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First post, by sanguine

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Hello everyone,

I am currently putting together a W98 based build for late 90s retro gaming. By design I've thought of having a spacious 64GB (excessive I know) CF card to store my games without worries, however, as I hook up the card, the BIOS fails to detect its full capacity. I've used WHATIDE along with IDEINFO to gets the card's geometry and apparently the BIOS got the CHS value correctly but I believe got the sector size wrong. So now my questions are: Would increasing the heads value or the sectors value to get more space cause any stability problem? And would it damage the card? Thanks in advance.

PS: The card name is Sandisk Extreme 64GB CF (SDCFXS-064G).

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Reply 2 of 4, by jakethompson1

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sanguine wrote on 2021-11-08, 17:40:

Hello everyone,

I am currently putting together a W98 based build for late 90s retro gaming. By design I've thought of having a spacious 64GB (excessive I know) CF card to store my games without worries, however, as I hook up the card, the BIOS fails to detect its full capacity. I've used WHATIDE along with IDEINFO to gets the card's geometry and apparently the BIOS got the CHS value correctly but I believe got the sector size wrong. So now my questions are: Would increasing the heads value or the sectors value to get more space cause any stability problem? And would it damage the card? Thanks in advance.

PS: The card name is Sandisk Extreme 64GB CF (SDCFXS-064G).

The number of heads can't go higher than 255, nor can the number of sectors go higher than 63, there simply aren't enough bits in the fields that define these to go higher.

You are hitting into the 33.8GB BIOS limitation. See the last entry on: http://howto.hpl.ddo.jp/Large-Disk-HOWTO-4.html#ss4.2

The utilities you are running are from 1995 and 1991, so they are even older than the BIOS.

If you want more you either need translation software such as EZ-Drive or OnTrack, or for a hardware solution, the XT-IDE Universal BIOS. Unless of course, a BIOS update is out there for your board.

Reply 3 of 4, by dormcat

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What's the make and model of your motherboard, as well as its BIOS version? Seeing "2002" on the copyright line; BIOS of 2002 or later should be able to handle LBA up to 137 GB.

Reply 4 of 4, by sanguine

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dormcat wrote on 2021-11-08, 20:15:

What's the make and model of your motherboard, as well as its BIOS version? Seeing "2002" on the copyright line; BIOS of 2002 or later should be able to handle LBA up to 137 GB.

jakethompson1 wrote on 2021-11-08, 19:30:
The number of heads can't go higher than 255, nor can the number of sectors go higher than 63, there simply aren't enough bits i […]
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The number of heads can't go higher than 255, nor can the number of sectors go higher than 63, there simply aren't enough bits in the fields that define these to go higher.

You are hitting into the 33.8GB BIOS limitation. See the last entry on: http://howto.hpl.ddo.jp/Large-Disk-HOWTO-4.html#ss4.2

The utilities you are running are from 1995 and 1991, so they are even older than the BIOS.

If you want more you either need translation software such as EZ-Drive or OnTrack, or for a hardware solution, the XT-IDE Universal BIOS. Unless of course, a BIOS update is out there for your board.

Currently I'm on a Gigabyte GA-60-XT, just freshly recapped :p. Gigabyte added 137GB update since 2001/12/24 and currently I'm on the newest BIOS already (2002/12/17), a 80GB Seagate HDD works just fine, not this CF card thou.