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New IDE/PATA Hard Drive, Old Motherboard - Is this possible?


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#1 ossilix

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 01:16 PM

(Sorry for the long message, wanted to include enough info - long story short, could I get a 500gb drive, partition it to 120gb, leave the rest unassigned, and have it work with an old motherboard that only supports less than 137gb?)

I posted a problem I'm having with my hard drive here:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/335588/samsung-hutil-reports-two-ecc-errors/

Since my drive is about 5 years old and has errors, I'd like to try getting a new one to replace as a new primary drive and reinstall Windows XP Home and all my programs fresh on it. However I don't know if the drives I'm looking at are compatible with my motherboard. (I'm a complete noob when it comes to hardware.) Hope this is the right place to post this.

The motherboard is old and only supports ATA/IDE/PATA/whatever hard drives (it's all the same, right?). I read about getting a SATA drive and a SATA PCI controller card but I'm afraid the motherboard won't support that option since it's so old. Your motherboard would have to have a driver to get a SATA drive to work through a PCI card, right? My mobo isn't supported anymore and I don't think there are any newer drivers for it than what I have now.

So I tried to find an ATA drive since that's what's already in there. The receipt for my current HD says it's a Samsung SP1203N, but AIDA32 and Belarc Advisor both say it's a SP1213N, and so does the label on the actual drive (opened up the enclosure and checked). Is it safe to assume that's what it is? (Yes, dumb question since it's written on the drive but don't want to get my hopes up)

Apparently SP1213N uses the Ultra-ATA/133 interface. Based on that, would this Western Digital HD possibly be compatible with my system?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Western+Digita...p;skuId=8188962

It's listed on Amazon too but with different box (same model number)

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-7200...H/dp/B000O9T5IA

On the Amazon page it says the drive is Ultra-ATA/100. Since the drive I have now is Ultra-ATA/133 and it works with my motherboard, does that mean this Western Digital drive should work too? If so, the IDE cable that I have now should work too, shouldn't it? (It's working with ATA-133)

Chaintech (the mobo maker) no longer has any info about their mobos on their site (they don't make them anymore), and I don't think the people who made my computer gave me the documentation that came with it (just the box the mobo came in). So I was hoping if I got a HD with similar specs to the one I already have it would be likely to work even if I don't know what the exact specs of the board are.

The other thing I'm concerned about is the 137gb cap on hard drive capacity. Since my mobo is about 8 years old, I'm guessing it won't work with drives alrger than 137gb. If that's the case, would the 500gb drive still work? (I don't need anything beyond 120gb internal like what's in there now.) I read that this can cause data loss, when it fills up to 137GB it can begin writing over the beginning of the disc and corrupt the operating system, or that it will just cause the computer to not boot. Could that be avoided by formatting the 500gb drive and creating one 120gb partition, leaving the rest unassigned? Would that sort of turn it into a 120gb drive as far as the BIOS was concerned?

And about installing it--could I just take the plugs that go into the current HD and plug them into the new one to see if it works? (It's the same IDE plug and power input) That wouldn't hurt the new drive would it? And if it didn't work, could I just plug the plugs back into the old drive and go back to using it again? It would still have Windows and everything on it so it should be like I hadn't done anything, right?

As you can see I'm very unfamiliar with these things but I'm trying to learn, any help anybody can give me would really be appreciated!


BTW here's what AIDA32 says about my current hard drive:

ATA Device Properties
Model ID SAMSUNG SP1213N
Serial Number [snip]
Revision TL100-30
Parameters 232632 cylinders, 16 heads, 63 sectors per track, 554 bytes per sector
LBA Sectors 234493056
Buffer 8 MB (Dual Ported, Read Ahead)
Multiple Sectors 16
ECC Bytes 4
Max. PIO Transfer Mode PIO 4
Max. UDMA Transfer Mode UDMA 5 (ATA-100)
Active UDMA Transfer Mode UDMA 5 (ATA-100)
Unformatted Capacity 123891 MB

ATA Device Features
SMART Supported
Security Mode Supported
Power Management Supported
Advanced Power Management Not Supported
Write Cache Supported
Host Protected Area Supported
Power-Up In Standby Not Supported
Automatic Acoustic Management Supported
48-bit LBA Supported
Device Configuration Overlay Supported

ATA Device Physical Info
Manufacturer Samsung
Hard Disk Family SpinPoint P80
Form Factor 3.5"
Formatted Capacity 120 GB
Disks 2
Recording Surfaces 3
Physical Dimensions 146.05 x 101.6 x 25.4 mm
Max. Weight 635 g
Average Rotational Latency 4.17 ms
Rotational Speed 7200 RPM
Max. Internal Data Rate 741 Mbit/s
Average Seek 8.9 ms
Track-To-Track Seek 0.8 ms
Full Seek 18 ms
Interface Ultra-ATA/133
Buffer-to-Host Data Rate 133 MB/s
Buffer Size 8 MB
Spin-Up Time 7 sec

ATA Device Manufacturer
Company Name Samsung
Product Information http://www.samsung.com/Products/HardDiskDrive/index.htm



And the motherboard:

Motherboard Properties
Motherboard ID 06/20/2002-VT8366-8233/5-JL6LVC0CC-00
Motherboard Name Chaintech 7VJL APOGEE

Front Side Bus Properties
Bus Type DEC Alpha EV6
Bus Width 64-bit
Real Clock 133 MHz (DDR)
Effective Clock 267 MHz
Bandwidth 2133 MB/s

Memory Bus Properties
Bus Type DDR SDRAM
Bus Width 64-bit
Real Clock 167 MHz (DDR)
Effective Clock 333 MHz
Bandwidth 2667 MB/s

Chipset Bus Properties
Bus Type VIA V-Link
Bus Width 8-bit
Real Clock 67 MHz (QDR)
Effective Clock 267 MHz
Bandwidth 267 MB/s

Motherboard Physical Info
CPU Sockets/Slots 1
Expansion Slots 6 PCI, 1 AGP
RAM Slots 3 DIMM
Integrated Devices Audio, LAN
Form Factor ATX
Motherboard Size 230 mm x 300 mm
Motherboard Chipset KT333

Motherboard Manufacturer
Company Name Chaintech Computer Co Ltd.
Product Information http://www.chaintech.com.tw/tw/eng/product_main.asp#MP13
BIOS Download http://www.chaintech.com.tw/tw/eng/Downloa...ate.asp?DCSNo=4



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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 01:39 PM

To answer your question with a situation I myself had experienced.

I had an older FIC brand motherboard, like yours even with a BIOS update, it still did not recognize a 500 GB Maxtor hard drive.

I was stuck with a 137 GB partition, even with Windows XP SP3 installed.

The out-come was, it still worked out for me.

You could still put some use to the partition beyond the 137 GB barrier, by using it as a backup or installing another OS on it, but be advised, the BIOS limitation will also make it that that partition may not be accessible through the BIOS.


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#3 ossilix

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 02:02 PM

Thank you again bruce! :flowers:

I was stuck with a 137 GB partition, even with Windows XP SP3 installed.

The out-come was, it still worked out for me.

You could still put some use to the partition beyond the 137 GB barrier, by using it as a backup or installing another OS on it, but be advised, the BIOS limitation will also make it that that partition may not be accessible through the BIOS.


I don't mind not being able to use anything beyond the 120 GB partition at all as long as the computer still runs and I can get all the drivers replaced and everything. I don't need more than that anyway.

Are you saying that you didn't make a <137gb partition, just a single full-size partition (how big was the drive?), and the drive still worked? I read another forum where many people said they did that and it worked for a while, then suddenly stopped working after a few weeks (presumably when Windows eventually wrote something past the 137 gb barrier). Sounds safer to do the smaller partition in the first place.

What does net being accessible through the BIOS mean? On the other forum I read that you can make a <137gb partition (I would do no more than 120), install Windows XP on it, then change the setting in Windows XP registry that allows you to have drives over 137gb and partition the rest of the drive and use it as a "second drive". That the BIOS obviously won't see it but Windows will, and as long as Windows if confined to the <137gb partition it would work alright.

Again I don't care if the rest of the drive is useless as long as it keeps my computer going for a while. :thumbsup:

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 02:12 PM

What I am saying is the drive was a Maxtor 500 GB hard drive, The partition was set by the Windows OS (In my case it was Windows XP NTFS SP3) because it was only able to see what the BIOS told it it had to work with, which was 137 GB.

The install went well and the OS worked without any issues, the only problem was I could not allocate the full 500 GB to the OS, because of the motherboard's BIOS limitation.

Of course once I was in Windows, it seen the rest of the hard drive as UNALLOCATED.

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#5 ossilix

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 04:05 PM

What I am saying is the drive was a Maxtor 500 GB hard drive, The partition was set by the Windows OS (In my case it was Windows XP NTFS SP3) because it was only able to see what the BIOS told it it had to work with, which was 137 GB.


I see, you mean it wouldn't let you make the partition larger than that to begin with? but you could have made it smaller if you wanted to?

BTW here is the thread where they were talking about this problem and the partitioning idea:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/237351-4...arge-hard-drive

The install went well and the OS worked without any issues, the only problem was I could not allocate the full 500 GB to the OS, because of the motherboard's BIOS limitation.

Of course once I was in Windows, it seen the rest of the hard drive as UNALLOCATED.


How long did the system last? Or, how long did you use it for? Did you ever try to create another partition with the rest of the space?

EDIT: Do you think I should just go pick up one of the Western Digital 500gb hard drives at Best Buy (if they have it) and see if it works? If I try it and something goes wrong, can I just plug the cables back into the current HD and have the computer go back to the way it is now?

Edited by ossilix, 29 July 2010 - 04:48 PM.


#6 ossilix

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 12:02 AM

Does anybody else have any input about this?

#7 Chris_Pool

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 02:48 AM

See if there is a BIOS update for your motherboard. If there is, it will solve the problem of the old drive size limit.

#8 ossilix

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 03:09 PM

See if there is a BIOS update for your motherboard. If there is, it will solve the problem of the old drive size limit.



That's the problem, there's no such update for it so I have to find another way. :thumbsup:




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