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Multi-step hard drive question

whyme
whyme asked
on
Medium Priority
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I've recently acquired a hand-me-down 486 with a crashed hard drive.  I'll be replacing the hard drive very soon, but I've heard about the "504 MB barrier" that I'll run into.  I'll be purchasing a large drive, probably 3.2 GB.

    My questions are:
    1.  What do I need to know about my computer to buy an appropriate add-on BIOS, to replace the hard drive
    portion of the mainboard BIOS?  Basically, tell me what will be involved in this chore and what I'd need to know to
    make an informed purchase.

    2.  Is it possible to partition a large (say 3.2 GB) hard drive BEFORE it's recognized by the BIOS, thus allowing me
    to split the hard drive into pieces that will be accepted by my current BIOS?  If it's possible, tell me how it's done.

    I don't want to use Disk Manager, or any other software fix. I'm either going to buy an add-on BIOS card, or
    partition the new hard drive to slip under the 504 barrier.

    Here's some system information:
    The BIOS is an AMIBIOS from 1991.  It doesn't allow for LBA, ECHS, or a large mode.  Replacing the BIOS and
    motherboard is not an option I'll consider.
    I'll definitely be buying at least a 2.1 GB drive, and probably it'll be a 3.2.
    I'll be running Windows 95.  I have 20 MB of RAM, a sound card, a 33.6 modem, a CD-ROM, and one each of 3.5
    and 5.25 drives.  I have two open 16-bit ISA slots.

    Please give me as much information as you possibly can, and I'll be generous with my 200 points.
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Author

Commented:
Edited text of question

Commented:
You can get a super IDE or EIDE card, and install it into you PC, Removed or disable your current IDE controller card.  In the EIDE or super IDE card should have information to update you PC to accept any large (Over 528MB) Hard drive.

Commented:
Sometimes you can use large drive without new controller. Western digital,Quantum,Seagate give "utility" with their disk.

This little program bypass the bios.

Look at www.seagate.com for example...
But, with a new controler you can have better performances...

Author

Commented:
I want a lot of information please, not just a general overview. And what about partitioning the hard drive before the BIOS accesses it?
Commented:
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Author

Commented:
Thank you for the good answer, although not what I wanted to hear.

On the Internet I've seen this:

" an 8 bit PC interface card with a flash programmable option ROM.."
" full support for hard disks larger than 8.4 gigabytes.."

Basically it looks like a tiny 8-bit ISA card with a ROM chip on it.  This is what I meant by "new controller card," although that might not have been the right terminology.  Do you think this would work for me?  Check out- www.firmware.com/sales/atapro/ataproflash.htm


Commented:
That 8bit PC card was the IDE controller card I mean at the first place.  Some people called it super IDE some people called it EIDE card.
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