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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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Hard drive size limitations are a function of your systems's BIOS; the linux kernel has no practical hard drive size limitation. Once the linux kernel loads, linux kisses the BIOS hard drive size limitations goodbye. The net result of this is if you keep your 80GB drive and add a 500GB drive, you can load linux off your 80GB drive and linux will see the 500GB drive just fine after it loads up even if your hardware BIOS can't handle a 500GB drive.
I'm not sure how this works out if your BIOS can't handle 500GB drives and that's all you have on your system. Certainly, any linux installation routine will see and install to the drive because installation routines load a linux kernel and run through it. The question is what happens when the system's BIOS tries to boot from a drive that exceeds its size limitation. I suspect that if you create a / partition at the beginning of the drive which is smaller than the BIOS hard drive size limit, the BIOS will be able to boot from the drive and load the linux kernel after which the entire hard drive would be seen and usable.
Windows is much more bound to the BIOS hard drive size limits by the way. If you BIOS can't handle the drive then windows won't see it or at least won't see it properly.
I'm not sure why you assume the BIOS would be too old for a 500gb hard drive. But even if it is, it would be able to boot linux as long as all of grub is near enough the beginning of the hard drive.
At worst you might need to create a /boot partition to contain grub and the linux kernel, then have your root, swap and home partitions later on the drive. More likely (even if the BIOS doesn't understand 500gb drives) your whole root partition including boot can easily be small enough to be bootable if it is the first partition.
I'm not sure why you assume the BIOS would be too old for a 500gb hard drive.
It's not an assumption, I was just making sure I provided a full answer so the OP didn't come back later and say "I can only see 32GB! WTF!" or something along those lines. I've had problems with old machines that refuse to boot when I've added a disk that's been too big for the BIOS, even if the OS was on a smaller one.
this system was built Jan 23 2008 with the up-to-date hardware with a new mobo, i dont think the system bios will be a problem , i was more concerned with the fedora reconizing the entire drive as on or if i needed to make sevral partitions to use the entire drive
One thing worth considering when going from one drive to more than one drive is how to mount them.
The basic idea is to put the big stuff on the big drive (kinda' obvious). For most users, I suspect that it will be their media collection: photos, music and videos. As these tend to be stored in your home folder, I suggest mounting your big drive on /home, and the small one on / (root).
Alternatively, you could look into UnionFS, which is a fuse thing (higher order file system) that lets you mount two file systems on one folder and be able to see the contents of both file systems.