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flashin the bios

Posted on 2004-10-08
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
hi ther,
        i hav a fairly old motherboard...
      company make:ecs elitegroup systems
      http://www.ecsusa.com
      P6LX-A Version:PCB1.1
      BIOS version:4.51 PG 06/01/98 award BIOS

     Now i m tryin to upgrade my hdd which is 2.1GB(just imagine in this day n age!!!).I have bought a seagate 40 GB(which is enough fo me :-)) hdd(drive model:ST340014A)
    also i have done some research on google(where else!!)and found that my bios which is 4.51 PG award BIOS won't support or recognise the new hard drive..ochh..so i need to flash my BIOS.i just need to know which bios i need to download...i tried searchin on their website but i didn't know which one to download!!!...my best effort was to reach till this page

http://www.ecsusa.com/downloads/p6lx_a.html

But i got stuck ther..couldn't pinpoint "the one" to grab...

so if u could just teel me which version of award bios i need to download from this site,u would make my day!!!
           cheerz
           have fun
           vicky
           
           
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Question by:chopz
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by:
eccs19 earned 250 total points
ID: 12258136
If you look where it says "Version",  you will want the newest one for your motherboard. (Version 4 if you don't have SCSI, 1.4b with SCSI).  If your board is that old, even the BIOS flash may not fix your problem.  You may need to purchase a PCI IDE controller card.

Here are some examples.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_slc.asp?CatId=508
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by:Wolfpup99
Wolfpup99 earned 250 total points
ID: 12258362

As eccs19 has already mentioned, the BIOS upgrade may very well *not* fix your problem -- I had a machine awhile back with an 8 Gb limitation and though there was a BIOS upgrade, it only fixed a few small things and no drive capacity fix was available.  You should try to verify that it really will fix the problem before going to the trouble (and potential risk) of doing a BIOS flash.

There are 3 solutions to this type of problem (other than a new computer or motherboard):

- BIOS upgrade (maybe)
- separate IDE controller -- the ones from PROMIS are supposed to be good
- special software driver that does the necessary LBA remapping

Use of the software driver solution has the advantage that it's free, but obviously it won't work if your BIOS doesn't recognize the drive at all.  But if the BIOS sees the drive but just can't handle the size, the software approach should work.  I used that solution for years with an old machine I had.  There was no noticeable performance penality and it was highly reliable, but in my case it was the Western Digital version, which was called Data Lifeguard EZ-Drive.

For Seagate, this software solution is called Disc Wizard and you can download it here:
http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/drivers/discwiz.html

For more info about BIOS drive size limitation issues, Seagate has a good article here:
http://www.seagate.com/support/kb/disc/bioslmt.html
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Expert Comment

by:Lowcarb
ID: 12259197
I would tend to go with option #2 from Wolfpup99.

ATA100 controller cards can be had for $10 or less.  (This MB does have an available PCI slot?).

http://search.ebay.com/ata-100-card-raid_W0QQsofocusZbsQQsbrftogZ1QQfromZR10QQsatitleZataQ20100Q20cardQ20-raidQQsotrZ2QQcoactionZcompareQQcopagenumZ1QQcoentrypageZsearch

I must have 4 or more in the basement unused that came with hard drives I've purchased.  I didn't even realize that they were worth $10!!


If you don't mind having multiple partitions you could put the drive in another, more modern computer, and format it with multiple partitions that your  BIOS can work with.
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Expert Comment

by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 12259285
I'd agree with getting a controller card. I have used them on upgrades for pc's that don't support larger hdd's. I use Promise brand. Fairly priced and they perform great.

www.promise.com Ultra 133TX2 is the one I would get.
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by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 12259292
Here's the link. I meant to add it to the above comment.

http://www.promise.com/product/product_detail_eng.asp?productId=87&familyId=3
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Expert Comment

by:stockhes
ID: 12292850
HI Vicky

If you in your bios has the option to enable LBA ; You might be able to access > 8 GB , but many old mobos still have a limitation of 32 GB.

Your new drive has a jumper setting to present the drive as 32 GB. Today I was forced to do so on a old system to get the drive recognized. I think its the righmost pair of pins

If you need full access you need some software in the boot sector that can tell your OS the correct size of the drive.

That can be downloaded from seagate
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by:rindi
ID: 14917963
chopz,

No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
Split: eccs19, Wolfpup99

Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.


Rindi
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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