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The 2GB BIOS limit

If you can only create one 2GB partition on the drive (such as on an 8GB drive), chances are that the BIOS is at fault. Monday, June 4, 2001 The 2GB BIOS limit If you can only create one 2GB partition on the drive (such as on an 8GB drive), chances are that the BIOS is at fault.

An older BIOS can cause a 2.1GB limit when it’s unable to support more than 4,096 cylinders for the hard drive. Let’s assume a standard-drive geometry of 16 heads, 63 sectors per track, and 512 bytes per sector (4,096 cylinders x 16 heads x 63 sectors x 512 bytes). This works out to a maximum drive size of 2,113,929,216 bytes (2.11GB). If you can only create one 2GB partition on the drive (such as on an 8GB drive), chances are that the BIOS is at fault. The best way to correct this problem is to upgrade the BIOS to a version that offers INT13h enhancements, or install the free drive overlay software (such as Data Lifeguard Tools or MaxBlast) that is normally provided with today’s drives.

Formerly part of Computer Currents, Stephen J. Bigelow’s Computer Advisor column has been resurrected on computeruser.com as a daily tech tip column. Find Stephen at www.dlspubs.com.

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