Use Promise card on OLD Dell

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I have an old dell machine; it is a dell dimension 2100.
I am trying to install new hard drives in it, but it doesn't recognize
the drives I bought, Maxtor Diamond Max 10, PATA Ultra 133 drives.

I think that this is because the original drives where ATA/33.

Will I be able to use an Ultra 133 TX2 promise card on my machine so
that the maxtor drives are recognized?

Thanks in Advance,


Re: Use Promise card on OLD Dell

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Yes. The problem is most likely the size
of the new drives
not the ATA33.

Re: Use Promise card on OLD Dell


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A quick websearch indicated that Dimension 2100 shipped with
(approximately) Celeron 900 CPU, which helps us to
guesstimate the era of motherboard technology too.

Odds are fairly high that your motherboard might support the
larger size of this new HDD with a bios update.  Of course I
can't be certain, the odds are lower because it's an OEM
system but the typical system with a brand name retail board
and a Celeron 900 could have it's bios updated to support
48bit LBA (ie- drives over 128GB in size).

On the other hand, yes a Promise Ultra133 or any other
ATA133 supportive PCI card should support your new drive,
and be significantly faster than the motherboard's ATA33.
However, I have to wonder about that ATA33 too, because "IF"
the system does have a roughly Celeron 900 era CPU,
practically all motherboards by that time used ATA66 or

Re: Use Promise card on OLD Dell

The Bios version is A14
The CPU is a Pentium III celeron 1.1 Ghz.
It has the Intel 810e or 810 chipset.
The system reference says it has two DMA channels.
It has Both a primary and secondary IDE both 40-pin connector on a PCI bus.

Should I get the promise card or the maxtor card,
I know compusa has the promise card, I don't know where I would get the
maxtor card, but the maxtor card might work better since the drives are

Should I plug the CD into the promise card, or plug it into the

Thank You for your help,

kony wrote:
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Re: Use Promise card on OLD Dell

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Get the Promise card there isn't
anything the Maxtor
card could do any better. Leave the CD
on the
mobo as the ATA66 there is faster than
the CD anyway.

Re: Use Promise card on OLD Dell


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I would check on a BIOS update, and if there is one, try the
drive on the motherboard IDE controller first- if the
motherboard controller/bios "sees" the entire capacity of
the new drive, you are done and don't need the PCI card.

The Maxtor card is the same thing as the Promise card, IIRC,
Maxtor just re-branded Promise cards for resale.  Either
would work equally well, buy based upon price.  There is no
reason a Maxtor card would work better with a maxtor drive
even if they were different, it still has to adhere to the
ATA specs making them all universally compatible.

If you bought a RAID-capable card, it may or may not support
ATAPI (optical) drives.  If it didn't support them then it
would be necessary to put the CD on the motherboard's
controller.  While this seems a disadvantage for a RAID card
vs. non-RAID, I would tend to choose a RAID card anyway for
the potential to use it with a RAID array (RAID1, not 0
would be my intended use).

You might find other brands of cards are cheaper.  The
following should work as well for your use,

or one of these if you'd like to have a couple of SATA ports
available too.

Of course a non-RAID card will work just as well for a
single drive, but I would tend to use up all the motherboard
IDE positions if/when possible before putting devices on a
PCI card (regarding your optical drive).

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