Adding a 500GB external drive to Windows XP

  tallboy 22:33 21 Feb 2008

I am considering adding a 500GB external drive (via a USB 2.0 port) to my Windows XP system, which is a Mesh Athlon-based PC built in 2001, to store phots, music etc. (No applications)

When I upgraded the internal drive from an 80GB to a 300GB drive 18 months ago, I had real problems as the BIOS would not recognise drives beyond 100GB. After updating the BIOS I ended up with a system that thinks the IDE-connected drives are actually SCSI drives. (See Helproom thread click here if you are interested in this problem!)

Re the new external drives, I have two questions:

1. Is there a limit (in terms of disk size) as to what an older XP system might recognise, when an external disk is connected via a USB port?

2. What software is available to parition a 500GB drive? (I think Partition Magic only goes to 300GB.)

Thanks for your help.


  MAJ 22:38 21 Feb 2008

1. I'm not sure there is, but it's certainly not less than 500GB.

2. Why do you want to partition? It's not necessary to partition an external drive, just use different folders.

  skidzy 22:40 21 Feb 2008

As said by Maj...forget the partitions,though if you must ..Partition Logic is free if required.

  skidzy 22:40 21 Feb 2008

oops,link click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:45 21 Feb 2008

Is there a limit (in terms of disk size) as to what an older XP system might recognise, when an external disk is connected via a USB port?

older XP system? make sure you have ALL the upates.

BIOS is not interested in external drives if not booting from them XP uptodate will let you fit whatever you want.

to store phots, music etc. (No applications)

forget partitions, just use folders

  Stuartli 23:43 21 Feb 2008

If you use the Seagate/Maxtor Disk Wizard utility from the Seagate website, you can select to use larger volumes than 137GB for hard drives.

  tallboy 10:15 22 Feb 2008

Thanks to all for your advice.

The only reason I was thinking of partitioning the drive was that in the 'old days' you were advised to do it to make the storage more efficient. (i.e. not waste valuable disk space.)

I'll be formatting it NTFS rather than FAT32, so may be that ensures that it is more efficient anyway.

Incidentally, I do have all the Microsoft XP updates (up to 21 Feb 08).

  Stuartli 10:44 22 Feb 2008

You can also use Disk Wizard to format and partition the drive as you wish from the Maintenance tab.

After each partition is set up to size requirement, click on the slider button to create each new partition.

The circular graph displays the partition(s) created and how much space remains on the drive.

Give each partition a drive letter to suit your purposes.

  tallboy 22:02 22 Feb 2008

Thanks for the info Stuartli. I used Disk Wizard when I replaced the internal 80GB drive with a 300GB drive and it worked OK. So far I haven't had need to move any of the partitions, but if I should do, I would suspect that it's not as flexible as Partition Magic or its competitors.

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