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large disk woe under debian installation

Firstly, apologies that I have seen some discussion on the newsgroups of this already but much of it goes over my head so please be gentle with me!

I've a new PC, that has 2 Xeon chips and a 250Gb Western Digital hard drive. It came with a 32Gb NTFS partition with WinXP SP2 installed. From the WinXP boot I can see (hardware/device manager/IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers) that the controllers are:
 Intel 6300ESB Ultra ATA Storage Controller - 25A2
 Intel 6300ESB Ultra ATA Storage/SATA Controller - 25A3
(it also lists primary and seconary IDE channels (each twice for some reason)

So, when I use the Debian 3.0r2 (woody) installation CDs it only shows 137Gb. I have noted that the discussion on the newsgroups discusses both different kernels and hardware. I'm not an expert on either, so please could somebody tell me (in simple terms!) what I should do? (Even if I could persuade the vendor to swap the 250Gb HD for 2 or 3 120Gb HDs I'll not sure if I'll have problems using several HDs!)

Thanking you for your time and patience!

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