First post, by Lomax

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I'm helping a friend revive an old Packard Bell PII system so she can use an old SCSI film scanner and an RS232 Wacom pen tablet. It had a couple of failed caps on the MSI MS-6119-BX2 motherboard (a.k.a. Packard Bell "Tacoma") which I've replaced, and the 6.4GB IDE harddrive had failed so I replaced this with an 80GB one. I found that I had to set a jumper on this to limit it to 32GB in size or the machine would hang during POST, so most of the drive is unusable. I thought that updating it to the latest AMI BIOS (v1.9) from Packard Bell would fix this, but removing the jumper after flashing causes it to hang at the same point, so I guess not. I found an old thread here which suggests it might be possible to flash an Award BIOS instead of the AMI one it currently uses (with a program called UniFlash?), and I'm tempted to try this since I'm pretty sure this BIOS does not have the 32GB limitation. What will happen to the existing partition if I do this? Will I still be able to boot from it, or is a re-format and re-install of the OS required?

Reply 1 of 1, by Ryccardo

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Generally* the 8 or 32GB limit jumper just force-enables an HPA, which just hard limits the maximum accessible sector, and a "driver" (part of the OS or a DDO) that knows what's up is supposed to disable it to restore the full capacity – and your hardware clearly supports LBA28 to get to 32 GB so if you get a firmware that doesn't screw up# calculations at that size it should just work 😀

* = http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Large-Disk-HOWTO-11.html#jumperbig

# = guess I could have said "completely freeze up" - "screw up" would fit better certain other famous size limitations → http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Large-Disk-HOWTO-4.html 😀

Uniflash is a legitimate program, now having 2 firmwares by competing brands that work for the same design of motherboard (not 1:1 with brand names and models) is improbable, but not impossible!