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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives ]

Hard Disk BIOS and Capacity Factors

The operation of your hard disk drives is controlled by the interface from the system to the hard disk itself. This interface is the conduit for addressing instructions and commands, sent to the hard disk to select what data is requested, and then a conduit for the data itself, flowing to and from the system. The system BIOS plays a role in the operation of the hard disk, as it provides the standard software routines that allow applications and operating systems such as DOS to access the hard disk. It is also the cause of many configuration and capacity limitation problems that many users have when setting up their hard disks, especially newer ones on older systems.

This section takes a look at issues related to how the BIOS and operating system interact with the hard disk, and BIOS-related issues and problems. This includes a full look at the many capacity limitations inherent in using IDE/ATA interface drives, and other BIOS restrictions on hard disk capacity. Many of the items in this section are really of relevance only to IDE/ATA drives; SCSI drives use their own BIOS and a different addressing mechanism from IDE/ATA, and so suffer from fewer of these problems. However, some BIOS issues affect SCSI as well, because of problems associated with operating system limitations.

Next: BIOS and the Hard Disk

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