I did a bit of reading and this seems to be because my bios only registers a 8gb harddrive
The first thing to do is to determine if the limitation is the BIOS (it's a non-LBA BIOS) itself or a setting in the BIOS (the BIOS is LBS-capable, but LBA is not set). Enter the BIOS and go into the hard drive settings. You should see the drive listed, as well as the number of cylinders, sectors, and heads. At the right-hand end of the line, select the mode (which may read Normal) and change it to LBA.
If the BIOS is not LBA-capable, you could try creating a small /boot partition as the first partition, with the rest of the filesystem in the second partition, and swap in the third partition. Having the bootable kernel image in a small partition at the beginning of the drive may allow normal booting of the system since the BIOS sees it as withing the 8 GB limit. Once the system is booted, the OS takes over. I don't think the BIOS interfers with writes to disk after the 8 GB limit once the OS is booted.
As you can see, this means re-partitioning and re-installing. But, if it works, it's worth the effort.