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first thing I would try is seeing if the sata drive is recognised on another motherboard if at all possible ,in order to eliminate the motherboard as the issue.If it is recognised on a different motherboard it is more than likeley a bad cable or a bad board .
One bad lead can cause a computer to continue on a cycle or to shutdown or fail to detect your hard drive
Test all leads that attach to your hard drive including electrical extensions,IDE,SATA
the leads from your ((motherboard to your hard drive)) make sure they have a secure connection and are not faulty or just replace them there probably old and faulty make sure all leads that are attached to your drives dvd\cd 3 1/2 inch floppy have secure connections and are not faulty even the electic extensions or just replace them they are probably old and faulty a computer needs its connections to have an end so any faulty leads will end up with a computer errorhope this helps don
About the ram memory: it can support 3 slots of DDR SDRAM memory of 1 GB each (maximum). So, the maximum supported memory is 3 GB.
And now, about the hard disk: you need to buy an IDE hard disk because SATA is not supported. So, when you go to the store to buy a new hard disk, ask for an IDE one.
There's not really a limit to how big a harddisk you can support. The only thing that can restrict you is the connection, because, for obvious reasons, you can't connect a SATA disk to an old IDE board, but it seems like you're aware of that.
1.6 System Memory
The Desktop Boards provide the following memory features:
• Two DIMM sockets supporting one of the following10:
2.5 V (only) 184-pin 200/266 MHz Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM DIMMs with goldplated
3.3 V (only) 168-pin 133 MHz Single Data Rate (SDR) SDRAM DIMMs with gold-plated
• Unbuffered non-ECC DIMMs only
• Maximum total system memory: 2 GB; minimum total system memory: 64 MB
• Serial Presence Detect (SPD) DIMMs only
• Suspend to RAM