Big Hard Drive Trouble

14 replies [Last post]
Jim
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Joined: Sep 23 1999

I have a 3 year old DAN P166 with a P/I-P55TP4N motherboard, BIOS dated August 96. The BIOS will only recognise 8Gb of my new Maxtor 27G hard drive. Am I correct in thinking that ASUS do not do a suitable upgrade for this board? If so, could someone give me step by step instructions for formatting the drive on a newer PC (which I have access to) and then getting my machine to recognise the drive and Windows 98 to use the full 27G?

drsolly
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Joined: Mar 8 1999

It isn't a Windows problem, it's a Bios problem.

Step 1, Buy a Promise card.
Step 2, Install the Promise card.
Step 3, Connect the drive to that, instead of to the motherboard.
Step 4. Enjoy 27 gb of space.

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Austen
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Joined: Sep 4 1999

Many older PCs have problems with larger drivers, either due to BIOS, or the operating systems. Check out the main hard disk makers WWW sites for their advice, and software utilities to work around these limits. I'm sure Maxtor can help this way.

bcrabtree
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Joined: Mar 7 1999

YOu should probably upgrade your bios anyway, so here's the place to go.

http://www.asus.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/socket7.html

Be aware that it might be better to start at

http://www.asus.com.tw, because that way, you will also be offered the chance to download not just the bios update, but also the program you need to run to do the updating.

There was nothing on the site about what the bios actually does, but my guess is that it does NOT give you full access to drives larger than 8.4GB.

If I am wrong, and an upgrade does work, then the Maxtor probably won't run at anything like full speed - and the same will be true if you use Maxtor's utility (downloadable from their web site).

Bottom line, is - I reckon - if you don't want to put in a new motherboard, but if you do want to get the drive running at a decent speed, then you will have to buy a Promise ATA66 card (I think your drive is probably an ATA66 model, but since you don't give us a model number, it may be that it is only ATA33, not that the speed diff between the two is very great).

Bob C

Timothy
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Joined: Sep 11 1999

I just had the same problem trying to install the same Maxtor 27.2gb in my P300.
I first tried using fdisk and format in dos and ended up with only 8.4gb. I then used Maxtor's software and sure enough, I now have
a fully functional drive.

Good luck

Tim

bcrabtree
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Joined: Mar 7 1999

But....What speed is it running at?

It should be delivering 15MB/sec or more; please check that it is not running much more slowly.

Bob C

Timothy
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Joined: Sep 11 1999

The Maxtor is an Ultra DMA/66.
At this point, I'm using it just to store video files,and so I am not so concerned about speed. At $249.99 U.S., I felt I couldn't go wrong.

For video capture and playback I've been using a Medea raid. A bit spendy, but worth every cent.

Thanks

Tim

Jim
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Joined: Sep 23 1999

Thanks for all the suggestions.

The Promise card sounds good, but which one would be best? The Ultra66 sounds OK and has been tested with my motherboard, but I've only got 2 PCI slots left; one is patiently waiting while I save up for a Fast AV Master and the other is for a video accelerator when I get round to buying one.

Bob, the disk is a Maxtor model 92720U8, and runs at about 10MB/s, according to the Canopus disk test software (the original 1 Gig boot disk runs at about 3). I was dead chuffed with this 'till I read your comment that it should run at 15MB/s. Since I only want to do analogue capture, it shouldn't be a problem though (?).

Will the Maxblast software make the disk work fast enough for analogue capture with the AV Master? Will it slow down the boot drive as well and therefore degrade the performance of the PC (which is slow enough as it is).

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Jim

bcrabtree
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Joined: Mar 7 1999

Jim,

I'm not sure whether your use of Raptor Test gives directly comparable results to our testing method which is to run miroExpert in a PC fitted with a DC30+.

However, if you are getting 10MB/sec, then that should be plenty fast enough for AV Master - without running MaxBlast.

If you want to get a Promise card, I'd suggest the cheaper model (Ultra66), since you probably have no need for the features offered by the FastTrak66.

Bob C

Jim
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Joined: Sep 23 1999

I checked the price of the Promise card (£99 + VAT) and decided to try the Maxblast after all- I just didn't think it was worth adding something this slick to a P166 based system (especially since the next time I upgrade, I won't need it any more).
It took about 10 minutes to install the drive with Maxblast, and it worked! I now have 27.2GB.
The real surprise came when I checked the speed (with Raptor Test) and found it was the same as before- around 10MB/s. I suppose it was the PC that was limiting the speed of disk access, and the PC is still running at the same speed, therefore the data rate is the same (or something). Whatever the reason, I'm very happy!

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Jim

Jimmy
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Joined: May 28 1999

Tim!

Are you in America?

Where do you get cheap hard drives and components from in USA? to import into th UK?
[thers's no duty on computer components, so things from USA can be up to 1/3 cheaper]

If only i could find a shop who'd export to me!

Can you help?

Do you think I can fit that in there?!?

Timothy
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Joined: Sep 11 1999

Jim

Yes, I do live in the U.S.

After an exhaustive search on the internet, I found that a local computer chain called COMPUSA had the best price on hard drives (not the best selection). I paid $249.99, but they have since increased the "sale price" to $279.99... still not a bad deal.

They do have a web site which I do believe is compusa.com, but I have found that some of there sale prices are not always listed.

Hope this helps,

Tim

bcrabtree
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Joined: Mar 7 1999

I just bought a network gadget from MicroWarehouse. Good price, and speedy delivery from US to UK.

Go to (I think) http://www.warehouse.com

Bob C

Jim
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Joined: Sep 23 1999

Just a coda to this little episode. I decided to update my BIOS, after noticing that the new version gave year 2000 compliance (can you believe it? a PC built in 1997 not Y2K compliant!!). When I tested it with the 27G disk, it supported it fully, so I have dispensed with the Maxblast software.
Jim

DVdoctor
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Joined: Apr 1 1999

Definitely seems to be the case that the Drive mfg are way ahead of the bios mother board guys.

Buying from the US is getting easier each day. Another ULR is http://www.buy.com
It is interesting to also go to the YAHOO Shop on line http://shopping.yahoo.com
check out the camcorder prices etc.
We just have to get the UK prices in line with the rest of the world.
John Ferrick