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Maximum hard drive size for my motherboard?

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6 replies to this topic

#1
mikep56

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Hi All,
I have a TF7050-M2 motherboard running Windows XP Pro SP3. This PC is rock solid, although it is 5 years old. It has a 500GB SATA hard drive that is getting full, and I want to add a few more HDD. This mobo has both SATA and IDE controllers. I have the manual and have read it from cover to cover several times, but I cannot find the answer to my question:
What is the maximum hard drive size (per HDD) that will be recognized by this motherboard?
I checked the website and about all it has is the manual that I have.
Any help would be appreciated.
Regards,
Mike


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#2
dencorso

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Since you're using XP SP3, the maximum size internal HDD it'll detect is effectively the maximum size individual HDD you'll be able to mount and actually use, and that's a 2 TB ( using 512 bytes sectors). One of the last such HDDs is the Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX. Please notice that the analogue Caviar Green uses 4 kiB sectors, instead of 512 bytes sectors.

#3
mikep56

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Hi dencorso,
Thanks for the info; where did you find that?
Regards,
Mike

#4
dencorso

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Wow! That's a difficult question... but, the main point is the 512-bytes sectored (= 0.5 KiB sectored) vs. the 4 KiB sectored HDDs (so-called Advanced Format), which is a question we've discussed in many places, some time ago, but I think Comos' thread is perhaps the best start point for you (it distills into the fact that 0.5 KiB sectored are really fundamental for XP, in what regards internal HDDs (PATA or SATA) or internal SSDs, while USB Mass Storage Devices can fake 0.5 KiB sectors and get away with it). Now, since SCSI are older than ATA, and, in fact, even within ATA there's no PATA HDD ever produced bigger than 0.75 TB 0.5 TB (thanks a lot, buyerninety!), AFAIK, then the biggest 0.5 KiB sectored SATA HDDs that Win XP SP3 can recognize, which are 2 TB, define maximum hard drive size (per HDD). While this is not exactly the answer to your original question, at the end of the day it boils down to it, because, even in case your actual motherboard (I didn't check it) can recognize HDDs bigger than 2 TB, your OS won't be able to deal with them. Now, about the specific model of WD HDD I recommended you, that one I had specifically searched because I was interested in buying one such disk, and that was the one I eventually decided to buy. See also: Drives With 4KB Sectors and WD Caviar Black (BTW, notice that the 0.5 TB WD Caviar Black listed, the WD5003AZEX, already has 4 KiB sectors... so the FAEX series may very well be the last 0.5 KiB sectored WD Caviar Blacks).

#5
mikep56

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Hi dencorso,
Thanks for the explanation. It is exactly what I was looking for. I have a PC in our den that my nephews watch movies that were ripped to. The HDD in it is getting full, and I just wanted to add the largest one that it would recognize.
Thanks again for your help.
Mike

#6
dencorso

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No problem. I hope that PC shall still serve you all well for a long time ahead. :yes:
The more machines running XP after support's end, the merrier! :D

#7
mikep56

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Hi dencorso,
I have 6 PCs running Windows XP Pro.
Long live XP!
Mike




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