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Thread: 320GB HDD not recognised (thinks it's 160GB)

  1. #1
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    320GB HDD not recognised (thinks it's 160GB)


    Upgraded a 160GB drive on an Inspiron 6000 to a 320GB, I did a diagnostic check on the drive, no issues.

    Proceeded to start an XP install - formatted the drive (NTFS) but after that was over and setup had copied the files ready to install windows, it restarted and then said "internal read drive error".

    I've gone into BIOS and it thinks the old drive is still in - it says it's 137GB and I can't seem to change this info.

    I wondered what people normally do in this circumstance as I'm at a dead-end having never faced this before. It had no problems doing extended diagnostics and the NTFS format went to plan with XP installation files successfully copied to the drive.

    Thanks for any and all advice

  2. #2
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    West Midlands
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    Re: 320GB HDD not recognised (thinks it's 160GB)

    Quick update - searched for ages and just came across this little gem:

    Looks like DELL laptops (about 3 years old onwards) can't handle 137GB or more.

    The solution seems to be to partition the boot sector to about 125GB, trying that now...

  3. #3
    Senior Member ajones's Avatar
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    Re: 320GB HDD not recognised (thinks it's 160GB)

    I think this is an OS limitation. I seem to recall that early editions (pre XP SP1a) could only access 137GB on a HDD, but this was rectified.

    Quote Originally Posted by From a quick Google search
    Windows XP SP1 includes 48-bit LBA support for ATAPI disk drives. With this support, you can use hard disks that are larger than the current 137 GB limit.
    Looks like you need to ensure that the OS, HDD firmware and BIOS support LBA48 mode
    Last edited by ajones; 15-09-2009 at 12:13 PM. Reason: Post Google
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  4. #4
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: 320GB HDD not recognised (thinks it's 160GB)

    It was also a hardware limitation due to the controller and BIOS only using 32bit for drive addresses. This was extended to 48bit with ATA66 or there abouts I think.

    Linux can get round this because it can directly address the drive, ignoring what the BIOS is telling it. Windows doesn't have that functionality.

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