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Hi. A few months ago I was going to try out Linux and set up a dual boot system with Mandrake 10.1 and Windows XP. That went fine, but having to share a relatively small hard drive (40 GB) between the two was a little too tight with all the stuff I have, so I switched back to just Windows.
I just got a new hard drive (160 GB) and want to take another stab at it though. My main concern is that I don't know whether or not my BIOS is going to see the drive beyond 137 GB and that last partition is where I plan to put Linux. The hard drive came with a utility that can put the needed boot information on the beginning of the hard drive so that all 160 GB could be used if the BIOS doesn't support such drives, but it says that it only works under Windows. This is my partition plan right now:
1. 60 GB NTFS for Windows XP
2. 20 GB ReiserFS for Linux
3. 80 GB FAT32 to share
(I know the real figures will be a little different using 1024 as a base instead of 1000, but you get the idea.)
I want both Windows and Linux to be able to access the entire FAT32 partition, but am wondering if an older BIOS could potentially cause problems. I bought the system new in April of 2002, and it's an Intel 845 chipset if that helps.
if the PC is a brand prebuilt aka Dell then make sure and update to the latest BIOS and also check with them to see see if the drive is supported. if it is a home built PC, goto the motherboard manufacturer and get the latest BIOS and check to see if the drive is supported. Most likely there is a BIOS update out that will support a large drive and you won't have to worry.
Got resourceful and finally figured out what kind of motherboard I have and managed to find an update that had 48-bit addressing support. Soon as I install that everything should be okay, right? I can install this update before I install the new hard drive, right?
yeah go ahead and flash the BIOS on your motherboard and install the new HD. I would use LILO as your boot manager and the dual boot should be a snap.
Double or triple check the motherboard model and rev# to match the BIOS flash, your board will become a prickly frisbee if you flash it with the wrong BIOS. (sorry to scare you, just a legal disclaimer)