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less disk space

Posted on 1998-11-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have a 386 with 4Mb RAM.  1990 American Megatrend BIOS.
I have just bought a 4.3Gb hard disk, when I fdisk it it only gives me 283Mb.  
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Question by:grambler2
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Laphroaig earned 50 total points
ID: 1012974
That's a huge drive for such an old system.

Your BIOS will only recognize HDD's of upto 532Mb's or something around that figure. You need a third party disk dynamic overlay file management program to allow your PC to recognise HDD's as big as yours. Western Digital have a program called EZ Drive which will suit your purposes. There are lots of others on the market. Your alternative is to upgrade your BIOS, but with a 386 system, I would suggest that even if possible, this would not be cost effective.
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by:grambler2
ID: 1012975
Thanks for your help it is working now.  It has split it into three partitions now.
Thanks again for your help
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by:jimat
ID: 1012976
Whew! 386 w/ 4MB, huh? Are you trying to put a supercharged V-12 in a 1968 VW Bug, too?     :-)
O.K. Let's see....
For one thing, when your BIOS was created there wasn't any such thing as a 4.3GB HDD for PC's. You will have to update your BIOS. Try their web site to see if anything is available. It may not be possible to upgrade to a BIOS that will recognise your HDD. In which case changing the BOIS chip is the only answer, but this chip quite probably is hardwired to your motherboard. Also, your HDD controller card probably has no idea what your HDD is so you would need a new controller card..
Also, your 386 has a 16 bit external bus   (Pentiums have a minimum 32 bit external)
Assuming you are able to properly use this HDD it will be slooooooow!
The cost and time involved in trying to convince your computer to use this HDD would be more than offset by the cost of a new 'puter. There are cheap (under $1000 new or $300-$600 used)  computers available, now, that will make yours seem like a turtle stuck in tar.
Your computer is way past the upgrade scene. Put it to pasture.
If non of this is an option then see about traiding your 4.3GB HDD for a 2GB HDD or less and format using "LBA" or "Large" (if your BIOS supports one of them). If your BOIS doesn't support either of those then your bet bet is to look really hard for a 500MB HDD or smaller.
Let me know if I can help.
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Author Comment

by:grambler2
ID: 1012977
I have used Western Digital's EZ Drive for now, and its got it working.  But your right I'll have to get a new motherboard.  Thanks for your help..
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Expert Comment

by:Laphroaig
ID: 1012978
You are very welcome.

Just bear in mind that if the computer does what you want it to do, and speed is not an important criteria but a large disk drive is, then do you really need to upgrade. It's worth thinking about.

All the best.
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