Hard drives and Windows XP

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by rfdjr@aol.com, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. Guest

    I'm trying to help my daughter by phone with installing a new hard drive in her
    computer. It's over the phone as she lives a few states away. She's fairly
    computer savvy but we ran into a snag. Here's the deal:

    After buying her husband an iPod for Christmas, she found that iTunes needed
    WIndows XP. Here computer only had Windows 98. She went out and found a sale on
    a Western Digital 250Gb drive, and picked up Windows XP.

    Last night she went to install the new hard drive. Apparently, she ran the
    Western Digital software that came with it, and got a message saying that some
    versions of Windows wouldn't recognize a drive larger than something like 137Gb
    without service packs being installed. So she let the WD software set up one
    partition of that size.

    Then she went to install Windows XP and ran into installation errors. I know
    that when I installed Windows XP on a new drive two years ago, I didn't run the
    Western Digital software, but just put in the Windows installation disk and that
    took care of formatting and partitioning for me. That was only on a 120Gb drive
    though, so there were no issues in size recognition.

    Could she have made a mistake using the Western Digital software before trying
    to install Windows XP? Is the really, in this day and age of large hard drive,
    a problem for Windows XP to recognize a large drive?

    I told her to try this for now: Using the Western Digital utility disk to write
    zeros to the drive and start form scratch. The just boot form the Windows XP
    disk and see if that got her past the size limit.

    I appreciate any help. I'll be visiting her tomorrow for a couple of days and
    would like to help her out. Thanks.
    , Jan 11, 2006
    #1
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  2. Toolman Tim Guest

    In news:,
    spewed forth:
    > I'm trying to help my daughter by phone with installing a new hard
    > drive in her computer. It's over the phone as she lives a few states
    > away. She's fairly computer savvy but we ran into a snag. Here's the
    > deal:
    >
    > After buying her husband an iPod for Christmas, she found that iTunes
    > needed WIndows XP. Here computer only had Windows 98. She went out
    > and found a sale on a Western Digital 250Gb drive, and picked up
    > Windows XP.


    iTunes is not necessary for iPod. There are alternatives - and would have
    cost WAY less.

    > Last night she went to install the new hard drive. Apparently, she
    > ran the Western Digital software that came with it, and got a message
    > saying that some versions of Windows wouldn't recognize a drive
    > larger than something like 137Gb without service packs being
    > installed. So she let the WD software set up one partition of that
    > size.


    Correct. But if she bought a new copy of Windows XP it will have at least
    SP1 (if not SP2) as part of the OS already. Check the specs on the XP disc -
    it should say right there. Most of them in the retail stores are new enough
    that the partition size shouldn't be a problem

    > Then she went to install Windows XP and ran into installation errors.


    What *kind* of errors? What happened, what didn't, any messages, etc.

    > I know that when I installed Windows XP on a new drive two years ago,
    > I didn't run the Western Digital software, but just put in the
    > Windows installation disk and that took care of formatting and
    > partitioning for me. That was only on a 120Gb drive though, so there
    > were no issues in size recognition.


    Should work fine either way - I've done both.

    > Could she have made a mistake using the Western Digital software
    > before trying to install Windows XP? Is the really, in this day and
    > age of large hard drive, a problem for Windows XP to recognize a
    > large drive?


    Not a mistake. I've done both. I've even formated from Linux and installed
    Windows.

    > I told her to try this for now: Using the Western Digital utility
    > disk to write zeros to the drive and start form scratch. The just
    > boot form the Windows XP disk and see if that got her past the size
    > limit.
    >
    > I appreciate any help. I'll be visiting her tomorrow for a couple of
    > days and would like to help her out. Thanks.


    Not knowing *what* errors occured makes it futile to attempt to offer a
    solution. But in my experience, most Windows 98 systems that I had problems
    installing XP on came down to cheap memory in the computer. Changed the
    memory, system ran fine.

    --
    Pursuant to Public Law No 109-162 I hereby certify, assert, testify,
    warrant, and affirm that it is not (nor has it ever been) my intent,
    aim, objective or purpose in any way to irritate, frustrate, bother,
    provoke, gall, aggravate, bother, bug, chafe, fret, irk, nettle, peeve,
    put out, rile, bait, beleaguer, beset, plague, tease, torment, worry,
    disturb, vex, exasperate, ruffle, harrass, harry, pester, bedevil, piss
    off, piss on, or in any other way annoy the reader of this post.
    Toolman Tim, Jan 11, 2006
    #2
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  3. Evan Platt Guest

    On Tue, 10 Jan 2006 19:27:56 -0500, wrote:

    >I'm trying to help my daughter by phone with installing a new hard drive in her
    >computer. It's over the phone as she lives a few states away. She's fairly
    >computer savvy but we ran into a snag. Here's the deal:
    >
    >After buying her husband an iPod for Christmas, she found that iTunes needed
    >WIndows XP. Here computer only had Windows 98. She went out and found a sale on
    >a Western Digital 250Gb drive, and picked up Windows XP.
    >
    >Last night she went to install the new hard drive. Apparently, she ran the
    >Western Digital software that came with it, and got a message saying that some
    >versions of Windows wouldn't recognize a drive larger than something like 137Gb
    >without service packs being installed. So she let the WD software set up one
    >partition of that size.
    >
    >Then she went to install Windows XP and ran into installation errors. I know
    >that when I installed Windows XP on a new drive two years ago, I didn't run the
    >Western Digital software, but just put in the Windows installation disk and that
    >took care of formatting and partitioning for me. That was only on a 120Gb drive
    >though, so there were no issues in size recognition.
    >
    >Could she have made a mistake using the Western Digital software before trying
    >to install Windows XP? Is the really, in this day and age of large hard drive,
    >a problem for Windows XP to recognize a large drive?
    >
    >I told her to try this for now: Using the Western Digital utility disk to write
    >zeros to the drive and start form scratch. The just boot form the Windows XP
    >disk and see if that got her past the size limit.
    >
    >I appreciate any help. I'll be visiting her tomorrow for a couple of days and
    >would like to help her out. Thanks.


    I don't believe XP has a size limit. I have a 200 gb HD with XP.

    I'd suggest uninstalling the WD software and installing XP without it.
    That software can cause problems.
    Evan Platt, Jan 11, 2006
    #3
  4. Tony Guest

    "Evan Platt" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    >
    > I don't believe XP has a size limit. I have a 200 gb HD with XP.
    >
    > I'd suggest uninstalling the WD software and installing XP without it.
    > That software can cause problems.


    It did prior to SP1 - the limit was 120GB IIRC. The problem the OP (or the
    daughter of) is probably facing now is that the BIOS doesn't give 48bit LBA
    to see a hard drive bigger than 137GB. It will need either a BIOS update
    but more likely, if the PC was running W98 and is from that era, the
    motherboard will need replacing.

    You used to be able to get round the BIOS restrictions by splitting the hard
    drive into several partitions but I don't know if that works these days.
    Tony, Jan 11, 2006
    #4
  5. Guest

    On Wed, 11 Jan 2006 01:03:09 -0000, "Tony" <> wrote:

    >
    >"Evan Platt" <> wrote in message
    >news:p...
    >>
    >> I don't believe XP has a size limit. I have a 200 gb HD with XP.
    >>
    >> I'd suggest uninstalling the WD software and installing XP without it.
    >> That software can cause problems.

    >
    >It did prior to SP1 - the limit was 120GB IIRC. The problem the OP (or the
    >daughter of) is probably facing now is that the BIOS doesn't give 48bit LBA
    >to see a hard drive bigger than 137GB. It will need either a BIOS update
    >but more likely, if the PC was running W98 and is from that era, the
    >motherboard will need replacing.
    >


    If a BIOS update doesn't take care of the 48-bit LBA issue, I'd wipe
    the partition table and create whatever size the XP setup would let
    me. (use the utility to write 0's to the beginning of the drive)
    Overlays can cause more problems when problems happen, specially to
    people who aren't used to dealing with them...

    Use whatever the BIOS hands you...
    137, 200... what's the difference to the normal user anyway? ;)

    >You used to be able to get round the BIOS restrictions by splitting the hard
    >drive into several partitions but I don't know if that works these days.
    >

    The funny thing about XP (and methinks 2000 also) is that it can
    detect hard drives even if the BIOS doesn't. Not boot drives, but
    curiously drives not present in the BIOS and still on the IDE channel
    (dunno about SATA)... So technically, if you had a big-ass storage
    drive, you could use that to bypass BIOS limits.

    Memory hazy, but methinks the BIOS limitation you speak of is the 1024
    cylinder boot limit?

    I digress, getting sidetracked...
    , Jan 11, 2006
    #5
  6. GHalleck Guest

    Tony wrote:

    > "Evan Platt" <> wrote in message
    > news:p...
    >
    >>I don't believe XP has a size limit. I have a 200 gb HD with XP.
    >>
    >>I'd suggest uninstalling the WD software and installing XP without it.
    >>That software can cause problems.

    >
    >
    > It did prior to SP1 - the limit was 120GB IIRC. The problem the OP (or the
    > daughter of) is probably facing now is that the BIOS doesn't give 48bit LBA
    > to see a hard drive bigger than 137GB. It will need either a BIOS update
    > but more likely, if the PC was running W98 and is from that era, the
    > motherboard will need replacing.
    >
    > You used to be able to get round the BIOS restrictions by splitting the hard
    > drive into several partitions but I don't know if that works these days.
    >
    >


    I have never personally believed in large HD partitions
    and re-partitioning to 20- or 40-GB partitions is not
    unreasonable.
    GHalleck, Jan 11, 2006
    #6
  7. Spuds Guest

    On Tue, 10 Jan 2006 19:27:56 -0500, wrote:

    >I'm trying to help my daughter by phone with installing a new hard drive in her
    >computer. It's over the phone as she lives a few states away. She's fairly
    >computer savvy but we ran into a snag. Here's the deal:
    >
    >After buying her husband an iPod for Christmas, she found that iTunes needed
    >WIndows XP. Here computer only had Windows 98. She went out and found a sale on
    >a Western Digital 250Gb drive, and picked up Windows XP.
    >
    >Last night she went to install the new hard drive. Apparently, she ran the
    >Western Digital software that came with it, and got a message saying that some
    >versions of Windows wouldn't recognize a drive larger than something like 137Gb
    >without service packs being installed. So she let the WD software set up one
    >partition of that size.
    >
    >Then she went to install Windows XP and ran into installation errors. I know
    >that when I installed Windows XP on a new drive two years ago, I didn't run the
    >Western Digital software, but just put in the Windows installation disk and that
    >took care of formatting and partitioning for me. That was only on a 120Gb drive
    >though, so there were no issues in size recognition.
    >
    >Could she have made a mistake using the Western Digital software before trying
    >to install Windows XP? Is the really, in this day and age of large hard drive,
    >a problem for Windows XP to recognize a large drive?
    >
    >I told her to try this for now: Using the Western Digital utility disk to write
    >zeros to the drive and start form scratch. The just boot form the Windows XP
    >disk and see if that got her past the size limit.
    >
    >I appreciate any help. I'll be visiting her tomorrow for a couple of days and
    >would like to help her out. Thanks.


    Ran into a problem this week that sounds similar, but it's pretty obscure.
    Take it for what it's worth.

    Replaced my 40GB drive running off a Gigabyte GA-7DXR board. The original
    drive was installed on IDE3, which always loaded Promise drivers on boot. This
    was done, evidently, because the case design placed the 3.5" bays too far from
    the 5 1/4 ones, and the builder didn't want to spend the extra dollar for a
    longer IDE cable.

    Although my BIOS rev. supported large drives, this was only applicable to the
    standard IDE1 and IDE2. I ran the Western Digital software, without incident,
    but when I cloned the drive, it hung on boot. Fresh install of XP also hung.

    Long story short, placing the drive on IDE1, where it should've been, solved
    my problem. YMMV.
    Spuds, Jan 11, 2006
    #7
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