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PCI Controller


Village Idiot
I have just been given an old Dell computer and have replaced the old 20gb HDD with a 250gb HDD and added 2gb RAM.

The problem I have had twice now is that I get Boot disk error, press CTRL etc. I replaced the first 250gb HDD with a new one and today the same error. The jumper settings are correct according to the seagate website.

The computer boots fine with the 20gb HDD in

A friend has said that my MBoard might not support a large HDD but if I got an IDE PCI Controller card that would do the trick.

Anybody got any ideas or advice?


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Political User
I would be surprised if the motherboard wouldn't support the larger hard drive. Windows XP pre SP1 I believe wouldn't let you see more than 137GB - but the drive would work it would just now make the rest of the space available.

Can you see it in the BIOS? Like Carpo said - is it IDE or SATA? Check for a BIOS upgrade and maybe even reset the values in the BIOS back to factory defaults and try again. Getting the machine from someone else you never know what it's configured to do.


Village Idiot
The computer is about 4 years old. The bios shows it as 250gb and windows did show it as 236gb before the boot disk errors.

I am using windows xp sp2, clean install and Seagate's Seatools shows no errors on the drive and shows it as a 250gb hdd.

I placed the 20gb hdd as the master and the 250gb as the slave and so far no problems.

Would a PCI card help?

It is an IDE drive

Dark Atheist

Staff member
Political User
no need if the bios sees it, and what the bios shows it to be and what windows shows it to be are always different because of the different ways they see a GB.

All drive manufacturers say 1000meg = 1GB
Microsoft say 1024meg = 1GB

so as long as the bios sees it and windows sees it you have no need for a pci card


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Political User
Could be that the boot sector is just messed up somehow on the drive. If it's blank or nothing on there you need, try a re-install on the 250GB?
If windows saw it once the problem is likely not with the MB. Try another cable. Make sure it is an 80 pin cable, 40 pin cables are old style and can't handle high speed transfers.

If it is an old MB that can't support higher density HDs they may not support a HD either.


Village Idiot
Removed all the cables and drives, replaced the IDE cables and reinserted all drives with the 250gb as master and all is well so far.

Thanks everyone for their advice

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