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80 gb hard dive not recognized

By RG11 ·
I have a 80 GB hard drive and I am trying to install it in an older dell. P3 733 128mb It is not seeing the 80gb. Only seeing like 12 gb. I believe there is a fix from MS. ANyone have a clue? What do I need to do?

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by TheChas In reply to 80 gb hard dive not recog ...

There is NOT a fix from MS for the BIOS to properly recognize the drive.

There is an updated version of fdisk that takes care of working with drives up to 132GB
Follow the link at

If the problem is the PC not recognizing the full capacity of the drive, you have 3 options:

Check with Dell for a BIOS update that specifically supports larger hard drives.

Purchase a PCI IDE controller card.
Not only will it recognize the full size of the hard drive, it will allow you to take advantage of the full ATA 100/133 data transfer rate of the new drive.

Download and run the BIOS overlay utility from the hard drive manufacture.
Keep in mind, that you will need to follow a special process to boot from a floppy or CD and have access to the drive.

When I run into this issue, I spend the extra 20 or 30 dollars (US) and install the controller card.


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by RG11 In reply to

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by csmith In reply to 80 gb hard dive not recog ...

This is a Dell problem.
There is is no fix from MS.
The best (And Cheapest) solution is to buy a UltraIDE controller card.
This allows the Hard Drive to transfer data at the maximum rate, and bypasses the BIOS and Motherboard IDE Controler problems in one swoop.
Dell makes, essentially disposable, computers.
They are not really designed for serious upgrades.
Dell wants to sell you a new one.
So, these controller card additions are common, as a way around the problem.
Regards, Chris

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by RG11 In reply to 80 gb hard dive not recog ...

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