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Old 03-09-2005, 11:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
SP7
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Default Two HDDs

I only have one HDD now, an 8.1 GB Seagate. I'd like to get another HDD (probably on eBay) so that I can test and try out some Linux distro (probably SUSE Pro 9.2). I have 2 questions about installation & size of a 2nd HDD.

1) I read the other day <somewhere on the Web> that it's possible to burn out a HDD when it's connected <on the same ribbon cable> to another HDD. Is this true? If this is true, is the burnout due to different makes of HDD being connected together, or different spin rates, or what? [I figure I'd have to connect two HDDs on the same ribbon cable: there's only one mobo slot, the one where the present cable is plugged in.]

2) I called Phoenix who owns the Award BIOS in my computer (which I bought in June '99). I asked how large can a 2nd HDD be with my BIOS (dated 2/23/99). The Phoenix guy told me my BIOS limits a 2nd HDD to no more than 32 GB, but some guy in a Yahoo computer forum told me that I could install one much larger than 32 GB. He said that each partition on a 2nd HDD is limited to no more than 32 GB. What's right here? Am I limited to a HDD only up to 32 GB capacity?

[My PC (bought in 6/99):
PIII / 450 MHz / Win98 1st Edition / computer maker out of business- no support ]
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Umk....
You can't get that much more than 8.1 GB of linux programs....So as I understand it, You want to run Linux on one HD and Windows on another. Then you could just switch Linux and Windows in and out on demand. Having 2 OSs on 2 HD would definatly confuse a computer. I'd just do that....but you obviously don't want to.

Seeing the oldness of your comp, i wouldn't dismiss what he said about the 32 GB max as lies. It doesn't mean it's true though.

It is possible to burn out an HD. There was someone who did it awhile back. I dunno how it was done though.

I feel like this post was useless...but you need all the help you can get...You should get a new computer, too.
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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IMO:

"setting the RAID and SATA issue aside"

Most of us put the HDDs on the "SAME" cable with
the faster drive as primary and the slower as secondary.
I havent used cable select for both drives but I know
that also works but both HDDs would still be on the "same"
cable. Of course the cable would be plugged into the
"Primary IDE" connector on your motherboard.

I havent heard of anything other than a performance hit
when putting 2 HDDs on the same cable when the slower
drive was primary.

There have been issues when putting CD or DVD drives on
the same cable as a primary HDD (read/write errors from CD
or DVD drive) but this wont always occur but can. I do think
having the CD or DVD drives on the same cable can affect HDD performance. Again, most people put the CD/DVD drives on
the "Secondary" IDE connector.

In terms of your motherboard BIOS, sounds like you need a
controller card to bypass your outdated BIOS and it's
limitations. But....................................

If Im understanding you right, you said there was only "ONE"
IDE connector on your motherboard, if this is the case, I would
find a nice CPU/Mobo combo that will allow you to add larger
HDDs, give you more IDE connectors and even more CPU
power.

The price of a controller card(pretty cheap) or having to
partition the heck out of a large drive isnt as cost effective
as simply spending a few more bucks on a newer CPU/Mobo
combo.

This is MO!!!!
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yea i'm worried about the speed of his current comp. I think that's going to be a big limiting factor on what we do. But remember, I think he wants to run dual OSs.

This could be your chance! Get a new computer, then you could switch out your new SATA drives w/ linux and Windows XP!...yea...i'm not that pshyed about the windows bit either. W/e
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Old 03-10-2005, 06:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You would have to partition a larger drive into partition into <32GB pieces.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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that's exactly what i do right now. it works fine so far. one hard drive has a swap partition and windows, the other is linux. very simple to achieve and works great since the chances of messing up your windows partition are greatly reduced.
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally posted by ImUseless
> IMO:

> "setting the RAID and SATA issue aside"

What are these issues? What should I know in order to do this the right way?

> Most of us put the HDDs on the "SAME" cable with
the faster drive as primary and the slower as secondary.

I was planning to do this.

> I havent used cable select for both drives but I know
> that also works but both HDDs would still be on the "same"
> cable.

What's "cable select" ?

> Of course the cable would be plugged into the "Primary IDE"
> connector on your motherboard.

Yes, I think I only have one of these.

> I havent heard of anything other than a performance hit when
> putting 2 HDDs on the same cable when the slower
> drive was primary.

What's "a performance hit" ?

> There have been issues when putting CD or DVD drives on
> the same cable as a primary HDD (read/write errors from CD
> or DVD drive) but this wont always occur but can. I do think
> having the CD or DVD drives on the same cable can affect HDD
> performance. Again, most people put the CD/DVD drives on
> the "Secondary" IDE connector.

I looked inside my computer and even though the ribbon cables are tightly packed and bundled, I see that the ribbon cable <that links my CD writer and my CDROM> plugs into a connector next to the one where the HDD ribbon cable connects. So it seems that the way things are now, with my two ribbon cables, is fine: the two CD drives are <I suppose> in the "Secondary" IDE connector slot.

> In terms of your motherboard BIOS, sounds like you need a
> controller card to bypass your outdated BIOS and it's
> limitations. But....................................

Phoenix (BIOS software company owning my Award BIOS) would charge me $60 to upgrade the BIOS-- with this sort of old computer, I don't know if I want to spend that money for a BIOS upgrade. The Phoenix guy is the one who says my current BIOS (from Feb. '99) won't support a HDD larger than 32 GB. Turtile says in this thread that I could get a HDD larger than 32 GB and make each partition less than 32 GB in size. This is what a guy in a Yahoo computer help group told me too. [Someone told me that one can only have 2 partitions on a HDD, so I suppose I could get, in theory, a 2nd HDD of 62 GB capacity and make two partitions each 31 GB in size. Right?]


> If Im understanding you right, you said there was only "ONE"
IDE connector on your motherboard, if this is the case, I would
find a nice CPU/Mobo combo that will allow you to add larger
HDDs, give you more IDE connectors and even more CPU
> power.

But I must have two connectors, not one. The single HDD I have is connected to the "Primary" and my current two CD drives to the "Secondary". So if I get a 2nd HDD, I could connect it to the current HDD's ribbon cable and still have both connected to the "Primary" IDE connector. Right?

> The price of a controller card (pretty cheap) or having to
partition the heck out of a large drive isnt as cost effective
as simply spending a few more bucks on a newer CPU/Mobo
> combo.

With Google, I looked up this 32 GB limitation. I read at Maxtor, Seagate, Hitachi/IBM, and Samsung that because of the limitation, it's best to buy a PCI ATA controller card. [See this info at http://maxtor.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/m...hp?p_faqid=344 ]

I'll look into the ATA controller card. And I might do the following. The big university in town and the state government also here are having a used computer sale this Sat. 12 March. I know that they'll be selling IBM "barebones" boxes: 300PL Pentium 3/ 500/550/667/800MHz, 128MB-384MB, 10GB-20GB, CD-ROM. They have several but these won't have sound or modem cards. Maybe I could take out my computer's smaller HDD and put in in the IBM and then install Linux SUSE on the larger HDD. [My old, smaller Seagate would still have Win98 First Edition as the OS.]

Thanks for what all of you have told me. Tell me now what you think about what I've posted here.

I'd really like to know if, without getting an upgrade for my BIOS, I can indeed get a 2nd HDD bigger than 32 GB (say 60 GB) and then make 2 partitions on it: one 31 GB and the other say 29 GB.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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To answer your ?'s SP7.....

The "RAID/SATA Issues". Forget I said that. What I meant was
because I am unfamiliar with using RAID or SATA , this burnout
of hard drives you mentioned may have happened when the drives
were setup as RAID or SATA. I dont think this is the case though.
This "burnout" in this article was from who knows what.

Repeated jarring of the drive while operating, using too long
of a screw and tightening it down too hard, excessive heat are
just a few things that could cause a drive to fail or burnout.

Again, not an issue. You can put 2 drives on the same cable
but for best performance I would have the faster drive as the
"PRIMARY" or "Master" drive.

"Cable Select" is simply an alternative to Master/Slave. You will
be fine as Master/Slave. Just set the drive jumpers accordingly.

"Performance Hit". Like I said, put the FASTER drive as "Master"
and the slower drive as "Slave". If you have the slower performing
drive in front (as master) the faster drive will not operate to its full potential as (slave).

Yes, I guess you do have both a "Primary" and "Secondary" IDE
controller. And it sounds like your CD Drives are setup right-on the
Secondary IDE controller.

BIOS/Controller Card". I wouldnt do either. I would get a 60GB
drive and partition it in half. But if you want a drive larger than
60GB then you will need a controller card to bypass your BIOS
and this will allow you to install whatever drive size you want.

You can have more than 2 partitions. You have a Primary and an
Extended partition. It is in the Extended partition that you will
create multiple Logical drives or (additional partitions).

Be careful of the IBM Aptivas. Few if any non IBM parts fit in
those old IBM Aptiva cases and because they are so old you
wont be able to find a new motherboard or BIOS updates for
a real old system. Do you have a name brand like Dell or IBM
or do you have what is known as a clone or a no name brand?

To answer your last ? Yes, get a 60GB drive and partiton it in
half. No need for a BIOS/controller card......
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Old 03-11-2005, 01:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks ImUseless for the useful info.

About the computer boxes to be sold tomorrow by the state government and the big state university here: I know the boxes are IBM but don't know yet if they're the Aptiva line. I'll find out tomorrow or perhaps later today.

If the boxes are non-Aptivas, I might get one and then put my old HDD in it along with my recently eBay-won ISA hardware modem that works with Linux and Win, and a sound card I'd have to get somewhere. With my new used computer, I'd then have 2 HDDs, a faster and larger computer. This is the one where I'd have Linux on the new used larger HDD and Win98 1st Edition on my Seagate 8.1 GB HDD.

Do you know if IBM tended to make - or still makes today - computers where all the components are fused together making it very difficult to impossible to change components? I'll ask tomorrow to see the insides of the IBMs. I want to see how many expansion slots are there, look over the wiring, etc., etc. [I was told by the computer guy working in this used stuff place that a shopper can ask that the computer case be removed if either of the two computer guys are present to do this.]

I'll soon know if my plan continues nicely along or if I'll have to go to some other plan.
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Old 03-11-2005, 02:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't think there's a barrier for you BIOS. My BIOS is from '99 as well, and it supports 80GB just fine.
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