Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


  Search this Thread
Old 03-07-2008, 10:27 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2007
Posts: 85

Rep: Reputation: 15
Larger Hard drive

I am wanting to repace a 80 gb data drive in my linux box, but i am concernd about what size to get ,Will linux support a 500 gb drive? IDE is what my plans are
Old 03-07-2008, 10:46 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: UK
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 1,847

Rep: Reputation: 128Reputation: 128

Filesystem is probably more relevant, but I'm struggling to think of a filesystem that won't support 500GB. You should be safe whichever filesystem you choose.

Depending on the age of your machine, your BIOS might also restrict the maximum size of drive your computer can see.
Old 03-07-2008, 10:50 AM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,559

Rep: Reputation: 213Reputation: 213Reputation: 213
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.
Old 03-07-2008, 11:01 AM   #4
LQ Guru
Registered: Dec 2007
Distribution: Centos
Posts: 5,286

Rep: Reputation: 1190Reputation: 1190Reputation: 1190Reputation: 1190Reputation: 1190Reputation: 1190Reputation: 1190Reputation: 1190Reputation: 1190
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.
Old 03-07-2008, 11:11 AM   #5
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: UK
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 1,847

Rep: Reputation: 128Reputation: 128
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
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.
Old 03-08-2008, 10:10 AM   #6
Registered: Jun 2007
Posts: 85

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
larger hard drive

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
Old 03-08-2008, 02:23 PM   #7
Senior Member
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Denmark
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian
Posts: 1,524

Rep: Reputation: 47
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.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
moving to larger hard drive - having problems PAB Linux - Newbie 8 01-26-2008 10:28 AM
Moving LVM partition to larger hard drive blainehilton Fedora 2 11-20-2007 02:36 PM
Migrating to larger hard drive SlowCoder Linux - General 7 05-20-2007 04:08 AM
Migrating FC5 Default Install to Larger Hard Drive GadgetWiz Fedora 4 10-03-2006 08:25 AM
smaller drive to larger drive duplication mystery midlifecrisis Solaris / OpenSolaris 6 02-01-2006 07:23 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:04 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration