80GB: 03/26/97-i430HX-2A59FA29C-00

BIOS update, EIDE card, or overlay software? (FAQ Hard disk recognition)
vosadrian
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Hi All,

I am fairly good with computers, but generally only get technical when I need to, so no expert. I purchased an 80Gb WD hard disk. I installed it into an older Pentium 200 MMX (Bios string above). The operating system is Win98. I use Fdisk to create an active Dos Partition, and it only recognises about 8Gb. I would like to do whatever modifications are necessary to enable the reading of the entire hard disk. I have searched for bios upgrades, but cannot find much, and the one that I have found does not specify that it will correct this. If anyone can give a short response to this indicating a good course of action, that would be appreciated. I suspect that there must be a place to find BIOS upgrades and whether they will solve my problem. If this cannot be solved in bios, is there any software solutions that I can use? Anyway, Don;t want to waste too much of anyone's time, but if someone can just point me in the right direction, that would be appreciated.

Regards,

Adrian
NickS
BIOS Bodhisattva
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Google search links to Wim's BIOS main site, "Manufacturers","A-trend" and lists your BIOS ID string as that for ATC2000. I can't reach the ftp sites listed on that page at present.
Tested patched BIOSes. Untested patched BIOSes.
Emails *will* be ignored unless the subject line starts "Wim's BIOS forum"
Rainbow
The UniFlasher
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There's a newer BIOS at www.nix.ru (search for ATC-2000 BIOS using Google)
Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
UniFlash - Flash anything anywhere
vosadrian
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Thanks for your help nickS and Rainbow,

I did search for bios for the ATC-2000, and I too have not been able to access the A-trend site. I am not sure if it still exists, as all indications I can see are that Unicore handle bios upgrades now. Is the A-trend website only temporarily down, or permanently? Anyway, I did find a newer bios elsewhere, but is is only marginally newer. The old bios is 03/26/97. The new one I found is 09/24/97. I flashed my bios to the newer version last night, and had to erase CMOS to get rid of the password protection, and then load default settings. Anyway, the end result is that the new bios now hangs on the attempt to detect the new WD 80Gb HD. I now have copies of both the old bios and the newer bios. I have returned it back to the old bios since it did not hang, and was able to atleast recognise 8.4Gb of the hard disk.

I also applied to Unicore, and they have responded that they have a bios available for this motherboard that supports up to 137Gb, but they want $24.95 for it.

So my question is this..... is it likely that I could find a bios upgrade for free, or should I pay the $24.95 for the Unicore? It is annoying to have to pay more than what I have just payed for the HD. My next question is whether the Unicore bios will definately fix the problem anyway. I don't want to pay more money and find myself in the same situation. Any advice is appreciated. I am really just looking for my next step?

If anyone wants to volunteer to patch my bios, that would also be appreciated!! :D

-- Adrian
Denniss
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With luck the 9/97 Bios supports HDD over 8GB and is patchable .
If not then please don't pay for a newer Bios - get an UDMA controller card instead - that gives you access to the high data transfer rate the drive is capable of - would be slowed doen to 13MB/sec on your OnBoard IDE controller .
vosadrian
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Thanks Denniss,

Currently the 9/97 bios hangs when it attempts to detect the drive settings. I have not yet tried to manually insert the settings, but I suspect it will also hang. Who should I approach about getting a bios patched to see if this hanging problem can be fixed, and possibly the bios extended to 80Gb support. Failing that, what is the cost of one of these controller cards... I assume they can be purchased from any computer shop.

Thanks again!!

-- Adrian
Rainbow
The UniFlasher
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If the BIOS hangs, it's a good sign that support over 8.4GB is present but there are 32GB and 64GB bugs which we can patch.
Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
UniFlash - Flash anything anywhere
vosadrian
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Thanks Rainbow,

I have emailed the two bios's I have to the email address that comes up on your posts. If it is not too difficult to patch it, it would be appreciated if you can have a quick look at it.

Many thanks for your advice!!

-- Adrian
Denniss
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Controllers cost about 20-30 Euro/Dollar - good ones from Promise maybe a little more
They have thir own Bios detecting the HDD - no need to rely on motherboard Bios .
But please wait what our moderators say about your Bios and it's patchable status .
Rainbow
The UniFlasher
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Patched BIOS sent.
Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
UniFlash - Flash anything anywhere
vosadrian
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:04 am

Thanks,

I will try tonight, and let you know tomorrow!!

Thanks again!!

-- Adrian
vosadrian
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Well the patch from Rainbow seems to have done the trick (thanks heaps for this!!). The bios nolonger hangs, and it correctly detects the 80Gb HD. I am using win98se, so I ran Fdisk, and created a 100% partition. It only read as 10Gb.... a bit strange, but decided to continue anyway. Formated using Win98se, and it came up as about 75Gb in FAT32. So Fdisk must not have proper support for 80Gb. This has got me thinking as to whether I am actually using the full HD space in the 100% partition created by Fdisk. Is it possible that there is 5Gb floating around unused because Fdisk does not have proper support, or is it normal for a 80Gb HD to parition and format to 75Gb free under windows?

I have not copied anything onto it yet, as I am waiting to get an answer on this issue. Is there a better utility than Fdisk for partition to the full size of the HD, and is there a better utility than the win98se format for formatting to full size?

Thanks in advance!!

-- Adrian
georgep
BIOS Rookie
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You can get a patch for fdisk for that bug from Microsoft at:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... US;Q263044&
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
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You lose some of the 80GB in the formatting process, some bits are used as markers so the OS knows where it's at on the harddisk.

Then there is the old trick HD manufacturers use:
1Mbyte = 1000000 bytes when telling the size of a harddisk. This isn't true: 1 Mbyte is 2 ^ 8 bytes = 1048576

80000000000 / 1048576 = 76293 true megabytes. The formatting accounts for the rest of the loss. Yep it will show some 75GB in windows.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
Denniss
BIOS Guru
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A little TIP :
Dont't use your 80GB as one single partition unles you want it as storage place for Data or Music files as it has 32KB as smallest block .
Each block can only held one file - with a 1Kb file you lost 31KB space .
Better use a combination of 32GB and 16GB partitions .
Especially if you nedd your HDD as new system boot disk use a primary partition not bigger than 8GB to get 4KB blocks as windows use many many small files .
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