When buying new hard disc, does the PC specs matter?

Hi mates,
I want to buy a bigger Hard disc, lets say 200-300 GB.

My PC specs are:
Motherboard: Matsonic MS9007C
Intel Pentium 4 1.5 GH
RAM: 512 MB, capable of 768 MB
Hard disc: 40 GB
Graphics Card: Ge Force FX 5200
OS: Win XP Pro SP1

Can my current PC handle a Hard disc of 200 or 300 GB?

Thanks guys,
Pavle

Hi,

You should check this on the Matsonic website (if there is one, never heard of them). Maybe a BIOS update is needed. A current SATA (Serial ATA) disk won’t fit on that older board, so look for an IDE aka §ATA (Parallel) drive. Or go for an external model (if you have a USB 2.0 or FireWire connection), then you don’t have to worry about the mobo’s BIOS.

Even with IDE there may be a limit to the size of HDD you can have - a BIOS update may be a good idea.

My old P4 1.4 GHz mobo (an ECS) only supported up to something like 137 GB in size, and there were no BIOS updates for it :a

Not much info on the Matsonic site. Get the latest BIOS here (MS9007C is listed under “Other”): http://www.matsonic.com/mb/download_intel.htm. I see it’s a Socket 423 board (like [B]Arachne[/B]'s old mobo :bigsmile: ), so there’s probably a similar max. HD size to consider. Also, you only have USB 1.1 onboard, so for using an external HD you’ll need a PCI card with USB 2.0 or FireWire.

I’m pretty sure that windows xp overcomes that 137gb barrier that most bios’s failed to support. I know its been a while for most of us, remembering those crappy days of incompatability lol.

pavlekocev25, are you sure you only have SP1 running with windows xp? You might want to download SP2 (big file), its got a lot of security enhancements and such.

wow, that Matsonic MS9007C, is a socket 423!

You’ll see a big performance boost with a modern HDD.

I’d rather go for a newer MB and processor. Especially now when people give up their Nforce 2, 3, 4 platforms or KT 400/600/800 for newer rigs. You would be amazed with how little money u can purchase a system with sata raid and dual channel memory
If you go this path compatibility and speed will sky rocket but be sure that this time you go for a brand mb such as Gigabyte/asus /abit/dfi

Cressida, Arachne, eric93se, Andrei, thank you all for the replies mates!

@ eric93se
wow, that Matsonic MS9007C, is a socket 423!
You’ll see a big performance boost with a modern HDD. @

Is this a good thing, what is a socket 423 exactly?

@ Cressida
Also, you only have USB 1.1 onboard, so for using an external HD you’ll need a PCI card with USB 2.0 or FireWire. @

I have downloaded the BIOS, is there any chance to find out if this BIOS is a newer version than my old one?
And how can I install it? Is it possible that it can screw up something?

And yes the onboard USB is 1.1 which is pretty slow.
I was thinking the Hard disc to be Internal and to replace the old one, which is great in terms of performance (not a single malfunction in 6 years, “I will put it in a safe” lol ), and have just one internal HD.

And now remains the question what type, brand and how big?
What would be a nice choice?

What do you guys recommend?

Pavle

Socket 423 is what your P4 processor is. My old P4 was the same, and it’s getting on a bit in years now.

My onboard USB on the old P4 mobo was 1.1 as well, had to get an add-on USB2.0 card.

I think maybe give your BIOS an update first (I never bothered updating mine on the old mobo since there was no update, so maybe Cressida can talk you through that one!) - and only then think about size of HDD etc, as we don’t know yet whether the BIOS update will allow you to have a bigger HDD.

:slight_smile:

What’s wrong with a SATA drive using an PCI Sata card?

A relatively cheap option & you’ve a SATA drive when you do upgrade.

You can see the currently installed BIOS version/date displayed briefly when you start up the PC. You may have to hit the Pause key, because the boot screen flashes by in a split second. There’s other ways, but this will be the easiest I suppose. Installation instructions are given in the FAQs on the Matsonic site. Basically you need to copy both the (unzipped) binary (052202.bin) and flash utility (awd830.exe) files to a bootable floppy and run the A:\awd830 052202.bin command. Flashing a BIOS always carries a small risk and since there’s no release notes with the download, we don’t really know whether it will increase the maximum hard disk size. Therefor I suggest you hold off for the time being and try your new hard drive without updating first. It would be best to make a ~30GB system partition anyway and even if there’s a BIOS problem, Windows may well allow you to add data partitions to full capacity as suggested.

I was thinking the Hard disc to be Internal and to replace the old one, which is great in terms of performance (not a single malfunction in 6 years, “I will put it in a safe” lol ), and have just one internal HD.

You shouldn’t expect a major performance increase from installing a new hard drive in this older system. Sure you’ll notice a small difference going from a 5400RPM to a 7200RPM disk (and even more so if you follow [B]TimC[/B]'s SATA suggestion, although this gets a bit more involved), but it will be nothing compared to a mobo/cpu/ram-upgrade.

And now remains the question what type, brand and how big?
What would be a nice choice?

Hard disks are cheap these days and 250 to 320GB has the best capacity/price ratio right now (as you’ve noticed). However, it doesn’t make much sense to spend a lot of money on this system, so my choice might be for a 160 or 200GB IDE drive, which can be had for around €/$ 50-70, just to tide you over until you get a new PC. Personally I like Samsung drives in Quiet Mode.

If I were you I wouldn’t bother with the SATA HDD option, you would need a quality sata controller card that supported booting to the drive, and it would probably require a more modern MB to support the option to boot to that device.

Stick with a 7200rpm ATA133 (even though your only going to be at ATA100) HDD, like one made by Seagate or Hitachi.
ex:

Not my P4 :slight_smile: I have the 478 pin. The 423 was used for the early Pentium 4. From Nov. 2000 to Aug. 2001, according this:

I’m pretty sure that your motherboard can handle LBA 48-bit (larger drives than 137Gb).
Even if it wont you can disable it in BIOS and let Windows/Linux/BSD or whatever you use detect it and handle it for you. The latter requires Windows 2000 SP2 or Windows XP SP1 at least. Keep in mind that you wont be able to boot of it though because it wont “exist” until drivers for your southbridge are loaded.
//Danne

Thanks a lot for all the replies mates, I really appreciate it.
You guys are the best! :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

Pavle

Hahaha yeah I know…the socket 423s didn’t run for long from what I recall. In fact, I tried getting a HSF for my old one last month, and the guy said he’d have a hard time finding one :eek:

FWIW, regarding 48-bit LBA - my socket 423 mobo didn’t support it :wink:

Did you set it to none in bios?
//Danne