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How to format large drive beyond 8GB DOS limit?

Posted on 1999-01-08
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Last Modified: 2010-07-27
I have just installed a 9.1 GB SCSI secondary drive, and am in the process of formatting it. On master drive, I have Win95 OSR2 in one primary partition, NT4 in another. Win95 reports drive capacity at 8GB.  So does Partition Magic v3 - PM4 I'm told will however read a larger drive.  How to overcome this limit? I've looked for a new version of FDISK, but no such thing.  Is it the BIOS?  Current one is a couple of years old, there is a flash upgrade available.  But if it's the BIOS, how come NT4 recognizes the drive correctly at 8,760 approx MB?  What's NT4 got that Win95 and PM3 don't?  - must be DOS base of win and pm that are to blame, but again, is there a remedy short of paying big bucks for Partition Magic upgrade?  Thanks for any info and suggestions.  MG.
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Question by:michaelg
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by:dudleyf
ID: 1132942
http://x7.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=410945951.1&threaded=1&CONTEXT=915858754.1233453295&hitnum=24

I hope this link works for you, but if it doesn't go to www.dejanews.com and do a search for "win fdisk bug".
Basicly there is a bug in all versions of win9x with regard to drives over 8.4 gigs. At first I thought this was an INT13 BIOS limitation, but I believe that would be for IDE drives only (Can anybody verify this?). Also this seems to affect computers that have the extended INT13 update for large hd's too. I think you are best off reading up on this yourself, but the gist of it seems to be that you shouldn't create drives in an extended partition past cylinder 1023. That is, don't create a logical drive in the extended partition where that drive _starts_ past cyl 1023, or at about 8 gigs.
Can you create a primary partition of 8 gig and an extended of 1.1gig? If so, it seems that a single logical drive in the extended partition would be safe, tho' not preferable to a 9.1 gig partition. Perhaps upgrading your {scsi}BIOS is all that's necessary.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132943
That's correct dudleyf.
Although FAT32 supports drives up to 2 terabytes in size, drives may not be larger than 7.8 GB due to limitations of the BIOS INT13 interface.
For more info on FAT32 see:

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q154/9/97.asp

Regards,
Ralph
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by:jhance
ID: 1132944
rmarotta,

I don't know HOW to do it but I know it CAN be done.  I've got a DELL computer with a 13.4G hard drive formatted into ONE 13.4G FAT32 partition.  It came from Dell that way.  I'll do some more research and see if I can find out HOW to do it....
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by:jhance
ID: 1132945
I think that this article hold the key:

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q153/5/50.asp

It seems your BIOS must be capable of support the >8G drive size.  
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132946
jhance,
I don't know the answer yet either, but have you seen this:
http://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/russel2.html
I'm still looking too.....
Ralph
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132947
This one explains it in a little more detail,  but I don't know how up-to-date it is.
The comment from the MS article that I posted is only one week old!
Could it be something that OEM manufacturers are adding to FDISK to make the new BIOS work?
Ralph

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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132948
More info:

Drives >8gbs (FAT 32X, FAT 16x and Extended x partitions)

Drives larger than 8gbs, even with large drive translation enabled, cross the 1024 cylinder limit. FAT32x,FAT16x, and Extended X are partition types that cross this boundary.

1. PartitionMagic currently supports the manipulation of FAT 32x, FAT 16x, and Extended X partitions in Partition Magic 4.0. It also support drives larger than 8gbs.
 
From:
http://support.powerquest.com/commoncalls.html

Regards,
Ralph
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132949
See the last few paragraphs here:

http://www.webdev.net/orca/fat32x.htm


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by:michaelg
ID: 1132950
Thanks to jhance, dudleyf and rmarotta for their contributions - which came so soon after the question was posted!  Had to reject proposed answer, however: I downloaded latest BIOS and installed it but it has made no difference - Win95 OSR2 fdisk still sees only 8025 MB.   Most impressive article was that suggested by rmarotta at webdev.net - it explains the problem, without supplying a fix.  Unfortunately, the articles on the page are undated - and seem out of date.  By now, surely the "fix is in" at Powerquest.  SO - I still don't know if I pay the cash for Partition Magic 4.0 whether it will actually work, or whether some alteration has to be made - the article suggests that the fault lies in the operating system. Tom Pfeifer's article says he succeeded with a partitioning utility (not named!) where Win98 fdisk did not work.  Here's what I've done so far - not sure if it's the best thing to do, so let me know before I start loading everything up!  
1. WinNT4 can see the whole drive.  (How come NT can?)  So,
per IBM suggestion, I made all of secondary drive an extended partition.  (or should it be two extended partitions, one stopping at the 1024 cylinder so PMagic can access it okay?) Anyway, right now it's one.
2. This is divided into 7 logical partitions, 5 one GB each and 2x2GB each.  NT was able to format first 5 FAT, last 2 NTFS (1 plus 2 GB now in those last 2 partitions.  
3. Booted back into Win95, and then into Partition Magic 3, and used PMagic to convert the FAT partitions into FAT 32 partitions.  No problem, although PMagic was unable to see the final NTFS partition, nor was it able to make any changes on the drive (tried to use PM3 to format the FAT32 partitions after creating them with NT4, but it didn't work.. that's why I went back to NT4 to format them FAT and then change that with PM3).

So, it seems to be working, but damned if I know why.  Or if it is any reliable answer to the problem.  Thing is, I can reach the FAT32 partitions that Win95 needs and can see, and I can access the NTFS partitions at the end of the disk using NT4, and it doesn't matter if they are beyond the Win95 limit.  Saw a reference in one of the articles to FAT 4 - that's a new one!  Is it out anywhere?  COMMENTS WELCOMED PLEASE - DIDN'T REALIZE IT WOULD BE SO TRICKY TO SOLVE, WITH ALL THESE BIG DISKS ON THE MARKET...Thanks again.
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by:michaelg
ID: 1132951
Adjusted points to 300
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by:dudleyf
ID: 1132952
Did the bios upgrade specificly say that it was including support for >8.4 HD's or support for int13 extensions? If not, the bios upgrd was not relevent to your problem.
I Think your safe as long as your last logical drive starts before cyl 1024. which I think it should if it is 2 gigs.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132953
Michael,
I don't know if PM4 takes care of the problem yet, but this might clear up a little bit of the mystery:

There is a good explanation about "Overcoming the 8.4-Gbyte Barrier" at Seagate's website, here:

http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/faq/8point4.shtml

See the info about DiscWizard and the reference to Adaptec SCSI mentioned there as well.

Western Digital also offers software (EZ-Drive v9.09W) to recognize drives larger than the INT13h limit.  They have a downloadable utility that reports on your installed drives and BIOS table called Wdtblchk.exe v2.30, available here:

ftp://ftp.wdc.com/drivers/hdutil/tablechk.exe

I think this will tell you if your system BIOS is capable of supporting the larger drives.  I ran it on my computer, (P-II 400 w/8.4GB FAT32) but I don't have a larger drive to try it with.  It reported Int41h & Int48h support present, which I think are the extensions needed.

I hope this helps you track down what's needed for yours.

Regards,
Ralph
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by:jhance
ID: 1132954
I think you'll find that the BIOS you downloaded doesn't support >8G hard drives.  What is the date on the BIOS update?  Did it have any release notes?
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by:jhance
ID: 1132955
>What's NT4 got that Win95 and PM3 don't?

NT4 doesn't use the BIOS for disk formatting.  When you boot NT from HDD or diskette, it loads the HAL (hardware abstraction layer).  This takes the place of BIOS for all NT operations after the initial boot loader.  This is why some systems don't work right with NT.  Their hardware is not exactly right and NT's HAL doesn't work with it.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132956
Michael,
What is your primary drive & controller? (SCSI or IDE)
What SCSI controller are you using for the new secondary drive?
Ralph
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by:michaelg
ID: 1132957
Quest continues for solution... I tried the WD tablechk utitlity - it's written for IDE drives, not SCSI, so it reported "No disks detected".  However, it did find two disks under the Int13 control... and it confirms Int 41 and INt 46 active... SCSI utilities on startup reports 8748 MB (correct for 9.1 BG drive), but FDisk says "total partition size is 8738 MB (correct) but then says disk capacity only 8025 MB - ie: it contradicts itself.  The Seagate article mentioned by rmarotta above is a good one, and it gives one possible explanation of this discrepancy: "If 'USER' is used in system BIOS, even with LBA enabled...the drive capacity will be limited to 8.4 GB".  It must be set instead to "auto".  

So, I called DELL about my computer.  No info available on the BIOS I downloaded, dated Jan/98, but it is the most recent.  Went into setup, and hard drive setting is "auto".  Except, it's either "auto" or it's "off"... no mention of "user".  

So - few people seem to know how all of this apply to SCSI systems - not even Dell technicians, "we hardly ever get questions about SCSI...".  But apparently the Adaptec 2940 UW card also has a flash bios, now two years old, so I've just launched an email to them to see if that's the problem.  

In the meantime, we're building the ultimate reference point for large drive problems...!!!! Thanks again everybody, keep feeding stuff in, I'll keep you posted on anything I learn.  MG.
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by:jhance
ID: 1132958
Did you see this?

http://www.adaptec.com/support/faqs/aha294xsoftware.html

Q. I have a 9GB disk on my AHA-2940UW. When I try to FDISK the drive I don't see all 9GB.

A. DOS and Windows95(original release) have an Operating System limitation of accessing no more than 8GB on a drive. If using FDISK from DOS 6.x.x or Windows95, the initial disk size will be limited to 8025MB or less. Windows95 OSR2 (the OEM installed version), uses FDISK which utilizes a FAT32 file system vs. the FAT16 used in the original Windows release and in DOS. FAT32 will allow access to drives larger than 8GB. When FDISK in OSR2 is used, the text will give the option of using the different addressing schemes. The capacity reported in FDISK will always be less than the manufacturer's indicated capacity, and the difference will appear greater the larger the drive. Vendors report the capacity based on 1MB equal to 1,000,000 Bytes (1 x 106). SCSI controllers report capacity based on cylinders (1 x 220). A cylinder is 1,048,576 Bytes. FDISK32 will report a 9GB drive as having approximately 8500MB (9GB/1048576) formatted capacity. The drive will reserve spare blocks for sector re-mapping but the reported value should be similar.


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by:Jason_S
ID: 1132959
jhance is on the right track.

The setting in BIOS does not effect SCSI Devices.  That is only for IDE.  You can set this to off.  The SCSI controller will handle the drive.

If the current answer does not work for you, please reject it so we can continue.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132960
Michael,
>  "I tried the WD tablechk utitlity - it's written for IDE drives, not SCSI, so it reported "No disks detected"."

I'm not sure that it's only for SCSI.  When running the program, I got the same responses, except I only have the one IDE drive described earlier.

Please describe how the drives are set up on your system.

Ralph
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132961
correction:  "....that it's only for <IDE>"
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by:jhance
ID: 1132962
The following quote from the ADAPTEC WEB SITE seems to fit the stated problem EXACTLY.  I think the bottom line with this is that the ADAPTEC BIOS doesn't calculate the disk space the same way Windows does and so both are reporting the "same" size, just in different units.



Q. I have a 9GB disk on my AHA-2940UW. When I try to FDISK the drive I don't see all 9GB.

A. DOS and Windows95(original release) have an Operating System limitation of accessing no more than 8GB on a drive. If using FDISK from DOS 6.x.x or Windows95, the initial disk size will be limited to 8025MB or less. Windows95 OSR2 (the OEM installed version), uses FDISK which utilizes a FAT32 file system vs. the FAT16 used in the original Windows release and in DOS. FAT32 will allow access to drives larger than 8GB. When FDISK in OSR2 is used, the text will give the option of using the different addressing schemes. The capacity reported in FDISK will always be less than the manufacturer's indicated capacity, and the difference will appear greater the larger the drive. Vendors report the capacity based on 1MB equal to 1,000,000 Bytes (1 x 106). SCSI controllers report capacity based on cylinders (1 x 220). A cylinder is 1,048,576 Bytes. FDISK32 will report a 9GB drive as having approximately 8500MB (9GB/1048576) formatted capacity. The drive will reserve spare blocks for sector re-mapping but the reported value should be similar.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132963
Here's more info from W/D on the >8.4GB issue:

******************************************************
"In order to make use of drives larger than 8.4 GB, both the system BIOS and the Operating System must be able to interpret Extended Functions. Older Operating Systems such as DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1 are not able to interpret Extended Functions, so they will never be able to use drives larger than 8.4 GB even with the use of EZ-Drive. Newer OS's, such as Windows 95, 98, and NT are capable of handling larger drives. Windows 95 and 98 require that the system BIOS also support the Extended Functions, while NT only requires that Service Pack 3 be installed. Other OS's such as OS/2 may require special patches to access drives larger than 8.4 GB. Consult your software manufacturer for specifics.

If your system BIOS does not support drives larger than 8.4 GB (and most systems that are currently in use do not) then you can add this support by using EZ-Drive to install your large drive."

********************************************************
Here's the whole article:

http://www.westerndigital.com/support/tip0998.html
********************************************************

Michael,
Seagate's DiskWizard & W/D's EZ-Drive work with IDE.
It seems there's no longer a problem with >8.4GB IDE support by using one of the above programs.
In your case though, I think the only way to get use of your SCSI drive's full capacity is to use NT.
According to Western Digital, BIOS support of INT13 extensions is not required for Windows NT. (w/SP.3)
 
Regards,
Ralph

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by:michaelg
ID: 1132964
OK-thanks jhance for the explanation of the NT4 difference.  With regard to the core problem, however you seem to be suggesting that, following logic of the Adaptec article, there is in fact no problem here.  That it's a numbers game, with FDisk, scsi controller and drive manufacturer all counting MB's in a different way.  True enough, but the sticking point is 8025 when it comes to accessing the disk - the DOS limit.  And I do have OSR2 which provides FAT32 file system. Fdisk can "see" the NT4 formatted disk up to cylinder 1023. It reports an extended partition of 8738 MB, and shows 5 FAT32 partitions and 1 NTFS partition, but then fails to show the final 2 GB NTFS partition.

So what have we ruled out: Win95 OSR2 is supposed to support >8 GB drives.  BIOS has been updated, and SCSI doesn't depend on it anyway to control the drives.  NT4 can see the whole drive and can format whole drive, even with old BIOS.  Adaptec 2940 BIOS has yet to be upgraded. (fyi rmarotta, the primary drive is also SCSI UW, 2.1GB...currently terminating cable from new drive, from 68-pin port on the controller card).  

JHance - ever figure out how Dell got your big drive formatted?  What info does fdisk give you on that drive?  Could you reformat if you had to (Don't do it!!!)  Thanks again, Michael.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132965
jhance, is your drive IDE?
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by:jhance
ID: 1132966
>JHance - ever figure out how Dell got your big drive formatted
>What info does fdisk give you on that drive?  Could you
>reformat if you had to (Don't do it!!!)  Thanks again, Michael.

>jhance, is your drive IDE?

Yes, it's an IDE drive and FDISK recognizes it as a 13GB drive, whic it is.


The rub here is that we are talking SCSI and the BIOS in use is the Adaptec BIOS on the 2940 card and NOT the system BIOS.  This is why I've quoted the statement from the ADaptec web site.  Regardless of the system BIOS capabilities, you are running the SCSI disk through the Adaptec BIOS.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132967
Michael,
Now, I'll try..........

What I was trying to say is that I don't think you're going any further than the 8.4GBs without translating that SCSI drive's geometry.
Those IDE programs do it, but obviously won't help.
NT does it, but then Windows & FDISK won't see it.
It looks like it's left up to Adaptec, unless PM4 does it for SCSI.

Ralph
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by:michaelg
ID: 1132968
Addendum: According to webdev.net/orca/fat32x.htm, "FAT32X is a form of FAT32 created by the windows FDisk utility when partitions over 8 GB in size are created, and the 1024 cylinder threshold of the disk is passed.  The FAT is moved to the end of the disk in these cases."  I wondering if early versions of OSR2 were not enabled to create FAT32X partitions....???
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132969
FAT32x is in OSR2 & later versions of Win9x.

It's what FDISK uses to see the BIOS int13h extensions to permit partitioning >8.4GB.
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by:michaelg
ID: 1132970
Ralph: You may be right - Adaptec BIOS may be to blame - and Jhance therefore also right with comment that NT bypasses BIOS instructions, whether system or controller BIOS, and applies its own disk adressing system.. YOU FOLK ARE GREAT!... Note my above pondering re FAT32X... Let me reserve the conclusion of this until I hear something back from Adaptec.  Thanks and regards, Michael.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132971
jhance,
Did you ever find out what "geometry translation scheme" (for lack of a better name) Dell uses on your system?
I've got "geometry-translation overload" on this since Friday......   :-)
Ralph
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by:jhance
ID: 1132972
I don't know that it uses any.  I was under the impression that the aforementioned BIOS extensions were designed to get around this translation business.  If you recall, the whole translation scheme got started when disks came out with > 1024 cylinders.  IBM, in their wisdom, had only allocated 10 bits in the BIOS call for specifying the cylinder.  Since there were still bits left in the sector field, translation schemes mapped extra tracks to pseudo-sectors on the disk.  This worked until we reached 8G where there are just no bits left in the BIOS to specify any more disk "addresses".  Hence the BIOS extensions which use up to 32 bits for the cylinder and 32 bits for the sector for a gazillion bytes of potential disk storage.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132973
Did you read that article I posted earlier?
"Parameters of 8.4 GB Drives and Larger"

http://www.westerndigital.com/support/tip0998.html

Ralph
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1132974
Hi Michael!  Hi Ralph, thanks for the invitation.

Here's an article you may want to add to the collection.

PSS ID Number: Q126855
Article last modified on 06-23-1998
================
I've read most of the information from the sites noted, and while much is valid, allot of it is dated material.

Both the Seagate and WD sites have provided good information on this issue, but here's some collective data that may add to your knowledge on this issue as well!
===========================
Both LBA translation methods discussed above use ID words 1,3 and 6 of the identify drive command. The maximum values for these are 16,383 cylinders, 16 heads and 63 sectors for a capacity of 8.456 GB. To go beyond these boundaries, new extended INT 13 functions have been defined. These new Int 13 functions do not pass the disk drive addressing via the host registers. Instead the address of a Device address packet in host memory is passed. The BIOS disk services then reads this packet to determine the disk address. The address provided in the Device address packet is a 64-bit LBA address. If the disk drive supports LBA addressing the lower 28 bits of this address may be passed directly to the ATA registers. If the device does not support LBA addressing, the host converts the LBA address to a CHS address and places that in the ATA registers. In this way, the entire 136.9 GB capacity addressable via CHS or 137.4 GB addressable via LBA can be unitized over the ATA bus.
==============
As we know, each barrier had symptoms that let us know what was wrong:

528 MB Barrier
Symptom: The total disk space reported to the operating system will be 528 MB or less.

2.1 GB Barrier
Symptom: System hang occurs when the BIOS has a problem translating the cylinders and heads and locks the system during POST (power on self test).

***If the user is using an operating system that uses the FAT 16 file system, multiple partitions will have to be created to obtain the full size of the hard drive.

4.2 GB Barrier
Symptom: System hangs at boot after the creation of partitions on the drive.

8.4 GB Barrier
Symptoms: Since this is a new barrier, not all symptoms are known. This a list a known problems when installing drives greater than 8.4 GB:

The total disk capacity reported to the operating system is 8.4 GB or less.
System hang occurs when the BIOS has a problem translating the cylinders and heads and locks the system during POST (power on self test).
When attempting a format of the drive, errors occur. Usually the operating system reports that there is bad sectors (trying to re-cover lost allocation units) on the drive when in fact the drive is fine.
====================
Here's some solutions we have worked with.

Remember!!! Just because the BIOS was upgraded or is the most current, doesn't mean that it supports the ""Extended" Int 13 functions.

Hardware solution:

Upgrade the system BIOS or use an Enhanced IDE (EIDE) Interface or BIOS Extender card that provides the correct LBA support for large capacity disk drives.

Software solution:
For those systems that do not provide the LBA BIOS feature, translation and/or "extender software" must be used. Software translation is an effective, non-conventional means of translating sector addresses of large capacity hard disk drives. Instead of loading a driver in the start-up files, it loads drivers before the operating system is loaded. The most hard drive manufacturers with drives at 8.4 and larger have such translation software at their Internet sites.

Here is a list of BIOS, EIDE interface card manufacturers and operating systems and the capacity range of each:

SYSTEM BIOS

The BIOS listed below are all "CORE" BIOS. Even though a BIOS is dated correctly or is the current version, it may not be able to support extended interrupt 13 because of modification done to the "CORE" of the BIOS from the motherboard manufacturer. Sometimes the manufacturer does not consult BIOS manufacturers on updating the BIOS correctly. This sometimes causes extended interrupt 13 to work in-correctly. The result can be either not seeing the full capacity of the drive in FDISK or the drive working fine for any amount of time then data will "wrap around" at the BIOS limit and corrupt the boot sector of drive. If either one of these results may occur if the BIOS CORE has been changed. The motherboard manufacturer needs to be contacted to receive a BIOS upgrade for that specific motherboard. The BIOS manufacturer CORE update will not fix these issues because the of the possible modifications of the motherboard manufacturer.

Phoenix: Version 4 Revision 6 orVersion 4 Revision 6 or greater can support capacities greater than 8.4 GB. If the BIOS is revision 5.12, it does not support extended interrupt 13. All Phoenix BIOS are Version 4, so 5.12 is an older release than 6. Phoenix recommends Micro Firmware (877-629-2467) for BIOS upgrades.

Award: BIOS dated after November 1997 will support drives greater than 8.4 GB. Award recommends Unicore (800-800-2467) for BIOS upgrades.

American Megatrends INC., (AMI): BIOS versions with a date of January 1, 1998 or greater support drives greater than 8.4 GB.
(Sorry AMI doesn't support phone calls...they can be a PIA)

BIOS Upgrades and Controller Cards:

BIOS upgrades can either be a controller card, a EPROM chip or a card with just the BIOS on it. The cards, when set up correctly, are able to override the current BIOS of the computer and large capacity hard disk drives.

Micro Firmware: (877-629-2467) Micro Firmware creates 3 types of upgrades: an EPROM, a flash BIOS software and a controller card. Product purchased from Micro Firmware starting January 1, 1998 and greater will support extended interrupt 13.

Operating Systems

****Even though an operating system supports drives greater than 8.4 GB, the computer may still not support the larger drive. In this case a user must use interpretative software or purchase a controller card that supports ""extended"" interrupt 13. Some operating systems also have limits on partition size. The user may need to make multiple partitions on the drive to receive its full capacity.

DOS 6.22 or Less: DOS 6.22 or less does NOT support drives greater 8.4 GB. There are NO solutions at this time.

Windows 95: Windows 95 version A (standard version) does support extended interrupt 13 so it can support drives with capacities greater than 8.4 GB. Because of the limitations of the FAT 16 file system, a minimum of five partitions will need to be created on the hard drive.

Windows 95B / OSR2: Windows 95B (OSR2) does support extended interrupt 13 which lets the operating system support drives larger than 8.4 GB. Windows 95B (OSR2) also supports FAT 32 which lets the user create one large partition

Windows 98: Windows 98 can support drives greater than 8.4 GB with use of extended interrupt 13. Windows 98 also uses FAT 32 which lets the user create one partition to the full capacity of the drive.

Windows NT 3.5x: Windows NT 3.5x does NOT support drives greater than 8.4 GB.

Windows NT 4.0: Windows NT 4.0 does support drivers greater than 8.4GB. However when a drive larger than 8.4 Gigabytes is being used as the primary bootable (primary master) device Windows NT will NOT see more than 8.4 GB. This is a limit of Windows NT 4.0. Microsoft has released service pack four, which will fix this problem. See KB article Q183654.

Windows NT 5.0 (BETA): Windows NT 5.0 Beta has been able to support drive capacities greater than 8.4 GB. Using NTFS has also enabled the drive partition greater than 8.4 GB.

***Microsoft has no plans to upgrade older versions of their operating systems to support drives greater than 8.4 GB.

OS/2 Warp 3 and 4: Some versions of OS/2 are limited to a boot partition size of 3.1 GB or 4.3 GB. This issue can be resolved with downloading from IBM the latest Device Driver Pack. The file name is "idedasd.exe". This driver will enable the boot partition to be as large as 8.4 GB. HPFS of OS/2 will support up to 64 GB of drive space.

Novell: Currently, Novell NetWare will NOT support drives greater than 8.4 GB. This is due in part to NetWares inability to support MAXLBA. Currently, NetWare utilizes CHS values (words 1, 3 and 6 of the identify drive command) as opposed to MAXLBA values (words 60 and 61). Novell is currently working on disk drivers that support drive capacities greater 8.4 GB. These drivers are projected for completion and release with NetWare 5.0 (A.K.A MOAB). It is not known if Novell intends to develop driver updates for earlier versions of NetWare.
==============
As to the SCSI issue, unless you have a really old SCSI card, the large hard drive issue is not a SCSI issue, but rather a BIOS and software issue. There may be a HD firmware issue, but that's a stretch at best.

Most SCSI interface cards, in their SCSI Bios setup, have a 1G limitation that can be imposed, but this is usually set to off. Check their first, and if it is off, then it's a MB Bios problem.

Dennis
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132975
Last reviewed: June 23, 1998
Article ID: Q153550


SYMPTOMS
When you try to partition a drive that is larger than 8 gigabytes (GB) in size, the maximum partition size may be 8 GB.

CAUSE
This behavior can occur if the hard disk controller does not fully support the interrupt 13 extensions. This information applies to both IDE and SCSI hard disk drives.

RESOLUTION
Contact the drive controller's manufacturer for information about a possible BIOS upgrade to a version of the BIOS that fully supports interrupt 13 extensions.

MORE INFORMATION
In order for a hard disk that is larger than 8 GB and uses the FAT32 file system to be fully addressed, it must support interrupt 13 extensions. Io.sys tests for the presence of interrupt 13 extensions. If interrupt 13 extensions are not detected, the default CHS LBA limit of 7.9 GB is used.

To determine whether your BIOS supports interrupt 13 extensions, please refer to your computer's documentation or consult your computer's manufacturer.


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Author Comment

by:michaelg
ID: 1132976
Whew!!! It's going to take me a bit to absorb Dennis' info - thanks Dennis.  I guess I need to check the BIOS manufacturer, since Dell couldn't give me any info whatsoever on the upgrade to (megatrends?) A06 dated Jan 8/98.  Ralph suggests it's now "up to Adaptec".  Well, here's Adaptec's contribution:


   01/12/99 16:10:57     bra20397
      Greetings from Adaptec:
     
The 8GB limitation is a limitation of Windows 95.  The card actually doesn't have anything to do with the drive size.  The card reports the drive information to the motherboard BIOS,  and the operating system gets it's information from the motherboard.  This can be seen on your machine by the fact that WinNT can see the whole drive,but Win95 can't. You may have to contact Microsoft for an update to FDISK.      
      If you have any further questions,  contact us at:
      Adaptec On-Line Service
      WebMail Tech Support:  http://www.adaptec.com/support/webmail.html

That sort of puts me back exactly where I started - looking for an update to Fdisk.  Doesn't seem right.  I know I have the Int13 extensions on - I couldn't access PMagic 3 without them.  Also the Western Digital utility reported Int41 and INt46 present...

In the meantime, I bit the bullet and copied everything from the extended partition logical drives on the original Hard Drive to corresponding logical drives on the second drive.. then used PM3 to delete extended partition on first drive and extend the two primary partitions so that each occupies one half of the 2.1GB drive... that way, all the drive references now fall back in line as they were before... D drive formerly on hard drive 1 is still D drive, but on drive 2... etcetera with all the other drives.. That seems to have worked okay.  What hasn't is that I'm now getting error messages on a number (but not all) games and encyclopaedie - "program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down..." error is in Kernel32... So Encarta works, but Britannica don't... bizarre...  

Sorry this is such a laborious problem... Thanks for everybody for his/her patience... regards, Michael
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Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1132977
That's okay Michael!

The issue is not a SCSI issue as I noted in my post, which was subsequently confirmed by Adaptec. While you may have enabled the Int 13, you may not have "extended" Int 13, note that area in my post. BTW: American Megatrends is "AMI". The issue is a BIOS issue, and now the real question is how to either update your BIOS or use one of the utilities offered by WD, Maxtor, Seagate etc. I would suggest that you contact Dell and shake their tree real hard and tell them you want this issue supported. Obviously though, you'll have to determine whether the BIOS can be flash updated.
Dennis
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132978
Catch 22........

Microsoft says FDISK is already capable!
(It must be true since >8GB IDE drives work fine)  

See that last article I posted above.  They say:

RESOLUTION
Contact the drive controller's manufacturer for information about a possible BIOS upgrade to a version of the BIOS that fully supports interrupt 13 extensions.

I think Adeptec is "passing the buck" on this one.
It's their BIOS.

Just my little $.02
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1132979
Ralph, the SCSI Bios has nothing at all to do with Int 13, zero, nada, nicht. The motherboards BIOS is what has to be modified or a software fix from the drive manufacturer.
The key here is the understanding of the difference between "Interrupt 13" and "Extended Interrupt 13". It's not my intent here to try and teach small computer system interface, but it might halp all who are participating here (as well as those that may read these posts) to research SCSI.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132980
Dennis,
What is "controlling" the drive and interfacing it's data to the motherboard's bus?
I understand, (or mis-understand?) the SCSI BIOS is an "extension" to the motherboard's BIOS that handles this.
Ralph

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by:dew_associates
ID: 1132981
Well Ralph, there's probably not nearly enough room in this thread for a SCSI discussion, so suffice it to say, here's the Readers Digest version.

Remember what I posted above about the BIOS and various operating systems? Okay, re-read that and then think about this for a second. Don't complicate matters by mixing IDE and SCSI together, keep them separate.

Although under Windows 9X and Windows NT, there are more options for SCSI then previous Dos based operating systems, nevertheless, as for the hard drive size limitation, since the motherboard BIOS is used to load the **""boot sector""** that limitation will still happen according to the same rules as under MSDOS described above. After the boot sector is loaded, the O/S's device drivers take over and those can be unloaded or drive letters re-ordered via the O/S's SCSI configuration tools.
During the boot process, the BIOS loads the boot sector, and along with it "the limitations that it imposes" and then the SCSI card is booted (for lack of a better term). The SCSI drivers then move everything relevant to the operation of that device to the SCSI interface. In essence, an IDE drive interfaces data drive---to controller--to CPU, in SCSI, it's drive-- to SCSI interface-- to CPU. (but only after the boot sector is loaded, thus the BIOS limitation.
Hope this helps!
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Author Comment

by:michaelg
ID: 1132982
Just took another look at the AMI a06 flash BIOS update that I installed recently... the latest available from Dell for the Pentium Pro 200... It is dated as created "Jan 8/98", and that's what I went by... However, the properties page also says it was modified in April of '97.  Huh?  Everything seems in fact to be pointing back to the BIOS.  I'll check this a06 version out with Dell and hopefully AMI.  I had assumed that "extended" INt13 extensions were indicated when I saw that Int 41 and INt 46 were enabled...I have seen no reference to anything specifically "extended" INt13 in any of the tests I've tried.  How do I test for it?  Or maybe not seeing the whole disk is the test?  Rgds, Michael.
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1132983
Mike, "not seeing the whole disk is the test?"

You got it!
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Author Comment

by:michaelg
ID: 1132984
Okay, I'm back - with more info, and I think the conclusion, which in the end is likely going to prove just too damn simple.  I have to reject Ralph's current proposed answer, because I believe Adaptec is correct when they say that their SCSI adapter card has nothing to do with it.  And for the record, I have just tried Partition Magic v4 and that doesn't help either.  It too reports errors - one for the extended partition (ie the whole damn drive) and one for the final logical drive on the HDD.  For the same reason - both extend beyond the legal cylinder 1023.

But have just received an innocuous little email, polite but not terribly helpful, but on the other hand quite revealing... from Dell.  As follows:
>Dear Michael,
the revision date on the BIOS is 04/14/97, the 1/8/98 date is the date that it was put in place in its current file server location.Thank you for contacting us,Wayne Allridge, 18387
Dell Online Services.<

Hah! That's got to be it.  And every check I did at Dell said the BIOS was dated Jan8/98.  

Ralph, I go back to message #2 in this chain, from Jan 8 (Jan 8, wouldn't you know it...)and you're blaming the BIOS, so I've topped up the points to try and reflect the enormous help and effort and research and persistence that you and Jhance and Drew Associates have put into this, so send in the concluding proposed answer and claim them.  Don't know who you folk are, but your Great and you all deserve the points...Let me know if you don't consider this a fair conclusion.. Regards and thanks, Michaelg.



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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1132985
Michael,

I don't feel right accepting the points when there has been so much info exchanged.  Hell, I think I should to be paying some for what I've learned since your question came up.
Don't you think splitting them would be fair?
Just go to Customer Service (Experts Exchange) located on the home page.  Post a zero-points question there and ask for help with splitting the points up the way you want.
As far as the M/B BIOS goes, I'll be interested to see who comes up with a fix for it first.  Dell or Adaptec.

Good luck with it and best regards from sunny south Florida!
Ralph
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Accepted Solution

by:
dew_associates earned 500 total points
ID: 1132986
Michael, I'll gladly split the points with Joe Hance and Ralph Marotta and have indicated that in an email to E&E. They onlt need a confirming email from you!
Dennis
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132987
Michael, what do you intend to do with this question?
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Author Comment

by:michaelg
ID: 1132988
Sorry folks, I've been away from the system for a few days..every now and then work intrudes, I freelance in video... GREAT IDEA splitting the points!  Didn't know it could be done, and it's a real cooperative effort you've put in and I feel better about it too.. especially as you've agreed between the three of you... Let me try this zero points question to the administration to figure out how to do it...(email?)  Regards, Michael.  (Sunny Florida, huh... not bad!)  PS: How does this question save in the archive?  Are the strings left as is, or does just the "proposed answer" remain?  I think this is a useful resource question and one worth keeping with strings attached, for anyone coming to the Exchange with similar problem...If it's only proposed answer which can be accessed once in archives, do we need to post a longer summary of the results of this enquiry?  ... mg
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Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1132989
Okay Michael. You need not list a zero points question, just (1) accept the answer (2) email Linda@experts-exchange.com and inform her that we have agreed to split the points. She takes it from there. This question will be posted in it's entirety!
Dennis
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Author Comment

by:michaelg
ID: 1132990
Thanks again for the help.  Just got message from Linda, as follows:
<I see that dew_associates has the proposed answer.  To award points to
the other experts, I have added 1000 points to your account.  Use these
points to post questions for the other experts to award them for their
cooperation at the question.>
Ralph and Joe, Look for the "questions"... regards, Michael.
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1132991
Thanks Michael!
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by:Otta
ID: 1132992
> Other OS's such as OS/2 may require special patches to access drives larger than 8.4 GB.

Actually, OS/2's SCSI device-driver works fine,
but the IDE device-driver was designed to work up to 8.4GB,
but a "bug" present in the code caused major problems with disks over 4.3GB.  See the IBM fix:
Installation Diskette Updates OS/2 Component Updates OS/2 Device Drivers  - Products,
at:
http://service.software.ibm.com/os2ddpak/html/os_2comp/installa/
for the latest update to the IDE device-drivers,
to handle any IDE hard-drive which you can afford.


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