Metabox 500 32GB Fix needed

BIOS update, EIDE card, or overlay software? (FAQ Hard disk recognition)
Post Reply
stuwm
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:23 pm

Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:41 pm

I've been searching for hours to find a solution for the above problem. There are a lot of surfstations - or however they call themselves - around with a Cyrix GX Media processor and Cx5530 Chipset, but none of their BIOSs' worked (it's always good to have a spare computer for flashing a "dead" BIOS :wink: ). Now the BIOS details from the AWARD BIOS Editor:

Award Modular BIOS v4.51PG
07/02/1999-GXm-Cx5530-2A434PKAC-00
CC-990702-PX55301B METABOX INFONET AG
2A434PKA

Is there a way to fix the 32GB or even the 64GB bug ?

Thx from a newbie
NickS
BIOS Bodhisattva
Posts: 3145
Joined: Fri May 03, 2002 10:34 am
Location: Thames Valley, UK

Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:58 pm

Can you either email the zipped BIOS or post a link to it?
Tested patched BIOSes. Untested patched BIOSes.
Emails *will* be ignored unless the subject line starts "Wim's BIOS forum"
stuwm
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:23 pm

Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:29 am

Nick,

I just sent u the file. Good luck !
NickS
BIOS Bodhisattva
Posts: 3145
Joined: Fri May 03, 2002 10:34 am
Location: Thames Valley, UK

Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:32 am

Hmm, file received and our patcher says:
BIOS ID string: 07/02/1999-GXm-Cx5530-2A434PKAC-00
BIOS OEM string: CC-990702-PX55301B METABOX INFONET AG LOGO 1998
INT13h Extensions...Present: new-style
=> BIOS already supports HDDs over 32GB!
Searching for size calculation routine...Not found
Searching for SETUP size calculation routine...Not found
Searching for XGroup Block...Found at 0
Searching for end of last block...Found at 69953
Decompressing XGroup Block...Decompressed 13750 bytes into 20544 bytes
Searching for size calculation routine...Not found
Searching for SETUP size calculation routine...is already OK
Patching 64GB bug failed!
Looks like an unusual BIOS. What drive are you trying to use?
D:\Hardware\Mbox>..\award\cbrom113 mbox500.bin /d
CBROM v1.13a
Copyright (c) Award Software, Inc. 1995-1997 All Rights Reserved.


******** mbox500.bin BIOS component ********

No. Item-Name Original-Size Compressed-Size Original-File-Name
==========================================================================
0. System BIOS 20000h(128.00K) 139C2h(78.44K) original.tmp
1. Other(4100:0000) 05040h(20.06K) 035B7h(13.43K) awardext.rom
2. EPA pattern 0168Ch(5.64K) 0030Dh(0.76K) AwardBmp.bmp
3. VGA ROM[1] 08000h(32.00K) 04297h(16.65K) 030999.vga
4. VSA driver 20000h(128.00K) 095E4h(37.47K) GXM55305.bin

Total compress code space = 339C2h(206.44K)
Total compressed code size = 24B01h(146.75K)
Remain compress code space = 0EEC1h(59.69K)
Tested patched BIOSes. Untested patched BIOSes.
Emails *will* be ignored unless the subject line starts "Wim's BIOS forum"
stuwm
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:23 pm

Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:39 am

This is something I didn't expect :( . I tried to install FREENAS (www.freenas.org) on the following 2 drives, but I had to set the 32GB limit jumper to make it work:
Samsung SP0411N (40 GB)
IBM Deskstar IC35L060AVER07 (60 GB)
Otherwise FREENAS didn't install itself on the HDD, and after installation the system didn't boot from HDD without jumper. I also didn't find anything about a 32 GB limitations in FREENAS. Or is it a known issue with these drives ?
Denniss
BIOS Guru
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2002 8:16 pm
Location: Near Hannover (CEBIT) Germany
Contact:

Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:44 am

How does the Bios behave with those drives installed ?
Is there any problem regarding detecting the HDD size and DMA/UDMA modes ?

Is there any form of drive overlay software installed?

Is it possible to partition your drives to have one partition not exceeding the 32GB and another above that ?
cp
BIOS Guru
Posts: 1914
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2002 9:07 pm
Location: Germany

Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:25 pm

FreeNAS works on a std. Linux kernel so as soon as the kernel is loaded it querys the drives to gather their real size (despite of what the bios says).

Now back to the bios: if you remove the clip jumper does the bios crash on detection? if not: go to HDD AUTO DETECTION and hit 2/Y on detection. if the bios hangs on detection set the clip jumper first and detect the drives then.

For UDMA support you'll need a hand-made kernel because i suspect FreeNAS to support the common chipsets out of the box and the metabox uses the uncommon Cx5530. at least UDMA33 is supported with this device on Linux while there is no support for it with Windows (trust me, i had some boards with that chipset).

EDIT: the FreeBSD kernel supports the Cx5530 out of the box :) see this page

one other thing: the CPU supports frequency modulation and some other power-saving techniques if you've kernel support for it. if you want a real quiet and energy-efficient NAS machine (and you have some time to spare) you should take some time to work into Linux and set up a NAS machine by hand.
stuwm
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:23 pm

Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:09 pm

Thank you all for your help, I only had time to do further testing yesterday. My conclusion is that the HDD has some trouble with the chipset (HDD autodetection worked, but after the reboot another type was set in the BIOS), maybe because of the UDMA settings. Actually, after doing different tests the HDD failed with timeout errors, but luckily it's still working in other PCs (did a full read/write scan).

I will try to limit the UDMA to 33 or 66 and re-try if I find the time, maybe already this weekend. I'll let you know my results.
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6219
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:10 am

bios.rom.by has a bios patcher that also fixes the UDMA settings if needed.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
rexxitall
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:46 pm

Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:58 pm

Hi
The metabox500 was never be designed to take drives at that size. As we start we was "happy" with very cheap and (crappy slow 2gb) drives. Finally we have had to use 8GB drives (2gb was not availeable thnks god). The bios is a customized ones. DO not ask me why the salesman was always stronger then the engineers... Maybee i failed at this...
Best regards
Thomas
But anyhow on that time a cool device far in front of the the time - as comodore germany always was.... (just too expensive)
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6219
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:27 pm

do you still have one of those? I'd be inclined to see how much we can fix the bios to accept "newer" disks...
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
Post Reply