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Firewire Support For Large IDE Hard Drives
Old 09-11-2004, 12:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I learned today that not all external Firewire IDE enclosures support drives over 138GB.

I was attempting to move two drives (160GB and 200GB) to a more central computer and wanted to use Firewire enclosures to get around the 4 IDE device limit. Apparently the enclosures internal IDE to Firewire controller had a BIOS limit that is not indicated anywhere on the box or paperwork.

I did find some units at http://www.cooldrives.com that do support large drives.


Israel
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Re: Firewire Support For Large IDE Hard Drives
Old 09-11-2004, 07:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This is of a piece with the limit on large hard drives we were discussing on another thread. The problem is that external FireWire and USB enclosures have onboard ATA controllers. (Unlike SCSI drives FireWire and USB drives are not "native" FireWire or USB, they just have some sort of built-in translator.) Older designs have ATA/100 controllers that can't address more than 137GB of disk space.

Don't feel bad: I had to make a second trip to Fry's the other day because I missed this very point on a new 200GB internal drive for my PowerMac G4, which has an ATA/100 bus. And I'm a professional. It happens.

M
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Re: Firewire Support For Large IDE Hard Drives
Old 09-11-2004, 08:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's not a thing I feel bad about.. My reason for posting the message is to save others a trip to the store.

I'm used to seeing stuff like this since I've been working on computers since 1982 and I'm also and IEEE member. Heck, I've even managed an IT department supporting close to 5000 users.

It's like I told the guy at the store.. For anyone to even have to think about whether something supports large drives these days is just insane. It's this kind of stuff that allows me to charge $75 per hour as an independent contractor.

On a side note.. for those hard to find parts there is a website called startech.com. Their slogan is "The Professional's Source For Hard-To-Find Computer Parts".

Later,
Israel
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Re: Firewire Support For Large IDE Hard Drives
Old 09-11-2004, 12:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
It's like I told the guy at the store.. For anyone to even have to think about whether something supports large drives these days is just insane.

[/ QUOTE ]

Its a matter of marketing. Ususally an older type of housing that doesn't support the larger drives can be sold cheaper and so the companies provide both. The person who reads carefully can save a few bucks by choosing just the housing they need. I suspect that most who buy these housings are a bit more knowledgeable than others. Most just buy the drives already housed and then there is no problem.



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Yes there are limits
Old 09-11-2004, 03:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I too bought my firewire to ide bridge from cooldrives.com. You can see pics of my setup at http://www.checkmeout.com/pics/2004-01-14-Firewire/.

I have to remove the drives from my tower because they were taking too much power away from the tower and as such would cause the PC not to boot sometimes. Now I have close to a terabyte that is portable.

 
 
Re: Yes there are limits
Old 09-11-2004, 08:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think a setup like yours is the next step.. This poor "server" is maxed out as far as physical space goes.. 4 IDE drives internal (no CD), and 3 external Firewire drives. I'm starting to look at some cases that support 8 Firewire drives..


Israel
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Re: Firewire Support For Large IDE Hard Drives
Old 09-11-2004, 08:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Unfortunately the stores I went to had no enclosures that supported large hard drives. This was part of a consolidation project and we wanted to re-use existing drives.

We already have two drives that came in their own FireWire enclosures and that's what the future purchases will be. Hopefully we won't have to add any more drives anytime soon.

The next steps now are to improve the workflow, move the studio at the end of the year, and plan for the next 12 months.

Israel
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