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Upgrading HD

Posted on 1999-01-06
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Last Modified: 2008-03-04

I have a Pentium 150 with an ExpertBoard 8551 motherboard and a Fujitsu M11623TAU 1.6 gig hard drive. I want to put in a second hard drive to increase disc space. I tried a Fujitsu 8.4 gig HD, but the tech at the store where I bought it tells me it won't work with this motherboard, and the biggest HD I can go to is a 2 gig, but they don't get them in anymore. I got my money back for the 8.4, so that isn't the problem. I need to know my options for adding a second slave drive, or upgrading the master drive. Do you have any suggestions?
   Thanks,
   Alan Pickersgill
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Question by:AlanP
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by:Stevie_emwsys
ID: 1132720
What version of Windows 9X are you using ? The first version of Win 95 could only cope with 2.1 gb. Later versions are fine.

The tech chap may have been getting confused with that.

Did you try installing the drive ? If so what happened when you asked the BIOS to autodetect it ?

Regards
Stevie
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by:demarb
ID: 1132721
The problem wouldn't be windows it would be the BIOS. Older bios's can't support larger drives and that is probably why the tech told you it wouldn't work.

You can get a bios upgrad from the BIOS manufacturer (they are about $25) or you can get a DTC card for about the same (I personally don't like the DTC option but it is an option), the DTC card supports the Hard Drive by basically overriding the motherboard BIOS.

The other option would be to upgrade your motherboard, much more expensive. It all depends on what you want to spend to fix the problem.
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mikecr earned 0 total points
ID: 1132722
First of all, how can anyone tell me the drive isn't compatible if they didn't read the motherboard manual and see what the limitations are? If your running a pentium 150, your motherboard is not actually that old. Really! My suggestion to you would be, since you have internet access, search the web and look at some of the computer stores online and I can almost guarantee beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can find a 4.3gb hard drive that will work in your system. The guy in the store was probably correct because of a bios limitation, you wouldn't be able to run an 8gb hard drive. You can do one of two options, get a 4.3 and install it, which it will work, or you can check your motherboard manual, see if it has a flash bios, update the bios with a newer version, then go back and buy the 8gb drive and it will work in your system. Just make sure that the bios update supports large drives.

Good Luck!
Mike
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by:demarb
ID: 1132723
Mike, the motherboard may be newer but that doesn't garantee that the BIOS isn't a little older. I've seen Pentium 166 with older BIOS's that won't support larger drives. It isn't common but the manufacturer won't start using newer BIOS's until they run out of their older ones (at least most won't)
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by:mikecr
ID: 1132724
Thats why you check your documentation, which you and I know that few people do, and this will give you the answer. That's why my reccommendation was to check the documentation and do a bios upgrade if needed. You can always use overlay software too but I don't particularly like it myself.

Mike
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by:demarb
ID: 1132725
I don't care for the overlay type thing myself, that's why I said I don't like using things like the DTC board. They do work but it can be messy and can easily cause other problems. Plus it doesn't really fix the problem, just puts a bandaid on it.
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by:mikecr
ID: 1132726
Exactly!



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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132727
Alan,
That P-150 motherboard should have a PCI/IDE controller on it.
If it does, it supports LBA, so there won't be a need for upgrading the BIOS for that reason.
Now, some of the older motherboards had different controllers for the secondary IDE port than for the primary.  In those cases, the secondary port was a standard IDE instead of EIDE, so that's where I'd put the CD-ROM. (if it's not there already)
You already have a 1.6GB drive, so you can get another and slave it to that one.
Or, if you prefer, make the new one master, and the present one slave to it.
If using early Win95 (FAT16), your maximum partition size will be limited to approx. 2GB, but that doesn't limit the size that the drive can be.
Let me know if you need more, or if all this is incidental because you don't have built-in controllers on the motherboard.
Regards,
Ralph
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