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Trouble installing second hard drive

I have an Acer pc with 200 mhz pentium running win98. The hd that came with the pc is a Seagate model #st32122A, 2 gig. I am trying to install a 15 gig Maxtor model #91531U3 that has already been formatted and has programs on it. If I could make a copy of it and then start over that would be great but I don't have alot of room left on my 2 gig and I don't know any other way to keep the info on my 15 gig and 2 gig and resolve this problem. The jumper settings I think are right because when I try to just install the 15 gig it doesn't boot up and install win 98. If I have to I will try again and give you the error message it gives me. It is recognized when the pc boots up but there is no access to it in "My Computer" or "Windows Explorer". The other problem I am having which I am not sure is related to this is my mouse keeps freezing up. I have also tried installing the Maxtor alone as a master but I am getting error messages that refer to "a third party partition". Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have been trying to figure this out for 3 days now. I was thinking it might have something to do with EZ-BIOS??? The maxtor hd came from a pc with ezbios but the acer is only bios. I don't know much about ezbios? thank you
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1 Solution
Did you create a PARTITION on the new drive?  Windows will not recognize it until you partition and FORMAT the drive.

Open a COMMAND window and type FDISK.  Then choose the "5" option and choose the SECOND hard disk.  Create a PRIMARY PARTITION and then make it whatever size you want.  I'd suggest the entire drive.  Then exit FDISK and reboot.  After that, open another COMMAND window and type "FORMAT D:"
agreed jhance.

hit the nail right on the head.

go to and get their installation software.  The link following takes you directly to the download.  You can remove EZ BIOS as many systems do not agree with it.  If you have a UDMA 66 controller already click here.
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BTW the utility PARTITIONS AND FORMATS the drive and makes your drive accessible to your OS.
error messages that refer to "a third party partition".
In order for the 15GB drive with EZ BIOS installed to be seen, you would need to install EZ BIOS on your 2GB boot drive. This is something you do not want to do at this time as you are likely to lose all info on it.

Go to the link shown in pbessman's post.

Download the MaxBlast Plus utility. Create the boot floppy.

Take your old drive out, and install just the 15GB drive. Boot to the MaxBlast Plus boot floppy, and set the drive up.

Reinstall the 2GB drive and Boot to the same floppy. Using the EZ Copy utility, make an exact copy of the 2GB to the 15GB drive.

You should now be able to boot to the new drive and can do whatever you would like with the old.

As you remove and add drives, you'll have to reset the drive's master and slave jumpers for them to be recognized in your BIOS setup.
In response to pbessman's comment about Low-Level Formatting:

A "Low Level Format" will not help matters in this case.  the LLF is done by the manufacturer of a hard drive.  It is the actual magnetization of the data platters and should not be done by the end-user or technician.  Normally, a hard drive would be considered an FRU, and there would no sense in repairing a bad HD -- it simply wouldn't be cost effective.

On the other hand, a "LOGICAL" format is when an OS installs a workable file system into the boot sector of a new drive.  (i.e. through the use of the DOS "Format" command).  This is the only type of format end-users and MOST (not all) technicians would use.  

Personally, I would agree with jhance when he said that you should try to partition the hard drive.  I don't know whether or not you have had experience in this, but just to let you know -- partitioning a hard drive will destroy all data that is on it.  Granted, on a new hard drive, obviously there isn't anything on it.  But just for future reference, you need to use FDISK.EXE to partition the hard drive.  In this case, only use ONE partition -- it will most likely work to your benefit, unless you are keeping the operating system as DOS.  Set the partition to PRIMARY, and ACTIVE.  Then, after FDISK has finished, format the disk.  Only after you have fdisked and formatted the drive, will you be able to install Windows 9x or whatever you were planning on using as an operating system.  

Hope I was able to clear things up a little for you.  


You only need to mark the 15G ACTIVE if you are planning to install a bootable OS (or a boot utility of some sort)on the drive.
Don ThomsonCommented:
Before suggesting PArtioniong and refortmating and LLF  people - let's re-read the origninal question and get some additional information.

gammmylynn  - has a 15Gig HD that has been partitioned already, formatted  and has data on it.


Are you trying to make it your primary (c:) drive or a secondary (d:) drive?

Did you go into the bios and select auto identify IDE drives.

Did the size come up okay? (choice should have been LBA)

How is the drive installed - PM  PS  SM  SS ?

Before we get into suggestions - lets get this information.
It's like taking you car in for servicing - and saying "my car is acting funny - can you fix it?" if the mechanic say's "Sure" - run do not walk to another mechanic"

gammylynnAuthor Commented:
To DTH consulting...Thank you for noticing the fact that it is a formatted hd and has programs on it...I have tried both ways, master and slave..when I make it the slave it is recognized when it first boots up..In the bios it is AUTO detect and the mode is LBA..The size of the hd comes up as 15xxx gig but the cylinder info is tells me 29xxx and the cylinders are 163xx..When I set it for the master, it doesn't install win98..I get an error message (I wish I wrote it down but I didn't) that gives me 3 different options for the refers to a NTFS and a third party partion...I didn't understand what you meant by "How is the drive installed - PM  PS  SM  SS ?" Is it primary master, primary slave, slave master, and secondary slave? If so it is installed as pm and ps...thank you...please respond...gammylynn (what does PAQ mean?)
Don ThomsonCommented:
Okay - The LBA Setting # of cylinders etc are geometricly translated - don't worry about that.

Boot with the 15 Gig as the slave but bring up the start menu when the boot starts - F8  usually works. At the Menu choose Command Prompt only

At the C:>   type


Say yes to the prompt about LBA

Chose the last option "change drives"

Then choose the second drive

Then display partitions

I expect that it may say NTSF or non-dos partition.

If it does than the drive is okay but it was formatted on an Windows NT or Win2K  PC with the NTSF

If that's the case  - Find a friend that has aN NT or Win2K  Server or workstation   that has a CD Writer on it, that will do just about anything for a six-pack of beer.

Have them install it as an extra drive and copy all the data files to a CD.  Don't bother with anything in the Windows or Program files folders as they will most likely be useless.

The Files on the CD or in a universal format and can be read by any Windows or Dos operating system

Once you have done that  HAVE THEM  go into the Disk administrator and remove the partition. Then take it out of their system and put it back in yours as the slave. Boot into the boot menu or use a boot disk (it's easier)  and run Fdisk

Get to the second drive

Under Display Partitions it should say no partitions are defined.  Esc once and Create a Primary Dos Partition (Yoy can break it into several partitions if you want but then your alsways moving data back and forth trying to keep the smaller partitions  from getting full (I know guys it will run faster but for now let's leave that one alone.)

Once the partition is created - get out and reboot again into the boot menu or with a boot disk.

Type DIR d:

you should get an error but this is just to check and make sure that we're not formatting a working drive.

Then type format d: /s

Say yes   Your sure  and let the drive format

Then Give the drive a label    say Big_Boy_C

(It is required to make some programs work correctly)

Now create a folder on the D: drive

md d:\win98

Boot into windows and copy the entire contents of your windows cabs folder   (From c:\windows\options\cabs   or your CD)  into the D:\win98  folder

Now shut down

Reverse the drives  (c->d  d->c  Just need to change the MA SL  jumpers on the back of the drives

Boot with the Boot disk

Go into Bios and make the changes as neccessary  - Unless drives are set to Auto


Make Partition Active

Esc out and remove Boot Disk  


At c:>  type

ren d:\windows\  *.moc

Windows sometimes won't install a new copy if it finds another copy of  on any drive


CD Win98


Let it run

Make sure you have all the drivers available for your Video, Network Card, Modem, MB, and Soundcard  - just in case.

if the drives are on the same cable set the 15gb to master and the 2gb to slave boot up this way and it should come up fine. If you have it set up right cable wise that is.
I am an Acer warranty agent and as such know your system quite well. The bad news is your bios will not detect a drive larger than 8GB & this is probably causing your problem. the only way to set it up is to use a disk manager type software. the difficulty here is keeping the data. the ideal situation would be to make the 15GB the main drive using disk manager or another program. the problem escalates because if you run a recovery on that machine it will only set the drive up as 8GB again. if you don't mind manually installing the operating system then extracting the drivers from your recovery disc it can be done but to save data you may need the help of a 3rd party to temporarily back up your data while you reconfigure the machine.
WiZard is correct about the bios limitation.  You will have to install EZbios to get the drive to work.  EzBios basically fools the computer into seeing the drive at the correct size.  However, in my experience, you cannot run a restore on a drive with ezbios.  Also, you don't want to do that anyway since you have it formatted with data on it.  If I remember correctly, you can install ezbios on the drive without hurting the data, however, I would highly recommend that you back up any DATA (Not programs) on another machine that can see the drive correctly without EZbios just in case. I won't get into the whole drive jumpers, master slave issue since that has been addressed already.

"The bad news is your bios will
not detect a drive larger than 8GB"

OK maybe not LLF but I would format using the utility provided by the disk manufacturer and set the drive up with two partitions to avoid the limitations of drives larger than 8GB.  One solution of course is two 7.5GB partitions.  This has been used to bypass limitations unless the maximum HD SPACE is 8GB.  Some older systems had a limit of 8, being 2GB per IDE channel.  

Another solution here is to use an IDE add on card.  The add on card would also bypass the BIOS limitation as most of them have a "built in BIOS"  You would need an available PCI slot but with the 8GB limit I am hoping you have a free PCI.  If you Use the add on card, it can also add speed support for newer hard drives as well as bypass BIOS limitations.
Hi all,

This question has been open for quite awhile. I am going to allow feedback from the questioner and experts. If it is not resolved, I will delete or accept an answer based on the info I have been given. Experts, feel free to offer input, or even suggest who you  think is correct. I will monitor this question for a period of 5-7 days and come back and evaluate this question.

Questioner, if you were helped, chooses whom you would like to award the question to, and Accept Comment.  It is your responsibility to complete this question.

Thank you,
Community Support

for pbessman

2*7.5GB partitions is not an option here as the drive will only detect as an 8GB drive at best. it's a vicious circle because these systems come with a recovery disc & no separate Windows CD so disk management software is only good if they can access a separate OS then extract drivers from recovery CD.
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