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BIOS - HARD DRIVE ISSUE // 48-Bit LBA not recognized // Hard Drive full potential not recognized

Alright, I'm goin' NUTS!!!

System breakdown:

MSI 6380e (KT3 Ultra ARU)
AMD 1800XP
1 Gig of ram
XP Pro SP2
HD1 = IBM 80gb
HD2 = Maxtor 80gb
HD3 = Maxtor ???gb

--------

My question relates to hard drive installation / configuration:

I have updated my bios to the most recent version; it supports ata133 transfers.  I have XP SP2 installed; jumpers are all correctly set.

My bios does not recognize the new hard drive as being 160gb at boot or in bios.  I can, and have, installed the Maxtor installation utilities which installs the Dynamic Drive Overlay to make the drive readable at the correct size in XP.  In XP, I have used the SP2 and EnableBigLBA registry patch and can see the full harddrive, 152 gb.  

HOWEVER, I don't want to be able to use the harddrive WITHOUT the Dynamic Drive Overlay and to it's full potential.  I have not been able to find any information online or through MSI as to whether my board supporst 48-bit LBA.  SO, i purchased a separate PCI card that has 48 bit LBA within its onboard bios.  YET, Maxtor still installs the dynamic drive overlay!!!  ARGH.  I can't tell if my motherboard bios supports the 48-bit LBA (if it does, I can take back this $50 adaptec card), or why I can't enable the adaptec card to read the full info at start up before it hits XP.

I don't want the overlay because it's just something else that could go wrong and doesn't seem to be as stable as having just the bios read the drive correctly.  

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks guys and gals!

Jason
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JasonGomez2
Asked:
JasonGomez2
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1 Solution
 
crazijoeCommented:
Zero Fill the drive and it will revert it back to the way you bought it.
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icemanwolCommented:
Are you trying to partition it within windows or with the maxtor utils?  If it's with the Maxtor utils, try the windows partitioning util and see if that works.  Also, try disableing the onboard IDE controllers in the bios and use just the card.
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sanctifyCommented:
that board doesnt suppot the LBA48 - http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pro_mbd_detail.php?UID=341&MODEL=MS-6380E

look around there and notice the lack of any mention of LBA48, which means it isnt supported ... its not a very good advertising scheme for them to specifically state, "we dont support LBA48", so it isnt mentioned, and probably wasnt even around when that board was manufactured.

you NEED the DDO to use that drive in that system configuration
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sanctifyCommented:
also if you are worried about the 8 gig of unallocated space that isnt showing up, you MAY be able to get it back (not sure but maybe) by goto Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Computer Management – Storage – click on Disk Management, if your drive is installed it should show up in the right panel, right click on your 8gb UNALLOCTED space and you should be able to partition and format this space from here, if it shows up
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JasonGomez2Author Commented:
Okay -- I've tried the zero fill, but the bios still only recognizes it as 32MB, not gb.  So in that case, I'm worse off.  Unless there's someting else I'm missing.

As for the partitioning, I've tried both -- even now, when accessible from Windows, it shows up as only 32 mb in the main bios at start up, then in XP, it shows 152GB after the dual layer.  My question for you, though, is that if I turn off the onboard IDE controllers, won't i lose my other hard drives?  I have (3) at the moment -- two plugged into the onboard, both 80gb, showing 80gb in the bios, and (1) on the card, the 160gb, showing 32mb.  

Thanks for your help though ...
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JasonGomez2Author Commented:
Sanctify~

Thanks for your comments.  But are you for sure that it doesn't support 48 LBA?  And if it doesn't, can't I get around it with the new IDE card with it's separate bios that does support it?  As for 8gb, that doesn't bother me too much ... I just don't want to lose data if I start writing to the additional space after 128 or 137gb.
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crazijoeCommented:
The separate bios of the card will handle the 48bit LBA. As for the drive showing only 32MB, which controller id the drive hook to where it is only showing 32MB? Does it show this on both the PCI card and the MB IDE controller?
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JasonGomez2Author Commented:
Crazijoe~

Yes, you are correct ... it's only showing 32mb in both the card and the MB ide controller!  I have the 160gb attached to the pci card.  That's why I'm so lost .... lost ... lost.  :(
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JasonGomez2Author Commented:
Okay, now I'm even more confused.  I have attached an email response from MSI ...

Dear Customer,

Yes this motherboard supports 48 LBA, all that is needed is the motherboard needs to have bios version 5.2 or higher.

Sincerely,
Technical Support Division
MSI Computer Corp.
MSI Platinum Series Motherboards -- In Pursuit of Quality Perfection.
http://www.msicomputer.com
1.626.913.0828
1.626.581.7721 Fax

-------------------------

I have bios version 5.7 installed on this board -- still no luck with any fix except DDO.  
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LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Hi JasonGomez2,

Please see this FAQ over at Maxtor's page:

How do I uninstall / remove the MaxBlast (EZ-BIOS) software?
http://maxtor.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/maxtor.cfg/php/enduser/olh_adp.php?p_faqid=522

Make sure to take a good note of every warning stated on that page, otherwise your harddisk might corrupt irreveribly.
The win98 bootdisk to do the full scan with Scandisk can be gotten from http://www.bootdisk.com in case you don't have one yet.

Afterwards, don't use Maxblast to partition and format the drive, but let  Disk Management from within windows handle it.

Good luck,

LucF
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sanctifyCommented:
well, jason, they have no documentation anywhere about the LBA48 support on the specs or bios update pages, and if its not listed usually it isnt supported ... sounds kind of a funky to me

http://www.msi.com.tw/program/support/bios/bos/spt_bos_detail.php?UID=341&kind=1


nor is your drive mentioned in the compatability section of that board, although some maxtors are:

http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pro_mbd_trp_detail.php?UID=341


what did they say about you have version 5.7 bios and it not working ?


is the bios on the IDE CARD upgradable ?

what manufactuer and model is it ?
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kiranghagCommented:
try this..
connect the drive in the system
set the drive to "none" in the bios
boot to windows (win98, 2k or xp)
see if the disk is recognised...

tell me the results
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JasonGomez2Author Commented:
First of all, I just want to say thank you to everyone ...

Secondly ... still no luck.

I removed the DDO through the MaxBlast software -- then both Windows and bios recognize it as a 31.5 RAW format; thus, windows says that it's not formatted.  When I go to disk managment, it will format it, but wants to do so as only a 31.5 size disk.

Secondly, Kiranghag, I tried your recommendation, but to no avail as well.  Damn thing comes up the same in XP as the above stated resulted ...

I'm stumped guys!~

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LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
>>but wants to do so as only a 31.5 size disk<<
Just to verify, GB or MB again?

What happens if you put the drive into another system that does support 48-bits addressing natively?
What happens if you connect the card with a PCI IDE controller? (if possible, you might be able to borrow such a card from a friend or so)

LucF
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JasonGomez2Author Commented:
Okay~

It shows up as 31.5 GB in XP in raw format, no NTFS / FAT32, even though the info on it is NTFS.

Secondly ... I have connected it to both the onboard IDE controllers which are supposed to be 48 LBA and the card I just purchased, adaptec PCI IDE controller for $50 from Best Buy (argh!) and still the same results.
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LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
So... somehow you're now hitting the 32GB limit which is known for very old BIOSses, but you're using a BIOS that should even support 48-bit addressing.
That you tested it on a PCI IDE controller sorts out that BIOS issue.

This must be the weirdest thing I've ever seen :(

Please doublecheck any 32GB limiting jumpers (or settings within Maxtor tools) as it surely looks like something is just to obvious to be true.
Otherwise, although the Maxtors tools can't perform an actual low-level format, it sure can do a zero-fill, please try to perform one like mentioned at http:#12720026

LucF
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JasonGomez2Author Commented:
Okay, I think I'm about ready to take this drive back ...

I still am not certain about a couple of things.

1)  I've taken all jumpers off of the drive, zero filled, and am still getting the 32GB limit when XP attempts to initialize it and set it as a dynamic drive.

So, maybe it's a jumper setting?  Which, it seems like.  The only thing that goes against that is that the Maxor utilites recogizes it as a 163.9GB drive!  And, with no jumpers, at least according to Maxtor, there shouldn't be any type of limitation.

My thinking, if it wasn't for the Maxtor utility recognition of the size, is that somthing is definitely messed up.

2)  The whole bios issue.  I understand it, tried to get around it, but it's still not showing up the properly recognized size.

What do you guys think?  Should I take it back?  Does it sound like a bad pin connection / jumper?  Is my MOBO just screwy?!  I guess there's only one way of knowing ...  I'll see if I can take it back tomorrow if nothing else works ...
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kiranghagCommented:
in my opinion, DDO is not required if your bios or the add on controller supports LBA48.

and the DDO is installed in the primary drive (the drive which your pc boots from) and not on the big drive.

disconnect the big drive from system and use the utiity to get rid of the ddo
consult the disk manual if your drive has a "alternate capacity" or "report small drive" or "capacity limit" jumper. you need to remove this unless your system hangs at boot up.
consult the card manual to check if you need to make special jumper configuration (maste/cable select) etc for the hdd. do if required.
connect the drive using the add on card. now your system should be able to see he drive (not at boot up but after xp with patch boots up.)
tr this else catch your mobo guys..if they insist that motherboard supports lba48 then they should be able to get it working for you, without ddo.

and on another suggestion, remove ddo and flash bios with 5.2 specifically....but do this carefully as i always stay away from flashing :-)
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JasonGomez2Author Commented:
I'll try all of this again ... right now, the puter is crunching zeros on a full (non-quick) low level format -- been going over 6 hours now and it's at 30%  ---- Woohoo!  But, I just want to make sure since the quick low level didn't work.

As for the DDO removal -- done.  Jumper settings are all correct.  No jumper as of now, and no limiting jumper especially.  

Weird thing happened the last time I attempted a fix before I started writing zeros.  Removed DDO, did a quick low level format w/ MaxBlast, then booted to XP.  XP showed in properties that the disk was in RAW format, but capable of 31.5GB.

Here's the weird part.  I went to Disk Management where it automatically attempted to initialize my disk, but wanted to do so at 32MB!  MEGABYTES!!!  I checked and double checked.  Can't figure that one out, but then again, having the worst trouble with this disk drive anyway.  I'll drop a line to MSI, too, but it will be a week / so before I get a response -- but at least I'll get a response :).  

I'll try the flash --.

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kiranghagCommented:
all the best..especially with the flash...i have a phobia for it..though everyone else does it in a jiffy
:-)
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CiscoKiDD1Commented:
Just an FYI amendment to this thread for future reference....

There is 137Gb barrier that prevents addressing beyond that size unless you have a BIOS that supports 48bit LBA mode.
(Some people have told me they hit this at 120Gigs also...not sure why since 137 is correct)

The immediate answer is to get a separate new controller card, like a Promise controller for example, which supports the 48bit mode. Install it in one of your PCI slots and move your drives to the new controller....load up the controller driver in XP....and you should be rockin'. It may not detect the controller card initially so you may have to "persuade" Windows XP into using your driver.

Personally I think Promise are the best with EIDE/ ATA, SATA configurations....and it was the card Western Digital was packaging with their 200GB drive earlier this year before 48bit LBA was available in PC BIOS operation sets.

Maybe your MSI system does support the 48 bit mode...but I doubt it as well.  I am with the other posters...if it's not on the website....don't count on it. Assume it's not there and not going to work.

Basically....think about but how much more of your time worth figuring out what is going wrong? The controller card will cost you like 30-40 bucks....and it works.

My two or three cents.

Good luck.  :)
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JasonGomez2Author Commented:
ALRIGHTY!

DONE -- figured out.

BAD HARDDRIVE!!!  I finally had time to take the harddrive back after law school finals.  I tried everything that you all mentioned -- there was just something wrong in there.  Even with the
additional card which should have gone around any bios issues, it still wouldn't work correctly and was coming up MB sometimes versus GB.  I should have known.

So, I popped in the new hardddrive hooked it up to the new card and BAM -- it worked on connection 1st try.  Then, I switched it to the on board bios -- still worked!!!  MSI wasn't lying!  That's reassuring.  I've never had that problem w/ a harddrive before.  I tried it in (3) different computers and wiped it clean w/ zeros -- both long and short.

I appreciate everyone's help and comments ... now what do i do about points ... I mean everyone and no one was really on point all at the same time.  Administrator, any guidance?
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CiscoKiDD1Commented:

The true cause was a BAD HARD DRIVE.

.....but the 137GB barrier is real and has been a problem for many.... unless the BIOS is updated...OR you are using drive overlay software from the manufacturer...OR buy a new motherboard that supports 48bit LBA.
What was described were all pretty much symptoms of this initially.

 I thought this was the most specific and targeted answer myself.....but then again....you guys ARE the moderators and make the final decisions.

I vote for my answer though. :P


CiscoKiDD  :)
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PAQ_ManCommented:
PAQed with points refunded (125)

PAQ_Man
Community Support Moderator
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