Ancient 07/23/1998-i440BX-W977TF-2A69KJ1CC-00: 80GB HDD?

BIOS update, EIDE card, or overlay software? (FAQ Hard disk recognition)
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LOKI1999
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Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:25 pm

Hello Wim's

I am new to BIOS issues!

As well as a more modern machine I have an ancient Locland 400MHz Pentium II on which I want to use a Seagate 80GB hdd as a second hdd, mainly as a backup. The bios will recognise the drive if it is jumpered to 32GB. Can I use all of the drive?

Several older threads on Wim's mention BIOS strings very similar to the one above. It seems that interfacing with large disks was a recurrent issue with Award BIOS 4.51. From Wim's it looks as if the mainboard must be Jetway, though documentation is lacking now (perhaps lost). However it seems that Jetway have removed or blocked some links to their BIOS updates. There was also some uncertainty about whether the updates they did (previously) provide actually allowed acess to disk space above 32GB. Mr Kuriaki apparently supplied a patched BIOS that one of your users (Neelakantan) seems to have deployed successfully. I have tried to contact Neelakantan via Wim's but perhaps he no longer visits the site (last visit Aug 2007). I understand that sadly Mr Kuriaki died over a year ago.

BIOS etc. details as far as I can ascertain (read from boot screen):

Award Modular BIOS v4.51PG, An Energy Star Ally
Copyright 1984-98, Award Software Inc.
V.7BXAN A01 08-11-1998
Award Plug and Play BIOS Extension v1.0A
07/23/1998-i440BX-W977TF-2A69KJ1CC-00

From updrivers.com I have found
BXAS2D01.BIN (128 KB)
7BXASL01.BIN (256 KB).

Not sure which of these is usable or relevant.

OS is Windows 98. I have the FDISK update from Microsoft support (KB263044).

Any help, commments etc. will be greatly appreciated.

LOKI1999 (David Max)
cp
BIOS Guru
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Location: Germany

Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:27 pm

consider moving to a more recent OS like at least Windows XP or any recent Linux since they support large HDD sizes out of the box even if the BIOS does not. if you migrate then you don't need a bios update.

if you have to stay with Windows 98 you'll need all >64GB patches for Windows 98 and a patched bios.

i'd recommend migrating for various reasons besides the LBA issue.
LOKI1999
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Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:41 pm

Many thanks cp
OS really needs to be some version of Windows as one use for the drive is to test a Windows-based database.
I may try to find a copy of Windows 2000 if that will help. I believe it was the last Windows before Microsoft helpfully introduced activation.
Any comments on the updates I tracked down? I think the 128KB file might be suitable but I'm not sure.

Best wishes

LOKI1999
cp
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Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:07 pm

if you install W2K make sure to have at least SP4 installed. it'll support LBA and large HDDs without any BIOS modifications (and updates).
LOKI1999
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Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:10 pm

Thanks
I will search around for W2K and report back.
Best
LOKI1999
LOKI1999
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Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:03 pm

Hi cp
One thing I forgot to mention is that I also have a Highpoint 133SB ATA 133 Disk Accelerator card. I tried to install this in the past, but failed and ended up being forced to re-format the original hdd (the only one attached at the time). I never figured out why the installation didn't work, as according to the manual supplied by Highpoint it looked straightforward. This controller is compatible with W98, incidentally, according to the info provided.
I am slightly reluctant to switch away from W98 as the C drive has a legitimate copy of Office XP installed. With a new operating system, I wonder if the (re-)activation process will work. The mind of the Microsoft machine works in mysterious ways...

Best wishes

LOKI1999
cp
BIOS Guru
Posts: 1914
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Location: Germany

Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:34 pm

if you attach the 80GB hdd to the add-on pci card your BIOS related issues are none since the pci card has its own BIOS which is not affected by a 32GB/64GB detection bug. just make sure you have the latest Highpoint BIOS installed on that card.

still i really recommend migrating to Windows XP (or at least Windows 2000) if ever possible.
the phone-based activation always worked for me when i was forced to install Windows XP ;)
LOKI1999
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Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:41 pm

Thanks cp
I will try again with the Highpoint controller.
Best wishes
LOKI1999
LOKI1999
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Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:09 am

Hi cp
Result of installing Highpoint card: partial success.
The first time I attempted installation (in 2009), I installed the card and switched the original (single) Fujitsu hdd from primary ATA interface to the new card. The result was that booting seemd to be going OK at first, but later stopped. I subsequently found that even if the original configuration was restored (no card, hhd on primary ATA interface), the system would no longer boot and directory structure on the disk seemed to have been corrupted (I can't remember how I came to this last conclusion, this was over a year ago). Hence the reason for reformatting and re-installing Windows 98 etc. Perhaps the MBR had been modified, I might have been able to check now but I knew less then.
This time (2010) I left Fujitsu hdd attached to prim. ATA as master, then 1) installed the 133SB card, with no other disks; 2) booted W98, installed drivers from a CD; 3) restarted; 4) shut down; 5) attached 80GB Seagate disk, jumpered to 32 GB as before; 6) restarted, saw that new drive was detected (only 32GB visible, the size of a primary FAT32 partition created previously); 7) shut down again, moved jumper to CS position; rebooted, ran FDISK and created new extended partition between 32GB and top of drive (size = 44069 MB according to FDISK). The new partition is set as shared in W98 and so can be seen across the network. :D
Subsequent testing with the free 777833-LAN_SpeedTest.exe showed that disk access speeds from main XP machine across network were better than with old Fujitsu disk, but speed changed as more files were moved around on the new drive. From reading around I suspect this might be a Windows 98 problem with its resources memory management strategy -- W98 doesn't have the same dynamic allocation. So the next move will probably be to seek out Windows 2000 disks and make a comparison.
Best wishes
LOKI1999
LOKI1999
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Wed May 19, 2010 11:57 am

Hi cp

Just a quick follow-up on previous posts.

Using parted from Knoppix (CD version), I altered disk partitions to allow enough space on the small Fujitsu drive so that W2K would fit in its own partition. I obtained a legit. copy of Windows 2000 (SP3) for GBP21.50 and installed it. Then installed SP4 as you recommended. Then set up internet connection sharing to facilitate Windows upgrade etc. Windows 2000 is still supported until July 2010 so should be more secure than Windows 98 for which ugrades and patches are now apparently unavailable. Windows 98 can still be booted but probably won't needed now.

Result -- system now operates very smoothly. W2K is much easier to use than W98 for driver installation. Also supports NTFS so more secure. The system also seems appreciably faster (based on file transfer sppeeds from the free utility 777833-LAN_SpeedTest.exe). So overall a very satisfactory outcome. Thank you for your help and advice.

LOKI1999
cp
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Posts: 1914
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Location: Germany

Thu May 20, 2010 9:09 pm

i'll refer to your experiences whenever someone claims that he still needs Windows 98 :)
good to know that an old system plays nice with newer hardware once you get around the BIOS itself.
If you email me include [WIMSBIOS] in the subject.
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