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Never has it been so hard to install a new drive

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Evil Steve



So, I bought myself a shiny new 250GB drive for my server the other day, after I discovered that it only has a 12GB drive in it for some reason. Now, that should have sent warning signals of to start with.

I got around to installing it today. My server detects it as 130GB, and my PC detects it as 250GB. So, it's a BIOS issue then. I then spent about 2 hours trying to find a BIOS flash utility from the BIOS manufacturers - American Megatrends. To get the flash utility, you have to sign up to some spam mailing list, and they E-mail you a link. That link points to a PDF that's availiable on their site. Excelent.

So, I read the PDF, and it tells you to get a Motherboard ID program, and gives you a link. I got the program, and found that my motherboard is unknown, but it gives you a link to their site where you can download the flash utility. Yay! But it doesn't come with a ROM. I remembered that all the drivers are for Silicon Integrated Systems, and spent half an hour trying to find a BIOS version on their site. I then spent a while looking for some identifying mark, and the only think I could find was "M810L V7.1A" on one of the chips. Thankfully, Google tells me that's a "PC Chips" motherboard, which rings a bell to me. SiS only makes the chipset, not the motherboard.

So, I finally have the flash utility and the new BIOS ROM, I read the readme.txt, and it says that it only runs from a floppy drive. Out of the 6 PCs in this house, none of them has a floppy drive. So, time for a drive to PC World to get a floppy drive for GBP5. I get home, and realise that I don't have any floppy drives. So I take one of my old network card driver disks (which I don't need because XP detects the network card fine) and use that.

Files copied, I re-read the readme.txt: "MUST BE IN DOS ON BOOTUP CAN NOT FLASH WITHIN ANY OPERATING SYSTEM". So, I grab my Windows 98 CD, and boot to DOS from that. I run the program and I get a lovely message "System BIOS does not have flash support".


So, I'm going to get a new motherboard tomorrow, with SATA and support for an AMD64. Because my current CPU is an Athlon XP, I also need a new CPU. Although, since this is a server, a better CPU wouldn't go amiss anyway.
I might need some new RAM though, I have a feeling this stuff is PC133. Oh joy. I suppose I could get a smaller hard drive, but that'd be the easy way out.

Anyway, I'm done for now. Time to get drunk.
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Isn't the 130gb limit the 36bit (?) address limitation that later OS's fixed?

I know my pair of 200's initially appeared as 130 until I had them properly formatted. WinXP pre-SP1 should also fail to recognise anything about 130 iirc...


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I have Windows 2000 running on my server. The 130GB limit is in my BIOS, I never actually got around to checking in Windows, since I assumed that if the BIOS doesn't know it's 250GB then Windows won't.

Would it be worthwhile checking?

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Made me laugh anyway...

Anyway, sounds like a good time was had by all.

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Windows 2000 doesn't ship with LBA48 support by default, I was able to add a 160GB to my Compaq which didn't have a BIOS update by installing an LBA48 driver for XP -- Windows, like Linux, doesn't get a lot of its information from the BIOS anymore.

Praise Bob!

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