Enable support for hard disk above 137 GByte

If using an Hard disk drive (HDD) larger than 137 gigabyte (GB), then one might not have access to the entire HDD. To use such a large HDD then one needs an 48 Bit LBA (Logical Block Addressing) ready system:

  • It requires a motherboard (or disc-controller) BIOS that supports 48 Bit LBA
    • Check with the manufacture of the motherboard (or disc-controller) to confirm it supports 48 Bit LBA
  • It requires that Windows 2000/XP supports 48 Bit LBA
    • Check that one is at least using Windows 2000 SP3 or Windows XP SP1

Note Windows 2000 is a little tricky, as it doesn’t support 48 Bit LBA in the text-mode install (Even if having slipstreamed SP3+), and will not recognize more than 137 GByte of the HDD.
If trying to install Windows 2000 and it writes data beyond the 137 GByte limit (Independent of partitions), then it will start to trash the beginning of the first partition. To avoid this do the following:

  1. Install Windows 2000 on a partition within the first 137 GByte.
  2. Right after the first login then start the registry editor and create this registry key:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet \Services \atapi \Parameters]
    EnableBigLba = 1

Note be careful when installing/using other operating systems that doesn’t support 48 Bit LBA (Ex. Windows 98, Windows 2000 or Windows XP without SP1) on a HDD larger than 137 GByte, as they will trash the data on the HDD and give errors like:

*C: is corrupt or unreadable

C:\ path is inaccessible. the file or folder is corrupt and unreadable

The file or directory C:\$MFT is corrupt and unreadable. please run the chkdsk utility*

More Info MS KB303013
More Info MS KB305098
More Info MS KB314695 (ATAPI.SYS is updated in Win2k SP3)
More Info MS KB331958 (ATAPI.SYS Update for WinXP SP1)

Credits jsifaq.com