on motherboards and large hard drives....

just bought myself a nice juicy 300gb hard drive for a great price… went to install it on my pc ( with a tyan s1854 trinity 400 motherboard rev 1.07) nothing can see the hard drive as more than 137 gigs. a lil bit of googling doesnt yield much information aside from editing my registry to enable large hard drive support, which is fruitless, so i’m thinking it might be an issue with the motherboard itself and cant find a bios upgrade past what i have. Am i just screwed out of 170 gigs of space or is there something i can do or some place i’m not looking?

Check that your bios is set on auto. Check Tyan for the bios recognition limit for hard drives. Check that the hard drive doesn’t have a compatability jumper that limits the size. In the case off the bios can’t handle that large a drive you can purchase a pci hard drive interface, use a program that interfaces between the hard drive and bios, or install it as an external drive. You didn’t say what type interface your drive had. That makes a big difference on how you do things.

There are a number of different possible causes for this and the BIOS is only one of them; what size is the BIOS reporting the drive as during bootup?

Also, are you running Windows XP?

The HD should come with software that can provide some basic info as to what might be causing the limitation.

As a last resort there would also be included software that can be loaded during booting to do “drive translation” so the whole drive is accessible. But be warned: this type of software is a ticking time bomb and there’s a good chance that your drive will get corrupted and you’ll lose a lot of data.

The PCI card solution would be far better.

Here’s similar info but concrete experiences. I have a Dell Dimension 2400 or something like that. I also bought a 300G hard drive and found out that the BIOS won’t recognize more than 137G.

One option would be to purchase a PCI card drive controller, which would include a BIOS that could handle the size. I have done this before on another machine and it worked very successfully.

However, on this box there are very limited slots and they’re all being used, so I opted for the external solution. I bought an external drive container. You install the drive into it pretty much the same way you would install it into your machine. It comes with a power supply. This one is USB 2.0. It was trivial to get it up and running.

it didnt come with any software, cant find any info about limits online or jumper settings and tyans website is all but useless, they dont even list this motherboard.
(i just went back to my boot screens to make sure i wrote the numbers down correctly) and i have no idea where the manual is to check if its jumper settings…

oh yeah… the os is windows 2000

I had similar problems with Windows2000 and a very large (250GB) drive. In my case it actually was Windows, and not my mobo, that had the problem. On a quick Google search I found this page:


It was a couple of years ago, but I remember going through something similar to get mine working. When I switched to XP with the same hardware I did not have the problem any more. If you have been thinking of upgrading anyway it may be a good opportunity.

Did you make sure to update Windows 2000 to SP4 (or at least SP2) before you enabled LBA support?

You may want to check out 48bitLBA.com, a website dedicated to just this problem.

I did a quick search on your motherboard and it looks to be pretty old. It’s doubtful that your drive will be supported. As others have said, it looks like you’ll need to buy a PCI IDE card. You should be able to find one for as little as $15-20 online.

I had that board at one time and it was good for it’s time the year 2000. I was holding back because I’ve been answering too many of these computer threads.

The board is actually a Trinity 400 (s1854).


After a refresher on the date it was being sold, I can tell you to get the PCI interface card. The Mother board doesn’t support that large of a drive, and it would access the new drive at a rate below what the drive can handle. You’ll see a boost in drive access speed. You can install a LBA (Logical Block Addressing) program available from the drive mfg. Site. It adds difficulties best avoided. I’ve seen many people lose their data because the interface program wasn’t loaded during trouble shooting.

To boot from a PCI card the BIOS needs to have the first boot device set to boot from SCSI device. You need not change anything if you use the original drive on the mother board to boot.

Buy a PCI interface card for IDE and make sure it it handles the hard drive size and speed you have.

Here’s an article that discusses the different hard drive size barriers of PC systems. Your motherboard, manufactured in 2000, suffers from the 137 GB barrier, and none of its BIOS patches address it. Therefore it’s best to follow Harmonious Discord’s advice and buy an interface card.