Maximum HD Size for 700XL?

Discussion in 'Gateway' started by Don Cohen, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. Don Cohen

    Don Cohen Guest

    I have a circa-2002 GW 700XL, with an almost full 120gb NTFS primary hard
    drive (primarily digital photographs and related files). I will need to
    replace it in the near future, and want to know if there are any motherboard
    or BIOS limitations in the size of the hard drive I can install. Here are
    the specs (as seen by Belarc Advisor):

    Gateway E-6000
    Board: Intel Corporation D850MV AAA57887-302
    Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
    BIOS: Intel Corp. MV85010A.15A.0075.P13.0209191141 09/19/2002
    2233 megahertz Intel Pentium 4
    8 kilobyte primary memory cache
    512 kilobyte secondary memory cache
    Intel(r) 82801BA Bus Master IDE Controller
    Primary IDE Channel [Controller]
    Secondary IDE Channel [Controller]
    1024 Megabytes Installed Memory

    I'm looking at 300gb drives most likely, which are surprisingly inexpensive,
    but want to make sure my computer will be able to 'see' and utillize the
    drive's full capacity.

    Any information/experience here appreciated.

    Photo Website at:

    [Remove the "lens cap" for email]
    Don Cohen, Oct 3, 2006
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  2. Don Cohen

    Tom from WI Guest

    You might want to get an external hard disk that connects via a USB port.
    These are also fairly cheap. You can off load some of you current hard drive
    files. You van also use it as a back up.
    Tom from WI, Oct 3, 2006
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  3. Don Cohen presented the following explanation :
    Most hard drives (retail package) come with software on a CD that will
    overcome Windows 95 and up hard drive size limitations...

    XP and win2k, win2003 with the MS upgrades will recognize large hard
    drives. Sometimes the motherboard if it is older, will need a bios
    update if you do not want to use the hard drive manufactures overlay.

    The software to eliminate drive size limitation should be downloadable
    from the manufactures website, or should be on the CD included with the
    retail version...

    Postman Delivers, Oct 3, 2006
  4. Don Cohen

    Don Cohen Guest

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the reply.
    I already use 2 120GB External HD's (Firewire in my case) for back-up - one
    I keep at home, the other at a different physical location. So this
    unfortunately won't solve my problem.

    Don Cohen, Oct 3, 2006
  5. Don Cohen

    Don Cohen Guest

    Hello Postman,

    Thanks for the reply.
    I understand this, and in fact is the reason I'm posting. I'm trying to
    find out what the specific limitations of my current motherboard and BIOS
    might be, to determine if I need to pursue either of these options. If my
    current system will have no problem with 300GB or higher HD's, then I am
    free to buy somewhat less expensive OEM HD's, not have to worry about BIOS
    upgrades, etc.

    Do you (or anybody) have specific information on any possible limitations on
    my current MB/BIOS?

    Don Cohen, Oct 3, 2006
  6. Don Cohen

    Ben Myers Guest

    Unfortunately, even the very good Intel specs for this motherboard do not
    explain BIOS limitations on hard drive capacity.

    ***AVOID*** any manufatcurer's hard drive overlay software. Why? Complicates
    upgrades and data recovery in the even of any partial hard drive failure.

    Windows XP SP2 eliminates any software barriers to hard drive capacity.

    .... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Oct 3, 2006
  7. Don Cohen

    BillW50 Guest

    Windows SP3 (current SP for Windows 2000 is SP4) also eliminates any
    software barriers to hard drive capacity.

    I too dislike using hard drive overlay software as well. But if I had a
    choice of living with a small HD without an overlay or a large hard
    drive with an overlay, I'd still take the latter. :D
    BillW50, Oct 3, 2006
  8. Don Cohen

    Don Cohen Guest

    Hi Ben,
    So bottom line is that I'll just have to gamble and hope that I'll be able
    to see/use the full 300GB?
    Leaving only the potential MB/BIOS limitations, which as you suggest above,
    can't be accurately predicted?

    Don Cohen, Oct 3, 2006
  9. Don Cohen

    BillW50 Guest

    I'm not positive Don, but I do believe XP SP2 and Windows 2000 SP3/4
    doesn't care what the BIOS limitation is.
    BillW50, Oct 3, 2006
  10. Don Cohen

    Don Cohen Guest

    Windows XP SP2 eliminates any software barriers to hard drive
    Thanks, Bill. I hope you're right - it would make things a lot simpler.
    I'll probably test it out in the next month or two.

    Appreciate the help and replies from all.
    Don Cohen, Oct 3, 2006
  11. Don Cohen

    Lon Guest

    Don Cohen proclaimed:
    Not that familiar with your model, but does it have any spare drive bay
    slots where you could just add an extra drive? It can be a royal pita
    to safely back up, remove the old drive, add the new one, discover the
    support website lies, remove the new one, put back the old one, or just
    have to install all of your apps on the new one.
    Lon, Oct 7, 2006
  12. Don Cohen

    Don Cohen Guest

    Hi Lon,
    There are 2 bays for internal HD's. I have a 120GB in the first slot, and a
    40GB HD (from my prior computer) in the second. The 120 is partitioned into
    2 logical drives - one for the OS, the rest for data. I have the OS
    partition "Imaged" using Partition Magic 8.0, and stored on the 40GB HD,
    which at least theoretically should enable me to quickly get the new drive
    in service if I decide to make it the Primary HD.

    But I may just take the easier route, and leave the 120GB HD as the Primary,
    with the OS, and add the new 300GB HD for just data, as the secondary HD.

    Thanks for the reply.
    Don Cohen, Oct 7, 2006
  13. Don Cohen

    Lon Guest

    Don Cohen proclaimed:
    I tried looking up your model on the gateway accessory web site and kept
    getting annoyed more than enlightened. If you use your serial number
    it may tell you if you need a bios update or anything to handle a bigger
    drive. I doubt it, but ya never know. Pretty good prices on 250gig
    drives these days and the 500's aren't that bad.
    Lon, Oct 7, 2006
  14. Don Cohen

    Don Cohen Guest

    Thanks for looking. I'll head to Gateway's site and check the system/serial
    number. I've done this before, and I believe I have the most current BIOS
    for that system, but I'll double-check.

    I've got my eye on the WD 320GB EIDE (or SATA) drive.

    Don Cohen, Oct 8, 2006
  15. Don Cohen

    BillW50 Guest

    I take it this is a desktop model and not a laptop? I did find a Gateway
    laptop FAQ at:

    And the largest hard drive FAQ is it:

    Although supposedly that either Windows 2000 (SP 3&4) or Windows XP SP2
    doesn't care about BIOS limitations over hard drive sizes. And I believe
    this is true because I cloned a 80GB HD on a 2002 era machine (it
    originally came with 80GB) to a 320GB HD and Windows popped up a message
    stating it had to install a driver and then it told me to reboot the
    computer so it could see the whole HD. And I did and it worked.
    BillW50, Oct 8, 2006
  16. Don Cohen

    Don Cohen Guest

    Hi Bill,
    Thanks for taking the time. It is a desktop.

    I did some further checking as well - there is BIOS update for my MB
    apparently, but checking the README.TXT, found no reference at all to HD
    size or related issues.

    I'm reasonably confident that I can go ahead and get a 320GB HD and have it
    work fine for me, based on your post, a few others, and my own research. I
    downloaded the BIOS Update file just in case, but usually prefer to leave
    well enough alone unless there is a specific problem I need to fix.

    I'll probably go ahead and partition this to separate 20GB and 300GB logical
    drives, put the OS onto the 20, and leave the rest for data. I'll then
    "unpartition" my original 120GB HD, and keep it internally as a separate
    backup for my photographic and other important files.

    Don Cohen, Oct 8, 2006
  17. Don Cohen

    PC-Tech Guest

    I did not read all the replies its late im sorry if this has been
    suggested. But why not just add a secound drive? I rather have 2 160
    GB drives than one 320 GB drives. Thats just me the reason for that
    is for backup like backing up to a ghost image. If one drives fails i
    have a backup. More than likely both drives want die unless the whole
    system gets fried.
    PC-Tech, Oct 11, 2006
  18. Don Cohen

    Don Cohen Guest

    Well in effect, that's what I'll be doing. I currently have 2 HD's in
    there - the primary is a 120GB (partitioned into a 12GB OS partition, the
    rest a Data partition) and the other a 40GB drive (used to store drive
    images, and a variety of other lesser purposes). I have 2 external hard
    drives that I use for back-up and redundancy (one kept onsite, the other
    kept offsite).

    So basically I want to replace the 40GB HD and given how inexpensive HD's
    are, wanted to get a significantly larger one to hold me for at least
    another few years. I'll likely make this my primary HD (partition to 20GB
    OS and 300 Data) and unpartition the 120GB HD to function at least in part
    as an internal backup (since it obviously won't hold everything the primary
    HD will).

    Thanks for the rely and suggestions.
    Don Cohen, Oct 11, 2006
  19. Don Cohen

    PC-Tech Guest

    If your in the US OfficeMax has good deals on drives. A few weeks ago
    they had a 160 GB Segate for $59.00 no rebate instant saveings. The
    Segates have 5 year warranty. I know warranty can't cover lost files.
    thats why its good to backup.
    PC-Tech, Oct 12, 2006
  20. PC-Tech explained :
    Add a hundred to that and get a 500 GB Maxtor

    Or spend $75 for a 250 GB Seagate and free 3 day shipping

    Remember when hard drives cost more than an arm and a leg?

    JR the postman
    Postman Delivers, Oct 12, 2006
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