40GB: i430TX-SMC669-2A59IV3FC-00

BIOS update, EIDE card, or overlay software? (FAQ Hard disk recognition)
Rob Fincher
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Hello,
This is my first posting on this great site. I have just installed a modern 40 GB Seagate HDD in an ancient 686 machine, and have the typical problem of getting access to the entire 40 GB of the HDD. The drive is not auto-detected at set-up if the 32GB jumper is not installed. Installing the jumper gets the drive auto-detected but only as a 32 GB unit. From reading other postings on this forum, it seems that the BIOS is the culprit, and if an upgrade is available, the full 40 GB will probably be accessible. As far as I can tell, it seems that "patches" are made available by other members to resolve this sort of BIOS problem. So here are the details:
1. BIOS Type Award Modular BIOS v 4.51PG
2. ID String: 07/20/98-i430TX-SMC669-2A59IV3FC-00
3. OEM Sign-on: BIOS S (80720)
4. Super I/O SMC669 rev2 found at port 3F0h
5. Chipset: Intel Triton 430TX Rev 1
6. OS MS Windows 98 SE v 4.10.2222A
7. CPU 6x86 MX @ 231 MHz (Cyrix)
8. BIOS ROM in socket, size 128 kB
9. System RAM 64 MB
The label on the ROM chip says "AWARD 1997 PCI/PNP 586 #102995183"
So would someone be kind enough to advise me if there is an upgrade available, and if so send me the file with instructions on how to flash it into my ROM (err not sure if this is the correct terminology).
Many thanks in advance,
Rob
Rob Fincher
edwin
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put board in front of you with keyboard connector in upper right corner. check top surface in upper left corner for a 35-xxxx-xx marking and reply with that so we can identify the board, find the bios and see if it's patchable.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
Rainbow
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Looks like PC Partner TXB820DS, the same board as in the PC I'm writing this from. But we'll better wait for the number.
Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
UniFlash - Flash anything anywhere
Rob Fincher
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Thanks guys,
The motherboard number is 35-8335-01 - does this help?
Rob
Rob Fincher
edwin
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That is a TXB830DS which uses the same bios as the TXB820DS.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
Rob Fincher
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Thanks Edwin,
Where do I go from here?
Rob
Rob Fincher
NickS
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The latest BIOS is the one you have, from
http://www.pcpartner.com/support/bios.htm
In fact,
http://www.pcpartner.com/support/bios/i430.htm#tx
The Zip file contains BIOSes for different versions of I/O chip, and yours uses the SMC chip (hence BIOS-S), so it would be tx0720sg.bin
To recognise the 40GB HDD it will need to be patched - I'll check if anyone has done this yet...
NickS
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OK, patched and posted at the "untested" link in my signature.
Tested patched BIOSes. Untested patched BIOSes.
Emails *will* be ignored unless the subject line starts "Wim's BIOS forum"
Rob Fincher
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Well, I successfully downloaded the patch for this BIOS and flashed it into the ROM, as file TX7020SX.bin. The computer started up correctly, the WIMBIOS patch message appeared at the very start, the BIOS recognised the 40 GB HDD, but the Windows start-up screen showed the drive as being 17113 MB capacity. From Windows, "My Computer" showed its capacity as 31.4 GB. Transfer of new files to the 40 GB HDD worked properly. So I shut down, entered the BIOS on next start-up, and was amazed to see that the 40 GB HDD was now showing only 17113 MB on the parameters screens. So, back to "IDE Auto HDD Detect", the BIOS recognised the drive as 40018 MB/4865 cyls/ 255 heads/0 precomp/19157 Landz/ 63 sectors/ mode LBA - as it did on first start up. I then let Windows 98 SE load - all OK - then immediately shut down, and on restart re-entered the BIOS menu. sure enough, and with no intervention at BIOS level from me, the HDD parameters again read 17113 MB/1024 cyls/ 128 heads etc. Into Windows again, and "My Computer" showed the drive's capacity as 33 797 996 544 bytes or 31.4 GB. I re-flashed the BIOS ROM, but this problem persists. Does anyone know what's going on??
rob
Rob Fincher
edwin
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you are sure you removed the 32GB clipping jumper from the drive?
you cleared the CMOS after the flash? sometimes variable info gets stored in different locations between versions which can cause oddities like these after flashing a new version.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
Rob Fincher
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Oh dear - I forgot to clear the CMOS. Did remove the jumper though. Will report back later.
Thanks Edwin
Rob
Rob Fincher
Rob Fincher
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Hello again!
Well I've followed the mb mfr's instructions scrupulously for re-flashing the BIOS. This included clearing the CMOS by removing J31 from 1-2 position, inserting it in 2-3 position for 10 sec, then replacing it in 1-2 again. On restart, entry to the BIOS screens showed the date was back to 1 Jan 1994 (?), there were no HDD's showing, and all defaults were selected. The IDE HDD Auto Select then correctly identified the 2 HDDs - the master being 3249 MB and the slave as 40018 MB. I saved the settings and exited back into start mode to let Windows load up. The very next screen in which the various system data is shown identified the master HDD correctly as 3249 MB, but alas, the 40 GB slave was again showing only 17103 MB. Once Windows had loaded, the slave drive was identified as 31.4 GB in "My Computer". So this is essentially the same problematic position as earlier.
To establish another benchmark, I replaced the 32 GB limit jumper on the slave HDD, reflashed the BIOS, cleared the CMOS, auto detected the drives etc (now the slave was detected as 33318 MB), saved the BIOS settings, and restarted. This time the first screen after the startup screen showed the slave drive as 4228 MB, Windows still showed it as 31.4 GB, and entry into the BIOS screens at the next startup showed it also as 4228 MB. So something wrong is occurring as soon as the computer passes from BIOS control to the next pre-Windows stage. Could there be a MBR problem here, or what? This is becoming a real challenge, although I don't want to discourage anyone, Nick and Edwin especially, from proposing a solution.
Cheers
Rob
Rob Fincher
NickS
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Q. Are you leaving the drive type and translation mode in Standard CMOS setup as Auto/Auto or Auto/LBA so that they are re-detected on each start-up, or is the Auto Select you mention a menu feature to automatically identify the drives and set them as User types in the Standard CMOs Setup screen ? (Sorry, I'm not at a machine where I can check).

With respect to what is shown for the capacity in the CMOS set-up screen or even in the system configuration screen, I would not worry as long as the OS can access the whole drive. The simplest version of the patch, which is what I used, does not correct bugs which may be present in the various size display routines.

Have you partitioned this drive while the 32GB limit jumper was in place ? If so, it is likely that the partition table does not reflect the full capacity of the drive. Changing the translation mode can also affect the apparent geometry of the drive. What does FDISK say about the capacity of the drive if the 32GB jumper is not in place ?

An alternate solution is a version patched with "bp" from apple_rom, which I'll try to post later tonight; but answers to the above would be of interest.
Tested patched BIOSes. Untested patched BIOSes.
Emails *will* be ignored unless the subject line starts "Wim's BIOS forum"
NickS
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bp version also posted at the "untested" link.
Tested patched BIOSes. Untested patched BIOSes.
Emails *will* be ignored unless the subject line starts "Wim's BIOS forum"
Rob Fincher
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Location: McCrae, Victoria, Australia

Thanks Nick for the post. I'll try it soon. But it does appear I have a problem with the HDD. Partition Magic reports the drive as 16.3GB and states that its partitions appear to have been created using a different drive geometry, and advises to delete all partitions and start again. PM will not even start the delete operation, although when I run Format and Delete Partition sequentially, the error message says amongst other things that there is a BAD MBR on the drive. Your questions about FDISK can't be answered because FDISK will not do anything other than report there is 1 partition of 32248 MB. PM suggests using a more recent FDISK version, and I'm about to try that. The drive was initially from an XP machine (the one I'm using for this email) so I may even reinstal it here and try to get normal partitioning - after which the BIOS changes on the Win98 machine may well work as intended. Thanks very much for your help so far.
Rob
Rob Fincher
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