[nSLUG] Hard Disk Compatibility

Rich budman85 at eastlink.ca
Tue Mar 11 16:02:28 ADT 2008


George N. White III wrote:
>
> On Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 7:24 PM, <sbo at eastlink.ca 
> <mailto:sbo at eastlink.ca>> wrote:
>
>     I have a simple question that I am trying to figure out.  I had
>     gone to a local computer store to purchase a HD for my 1.0 GHZ
>     computer and was told that only one model was compatible to my old
>     PC.  It was an 80 GB HD which was fine for my Linux distro needs.
>
> Linux can often use drives that are larger than the BIOS was designed 
> to handle, but there are some restrictions and
> installer glitches.  I just replaced a 40G disk with a 500G model in 
> an early Dell P-4 system.  The disk "works" but the
> grub install failed, claiming there wasn't enough space on the boot 
> partition, which the default layout in RH Fedora 8 put
> at the start of an extended partition (sda5).  I had to sacrifice the 
> Dell utility partition (sda1), but after updating, RH
> switched back to sda5 and failed to boot, so back to the rescue disk 
> to fix the configuration a 2nd time.
>  
Hi

I've used 20GB drives on 486 machines, but used Lilo. 
If the BIOS doesn't support it - set to Not Fail on errors - this will 
allow the system to boot.
Take it you could never run Windows on it, but Linux no problem.

If you have issues with boot, look at the geometry settings.  You can 
set these up and it will boot fine.

I had others, like 200GB running on K6-III 450 with no issues.

Controllers can be another issue.  Older SCSI cards, or changing IDE 
boot order (making hde1 the master),
will probably need the controller module compiled into the kernel. 
I've had to do this with a very old SCSI-1 drive (it was free and fit 
well with the zero budget).

Often times, its just the BIOS freakin out. I've set IDE Not Installed a 
few times, but some BIOS's don't like that.
Turning the fail only on keyboard error helps.

Hope this helps
Rich
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