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big non-boot disks

I'm seeing advertisements for IDE drives with over 20 GB capacity.  I
realize that one of the problems with really large IDE drives has been
that BIOS doesn't report the geometry properly.

However, if I don't plan to install the drive with any bootable
partitions (as a second slave drive, say), then won't the disk
geometry be completely understood by the linux kernel, perhaps helped
out by some boot parameters?

Also, how do I discover the true disk geometry?  Can I simply read
what's printed on the drive?

Some of the large drives I've seen advertised are Maxtor 20.4 GB,
Seagate 28 GB, Maxtor 36 GB.  And a scsi Seagate 50.1 GB.

Thanks for any help
Danny Heap

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