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Slot1 mobo not detecting IDE disks

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First post, by niki_iv

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Seems like I am having problems with two Slo1 Mobos
One is BioStar M6TZA - this one is curious .. it boots, it detects the disks, then it shows a popup with the CPU temp and voltage and fan speed, then it goes to the usual screen where it displays the BIOS data and there it freezes on the disk detectoion. It has detected the disks fine a moment ago.. If I go to BIOS - IDE HARD DISK detection it freezes
The other one is Abit AH6, same thing but it doesn't have this initial screen where it detects the drive. Same freeze in the IDE HARD disk detection

Is this a known problem?

Reply 1 of 20, by niki_iv

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Hm.. Obviously I am remembering things wrongly..
I threw in a smaller 8GB IDE and it detected it. Howerver a different mobo SuperPower 6XV-133 is detecting the large 80 and 120 GB disks fine..

What am I missing

Reply 2 of 20, by ATauenis

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You need to update the BIOS. Current flashed version does not support large HDDs. It is a known bug of Award Modular BIOS which was fixed approx. in 2000-2001. Probably the limit is 32GB or 64GB. Some HDDs have jumper "cut to 32GB", if it is present, try to set the jumper and then reformat HDD to smaller size. In most cases it helps. Then the last gigabytes of size are can be partitioned and formatted under Windows as additional logical drives.
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru& … HDD%2Findex.htm

2×Soviet ZX-Speccy, 1×MacIIsi, 1×086, 1×286, 2×386DX, 1×386SX, 2×486, 1×P54C, 7×P55C, 6×Slot1, 4×S370, 1×SlotA, 2×S462, ∞×Modern.

Reply 5 of 20, by Mister Xiado

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Bah, nothing for my first computer's Biostar M5aTB board, which barely even exists, according to my research. I must have ordered it from an alternate dimension.

b_ldnt2.gif - Where it's always 1992 (or so).
Icons, wallpapers, and typical Oldternet nonsense.

Reply 6 of 20, by ATauenis

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Mister Xiado wrote on 2020-06-07, 21:21:

Bah, nothing for my first computer's Biostar M5aTB board, which barely even exists, according to my research. I must have ordered it from an alternate dimension.

Try ROM.BY BIOS Patcher.

http://www.rom.by/articles/BP/index_english.htm

http://www.rom.by/Award/patcher/BP-6a9.rar
or http://www.rom.by/Award/patcher/BP-4_51_beta.rar
or http://www.rom.by/Award/patcher/bp-4_23.rar

(also need http://www.rom.by/Award/patcher/lha.rar and http://www.rom.by/Award/patcher/cbrom.zip for work)

Sadly, but most of documentation for it is in Russian (the Patcher self have English interface however). Google Translate should help.

What it can do:
bezymjannyj-jpg.157132

Don't forget to prepare a backup and ways to flash the correct BIOS back! The Patcher sometimes easily bricks some boards. It was not completely debugged and some versions have bugs that breaking some BIOSes. If v4.23 does not working, v6.0 may be useful, and back.

2×Soviet ZX-Speccy, 1×MacIIsi, 1×086, 1×286, 2×386DX, 1×386SX, 2×486, 1×P54C, 7×P55C, 6×Slot1, 4×S370, 1×SlotA, 2×S462, ∞×Modern.

Reply 7 of 20, by darry

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ATauenis wrote on 2020-06-08, 19:53:
Try ROM.BY BIOS Patcher. […]
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Mister Xiado wrote on 2020-06-07, 21:21:

Bah, nothing for my first computer's Biostar M5aTB board, which barely even exists, according to my research. I must have ordered it from an alternate dimension.

Try ROM.BY BIOS Patcher.

http://www.rom.by/articles/BP/index_english.htm

http://www.rom.by/Award/patcher/BP-6a9.rar
or http://www.rom.by/Award/patcher/BP-4_51_beta.rar
or http://www.rom.by/Award/patcher/bp-4_23.rar

(also need http://www.rom.by/Award/patcher/lha.rar and http://www.rom.by/Award/patcher/cbrom.zip for work)

Sadly, but most of documentation for it is in Russian (the Patcher self have English interface however). Google Translate should help.

What it can do:
bezymjannyj-jpg.157132

Don't forget to prepare a backup and ways to flash the correct BIOS back! The Patcher sometimes easily bricks some boards. It was not completely debugged and some versions have bugs that breaking some BIOSes. If v4.23 does not working, v6.0 may be useful, and back.

If you don't have an EEPROM programmer or a second board set up, you can hotflash in the same board if you have a spare BIOS chip . Just boot from a good working BIOS chip, swap in the BIOS chip you will use for testing and flash that .
That way you always have a fallback to your good BIOS chip . Obviously, hotflashing is not 100% risk-free (accidentally shorting something is an example of such a risk), so I would still recommend you get an external programmer .

Reply 8 of 20, by Mister Xiado

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A lesson in risk management: If the best thing that can happen is that I can use an 80GB HDD in my first computer, and the worst thing that can happen is the BIOS gets fried, and the system becomes utterly unusable due to the rarity of the board, I would be better off leaving well enough alone.

b_ldnt2.gif - Where it's always 1992 (or so).
Icons, wallpapers, and typical Oldternet nonsense.

Reply 9 of 20, by pii_legacy

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Mister Xiado wrote on 2020-06-08, 22:04:

A lesson in risk management: If the best thing that can happen is that I can use an 80GB HDD in my first computer, and the worst thing that can happen is the BIOS gets fried, and the system becomes utterly unusable due to the rarity of the board, I would be better off leaving well enough alone.

This is really a fair point, if i was OP i'd use it with a smaller drive as-is. I killed a Chaintech Socket A motherboard a few years ago by messing around with stuff that didn't need to be messed with and I still regret it.

Reply 10 of 20, by darry

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pii_legacy wrote on 2020-06-09, 03:51:
Mister Xiado wrote on 2020-06-08, 22:04:

A lesson in risk management: If the best thing that can happen is that I can use an 80GB HDD in my first computer, and the worst thing that can happen is the BIOS gets fried, and the system becomes utterly unusable due to the rarity of the board, I would be better off leaving well enough alone.

This is really a fair point, if i was OP i'd use it with a smaller drive as-is. I killed a Chaintech Socket A motherboard a few years ago by messing around with stuff that didn't need to be messed with and I still regret it.

EEPROM programmers are not that expensive and are pretty useful in this hobby .

Reply 11 of 20, by evasive

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I could patch those bioses for large harddisk support only with rainbow's bios patcher (as wimsbios moderator I have access to that tool). As for risk management, even updating with a regular bios update from the manufacturer with the tooling given by the manufacturer can render your board unusable. Ask any MSI board owners using the windows-based utilities.

So: make a backup of the current bios. This way you can put it back if necessary using the normal flash tool or Rainbow's uniflash. If really want to be safe: buy a pin-compatible eeprom chip so you can program that with the patched bios, keeping your working chip safe from any harm.

Reply 13 of 20, by evasive

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seleryba wrote on 2020-06-10, 18:57:

If there is no bios update, you can use some overlay, like Ontrack Dynamic Disk Overlay. You will be able to use any hdd you want.

Yep. The downside is this is done in software so makes the system slower and recovering files from it when there's something wrong with the partition can be an absolute nightmare.

There are ofcourse disk controllers with their own bios (same idea as using a separate SCSI controller) that can be used.

Reply 17 of 20, by seleryba

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evasive wrote on 2020-06-11, 07:34:

Yep. The downside is this is done in software so makes the system slower and recovering files from it when there's something wrong with the partition can be an absolute nightmare.

Totally agree with recovering nightmare, but I'm not sure about the performance. I use the overlay on my three 486/Pentium machines with modern HDDs and it works very well. But maybe because of modern HDD? Or because combination of old PC and modern HDD cause we can have some overhead in software but the HDD is so fast that overall performance is still better than using old HDD? 🤔Also I'm not sure whether 640 kB are touched using overlay software.

That's a nice thing to benchmark and test with some modern HDD and 1999-era PC, to compare speed with bare controller and overlay software. Will do someday!

Anyway cool there is BIOS update for op's motherboard. That's definitely the best option.

Reply 18 of 20, by candle_86

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The easy fix is grab a cheap promise card on ebay

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Reply 19 of 20, by ATauenis

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candle_86 wrote on 2020-06-15, 14:25:

The easy fix is grab a cheap promise card on ebay

I have a Promise FastTrak TX2000, it can be used as standalone IDE controller, but does not booting from non-RAID drives. So a small HDD for boot is still need.

2×Soviet ZX-Speccy, 1×MacIIsi, 1×086, 1×286, 2×386DX, 1×386SX, 2×486, 1×P54C, 7×P55C, 6×Slot1, 4×S370, 1×SlotA, 2×S462, ∞×Modern.