matter is, there is no point.

    No hard disk on the market can do a sustained read/write above 50mB/sec, much less 66, 100, or 133.

    And, ATA150 will not even be seen until SATA is mainstream and the PCI bus goes 64bit, as the PCI bus is physically incapable of transferring more then 133mB/sec across *all* I/O devices, including your USB devices, sound cards, lan cards, optical devices, keyboards, mouse, controllers, scanners, printers, etc - And hard drives - they all share that 133mB/sec cap, which is pretty bottlenecked.

    So, before we even start seeing the benefit of things like ATA133, two things have to happen. One, the PCI bus needs to be altered. Two, the HDD themselves must be capable of doing sustained read/writes at much higher throughputs.
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