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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 08-15-2007, 02:56 PM   #1
JosephS
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Can I use larger hard drives?


Computer: Dell Optiplex GX100
celeron 800mhz

Using Slackware12 and Debian 4.0 distros.

I'm using a 40GB IDE hard drive.

I need to replace the hard drive. I would like to know if the hard drive size will be an issue?

Can Linux read a larger drive
Will I need to upgrade the bios or add a card?

Last edited by JosephS; 08-15-2007 at 05:30 PM.
 
Old 08-15-2007, 03:01 PM   #2
MS3FGX
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You can use any size drive you want. Linux determines it's own hardware information, it doesn't matter if the BIOS directly supports the drive or not.

I have 300+ GB drives in much older computers then the one you have there. Keep in mind that the IDE chipsets in such machines will almost certainly limit your data rates, however.
 
Old 08-15-2007, 03:10 PM   #3
camorri
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If the drive you have isn't broken, just keep it and add another larger drive. You should be able to add a 120 or 160 gig drive without problems. I installed a 120 giger in my p3 box about a year ago. Worked fine without any updates. My system is an older Compac. I did have to do a BIOS update on a P1 233 Mhz Compaq laptop before the 80 gig drive would work in it. Original drive was 1.6 gig...

To know for sure, go to Dells site and look in the download, or support areas to see if there are any BIOS updates. Look at the documentation to make sure you have to do the update. Many of the updates fix obscure problems you may never see.

As for linux, there should not be any issues with linux. Install it, set the jumpers, boot your system, partition the disk, I think you need to boot after the partitioning, and format the drive with the file system. Then mount it. Edit /etc/fstab so next time you boot, it will mount without doing it command line.

It should be that easy.

Last edited by camorri; 08-15-2007 at 03:13 PM.
 
Old 08-15-2007, 04:44 PM   #4
MS3FGX
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That is a good point, it is better to have the larger drive in addition to the smaller one which natively works with the current BIOS.

That way you can install the OS to the smaller drive and be sure there will be no problems booting, and use the larger drive for data storage or what have you. If the BIOS itself never has to interact with the drive (I.E. detect it and boot to it), then there will obviously be no compatibility problems.
 
Old 08-15-2007, 05:42 PM   #5
JosephS
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The reason I'm replacing the hard drive is because I got this message:

Quote:
Warning Dell's Disk Monitoring System has detected that drive 0 on the primary EIDE Controller
is operating outside of normal specifications. It is advisable that you back up your data & replace your hard disk drive.
The computer hangs for a couple minutes every time I boot up and then I have to press F1 to reboot.

Does this message mean I have to go through the bios to detect the hard drive?

My box is minimal as far as connections. There is only room for one hard drive.
 
Old 08-15-2007, 08:10 PM   #6
Electro
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A lot of people miss the most important information. The maximum size to boot up an OS is limited to the BIOS. This means a partition on the hard drive can not be any larger than the BIOS can handle. If you bought a 1 TB hard drive and BIOS limits you to 2 GB, the partition can not be any larger to store the boot data in order for the computer boot into an OS such Linux.

Example A:
Hitachi 7K1000 (1 TB)
BIOS limit 2 GB
Linux 2.6.16 with large disk support

/boot 1 GB
/ the rest

OK to boot


Example B:
Hitachi 7K1000 (1 TB)
BIOS limit 2 GB
Linux 2.6.16 with large disk support

/boot 3 GB
/ the rest

Failed to boot

Yes, Linux does have its way of calculating the hard drive geometry, but this is only after the kernel is loaded from the boot loader. In order to handle very, very large capacity drives, large disk support have to be selected before compiling the Linux kernel. Hopefully, by now distributions have this option selected.
 
Old 08-16-2007, 08:23 AM   #7
camorri
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JosephS,

I had a look at the doc on Dell's web site. There are instructions on the How To stuff for replacing your drive.

Look here http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...g/harddisk.htm

You did not say which version of the GX100 you have. There are three listed. Only the small form factor is restricted to 1 drive. I assume that is a space restriction. You will find specs on Dell as to drive size supported, as well as the How To information.

Back up your data now, don't wait. After the back up you can decide which drive size to use to replace. If you have one of the chassis that takes more than one drive, I would add one. If not, you will have to remove and replace.

My experience with Dells has not been good. I worked at a training school, teaching. We had donated older computers, among them Dells. Power was the most common fault we saw. Some models the power supplies from Dell didn't work when new, or they would fail after a month of normal service. Not sure that is relevant in your situation.

Best recommendation I have is use the Dell doc to determine drive size supported, and the How to replace information. They cover the jumpering, cabling and even other precautions to take.

Hope this helps.
 
  


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