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6.4GB harddrive beeing seen as a 473MB HD.

I have a case of harddrives that some of my older computers, all of them dells, ranging from p75 to p133's, are seeing as 473MB drives, this is not good for me...  Last month I upgraded all of my processors to evergreen tech. MXPRO 200 processors.  I've taken one of the older computers and put the old processor back in and tried upgrading the bios to the latest verison, this didn't help.  I've tried partitioning and formating the harddrives on a newer computer and then installing it into one of the upgraded computers, this didn't help. I need to know if something like Disk Manager or EZ-drive will help me out, or is there something else I can do.  The manual for my processor upgrades recommends NOT upgrading the bios on them, I can switch back to the older processors and upgrade the bios that way if someone out there thinks this will work.  Also....Why 473MB?  I could almost understand 504, or 2.1GB, but 473?  If anyone needs more information you can either attach your question to here, or e-mail me for a faster responce at "mlawler@mpro.org"  I'm giving this an obscene amout of points because I need an answer ASAP.  Thanks all.
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lawlerm
Asked:
lawlerm
1 Solution
 
mark2150Commented:
This is most likely a BIOS firmware limit. The CPU upgrade doesn't change the BIOS.

I've had a couple of nasty experiences trying to get Dells to upgrade to larger drives. No matter WHAT I tried they wouldn't go. A BIOS upgrade was the only suggested solution. You need to call their tech support line for help on this one.

M
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1cellCommented:
Well, as it sounds like you are aware, there are a few things which limit hard drives.  If you don't eneable large disk support, it will be limited to 504 or 512, can't remember exactly which.  FAT16 only supports 2 gig drives and BIOS limitations can limit to many different sizes but yes 473 definately sounds weird.  If it's a BIOS problem, the DDO programs should solve the problem.

Have you tried ( just because the size is close ) to reformat one of the drives and enable large disk support?  Also, what partition information does FDSIK show on these drives?  Is the size read the same in CMOS setup and Windows?
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lawlermAuthor Commented:
I'm not entirely sure how to enable large disk support....I may have done it without knowing, but who knows...  As of right now, fdisk will show these disks (on the problem systems) as 473 MB, the bois shows them as 6.4 GB if I let it use the "auto" feature, or I can set it myself (right now its set for auto, i've tried setting it myself thinking I'll take a loss of the 4.4 gigs and just set them to 2 gig drives.  No I havn't tried to reformating them to enable LDS.....(at least I don't think I have...)
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ddmorganCommented:
Get a copy of EZ-Bios and run it on these machines I have used it repeated and have had good luck  with installing large drives in older machines.
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lawlermAuthor Commented:
I'm not entirely sure how to enable large disk support....I may have done it without knowing, but who knows...  As of right now, fdisk will show these disks (on the problem systems) as 473 MB, the bois shows them as 6.4 GB if I let it use the "auto" feature, or I can set it myself (right now its set for auto, i've tried setting it myself thinking I'll take a loss of the 4.4 gigs and just set them to 2 gig drives.  No I havn't tried to reformating them to enable LDS.....(at least I don't think I have...)
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lawlermAuthor Commented:
Where can i find EZ-Bios, is it from the same people that make ez-drive (microhouse, i think) or from someone else, also, will this affect my processors, as i've mentioned, they recommened not messing with the bios.
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lawlermAuthor Commented:
Where can i find EZ-Bios, is it from the same people that make ez-drive (microhouse, i think) or from someone else, also, will this affect my processors, as i've mentioned, they recommened not messing with the bios.
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1cellCommented:
OK, the fact that the BIOS reads the disks properly is a good sign that A) the bios does not need to be flashed and B) DDO will not help.  

Do this understanding that you will lose all data on the machine
and you will need a bootable floppy disk with the format.com on it.  To do this, with a blank floppy, go to Add/Remove Programs and then the start up disk tab.  Make sure it copied the format.com file.  If it didn't, do a find files for format.com on the c: drive and copy it to the floppy.

1)  Restart to DOS
2)  Type:  FDISK
3)  When it gives the message of "disk is larger than...", hit Y and enter.  This enables large disk support.
4)  When you get to the main menu, choose option 3, delete partition
5)  At the next menu, choose option 1, delete primary DOS partition.
6)  Follow the prompts then hit escape to continue when prompted
7)  Choose option 1, create partition
8)  Choose option 1 again, create primary DOS partition
9)  When asked if you want to use the maximum size and make it active, hit Y and enter.
10)  Follow the prompts and exit FDISK
11)  Restart the computer to the bootable disk
12)  At the DOS prompt, type FORMAT C:
13)  Once formatted, reload Windoze
What happens?  Did it work?
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1cellCommented:
DDO's such as EZ-BIOS are available from each hard disk manufacturer and can solve the problems of the bios not recognizing the HDD size.  It can cause some problems in the future and since your BIOS is recognizing the HDD correctly, you most likely don't need it.
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joopvCommented:
Could you give us please:
- the exact parameters of the disk (cyl, heads, sect)
- the brand and model of the disk
- the exact number of bytes that the older systems see on the disk

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lawlermAuthor Commented:
This took care of the problem, i thought it would but wanted someone elses advice on it, thanks much!

I tried doing the fdisk thing, didn't work, still only saw it as 473, the ez-drive got it up and working for me though.
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1cellCommented:
wow, that must ba an old bios
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