OWC FireWire HD enclosure capacity limits?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jywv8, May 21, 2008.

  1. jywv8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    I had an old external hard drive enclosure (OWC Mercury Elite FW400). It contained a 120 GB ATA/IDE hard drive. I wanted a bigger drive, so I purchased a new Seagate 500GB Ultra ATA HD. I though I could just pop the new drive into the old enclosure.

    So I did this, but Disk Utility is telling me that the capacity of the drive is only 128 GB. Does anyone know what the problem is? And does anyone know how/if I can fix this? Argh.
     
  2. intraurban macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    #2
    Same problem

    Swapped out my 120 GB drive for a 250 and it's capped at 128GB, won't even let me partition the drive into two drives. Spent hours trying to update the firmware and, after I accomplished this, it ultimately didn't improve the situation. Looks to be a hard-wired limit.
     
  3. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #3
    Well it all depends on your Mac, not the enclosure first of all. All Macs from the Quicksilver model (at least) intoduced in July 2001 and back had a limitation in the firmware that will not allow the built in hard drive bus to recognize drive capacities larger than 128Gb.

    You can get around that limitation on the models that did not have "Large Drive Support" by installing a PCI slot hard drive controller card that does support big drives or by installing the commercial software called the ATA High Capacity Driver by Intech.
     
  4. itickings macrumors 6502a

    itickings

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    #4
    I find this very hard to believe. An enclosure connected by firewire won't go anywhere near the hard drive bus.

    It is far more likely that the drive controller in the enclosures is what won't support large drives. Adding a PCI card won't solve that, only upgrading the enclosure (if at all possible) will.
     
  5. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #5
    YES! You are absolutely right and I just boned the response altogether. My apologies to the OP- my brain just registered it as an internal drive limitation as those are so common in older Macs.

    Thanks to itickings for catching that!
     

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