BIOS hard drive size limitations - Storage

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Thread: BIOS hard drive size limitations

  1. BIOS hard drive size limitations

    I have a Compaq Presario desktop machine I bought in Jan 1999 so it
    must have been produced in 1998. It came with an IDE 4 GB hard drive
    and windows 98 on it. I recently install a new (old) 10 GB hard drive
    (Western Digital) as the primary and a Quantum Fireball 10 BG as the
    slave with the jumpers set to cable select as the manual said to do
    with IDE internal drives. I did a clean install of a new version (for
    this computer) of 98 Second edition this time. The Hard drives show as
    having 9.3 of useable space.
    I have read a lot about computers produced up to and including the
    year1998. I have read that BOISs can not handle certain sizes of hard
    drives. I have found numerous size limits for hard drives and am not
    sure if I need to heed any of theses limits. And why the different
    limits I assumed that after 1998 they opened a much larger limit to
    anticipate future hard drives. Y2K was one limit but did not realize
    that hard drive size was another. The sizes of limits I have seemed to
    run across are as follows: 504MB, 2.1GB, 8.4GB, 8.6GB and 32GB. Of
    course the latter does not concern me.
    The simple question is if I already see the full size of the 10GB
    drives as 9.3GB do I need worry of future problems? When trying to
    write to the drives in excess of any of the above size limits like on
    the 9.3GB of usable space when I pass 8.4 or 8.6GB will I have possible
    problems such as write errors? So far the primary is holding 2.65 GB
    and the slave has 762MB on it. I did find what Compaq is calling a ROM
    Update (file name sp12234.exe). Am I wrong in thinking that this is a
    BIOS update too? But this file I can find no explanation as to why I
    would need it and what problems it addresses in relation to the older
    ROM setting that came in the computer at the 1998 production. Compaq
    (HP) suggests that I upgrade using the file but things seem to be
    working alright I like to leave well enough alone especially when it
    comes to Microsoft (windows) and its wonderful line of products (that
    is sarcasm, I also use a Mac from time to time). Thinking out loud here
    but when looking for help on the web it seems so much more is available
    for windows than the Mac OSs. Could it be that the windows (IBM
    compatible PCs) user base is so much larger or is it that windows is
    what should I say .... more complicated even though both machines do
    just about the same things in the end!
    And what about Dynamic Drive Overlays software (setting) or the size
    limiting jumper on the drives? Is that something I need to know about
    and use in


  2. Re: BIOS hard drive size limitations

    DJW wrote:

    > I have a Compaq Presario desktop machine I bought in Jan 1999 so it
    > must have been produced in 1998. It came with an IDE 4 GB hard drive
    > and windows 98 on it. I recently install a new (old) 10 GB hard drive
    > (Western Digital) as the primary and a Quantum Fireball 10 BG as the
    > slave with the jumpers set to cable select as the manual said to do
    > with IDE internal drives. I did a clean install of a new version (for
    > this computer) of 98 Second edition this time. The Hard drives show as
    > having 9.3 of useable space.


    > I have read a lot about computers produced up to and including the
    > year1998. I have read that BOISs can not handle certain sizes of hard
    > drives. I have found numerous size limits for hard drives and am not
    > sure if I need to heed any of theses limits.


    Not unless you want to add larger drives. There is a limit
    at 8G but that system clearly doesnt have a problem there.

    The next one is at 32G and then there's another at 127G.

    > And why the different limits I assumed that after 1998 they
    > opened a much larger limit to anticipate future hard drives.


    The 32G limit is actually a bug in the Award bios.

    The 127G limit was due to the drivers not initially supporting 48 bit LBA.

    > Y2K was one limit but did not realize that hard drive size was another.


    Yeah, its been a bit of a mess with Win.

    > The sizes of limits I have seemed to run across are as follows: 504MB,
    > 2.1GB, 8.4GB, 8.6GB and 32GB. Of course the latter does not concern me.


    > The simple question is if I already see the full size of the
    > 10GB drives as 9.3GB do I need worry of future problems?


    Not with those drives. If you can see 9.3G, your system
    doesnt have the problem at 8G or the lower ones either.

    > When trying to write to the drives in excess of any of the above
    > size limits like on the 9.3GB of usable space when I pass 8.4 or
    > 8.6GB will I have possible problems such as write errors?


    Nope.

    > So far the primary is holding 2.65 GB and the slave has 762MB on it.
    > I did find what Compaq is calling a ROM Update (file name sp12234.exe).
    > Am I wrong in thinking that this is a BIOS update too?


    No, you are right on that. The bios is in a rom on the motherboard.

    > But this file I can find no explanation as to why I would need it
    > and what problems it addresses in relation to the older ROM
    > setting that came in the computer at the 1998 production.


    You'll likely find that if you have a look inside it using winzip etc that
    there will be a release notes text file inside it which will spell that out.

    > Compaq (HP) suggests that I upgrade using the file but things
    > seem to be working alright I like to leave well enough alone


    Yes, its safer to do that unless there is something
    drastic mentioned in the release notes.

    > especially when it comes to Microsoft (windows) and its wonderful
    > line of products (that is sarcasm, I also use a Mac from time to time).


    You shouldnt have said that, the Presario will curl up and die now.

    > Thinking out loud here but when looking for help on the web it
    > seems so much more is available for windows than the Mac OSs.


    Yes, because a hell of a lot more use win than macs.

    > Could it be that the windows (IBM compatible PCs) user base is so much larger


    Yep.

    > or is it that windows is what should I say .... more complicated even
    > though both machines do just about the same things in the end!


    Nope, Macs are just as complicated, just different.

    > And what about Dynamic Drive Overlays software (setting) or the size limiting
    > jumper on the drives? Is that something I need to know about and use in


    Nope, you only use DDOs when the bios doesnt support the drives you need to use size wise.

    Same with the size limiting jumper.



  3. Re: BIOS hard drive size limitations

    Previously DJW wrote:
    > I have a Compaq Presario desktop machine I bought in Jan 1999 so it
    > must have been produced in 1998. It came with an IDE 4 GB hard drive
    > and windows 98 on it. I recently install a new (old) 10 GB hard drive
    > (Western Digital) as the primary and a Quantum Fireball 10 BG as the
    > slave with the jumpers set to cable select as the manual said to do
    > with IDE internal drives. I did a clean install of a new version (for
    > this computer) of 98 Second edition this time. The Hard drives show as
    > having 9.3 of useable space.
    > I have read a lot about computers produced up to and including the
    > year1998. I have read that BOISs can not handle certain sizes of hard
    > drives. I have found numerous size limits for hard drives and am not
    > sure if I need to heed any of theses limits. And why the different
    > limits I assumed that after 1998 they opened a much larger limit to
    > anticipate future hard drives. Y2K was one limit but did not realize
    > that hard drive size was another. The sizes of limits I have seemed to
    > run across are as follows: 504MB, 2.1GB, 8.4GB, 8.6GB and 32GB. Of
    > course the latter does not concern me.
    > The simple question is if I already see the full size of the 10GB
    > drives as 9.3GB do I need worry of future problems? When trying to
    > write to the drives in excess of any of the above size limits like on
    > the 9.3GB of usable space when I pass 8.4 or 8.6GB will I have possible
    > problems such as write errors? So far the primary is holding 2.65 GB
    > and the slave has 762MB on it. I did find what Compaq is calling a ROM
    > Update (file name sp12234.exe). Am I wrong in thinking that this is a
    > BIOS update too? But this file I can find no explanation as to why I
    > would need it and what problems it addresses in relation to the older
    > ROM setting that came in the computer at the 1998 production. Compaq
    > (HP) suggests that I upgrade using the file but things seem to be
    > working alright I like to leave well enough alone especially when it
    > comes to Microsoft (windows) and its wonderful line of products (that
    > is sarcasm, I also use a Mac from time to time). Thinking out loud here
    > but when looking for help on the web it seems so much more is available
    > for windows than the Mac OSs. Could it be that the windows (IBM
    > compatible PCs) user base is so much larger or is it that windows is
    > what should I say .... more complicated even though both machines do
    > just about the same things in the end!
    > And what about Dynamic Drive Overlays software (setting) or the size
    > limiting jumper on the drives? Is that something I need to know about
    > and use in


    I think that if the computer sees more than 8GB, then it can handle
    more. To be sure, have a look into the BIOS setup (DEL or so suring
    startup) and check which size is reported there. Of course there
    is some potential for catastraphe, when the driver does a wrap-around
    and starts to write the beginning of the disk, but I think
    that particular sign of gross incompetence is reserved for
    XP without SP1. It would also not be a BIOS problem, but one
    of the OS.

    Arno

  4. Re: BIOS hard drive size limitations

    Arno Wagner wrote:
    > Previously DJW wrote:
    >> I have a Compaq Presario desktop machine I bought in Jan 1999 so it
    >> must have been produced in 1998. It came with an IDE 4 GB hard drive
    >> and windows 98 on it. I recently install a new (old) 10 GB hard drive
    >> (Western Digital) as the primary and a Quantum Fireball 10 BG as the
    >> slave with the jumpers set to cable select as the manual said to do
    >> with IDE internal drives. I did a clean install of a new version (for
    >> this computer) of 98 Second edition this time. The Hard drives show
    >> as having 9.3 of useable space.
    >> I have read a lot about computers produced up to and including the
    >> year1998. I have read that BOISs can not handle certain sizes of hard
    >> drives. I have found numerous size limits for hard drives and am not
    >> sure if I need to heed any of theses limits. And why the different
    >> limits I assumed that after 1998 they opened a much larger limit to
    >> anticipate future hard drives. Y2K was one limit but did not realize
    >> that hard drive size was another. The sizes of limits I have seemed
    >> to run across are as follows: 504MB, 2.1GB, 8.4GB, 8.6GB and 32GB. Of
    >> course the latter does not concern me.
    >> The simple question is if I already see the full size of the 10GB
    >> drives as 9.3GB do I need worry of future problems? When trying to
    >> write to the drives in excess of any of the above size limits like on
    >> the 9.3GB of usable space when I pass 8.4 or 8.6GB will I have
    >> possible problems such as write errors? So far the primary is
    >> holding 2.65 GB and the slave has 762MB on it. I did find what
    >> Compaq is calling a ROM Update (file name sp12234.exe). Am I wrong
    >> in thinking that this is a BIOS update too? But this file I can find
    >> no explanation as to why I would need it and what problems it
    >> addresses in relation to the older ROM setting that came in the
    >> computer at the 1998 production. Compaq (HP) suggests that I upgrade
    >> using the file but things seem to be working alright I like to leave
    >> well enough alone especially when it comes to Microsoft (windows)
    >> and its wonderful line of products (that is sarcasm, I also use a
    >> Mac from time to time). Thinking out loud here but when looking for
    >> help on the web it seems so much more is available for windows than
    >> the Mac OSs. Could it be that the windows (IBM compatible PCs) user
    >> base is so much larger or is it that windows is what should I say
    >> .... more complicated even though both machines do just about the
    >> same things in the end!
    >> And what about Dynamic Drive Overlays software (setting) or the size
    >> limiting jumper on the drives? Is that something I need to know about
    >> and use in

    >
    > I think that if the computer sees more than 8GB, then it can handle
    > more. To be sure, have a look into the BIOS setup (DEL or so suring
    > startup) and check which size is reported there. Of course there
    > is some potential for catastraphe, when the driver does a wrap-around
    > and starts to write the beginning of the disk, but I think that particular
    > sign of gross incompetence is reserved for XP without SP1.


    Nope, any version of Win without 48 bit LBA support.

    > It would also not be a BIOS problem, but one of the OS.





  5. Re: BIOS hard drive size limitations


    "DJW" wrote in message
    news:1168034582.499860.51430@s80g2000cwa.googlegro ups.com...
    > I have a Compaq Presario desktop machine I bought in Jan 1999 so it
    > must have been produced in 1998. It came with an IDE 4 GB hard drive
    > and windows 98 on it. I recently install a new (old) 10 GB hard drive
    > (Western Digital) as the primary and a Quantum Fireball 10 BG as the
    > slave with the jumpers set to cable select as the manual said to do
    > with IDE internal drives. I did a clean install of a new version (for
    > this computer) of 98 Second edition this time. The Hard drives show as
    > having 9.3 of useable space.


    That is correct and has to do with a different metric being used by the
    filesystem and by marketing. The filesystem measures binary gigabytes (=
    1024 MB), while marketing uses decimal gigabytes (= 1000 MB). This allows
    the product to "look" bigger on the shelf -- and yes, it is really quite
    deceptive and I'm surprised that no consumer advocacy groups have taken HD
    manufacturers to court over it.

    In any event, 10 decimal GB is roughly equal to 9.3 binary GB, so you are
    working with the entire drive there. It has nothing to do with BIOS.



  6. Re: BIOS hard drive size limitations

    Ham Pastrami wrote
    > DJW wrote


    >> I have a Compaq Presario desktop machine I bought in Jan 1999 so it
    >> must have been produced in 1998. It came with an IDE 4 GB hard drive
    >> and windows 98 on it. I recently install a new (old) 10 GB hard drive
    >> (Western Digital) as the primary and a Quantum Fireball 10 BG as the
    >> slave with the jumpers set to cable select as the manual said to do
    >> with IDE internal drives. I did a clean install of a new version (for
    >> this computer) of 98 Second edition this time. The Hard drives show
    >> as having 9.3 of useable space.


    > That is correct and has to do with a different metric being used by the
    > filesystem and by marketing. The filesystem measures binary gigabytes
    > (= 1024 MB), while marketing uses decimal gigabytes (= 1000 MB).


    So does the SI standard.

    > This allows the product to "look" bigger on the shelf -- and yes,
    > it is really quite deceptive and I'm surprised that no consumer
    > advocacy groups have taken HD manufacturers to court over it.


    They cant, its the SI standard. Its illegal to NOT use the SI standard in many countrys.

    AND there is no good reason to use binary GBs with hard drives,
    they dont have an intrinsically binary organisation of the sector count.

    Decimal units are also used for cpu speeds, comms speeds, etc etc etc.

    The only devices that are intrinsically binary organised is ram and rom.

    > In any event, 10 decimal GB is roughly equal to 9.3 binary GB, so you
    > are working with the entire drive there. It has nothing to do with BIOS.




  7. Re: BIOS hard drive size limitations


    "Rod Speed" wrote in message
    news:50cuqsF1fc5qkU1@mid.individual.net...
    > So does the SI standard.


    I will keep that in mind if the SI ever releases their disk utilities.

    > They cant, its the SI standard. Its illegal to NOT use the SI standard in

    many countrys.

    That's neither here nor there, it only begs the question of why the
    manufacturers don't use the unambiguous IEC units (MiB, GiB, which are
    explicitly binary) to avoid confusion. The fact is that the manufacturers
    like using ambiguous SI units to confuse and mislead, so a law requiring
    them to do so is completely superfluous.

    > AND there is no good reason to use binary GBs with hard drives,
    > they dont have an intrinsically binary organisation of the sector count.
    >
    > Decimal units are also used for cpu speeds, comms speeds, etc etc etc.
    >
    > The only devices that are intrinsically binary organised is ram and rom.


    So in measuring a hard drive's storage size, you can use the same metric as

    A) the storage size of other storage mediums, or
    B) the speed of a cpu or network transmission

    Hmm.



  8. Re: BIOS hard drive size limitations

    Ham Pastrami wrote
    > Rod Speed wrote
    >> Ham Pastrami wrote
    >>> DJW wrote


    >>>> I have a Compaq Presario desktop machine I bought in Jan 1999 so it
    >>>> must have been produced in 1998. It came with an IDE 4 GB hard drive
    >>>> and windows 98 on it. I recently install a new (old) 10 GB hard drive
    >>>> (Western Digital) as the primary and a Quantum Fireball 10 BG as the
    >>>> slave with the jumpers set to cable select as the manual said to do
    >>>> with IDE internal drives. I did a clean install of a new version (for
    >>>> this computer) of 98 Second edition this time. The Hard drives show
    >>>> as having 9.3 of useable space.


    >>> That is correct and has to do with a different metric being used by the
    >>> filesystem and by marketing. The filesystem measures binary gigabytes
    >>> (= 1024 MB), while marketing uses decimal gigabytes (= 1000 MB).


    >> So does the SI standard.


    > I will keep that in mind if the SI ever releases their disk utilities.


    Never ever could bull**** its way out of a wet paper bag.

    >>> This allows the product to "look" bigger on the shelf -- and yes,
    >>> it is really quite deceptive and I'm surprised that no consumer
    >>> advocacy groups have taken HD manufacturers to court over it.


    >> They cant, its the SI standard. Its illegal to
    >> NOT use the SI standard in many countrys.


    > That's neither here nor there,


    Wrong, as always.

    > it only begs the question of why the manufacturers don't use
    > the unambiguous IEC units (MiB, GiB, which are explicitly binary)


    Because there is nothing intrinsically binary about
    the number of sectors on a hard drive, stupid.

    > to avoid confusion.


    It wouldnt even do that, because very few hard drive buyers
    would even know what a GiB as if it bit them on their lard arses.

    > The fact is that the manufacturers like using ambiguous SI units


    Nothing ambiguous what so ever about the SI prefixes.

    > to confuse and mislead,


    Thats just your utterly mindless conspiracy theory.

    Nothing even remotely resembling anything like a 'fact'

    > so a law requiring them to do so is completely superfluous.


    Completely off with the ****ing fairys, as always.

    >> AND there is no good reason to use binary GBs with hard drives,
    >> they dont have an intrinsically binary organisation of the sector count.


    >> Decimal units are also used for cpu speeds, comms speeds, etc etc etc.


    >> The only devices that are intrinsically binary organised is ram and rom.


    > So in measuring a hard drive's storage size, you can use the same metric as


    > A) the storage size of other storage mediums, or
    > B) the speed of a cpu or network transmission


    > Hmm.


    Never ever could bull**** its way out of a wet paper bag.



  9. Re: BIOS hard drive size limitations

    Previously Ham Pastrami wrote:

    > "Rod Speed" wrote in message
    > news:50cuqsF1fc5qkU1@mid.individual.net...
    >> So does the SI standard.


    > I will keep that in mind if the SI ever releases their disk utilities.


    >> They cant, its the SI standard. Its illegal to NOT use the SI standard in

    > many countrys.


    > That's neither here nor there, it only begs the question of why the
    > manufacturers don't use the unambiguous IEC units (MiB, GiB, which are
    > explicitly binary) to avoid confusion. The fact is that the manufacturers
    > like using ambiguous SI units to confuse and mislead, so a law requiring
    > them to do so is completely superfluous.


    Well, sorry, but the manufacturers have allways used unambiguous
    SI units. Have a look into your local laws on units and measurements.
    And they cannot use the binary prefixes alone, since they are
    not legal units and are a pretty new and only IEC standard. In
    addition, they all either state the total number of bytes or sectors
    in their disk documentation. Merchants are a different question.

    I do admit that the misleading effect is there. And the feeling of
    disappointment when finding out you got less than you expected. But
    it is not the HDD manufacturers fault. And they do not really benefit
    from it either, since they all use the legally required units, hence
    do not get more or less business than the competition from it.

    >> AND there is no good reason to use binary GBs with hard drives,
    >> they dont have an intrinsically binary organisation of the sector count.
    >>
    >> Decimal units are also used for cpu speeds, comms speeds, etc etc etc.
    >>
    >> The only devices that are intrinsically binary organised is ram and rom.


    > So in measuring a hard drive's storage size, you can use the same metric as


    > A) the storage size of other storage mediums, or
    > B) the speed of a cpu or network transmission


    > Hmm.


    A) is true if the other medium is a measured medium. RAM uses
    "size classes", that are allways a power of two per module. That
    is why they can get away with not using SI units. For disks,
    you will find that you allmost allways get a little more, e.g.
    500.1GB instead of the advertised 500GB. Same for USB memory.

    B)Network transmissions are still a problem. It is often done wrong.
    Even Linux has only recently started to use the righ units:

    wagner@gate:~$ifconfig eth1
    eth1 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:11:95:C4BD
    inet addr:192.168.0.10 Bcast:192.168.0.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
    UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
    RX packets:4032800 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:5516966 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
    RX bytes:713808241 (680.7 MiB) TX bytes:2357273256 (2.1 GiB)
    ^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^


    Untill this mess is cleaned up, you have to look a bit closer.

    Arno

  10. Re: BIOS hard drive size limitations

    In article , Ham Pastrami
    wrote:
    > The filesystem measures binary gigabytes (=
    > 1024 MB), while marketing uses decimal gigabytes (= 1000 MB). This allows
    > the product to "look" bigger on the shelf -- and yes, it is really quite
    > deceptive and I'm surprised that no consumer advocacy groups have taken HD
    > manufacturers to court over it.
    >

    Probably they reckon that the average jury would be successfully
    flim-flammed by the HDD manufacturers going on about the amount of
    accounting space used by the file system itself, as well as the issues of
    "slack space" for some file systems.
    Unfortunately, it's probably true that an average jury would have a
    job differentiating 3 related technical issues

    --
    Aidan Karley
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Written at Mon, 08 Jan 2007 08:08 GMT, but posted later.


  11. Re: BIOS hard drive size limitations

    Aidan Karley wrote
    > Ham Pastrami wrote


    >> The filesystem measures binary gigabytes (= 1024 MB), while
    >> marketing uses decimal gigabytes (= 1000 MB). This allows
    >> the product to "look" bigger on the shelf -- and yes, it is really
    >> quite deceptive and I'm surprised that no consumer advocacy
    >> groups have taken HD manufacturers to court over it.


    > Probably they reckon that the average jury would be successfully
    > flim-flammed by the HDD manufacturers going on about the amount
    > of accounting space used by the file system itself, as well as the
    > issues of "slack space" for some file systems.


    > Unfortunately, it's probably true that an average jury
    > would have a job differentiating 3 related technical issues


    Or they have enough of a clue to realise that while the hard
    drive manufacturers use the official SI standard prefixes, and
    state very unambiguously indeed what they mean by GBs, a
    billion bytes, that the jury is completely irrelevant and any
    judge would just toss the action where it belongs, in the bin.

    No jury would even get involved.



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