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Hard Drive size limitation for Dell Dimension 8200

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Hard Drive size limitation for Dell Dimension 8200

  • Hi,
    I need to replace the hard drive on my Dimension 8200 and was wondering about the 137GB size limitation. Dell techs have indicated that I'm limited to 120 GB hard drives because neither the BIOS or the DEll/Intel motherboard supports drives over 137 GB. First, is this correct? The motherboard is Dell/Intel with Intel 850 chipset (Part# 7E598) and the BIOS is Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A01. I'm not sure, but I assume that using a SATA PCI controller card will not get around this 137 GB limit, correct? Also I notice that the system requirements on most new drives specify that you nedd to have Windows XP Service Pack 1. Why is Service Pack 1 required. Thanks in advance for your help and I'll post another set of questions separately.

  • The system will support large hard drives without a controller (EIDE only; SATA will require a controller no matter what size). Windows XP, SP1 or Windows 2000, SP4 are required to create and install to a partition over 137G in size, even if the BIOS supports large drives. If you use an XP CD without SP1 or a 2000 install CD pre-SP4, you be able to create only a 137G partition. Once you've installed SP1/SP2 or SP4 (XP, 2K respectively) and enabled large drive support you can then create another partition to use the rest of the drive.
  • blueskye.

    To install above 137GB hard drives in the D8200 requires, Windows XP to be updated with SP1 or SP2 and BIOS to A02 or higher.
    The reason for SP1 or SP2 is to enable 48-bit Logical Block Addressing support for ATAPI disk drives in Windows XP.
    Using a PCI controller should allow you to use a larger then 137GB without an upgrade to SP1-2.
    Why do you wqish to use a SATA controller, instead of IDE, there's very little speed difference between either?


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  • Thanks for the information, but I'm confused. So what the DEll tech people were telling me was wrong? They were pretty clear that neither the Dell/Intel motherboard (Part# 7E598) nor the BIOS supported 48-bit LBA/drives larger that 137 GB, and that seemed to include not just that partitions were not larger than 137 GB, but also that the drives themselves were not larger than 137 GB. I understand that the Dell Dimension 8200 system could support drives larger than 137 GB with a different motherboard and BIOS, but are you speaking to my specific configuration or should I be able to use a large drive regardless? I'm trying to avoid making the mistake of buying a larger drive and not being able to use it, or only 1347 GB of it. Thanks
  • Certainly the later releases, and as I recall, all but the initial one of the 8200 BIOSes support over 137G drives.

    If your XP CD is as original, you will need to make a slipstream of it with SP1 (preferably SP2) included, or you will have to create a 137G partition at first and create another one once the service pack is in place.
  • So if I flash upgrade the BIOS to A02 or above that will enable 48-bit LBA? I looked at the details given for the DEll BIOS updates and I didn't see a metion of enabling 48-bit addressing in the various updates. I guess I could have missed it, but you're sure?
    I thought that I would use a SATA controller largely because of the cabling differences inside the case and potentially easier setup of two drives as it's already fairly crowded in there. I realize that there's little speed difference. Thanks.
  • I know the later BIOSes have support for large drives.

    The SATA controller will make the issue moot, as it will handle the drive, not the BIOS.