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dt-merritt
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Dell Bios

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My daughters 2004 Insperation 8600 has outgrown it's 40 GB HD and I have been trying to upgrade the machine to a 320 GB Western Digital.  I have upgraded the bios to the latest (A14 dated 2005).  The bios says the drive is a 137 GB and won't recognise it as a 320 GB.  Does that mean it will not take any thing bigger than a 137 GB or do I just have a problem?

Don't know if this is connected, the only things I can physically change in the setup are the time/date and the boot order.  The first page, with the Hard Drive settings is all "greened out" and won't let me to them? 

 

Any advise would be helpful!

 

Thanks, Dan Merritt

 

 

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Re: Dell Bios

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Yes, the Inspiron 8600 has a BIOS limit of 137 GB for hard drive support.  Provided you take appropriate precautions, however, you can still use a drive larger than 137 GB on this laptop.  Assuming that you are using Windows XP, you must have an installation CD that incorporates Service Pack 1 or later.  If you wish, it is possible to format an oversize hard drive as a single partition using such a CD since Windows uses its own hard drive interface rather than going through the BIOS.

The catch is that the BIOS routine is still used while Windows boots up and it is possible for corruption to occur at this point of start-up.  It is usually suggested that you use at least two partitions on a drive larger than 137 GB, the first being smaller than 137 GB and used primarily for the Windows OS, the second simply formatted and used for data.  In this way you are less likely to suffer a corrupted OS partition, and if it becomes corrupted anyway, you can restore the operating system without losing the data on the second partition.

Dell Forum member since 2005

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8 Krypton

Re: Dell Bios

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Yes, the Inspiron 8600 has a BIOS limit of 137 GB for hard drive support.  Provided you take appropriate precautions, however, you can still use a drive larger than 137 GB on this laptop.  Assuming that you are using Windows XP, you must have an installation CD that incorporates Service Pack 1 or later.  If you wish, it is possible to format an oversize hard drive as a single partition using such a CD since Windows uses its own hard drive interface rather than going through the BIOS.

The catch is that the BIOS routine is still used while Windows boots up and it is possible for corruption to occur at this point of start-up.  It is usually suggested that you use at least two partitions on a drive larger than 137 GB, the first being smaller than 137 GB and used primarily for the Windows OS, the second simply formatted and used for data.  In this way you are less likely to suffer a corrupted OS partition, and if it becomes corrupted anyway, you can restore the operating system without losing the data on the second partition.

Dell Forum member since 2005