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Older Size Barriers
The first widely-publicized hard disk barrier was the infamous 504 MiB / 528 MB barrier that showed up in the mid 1990s. Though not widely known, there were a number of older capacity barriers that affected hard drives before the 504/528 limit made so many PC headlines. Most of these got little attention, most likely because there were fewer PC users then, but also because upgrading was less common. (Upgrades are often the cause of barrier troubles.)
At any rate, these have no relevance at all to modern computing, but might be of interest to those who have much older machines. I mention them here for completeness, if for no other reason, but I will describe them only briefly since again, they have no impact on modern PCs:
As you can see, most of these early limits were not due to BIOS issues, but rather some very short-sighted thinking on the part of the MS-DOS design team, which was apparently only trying to stay a year or two ahead of the hard disk technology curve! In addition to the above, there was a 512 MiB barrier as well, caused by the change made with DOS 5. That operating system changed DOS 4 by allowing cluster size in a single partition to increase to 8,192 bytes, allowing a theoretical maximum partition size of about 512 MiB or 537 MB. However, most systems that had drives large enough for this to be an issue were not able to use that full size due to the slightly smaller 504 MiB / 528 MB barrier, caused by BIOS issues.