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Old 05-08-2001, 05:36 AM   #1
mpenny
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Registered: Oct 2000
Distribution: Mandrake 8.1
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Hi all,

I'm attempting to install Slackware 7.0 on my ageing P166 with 32Mb Ram. The Hard drive in this machine is a Western Digital 5.1Gb model. The BIOS is an AMIBIOS 1992 (1.00.DB0.03) - this doesn't support HD's above 2Gb in size. When this machine had Win 95 on it, the HD was controlled by a program called EZ Drive which partitions the drive into 2Gb sections, thus allowing all the drive to be accessed.

I'm booting Slackware from the CD-ROM (I've not made boot and root discs since it will boot from the CD. Maybe this is a mistake?) The PC boots and I see all the information scroll up the screen detailing all the hardware in the machine. The WD hard drive appears as 'hdb' (I have a Connor HD that appears as 'hda'.)

When I login as root and launch 'cfdisk', only hda is recognised as a DOS partition (which it currently is.) I cannot mount 'hdb' or use it in any way. (This HD should also be recognised as a DOS partition.)

I tried removing the Connor HD (hda) and putting in the WD HD as a single HD, changing the jumpers etc. on the back of the HD. On boot up, Slackware shows that the HD is 'hda' but when running 'cfdisk', it appears as though there is no HD on my PC!!

I have tried removing the EZ Drive software with no effect and then restoring it but with still no luck.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

(By the way, if I bootup with a Win 95 boot disk, I can see the WD HD and read its directory info from DOS.)

Regards,

Mark.
 
Old 05-08-2001, 12:45 PM   #2
webtoe
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Registered: Apr 2001
Location: Cambridge, England
Distribution: Slackware 10, Fedora Core 3, Mac OS X
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i suggest you use a easier program (such as the mandrake hard drive repartitioning tool). it is easier; cfdisk is a bit poor if you ask me. i would use the more archane fdisk over it since i find it confusing (that;s just me)

which hard drive are you wanting to install on?

Alex
 
Old 05-08-2001, 05:38 PM   #3
mpenny
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Registered: Oct 2000
Distribution: Mandrake 8.1
Posts: 15

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Thanks for your reply, Webtoe - much appreciated!

I've removed the Connor drive now and have the WD HD installed as the master HD (it is now the only HD in the PC.)

Would reformatting it in DOS help and then trying the Slackware install again?

Regards,

Mark.
 
Old 05-09-2001, 04:16 AM   #4
webtoe
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Registered: Apr 2001
Location: Cambridge, England
Distribution: Slackware 10, Fedora Core 3, Mac OS X
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it might help if you format it in dos first (it should atleast show up when you partition that it is a dos drive [so you know that it has been detected]).

btw, is there an update for your bios (at there site somewhere) that would fix the 2gb limit?

neway, post if nething else gets screwed up

Alex

P.S. make sure that you use fdisk not cfdisk, im sure when i tried using it it did the same thing with me (showed me that i was missing a hard drive).
 
Old 05-09-2001, 04:52 AM   #5
mpenny
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Registered: Oct 2000
Distribution: Mandrake 8.1
Posts: 15

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Thanks for your reply, Webtoe.

I checked the AMIBIOS (American Megatrends) Web site for a BIOS update and there was nothing. I assume it's probably because the BIOS is so old!! I did have Slackware 7.0 working on this PC previously (at that time it was a dual boot system with Win 95 but I then blew away the Slackware partition to use the whole of the PC for Windows.)

I'll do another DOS format of the drive as you've suggested and see what happens.

Regards,

Mark.
 
Old 05-11-2001, 07:10 PM   #6
mpenny
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Registered: Oct 2000
Distribution: Mandrake 8.1
Posts: 15

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Thumbs up

For those interested, I fixed the problem!

1. Booted to DOS. Formatted the drive.
2. Ran the EZ Drive software and ensured that the EZ Drive information had been removed from the MBR.
3. Booted Slackware from the CD and ran 'cfdisk' - all partitioned fine!

Thanks for your help, Webtoe!

It would appear that having the EZ Drive controller software on the HD's MBR was causing Slackware not to detect the drive. Removing it solved the problem.

I now have a running Slackware system. Unfortunately, I am having trouble getting KDE to look reasonable and running X at a reasonable resolution! Ho-hum!

Regards,

Mark.
 
  


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