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Hard drive size recognition by Award BIOS
mikep Jan-04-01 09:31 PM
I recently built a computer. The key compnents include a Tyan Trinity 400 motherboard w/Award BIOS (brand new).

I installed a 45Gig Western Digital 5400rpm hard drive. The Award BIOS will not recognize the hard drive for more than 8gig. I checked with Tyan and Award (Phoenix now). I have been told it should recognize up to 80gig. I made sure the BIOS was set to auto.

I finally gave up and loaded the Western Digital EZ BIOS so that it would be recognized. It works, but I'd rather not have EZ BIOS running and just let Award BIOS recognize it as it should.

Any suggestions?


2. RE: Hard drive size recognition by Award BIOS
lbyard Jan-05-01 04:20 PM
In response to message 0
This is usually caused by one of three things.

Human error when partitioning the drive with fdisk. Note that you have to add the number of bytes when creating a partition on a hard disk drive, not Mega Bytes, Giga Bytes, or tens of Giga Bytes. One Gbyte = 1,000 Mbytes, 1 Mbyte = 1,000,000 Bytes, and 80 “Gigs” = 80,000,000 Bytes (seven zeros). If it will make you feel better, I know about this problem because I’ve done it more than once.

The drive already has an 8 GByte primary DOS partition--an indication that the drive is not new (Seagate used to put a small partition containing disk-related software on new drives a long time ago).

You see 8000MB in the Award matrix display as the computer boots-up… In this case the BIOS is quite old and does not support the INT13 extensions needed to operate IDE hard disk drives greater than 8.4 Gbytes (for more info see Western Digital’s FAQs on this subject at http://www.westerndigital.com/service/FAQ/8-4.html). Your computer should display the version of the BIOS installed on your motherboard when it first boots, usually, right after it displays information on your display adapter. Compare that version to the one available on Tyan’s site at http://www.tyan.com/support/html/b_tr_400.html and flash the BIOS if they have a more recent one. Be warned that flashing the BIOS can make your motherboard inoperable if it is done incorrectly: the wrong BIOS is used, or if there is a power outage, etc. during the process. If something goes wrong you may have to get a new BIOS chip or send your motherboard to a facility with a BIOS burner. Do it at your own risk. See Wim’s BIOS page at http://www.ping.be/bios/ for still more information. I doubt very much that this is your problem. If it is, the motherboard has probably been sitting on someone’s shelf for a very long time.

I strongly recommend that you divide the drive into at least two partitions. See http://duxcw.com/digest/Howto/software/windows/winme/install/inst-4.html for reasons. Please share the knowledge with other readers by letting us know how you fixed the problem. Larry


3. RE: Hard drive size recognition by Award BIOS
mikep Jan-05-01 06:31 PM
In response to message 2
I actually formatted the hard drive with the software included in the Western Digital package (WD software).

Also, the hard drive is very new. I purchased it about 2 months ago.

Here is some additional background information:

The hard drive was previously installed on another machine (an older HP 8370). It had no problem recognizing the size without the EZ-BIOS. I reformatted it when I put it into the new machine. Also, the Award BIOS is the latest version.

Should I just leave the EZ-BIOS running and forget about it?


4. RE: Hard drive size recognition by Award BIOS
lbyard Jan-05-01 06:42 PM
In response to message 3
Not if it were I. I would make a start-up floppy (http://duxcw.com/digest/Fromshop/software/windows/startup/startup.htm and http://duxcw.com/digest/Howto/software/windows/winme/startup/page1.html, backup any data, remove the EZ boot track stuff (with EZ), remove all partitions with fdisk, and use fdisk to make new partitions per references in my previous post. Be sure to accept the default of yes when fdisk prompts with “Do you wish to enable large disk support (Y/N)...........? ,” format without transferring the system files, and do a clean install of Windows, restore data, and reinstall all applications. Larry

5. RE: Hard drive size recognition by Award BIOS
mikep Jan-08-01 03:43 PM
In response to message 4
What are the negatives associated with EZ-BIOS? I need to weigh this reformatting decision (I just went through days of this).

6. RE: Hard drive size recognition by Award BIOS
lbyard Jan-08-01 04:15 PM
In response to message 5
I just find it annoying to the see the EZ thing every time the computer boots and a trifle inconvenient booting to a floppy--no big deal. Larry

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