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137 GB Limitation


911alertme
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I have an old computer that I would like to put FreeNAS on.  The only thing is is that it is pretty old.  I know I can install FreeNAS on it but I don't know about the 137 gb hard drive limit.  I would be getting a PCI to SATA adapter so I can use SATA disks.  Would this eliminate the problem or is it a BIOS thing?  If the controller card didn't work could I partition it into smaller sizes (100ish GB each) and have it recognize all of them?  I would probably be getting a 500gb drive and the computer I think is from 1999.  It has an "AwardBIOS".

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I have an old computer that I would like to put FreeNAS on.  The only thing is is that it is pretty old.  I know I can install FreeNAS on it but I don't know about the 137 gb hard drive limit.  I would be getting a PCI to SATA adapter so I can use SATA disks.  Would this eliminate the problem or is it a BIOS thing?  If the controller card didn't work could I partition it into smaller sizes (100ish GB each) and have it recognize all of them?  I would probably be getting a 500gb drive and the computer I think is from 1999.  It has an "AwardBIOS".

Thats with SP1, SP1 has a 137GB limit.

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Windows 2000 and Windows XP / XP SP1 are, by default, all limited to 137 Gigs however you can overcome that limitation by getting the 48-bit LBA patch.  Check Microsoft's or your HD manufacturer's website for that.

As for other operating systems / hardware, everything depends on your exact situation.  Some older hardware's BIOS may not recognize the drive or may freeze when scanning the drive, You can either install an off-board IDE controller which should allow any drive to work, but you need to pay for the new controller - but you mentioned you were getting a new off-board controller anyways.  I have a few circa 1999 PCs.  I you have trouble with an offboard controller, try updating the MB BIOS and/or the controller firmware - sometimes does wonders.

Alternatively, if you decide to stick with the onboard PATA ports and your OS ignores the BIOS set your BIOS to 'none' for that drive so that it doesn't scan it and let your OS deal with the drive itself.  The only problem is that, in this case, you would need a smaller drive to hold the boot sector (and/or the OS) so that the computer will actually boot. 

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Windows 2000 and Windows XP / XP SP1 are, by default, all limited to 137 Gigs however you can overcome that limitation by getting the 48-bit LBA patch.  Check Microsoft's or your HD manufacturer's website for that.

As for other operating systems / hardware, everything depends on your exact situation.  Some older hardware's BIOS may not recognize the drive or may freeze when scanning the drive, You can either install an off-board IDE controller which should allow any drive to work, but you need to pay for the new controller - but you mentioned you were getting a new off-board controller anyways.  I have a few circa 1999 PCs.  I you have trouble with an offboard controller, try updating the MB BIOS and/or the controller firmware - sometimes does wonders.

Alternatively, if you decide to stick with the onboard PATA ports and your OS ignores the BIOS set your BIOS to 'none' for that drive so that it doesn't scan it and let your OS deal with the drive itself.  The only problem is that, in this case, you would need a smaller drive to hold the boot sector (and/or the OS) so that the computer will actually boot. 

Or patching your Windows CD with SP2.

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