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View Full Version : 80-gig hard drive on an elderly motherboard - possible?



bRaZZiN
04-01-2006, 02:44 PM
... funny this. I thought a nice new, spacious, 80 gig hard drive would be a nice christmas present for my mum. She recently entered the realm of 5-megapixel digital cameras and the "you only have 200MB left on your 8-gig C: Drive" messages that come with them... so I thought a nice wee upgrade wouldn't go amiss.
So, pull the computer case apart, set the jumpers on "slave", plug everything in, in the right places, and... what do you know, it flatly refuses to detect the hard drive. I did get the drive working eventually by setting the jumpers to pretend it's only a 32 gig drive... but, lo and behold, I'm missing 48GB of my hard-earned 80.

I suppose about here is where I should tell you that the motherboard is some ancient socket-7 job with a K6-2 500 in it. Beforehand it had an 8-gig hard drive. The motherboard is a MSI Microstar MS-5169, PCB version 2.1. The hard drive is a Hitachi Deskstar 82.3 Gig, 7200RPM version. The Bios is some crappy AMI Bios (well, I suppose it does the job, it just looks old).

I've tried the "autodetect hard drive" function of the BIOS, to no avail on the 80 Gig setting - and I'm beginning to think that maybe if I got the right numbers I could manually set up the hard drive (sectors, heads, cylinders, etc). (should I bother trying?)

So would anyone know of a way to get my 48 gigs back, or is it lost forever?

Speedy Gonzales
04-01-2006, 02:57 PM
1. What version of Windows are you going to install on it?

2. A BIOS update for the mobo (if there is one), may fix the problem.

This looks like the site for the BIOS (http://www.msi.com.tw/program/support/bios/bos/spt_bos_detail.php?UID=102&kind=1)

What version of the BIOS shows on the POST screen??

You could try the above site for an update, if you havent got it yet. Just MAKE SURE you get the right BIOS for the revision of the motherboard.

bRaZZiN
04-01-2006, 03:03 PM
Ah. Yeah I meant to add that I'm installing windows ME on it (ok, ok), and as far as I can gather I have the latest BIOS version (ie. just installed it).

this isn't sounding good is it

Speedy Gonzales
04-01-2006, 03:07 PM
Umm, in the BIOS, is there an LBA option under the hard drive entry??

Where it shows info about that new hdd?

If there is, is this enabled?

Also, if u have just updated the BIOS, did you set the BIOS to its default settings, and reconfigure the BIOS?? Then save the settings again.

Usually its a good idea to do this.

bRaZZiN
04-01-2006, 03:16 PM
now... hmm that (about the LBA) does sound promising. I'll just have a quick squiz.

I'm pretty sure that I reset the BIOS settings as well, but can't hurt to try again either.

I'll report back. (btw, your username reminded me of this guy called Jose Gonzalez - scandanavian singer/songwriter whose tune is on the Sony Bravia telly ad - I'd highly recommend him. Irrelevant, yes.)

bartsdadhomer
04-01-2006, 03:17 PM
if it turns out to be a bios limitation and it can't be overcome you could use a software solution to fix your problem, but this can turn into a problem itself and I wouldn't reccomend it unless it's a last resort
check the manufacturers website for info


best solution is a controller card which has it's own onboard bios and will handle any modern drive.
http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=IDEPRO0151
ME and the Fat file system can also cause problems in some situations with the 32GB barrier and it may be better to hook the new drive to a controller card and partition it into 2 partitions

bRaZZiN
04-01-2006, 03:24 PM
Damn. Ok as it turns out LBA is on, by default.

So, now to the highly experimental phase of operations, namely manually setting the figures... So, if I have an 82.3GB hard drive, how many sectors do I have? there is some formula for that isn't there? The hard drive is set on 16 heads (which can be switched onto 15)... and there's some other number I think I need, mysteriously under the category "Sec". I really wouldn't have a clue what that one is. spose that's why I'm here then.

bRaZZiN
04-01-2006, 03:27 PM
>it may be better to hook the new drive to a controller
>card and partition it into 2 partitions

Hmm, that sounds interesting. I've never heard of a controller card - what sort of money are we looking at here? That sounds like a potential solution... hmm indeed.

edit: d'oh, price=on the URL, ok, look a bit harder and use brain next time

Speedy Gonzales
04-01-2006, 03:29 PM
Damn. Ok as it turns out LBA is on, by default.

So, now to the highly experimental phase of operations, namely manually setting the figures... So, if I have an 82.3GB hard drive, how many sectors do I have? there is some formula for that isn't there? The hard drive is set on 16 heads (which can be switched onto 15)... and there's some other number I think I need, mysteriously under the category "Sec". I really wouldn't have a clue what that one is. spose that's why I'm here then.

It SHOULD show the sectors / have a diagram etc on top of the hdd, if u have to manually enter them / the numbers into the BIOS.

bartsdadhomer
04-01-2006, 03:31 PM
$69+ for a good one
you'll find them cheaper on trade me though

bRaZZiN
04-01-2006, 03:39 PM
Ah. Yeah, actually I meant Cylinders when I said "Sectors" before. I suppose "Sectors" are what "Sec" stands for... I'm having a bad day. Any way to work out the "Cylinders" from the amount of "sectors" or something?

Speedy Gonzales
04-01-2006, 03:41 PM
Ah. Yeah, actually I meant Cylinders when I said "Sectors" before. I suppose "Sectors" are what "Sec" stands for... I'm having a bad day. Any way to work out the "Cylinders" from the amount of "sectors" or something?

There SHOULD be a sticker on top of the hdd with both sectors and cylinders on it, to tell you what numbers to put in, in the BIOS, if u do it manually.

Look on top of the hdd.

Is there a sticker with the sectors/cylinders info on it?

bRaZZiN
04-01-2006, 03:48 PM
ah. Yep. Cleverly disguised under the letters "C/H/S" - Cylinders, heads, sectors per cylinder - I suspect those are the numbers I need. In fact I just put them in, and the drive does seem to be working. FDISK is verifying the drive's integrity presently. fingers crossed, eh?

Speedy Gonzales
04-01-2006, 03:51 PM
ah. Yep. Cleverly disguised under the letters "C/H/S" - Cylinders, heads, sectors per cylinder - I suspect those are the numbers I need. In fact I just put them in, and the drive does seem to be working. FDISK is verifying the drive's integrity presently. fingers crossed, eh?

Thats the one lol. Yup soon find out whether you'll see the whole 80 GB.

Hopefully, you do!

kingdragonfly
04-01-2006, 03:54 PM
You've already discover the jumpers that set it to a 32 gig drive. That's their purpose in life: letting a new large drive work with an old BIOS.

As bartsdadhomer suggested, an IDE controller *might* work. Get the cheapest one you can find, since you're probably not interested in RAIDs or disk caches.

As mentioned, Promise Technology has a very good reputation; it's the one I'd try.

bRaZZiN
04-01-2006, 04:07 PM
HA. Wow, putting those magical numbers into the BIOS worked. I've booted into ME and it's reporting something like 78GB in My Computer before formatting... Brilliant, that's a bit closer to the 80 gigs I paid for.

Well that's made my day a lot better. Cheers everyone.

PS. this Jose Gonzalez character can be heard at http://www.bravia-advert.com - really, have a listen. And watch that ad, you know the one with the bouncy balls. Irrelevant? who cares MY HARD DRIVE WORKS yay

Speedy Gonzales
04-01-2006, 04:10 PM
Good to hear it worked there Brazzin ! :thumbs:

bartsdadhomer
04-01-2006, 04:32 PM
cool, glad to see someone's havin a good day, well done

Graham L
04-01-2006, 04:44 PM
The funny part is that those numbers you entered for C/H/S to make it work are all lies. :D

I can guarantee that you haven't got 16 heads reading and writing data. There will be 1 head which works only on the servo surface which does the head postioning. Then there will be 1 head for data on the other side of that platter plus two data heads for each other platter. There won't be as many as 7. An 80 GB is most likely to have one or two platters (a 40MB IDE disk from 1990 had 3 platters, and 5 (+1) heads)..The (probably) 64 number for sectors might be an (low) average ... near the centre of the disk there are fewer sectors/track; towards the outside there are more. The number of tracks is probably a cheat in the low direction too... most new disks have many times 1023 tracks.

This is all done to maintain compatibility with a BIOS which was written to handle the earliest 5MB PC hard disks. ;) There are a fixed number of bits for each if those fields, and as the technology has changed the bits were fiddled to be able to access many more times the number of sectors on a disk. I've got a couple of 70 MFM disks which have 16 heads and 8 platters. They are "full height 5.25" drives" (Twice the size of a CD drive). They don't have servo platters.

Most of this arithmetic is handled in the IDE board on the drive. IDE is a remarkably clever design ... someone worked out that 40 wires would be enough. And it was. :cool:

matthewkeelty
14-01-2006, 05:44 PM
Yea iv got the old Socket 7. I'm on holiday at the moment so the info might not b 100% accurate but I'l do my best. And it will only work if u no how many cylinders and heads and stuff. Enter the BIOS settings thng and into the first lot of setting u can change. There should be the time and all that other c**p bt it will have this table woth lots zeros and a few nones done da left hand side. since ur 80 gig is ur slave go dwn 2 primary slave row nd change the 'none' to 'user'. go across and enter al the info that u no and can edit (if u dnt no jt leave @ 0). Sonce you cant change the size it should change automatically once you've done. Try re booting nw and see what happens. If it doesnt work try changing the secondary slave and master.

O guys and by the way if it wrks tel every1 a 13 year managed to install ur hard drive

Ooops didnt realise uv fixed the probalem