Fujitsu and ATA66

8 replies [Last post]
Joined: Apr 5 1999

I have just fitted a Fujitsu 17.3GB HDD to my pc (Mobo Gigabyte 586ATX) and at the same time set up a new system disk with Win98SE (previously Win95OSR2). The Gigabyte is ATA33 so when I booted up the drive was reported as mode 4. I then used Fdisk to partition it into 2 partitions of 1Gb (for capturing) and ~16Gb (for editting) and formatted both.

Next I downloaded the Fujitsu prog to disable ATA66 and sure enough the drive then reported as mode 2. Fine!

When I look at the two partitions (drives) under "My Computer" and with "Windows Explorer" the 1Gb is reported as 15.1GB and the 16Gb as 15.0Gb. Fdisk and Partition Magic 3 both report the sizes correctly.

When I came to use the drives - first I captured a few minutes of vid to the ist partition OK, then imported to Premiere 5.1a, trimmed the 1st clip and Export/movie to the 2nd partition I received an error message saying the drive was full. The file name appeared ok but could not be accessed. I formatted again and now it is storing files ok and I can access them with premiere and with media player.

My Computer and Explorer still give me wrong free space info.

I have checked the IDE connections and the jumper set-up. The new drive is installed as Primary slave and the master is on the end connection (I have tried it on the middle connection with the slave on the end with the same result).

Has anyone any thoughts or suggestions on this. I'm concerned that although it appears to be working ok I may be inviting a problem unless I can sort out the size reporting.

Joined: Apr 1 1999

Why did you run the convert to 33 AFTER Fdisk?
Don't you find 1 gig for capture small,and what advantage do you have in partitioning it this way.
I can see a partition for System
A partion for Programs and day to day date

and then a drive for capture and editing, but I'm not sure what advantage you will get
partitioning it this way.
I'd suggest re doing it over again. Something is set wrong and sure enough it will cause a problem later on when you don't need the grief

Joined: Mar 7 1999

I agree with John, but I'd add that I'm worried you may not be using the right data cable.

Are you using a standard 40-wire ATA cable or one of the new ATA66 80-wire cables, which are necessary, even if the drive is running as ATA33/Mode 2.

Also, beware of using Partition Magic 3 on a drive of this size. It is only suitable for drives that are smaller than 8.4GB.

Bob C - This is what Quantum's white paper about ATA66 says,

80-conductor cable is key to speed and data integrity

In addition, the Ultra ATA/66 specification replaces a 40-conductor cable with an 80-conductor cable to ward against electronic noise interference, or signal crosstalk, and so enhance data integrity even more. This cable is plug compatible with today’s Ultra ATA/33 drives and headers.

The pin side of the connector on the 80-conductor cable is identical to the connector for today’s 40-conductor cable. Inside the connector the 40 additional ground lines are connected to the existing ground pins in the 40-pin connector. This ensures complete plug compatibility with existing drives and systems. In fact, there are some Ultra ATA/33 systems shipping today that use the 80-conductor cable to reject noise from power supplies or floppy drives.

Use of an 80-conductor cable also has enabled Quantum to double the Ultra ATA burst data transfer rate -- simply by streamlining data management within the drive. Specifically, the new cable specification makes it possible to halve setup times prior to signal read operations, which occur at the beginning of each burst data transfer.

Before the drive controller reads a signal, it must “look” at the data lines to determine whether they have switched to a high or low state (i.e., a one or a zero). If the controller examines the lines too soon after the previous data burst, they might still be somewhere between high or low. Hence the controller must wait for the lines to “settle down” to ascertain the current state. That waiting period is the setup time.

The addition of 40 extra ground lines to the Ultra ATA cable spec considerably reduces signal crosstalk and ringing between the data lines (Figs 2 & 3). That allows the lines to “settle down” much faster, thereby slashing setup times in half. And that is what enables the Ultra ATA/66 interface to transfer data at twice the Ultra ATA/33 rate without requiring any other significant changes to the Ultra ATA specification, especially to the DMA protocol.

The 80-conductor cable is mandatory for running Ultra ATA/66. The usual 40-conductor cable ATA cable cannot handle the higher speed, and because the cables are plug compatible, the system must determine the presence of the correct cable.

This detection is achieved by having a break in one of the lines on the 80-conductor cable that is normally an unbroken connection in the existing cable. It is this break that is detected and the system BIOS can instruct the drive to run at the correct speed for the cable type detected.

Joined: Apr 5 1999


Thankyou very much for your reply. First a few answers to your queries.

I ran the ATA33 switch after FDISK because it wasn't until after my 1st setting the drive up that I realised the need for it.

The new drive is installed as the Primary slave and is purely for video. Having suffered for a long time with "field dominance" (I have a Hi-8 camcorder), I got into a routine where I capture say 2 to 4 minutes of video in the smaller partition (which was also the outer and "faster" part of the disk). Import the capture file into Premiere and trim it into clips that are then 'exported' to the larger 'edit' partition/drive. I'm hoping that a bit of experience with Pinnacle's 3.41 drivers will allow me to adopt a possibly more efficient routine whatever that may be (any suggestions) though as the new drivers have overcome the 'jittering' from field dominance problems but replaced that with one or two dropped frames at cut-points where the problem is present, I am not too hopeful.

Batch capture would appear to be the best option but that means more hardware and expense.

Thanks to BobC for your reply which I will study in depth later.

I have effected a 'cure' (I think - well it is working so far). A bit of detail - this morning I shutdown and restarted my pc only to find that 'my computer' no longer had a record of the 2nd partition on the new drive.
After a lot of head scratching and faffing around I decided to start from scratch. I had originally set the drive up with a primary DOS partition and an extended DOS partition with logical drive (don't ask me why I did it that way, I just did - probably not thinking at the time).

This time I deleted all partitions etc, ensured that the drive was switched to ATA33, set the entire disk as an extended DOS partition with two logical drives, and hey presto 'my computer' and windows explorer' now recognise the drive/s correctly in all respects and have continued to do so despite a number of restarts.

Many thanks once again for the replies. Any further thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated

Keith Reeman

Alan Walker
Joined: Apr 17 1999

Bob or any person in the know,

You state that a 80 wire date cable is essential for an ATA 66 drive. Is that also the case for an ATA 66 drive set to run as a UDMA mode 2.

Also what about a ATA 33 and ATA 66 on the same cable, what then?


Alan Walker

Joined: Mar 7 1999


This is the case even if the drive is being run in Mode 2 (ATA33 mode).

Having a genuine ATA33 drive on the same cable is irrelevant. The plug on the cable is exactly the same as on a standard 40-wire cable, it's just that the extra wires prevent interference and cross-talk.

You MUST use an 80-wire cable. If you ignore this advice, you will deeply regret doing so at some point in time - you'll get some sort of horrible error. If you are lucky this may result in your having to do a surface scan of both drives attached to the cable.

If you are unluck you could lose a lot of data.

It is not worth taking the chance.

Bob C

Alan Walker
Joined: Apr 17 1999


Thanks for the tip. Quess what I am going to buy tomorrow?


Alan Walker.

Joined: Mar 27 1999

This is a repeat of a message i left in the thread hard drive quandry, but thought it apt to post here too as it seems relevant to this thread also.

I have just installed a second hard drive on my system, but not until i had followed most of the threads in this section of the message board. The ide cable that came supplied with the fijitsu 17.3 ata66 hard drive was only a 40 wire cable. Why is this cable supplied with the hd, if it is known to cause problems. I was unsure as to whether or not the extra wires ran alongside those sealed in the plastic binding of the ribbon strip, and that this was the correct cable after all. I have now tracked down the correct cable (ask at most retail stores and no one will know what you are talking about, even when shown Bob's explanation for thier necessity) and the cable does have 80 wires which are individually sealed in the plastic strip, so if you are unsure, count the number of ribs in the cable. One word of caution, the connectors on the ends of the cable i bought had 39 pins open, but with the 40th one,(located in the centre of the connector) not stamped out of the plastic moulding. This was ok for connecting to my master and slave drives as the corresponding pin is not present on the hard drives. However, on the mother board, all 40 pins are present. If all 80 wire cables are like this, make sure you drill a hole in the blanked off one to avoid damaging the motherboard.
Rick Barry.

Joined: Mar 7 1999

Two points:

1/ The plug on the 80-wire cable not having all 40 holes - never seen that except in old, pre-ATA33 cables.

2/ Why didn't the shop sell you the right cable with the drive? Well, frankly, that sort of question is one of life's major mysteries. The real question is, why don't shops train the people who work for them or care that the people who work for them aren't trained? I suppose, the reason is because the people who run the shops have been fooling most of the people, most of the time and getting away with it.

Bob C (who spent EIGHT years in electricals retailing, and then 13 more writing about it - long before Computer Video mag)