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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Hard Disk BIOS and Capacity Factors | Hard Disk BIOS Translation Modes ]

Caveats on Changing Translation Modes and Transferring Hard Disks Between PCs

It is important to recognize that even though both enhanced CHS and LBA modes involve the use of translated geometry, this does not mean that it is guaranteed that they will work the same way. In particular, LBA translation may result in a different set of geometries than ECHS translation. Similarly, different BIOSes can in theory use different means of translating. Moving a hard disk that was formatted on one PC to another will usually work OK, but sometimes may not. The chances of a problem increase as the difference in age between the two systems increases.

Warning: If you change the translation mode of your hard disk, you risk permanent loss of all the data on the drive. Setting the translation mode should normally be done only once, when the disk is set up. If you later discover that you set up originally using the wrong mode, make sure your data is backed up before changing the mode. In many cases there will be no problem, but better safe than sorry. This also applies to removing a dynamic drive overlay (software translation) from a drive. Only attempt to remove a DDO using the appropriate utility provided by the drive overlay company for this purpose, and only after doing a full backup of the drive's contents.

Next: Overcoming BIOS Disk Size Barriers

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