First, sorry for my bad english. I have an Inspiron 640m bought in 2006 with a HD WD 120 GB. I bought a Seagate Momentus 7200.4 320 GB to replace the WD. But after the cloning from the WD to the Seagate (all seems ok on the Seagate), have put the Seagate in place of the WD (fail to boot) and have replaced it in the HD case, it had no more capacity than 118,5 GB (the cloning was no more visible).
Is it possible to change the HD of my laptop by another one with a larger capacity or is there a limit for this model ? Because the support of Seagate told me that the problem came from this limit.
Thanks for your help.
There is a BIOS limit of 120G, but that's not what caused the problem - you CANNOT clone the entire drive with Media Direct present. See below for details:
Thanks for your reply.
To be sure having a right understanding of the problem, this means that I can't install a HD > 120 GB ? If yes, I'm very disappointed . Could you tell me that ?
However, your link is very interesting for my comprehension and with its content, I was able to restore the full capacity of my HD 320 GB (It was difficult but I succeded with HAD2T). Thanks a lot for that.
It is possible to use a drive over 120G. That said, the results can be unpredictable - anything that bypasses Windows to write directly to the drive could corrupt the drive causing data loss. If you DO use the drive, KEEP BACKUPS - you will need them someday.
You CANNOT clone the Media Direct partition and the master boot record. You would need to clone the Windows partition to an image, and restore it - followed by a boot from a WIndows CD to write a new master boot record (you'll lose Media Direct in the process).
The other option of course is a clean, ground-up reload of Windows.
I don't understand what is reponsible of this limit. Is it the motherboard and if yes, why ? Is it possible to pass this limit ? If yes, how ?
You said "anything that bypasses Windows to write directly to the drive", but I don't see what "thing" you think for that and how windows is involved in this problem.
I'm sorry for all these questions but I would like to understand.
Thanks for your help
There are utilities that call directly to the BIOS to read the drive - anything that does such a thing and writes to the drive will corrupt it, since the BIOS will read a 137 GByte drive. The solution is a BIOS that supports the LBA48 extensions needed for large drive support - unfortunately, there is no such BIOS for this system.
If you decide to use a drive over 120G, keep backups - recovering data by means of a non-Windows method, such as a boot CD or floppy, will be difficult at best. And I have seen cases where large drives run fine for a while, but eventually result in disc read errors when the contents of the drive become corrupted.
As long as nothing bypasses Windows to write to the drive - and Windows will load -- you will have no problems. When something does make a BIOS call outside of Windows, you will have trouble.
It seems to me to have understood.
I don't want to risk losing my datas, so I think I'm going to keep my actual HD in my Inspiron and to use my new HD as a device for backing up my datas.
I thank you very much for your help and your explanation