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hard drive

Posted on 1998-07-16
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Hi. just had my hard drive replaced. Had someone install it for me. I notice when I boot up, something called "dynamic drive" "on track' starts up. this never came up with the old hard drive. what is this?. The drive is a western digital 3.2 gb  thanks
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Question by:desperate
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jhance earned 90 total points
ID: 1137334
This is a utility that allows the use of hard drives larger then 540MB in systems where the BIOS doesn't support it.  Basically, it's a small program that loads before your operating system that patches the BIOS in memory to tell the OS that the full hard drive is available.

If the new hard drive is larger than 540MB, and your system is older (like a 486), then you probably need it.
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by:wayneb
ID: 1137335
You have an older machine whose bios does not support a harddrive over 540 mega bytes, in order to support your 3.2 gb drive a drive overlay is needed to trick the computer into thinking that it can support over 540 megs or 1024 Cylinders. This is done to the boot sector of the drive and takes over before the os does and after the bios. (Basic Input Output System)does.  If you require more info goto this link below.

http://www.ontrack.com/op/op_2.asp

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by:desperate
ID: 1137336
I have  a "586" its a 133mhz I think the bios are from 1997.
If i dont need this, is it not good to have? thanks again
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by:desperate
ID: 1137337
P.S can I remove this easily enough myself?
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by:desperate
ID: 1137338
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by:jhance
ID: 1137339
My recommendation would be to leave it there unless it is causing some problem with your system or you are comfortable with fixing your system if removing it causes you to loose access to part of your hard drive.  My guess is that your "586" is an AMD 5x86-133 chip which is really a 486 class chip that is overclocked.  

Again, I'd leave things as they are unless there is a problem.  The OnTrack Disk Manager program is widely used and will cause no harm.
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by:wayneb
ID: 1137340
If your bios is from 1997 then it would have supported the large drive, but it is a major headache to get rid of the disk manager. And you will likely lose some data in the process.
I agree with Jhance leave it alone if it works.
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by:jhance
ID: 1137341
wayne's point is good.  A BIOS from 1997 _SHOULD_ support hard drives > 540MB.  There are exceptions, however, and I've seen a number of boards that have what appear to be recent BIOSs but that didn't support large hard drives.  Go figure....

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by:desperate
ID: 1137342
Thanks guys. one more question and I'll put this to rest. I can get the person who installed the drive to reformat and start over. If i can do this should I or should i just leave it alone?
The older 2.5gb I had seemed to be okay, but like you said , maybe the bios aren't always accurate and i should leave the "on track " on there.thanks again
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by:wayneb
ID: 1137343
If that overlay should ever become corrupted, and it does happen do to boot sector virus or such you will lose your entire harddrive data.  You can only patch a piece of hardware not fix it.  The diskmanger software does just that.  It makes up for a problem with older computers, It does not fix it only puts a patch on it. You can not fix a hardware problem with software, only make it work.  It you motherboard can support lba mode then I would not use the overlay.  
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by:jhance
ID: 1137344
Have your installer double check the MB/BIOS and verify if it supports the 3.2GB hard drive without the Ontrack software.  If so, then have it re-installed.  Of course, you will have to also re-install any applications that have been loaded.
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