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Re: [vox-tech] ATA133 120GB HD okay to use with Pentium I?
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Re: [vox-tech] ATA133 120GB HD okay to use with Pentium I?

Alrighty!  I poked high and low and found some really interesting things
about hard drive limitations, BIOS, etc.  Finally, I decided to risk the
15% restocking fee and installed the HD.  And Debian is installing great
so far, and `cfdisk` recognizes all 120GB!  Here's information for the

I found a really good information on hard drive size limitations on this


To summarize, there are several limitations to recognizing the hard drive
size.  The limits are at 504MB, 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB sizes (and maybe 32GB?)
The limitations come from the BIOS and the OS.  But since Linux doesn't
have OS problems, that's not a problem.  And the BIOS is no problem since
Linux ignores the BIOS once it loads itself.  The only problem is with
Linux loading -- sometimes BIOS won't recognize the hard drive to a point
where it won't even load Linux.  That's the only issue as I understand it.

But (I'm guessing) you should be able to overcome that problem with a
floppy or another HD that *is* recognized by BIOS.  My Maxtor hard drive
came with a CD with such software, and I was gonna give it a shot, but it
wasn't necessary after all.  My computer recognized the hard drive as a
8GB hard drive in LBA mode, and booted the MBR just fine (I later found
out.)  My BIOS, by the way, is Award 4.51pg with PnP extensions, and does
know LBA hard drive sizing.

But I did have one problem with my computer, which was that the BIOS
doesn't support CDROM booting, which I need to install Debian install CD.
A little browsing found a nice little program called a "smart boot
manager" that does just that and then some:


So my installation continues, apparently without problems!


Mark K. Kim
PGP key available upon request.

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