Intel DQ965GF Motherboard


T

tb

How can I find out the maximum HD size supported by the BIOS installed
on this motherboard?

Bios version is C096510J.86A.5493.2006.1102.1728.
 
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P

Paul

tb said:
How can I find out the maximum HD size supported by the BIOS installed
on this motherboard?

Bios version is C096510J.86A.5493.2006.1102.1728.
Rough rules of thumb.

1) Anything introduced after 2003, the IDE ports
support 48 bit LBA. That allows large drive support.

The largest IDE was 750GB, so you're in no danger
of tripping any other bugs.

.. The next practical limit, is the MBR limit of
2**32 sectors a.k.a 2.2TB limit. That's an issue
when the BIOS goes to boot.

2) SATA ports should be OK. They're probably all
designed to ATA/ATAPI 6 or later spec. No size limit
like with IDE. There would be a 2.2TB limit for MBR
based booting. If you use a 3TB or 4TB drive, visit the
disk manufacturer's web page for the product, to read
about workarounds, boot issues and so on. (I just
checked the WD and Seagate sites, and I couldn't find
the good info I used to be able to find, so this won't
be as easy today.)

The one exception, is motherboards with Silicon Image
3112 (add-on SATA controller chip), which has a
"1TB freezing bug". This was fixed with an add-in ROM
code update, but the update was delivered so late in
the development cycle, that many boards did not have an
opportunity to incorporate the change in time. My A7N8X-E,
I got a BIOS for that one, with the SIL3112 bug fixed.
Some other boards, the BIOS updates stopped, before
that code came along. For those systems, if you connect
a 1TB hard drive to the SIL3112 SATA port, the motherboard
freezes and the board won't finish POST (until the drive
is disconnected).

So for your 2006 motherboard, I'd say "no more than the
usual problems". Just do your homework before connecting
a 3TB or 4TB hard drive. Or that new Hitachi drive which is
helium filled (it is not in real volume production yet).

There are two disk partitioning methods, MBR and GPT.
GPT is for big drives and very recent OSes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record

MBR limits the maximum addressable storage space of a
disk to 2.2 TB (2^32 x 512 bytes)

The OS support table for this one, is half way down.
GPT boots with a UEFI BIOS, which you don't have.
(I don't have one either.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface

I have a 3TB drive, and currently use the bottom 2.2TB part of it.
That's partially because I'm using WinXP, and partially because
I have some Acronis driver in my OS that needs to be removed,
to make more of the disk available. I can't boot from that
drive in any case, and boot from a smaller drive. The 3TB
one is for backups n' stuff.

HTH,
Paul
 
V

VanguardLH

tb said:
How can I find out the maximum HD size supported by the BIOS installed
on this motherboard?

Bios version is C096510J.86A.5493.2006.1102.1728.
In your other thread, I gave a link to the specs on this mobo. One of
the links mentions the mobo uses the ICH8DO I/O controller as part of
its chipset. An online search on its specs found:

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/doc/datasheet/intel-io-controller-hub-8-datasheet.pdf

It mentions 48-bit LBA (logical block addressing). See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_block_addressing

There should be a setting the BIOS to select the addressing mode for the
mass storage subsystem (hard disks). With any BIOS that supports LBA
mode, it will be the default addressing scheme.

LBA addresses by sectors where normally each sector is 512 bytes. So:

(2^48 - 1) x 512 bytes = 281,474,976,710,144 bytes = 256 TiB

With bigger sized allocation units, LBA will support up to 2 PiB. Well,
one, you can't get a hard disk that big and, two, the hardware will have
other limitations and, three, the Windows version will limit max memory
addressing even further.

If you read Nil's thread, you'll see he got a 4 TB hard drive but is
stuck with 2 TiB partitions unless he uses a workaround. Windows XP
doesn't support GPT or UEFI. He has to use the MBR scheme which has the
2 TiB partition size limit. Your previous thread asked about CPUs but
never mentioned which OS (Window, Linux) or which version of it you
intend to use.

Although Windows Vista supports UEFI, it still has limitations on the
partition size for booting; see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFI#Microsoft_Windows

Then read the section:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFI#Operating_systems

and note the 6th bullet that starts "Microsoft introduced UEFI ..."

The GPT scheme to allow larger than 2 TiB partitions works with the UEFI
BIOS (that replaces the old MBR scheme that incurs the 2 TiB partition
limit on max size). The specs (see the link again for docs) don't
mention UEFI or GPT so your old motherboard doesn't supports those.
That means you also are stuck with 2 TiB maximum partition sizes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table#Windows:_32-bit_versions
shows charts of which bit-wise versions of Windows support GPT.
Normally I would say that if UEFI is not available on your mobo that GPT
won't be usable even if your choice of OS supports GPT. However:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

at the beginning notes some BIOSes support GPT. Yet I don't see in the
specs for your mobo that GPT is mentioned.

The MBR has 4 partition entries in its partition table. That means you
can define a maximum of 4 *primary* partitions in the MBR (master boot
record). If you only define primary partitions, that means you could
use a 16 TiB hard disk and slice it into four 2 TiB partitions.
However, you can also create a logical partition that can contain lots
of logical drives (I forgot the max count of logical drives but it's
big). So you could put in a super-huge hard disk but you'll still have
to slice it up into 2 TiB partitions -- or use the workarounds mentioned
in Nil's thread, like a translation driver.
 
T

tb

How can I find out the maximum HD size supported by the BIOS installed
on this motherboard?

Bios version is C096510J.86A.5493.2006.1102.1728.
You guys piques my interest with this GPT/MBR table issue.

Let's assume for a moment that my motherboard supports UEFI (I know
that it does not, but let's just assume this!). Furthermore let's also
assume that I want to install Ubuntu on a brand-new, virgin HD. Is the
GPT (or MBR) table installed/created by the operating system? Would
Ubuntu give me a choice of whether to create a GPT or MBR table? Would
Ubuntu also create the .efi file in addition to the GPT table?

Just curious and completely inexperienced with these issues...
 
P

Paul

tb said:
You guys piques my interest with this GPT/MBR table issue.

Let's assume for a moment that my motherboard supports UEFI (I know
that it does not, but let's just assume this!). Furthermore let's also
assume that I want to install Ubuntu on a brand-new, virgin HD. Is the
GPT (or MBR) table installed/created by the operating system? Would
Ubuntu give me a choice of whether to create a GPT or MBR table? Would
Ubuntu also create the .efi file in addition to the GPT table?

Just curious and completely inexperienced with these issues...
I don't have any UEFI motherboards here. I do have a
3TB disk, but no plans to boot from it.

The Internet can help us here. Looks like GRUB needs
a little extra space up near the front. If the disk is
empty, it'll probably get it all right (since alignment
now is to 1MB chunks, rather than 63 sectors).

http://johnlewis.ie/converting-to-gpt-in-ubuntu/

The Wikipedia article says Ubuntu 8.04+
when it comes to distros that can handle
GPT. Since not a lot of those old distros
have servers for Synaptic, there's no point
really, installing something that old. Anything
recent should work.

Paul
 
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V

VanguardLH

tb said:
You guys piques my interest with this GPT/MBR table issue.

Let's assume for a moment that my motherboard supports UEFI (I know
that it does not, but let's just assume this!). Furthermore let's also
assume that I want to install Ubuntu on a brand-new, virgin HD. Is the
GPT (or MBR) table installed/created by the operating system? Would
Ubuntu give me a choice of whether to create a GPT or MBR table? Would
Ubuntu also create the .efi file in addition to the GPT table?

Just curious and completely inexperienced with these issues...
The BIOS never partitions the hard disk so the BIOS isn't writing
anything on the hard disks regarding partitioning. The BIOS doesn't
format the partitions, either.

I don't use Ubuntu but did find this about it and UEFI:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI

http://odm.ubuntu.com/docs/ubuntu-bios-uefi-requirements.pdf
(a year old report)

There is an alt.os.linux.ubuntu newsgroup where you could ask if and how
Ubuntu utilizes UEFI.
 
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