In theory, BeOS / BFS is capable of being used with filesystems measuring exabytes in size – but hardware & software limitations have kept the practical limits much lower. While Thomas Kurschel’s IDE replacement driver allows BeOS to be used on modern IDE controllers (and updated versions of mkbfs allow the creation of BFS volumes larger than ~60GB – removing a limitation from R5 and earlier), BeOS is still suffers from a 136GB limit imposed by the IDE interface. Other OSes have worked around the limit with updated IDE drivers, but similar updates have never been released for BeOS – or so I thought.

Shortly before the holidays, a user by the (nick)name of “Diver” posted a link to updated IDE drivers for R5 in the BeBits comments thread for DiskManager (a new partitioning app for ZETA),:

Here is the one for R5, which worked for me

Danger! remove IDE replacement driver before installing it. This should let you see and use new large hard drives, i tested it with 400Gb drive.

I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but hope to in the near future – the experiences reported in the comments thread appear to be generally positive (although a few people report slow file transfers after installation). As always, caution should be used when installing software that could potentially cause data loss – don’t install on a system with vital files / backup first / et cetera, et cetera, forward-looking statements, et cetera.

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