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First post, by Dochartaigh

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I have a MMX 200 running Win98 which had a 3GB mechanical HDD in it. It seems like the previous owner had to set that up manually in the AMIBIOS. I just installed a 120GB SSD (computer seems to recognize it), but I have no clue how to set this up manually in the BIOS.

DlwK6Bdl.jpg

Do I have to put the SSD into another working computer (like my 800mhz Pentium III sees it without setting anything up), then run a DOS command to get these values (I can't just calculate it off the base 120gb, right? as it's the formatted size?)? I picked 120gb on purpose as 128 is the largest size you can use, right? Is that dependent on the MB or anything? (i.e. if I get these values situated, this large 120gb SSD will work in my computer, right?)

Specs if they're needed:
Topgun/Alton/PC Chips M575 Socket 7 motherboard
200 MHz Intel Pentium MMX, SL2RY, 66mhz bus, SPGA Socket 7 Processor
128 MB RAM
Trident 3dImage 9750, 4 MB, VGA, PCI Video Card

Sorry if this is an elementary question (my google-fu has failed me as well)... I've been building later Pentium III builds lately which don't give me any issues with these same exact SSD's and SATA to IDE adapters.

Reply 1 of 16, by darry

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Dochartaigh wrote on 2020-06-20, 23:47:
I have a MMX 200 running Win98 which had a 3GB mechanical HDD in it. It seems like the previous owner had to set that up manuall […]
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I have a MMX 200 running Win98 which had a 3GB mechanical HDD in it. It seems like the previous owner had to set that up manually in the AMIBIOS. I just installed a 120GB SSD (computer seems to recognize it), but I have no clue how to set this up manually in the BIOS.

DlwK6Bdl.jpg
Do I have to put the SSD into another working computer (like my 800mhz Pentium III sees it without setting anything up), then run a DOS command to get these values (I can't just calculate it off the base 120gb, right? as it's the formatted size?)? I picked 120gb on purpose as 128 is the largest size you can use, right? Is that dependent on the MB or anything? (i.e. if I get these values situated, this large 120gb SSD will work in my computer, right?)

Specs if they're needed:
Topgun/Alton/PC Chips M575 Socket 7 motherboard
200 MHz Intel Pentium MMX, SL2RY, 66mhz bus, SPGA Socket 7 Processor
128 MB RAM
Trident 3dImage 9750, 4 MB, VGA, PCI Video Card

Sorry if this is an elementary question (my google-fu has failed me as well)... I've been building later Pentium III builds lately which don't give me any issues with these same exact SSD's and SATA to IDE adapters.

Your board Pentium 1 board is old enough that its BIOS will likely not be able to support anything over 8.4GB without either patching the BIOS (if possible), an XT-IDE BIOS, a PCI IDE/SATA controller with a BIOS that can handle the drive size or a software solution called a dynamic drive overlay (DDO) .

Setting values manually for the drive in the BIOS will not allow you to circumvent the issue .

See https://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Large-Disk-HOWTO-4.html (Linux oriented, but the basic info applies to all scenarios)

EDIT : See also
http://www.dewassoc.com/kbase/hard_drives/res … ve_barriers.htm
http://web.inter.nl.net/hcc/J.Steunebrink/bioslim.htm

Reply 2 of 16, by Dochartaigh

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darry wrote on 2020-06-20, 23:59:

Your board Pentium 1 board is old enough that its BIOS will likely not be able to support anything over 8.4GB without either patching the BIOS (if possible), an XT-IDE BIOS, a PCI IDE/SATA controller with a BIOS that can handle the drive size or a software solution called a dynamic drive overlay (DDO) .

Setting values manually for the drive in the BIOS will not allow you to circumvent the issue .

I think it's good in that regard - it can see the secondary HDD which is 40GB – and I'm pretty sure I never had to touch the BIOS when I installed that 2nd 40GB HDD otherwise I wouldn't be asking how to setup the 120gb in BIOS 😉

They're both plugged directly into the MB too - no separate IDA/SATA controller card or anything.

Reply 4 of 16, by Dochartaigh

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Pierre32 wrote on 2020-06-21, 00:12:

Cool, thanks! I can download that on the other computer and run it to get those values. That's all that's needed? Should just be able to plug those values into the BIOS and It'll work?


To add to my reply above, I checked the BIOS for the Secondary HDD, and this is weird. It has the old values for the old 8gb secondary drive:

jAejT1dl.jpg

But once I'm in Windows 98 it's clear that the computer sees the entire new 40GB secondary HDD there. Maybe if I boot into DOS and check the size it'll show as messed-up and Windows handles this separately or something?

Dz6t8fml.jpg

Any idea why it wouldn't do the same for the 120GB SSD? Probably because it's way larger than was ever around when the BIOS was programmed maybe?

Reply 5 of 16, by Pierre32

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Dochartaigh wrote on 2020-06-21, 00:19:
Pierre32 wrote on 2020-06-21, 00:12:

Cool, thanks! I can download that on the other computer and run it to get those values. That's all that's needed? Should just be able to plug those values into the BIOS and It'll work?

Should do! With the usual disclaimers that your BIOS and your OS may not report the same size.

As an example, I recently had the opposite scenario to yours above: I installed an 8GB drive into my 386, which the BIOS happily reports as 8GB. But DOS only sees 1.5GB. Just gotta dive in and see what happens.

Reply 6 of 16, by darry

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That a 40GB drive works is encouraging, that means your BIOS is more recent than I expected .

Setting things manually does not mean it will just work. Bugs with large disk sizes were common with BIOSes of that era. Manually setting drive parameters if the BIOS is unable to detect the drive does not guarantee issues like data corruption will not occur at some point. I suggest you tread carefully .

Reply 7 of 16, by Cobra42898

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There are other sizes that are artificial limits, like a few of my machines had a 64gb limit. it shows up in the bios, but doesn't work in practice. You could be in the same boat with this, as in 1997 120gb drives didn't exist yet. Some times I can even fdisk and format the whole capacity, but the bios can't translate the part beyond the first 64gb, and anything written out there is garbled.

I'm also not unconvinced the 40gb drive may not be using a DDO. did it come with an "install disk" when you put it in?

Searching for Epson Actiontower 3000 486 PC.

Reply 8 of 16, by konc

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Just select "auto" in types
120GB on socket 7 is not common at all, but not unheard of either. I have an Intel m/b with an official BIOS that supports that size
(At the same time there are slot 1 m/b that don't go above 32GB!)

Reply 9 of 16, by darry

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konc wrote on 2020-06-21, 11:43:

Just select "auto" in types
120GB on socket 7 is not common at all, but not unheard of either. I have an Intel m/b with an official BIOS that supports that size
(At the same time there are slot 1 m/b that don't go above 32GB!)

I would Imagine that support for 120GB on that Intel socket 7 board came as part of a BIOS update that was released a few years after the board launched ?

Reply 10 of 16, by konc

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darry wrote on 2020-06-21, 13:27:

I would Imagine that support for 120GB on that Intel socket 7 board came as part of a BIOS update that was released a few years after the board launched ?

Correct, yes. An official release on Intel's site though

Reply 11 of 16, by Dochartaigh

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Cobra42898 wrote on 2020-06-21, 11:38:

I'm also not unconvinced the 40gb drive may not be using a DDO. did it come with an "install disk" when you put it in?

I don't know what DDO is. I literally just plugged it in and it worked (Windows sees the full 40GB at least, haven't tried DOS but I assume that will too).

konc wrote on 2020-06-21, 11:43:

Just select "auto" in types
120GB on socket 7 is not common at all, but not unheard of either. I have an Intel m/b with an official BIOS that supports that size
(At the same time there are slot 1 m/b that don't go above 32GB!)

I tried 'auto' before and it didn't work.

darry wrote on 2020-06-21, 13:27:

I would Imagine that support for 120GB on that Intel socket 7 board came as part of a BIOS update that was released a few years after the board launched ?

BIOS is AMIBIOS and is dated 1997. I can see if there's an update but it might be hard to find. If manually inputting the cylinders/sectors/etc. doesn't work I'll look more into this.


For an update, I got the full count of cylinders/sectors but still need to try it in the 200MMX machine (the P3 Dell I was reading the HDD off of had a blue screen failure so was trying to fix that first 😉. I'll report back when what happens. Crossing my fingers.

Reply 12 of 16, by jesolo

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Alternatively, just insert the maximum values that your BIOS support (let's assume it is 64GB). You can then partition and format the SSD up to 64 GB and it should work fine, but you'll loose the other portion as the BIOS will just assume you have a 64 GB "hard drive" installed.

Reply 13 of 16, by darry

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I believe this is the latest BIOS for the M575 . It is dated from 1999. I have no idea what it fixes .

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Reply 15 of 16, by zyga64

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darry wrote on 2020-06-21, 00:33:

That a 40GB drive works is encouraging, that means your BIOS is more recent than I expected .

I think that Windows just bypasses BIOS and probes drive by itself.
Few times I connected drive to IDE channel which was configured as 'none' in BIOS and Windows discovered it anyway .

So I think it is safe to say that only boot drive has to be detected by BIOS correctly if Windows is operating system of choice. Rest of HDDs will be detected by OS.

1) VLSI SCAMP /286@20 /4MB /TVGA9000C /CMI8330
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4) i440BX /P II 400 /256MB /FX5500/AWE64
5) i865G /E5800 /2GB /Ti4200 /YMF724

Reply 16 of 16, by darry

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zyga64 wrote on 2020-06-22, 10:15:
I think that Windows just bypasses BIOS and probes drive by itself. Few times I connected drive to IDE channel which was config […]
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darry wrote on 2020-06-21, 00:33:

That a 40GB drive works is encouraging, that means your BIOS is more recent than I expected .

I think that Windows just bypasses BIOS and probes drive by itself.
Few times I connected drive to IDE channel which was configured as 'none' in BIOS and Windows discovered it anyway .

So I think it is safe to say that only boot drive has to be detected by BIOS correctly if Windows is operating system of choice. Rest of HDDs will be detected by OS.

If you are referring to Windows 9x, AFAIK, that is true, except when
a) Windows is running disk access in compatibility mode (for example, when there is a problem with the controller driver)
b) Before the Windows kernel actually loads (i.e. in "DOS " mode, like when Windows chooses to run scandisk before the kernel starts, or simply when running DOS applications in pure DOS mode).

In those 2 scenarios, BIOS disk routines are used . Then, if disk writes are made to a drive that is not properly configured in BIOS, the results can be rather unpleasant .

I don't know if Windows will detect and use drives that are set to "NONE" in BIOS, but if that works, it might be a safer approach to running non-boot drives that the BIOS can't handle .

EDIT: Completely misread the post. Setting to NONE in BIOS, if it works, seems like a very good idea if BIOS can't support a drive . WIndows 9x has its own set of limitations regarding drive size, though. Something to keep in mind as well.