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How do I format a 40 GB and a 200 GB hard drives?

How do I format two hard drives? One is 40 GB and the other is 200 GB. I would like to put Win2K for my studies on approximately 30G and a bigger portion for my video editing with Win XP. I am planning to learn video editing so that is why I got this 200G installed. Unfortunately when I bought it, the seller said that the 200 GB is not recognized. It is only recognized as 127 GB. Why is that so and how do I go about reformatting these two hard drives?

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You've run into a problem with some slightly older computers (usually anything sold before 2002 or so). The BIOS in the system is not capable of recognizing a single partition larger than 137 GB. When 160GB and larger drives routinely started appearing on the market, BIOS makers started issuing updates to allow their BIOSes to properly recognize such drives (which require 48-bit rather than 32-bit addressing to be 'seen' by BIOS). Your best first line of action is to go to your system vendor or motherboard manufacturer and get a BIOS update. If they're diligent, they should have an updated BIOS that lets you use drives bigger than 137 GB by now. Also note that Windows XP, pre-Service Pack 1, has trouble seeing some partitions bigger than 137GB as well; apply Service Pack 1 or use a Windows XP system disk with Service Pack 1 preinstalled when you set up your computer.

This was first published in August 2004

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