LinuxQuestions.org
Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Other *NIX Forums > Other *NIX
User Name
Password
Other *NIX This forum is for the discussion of any UNIX platform that does not have its own forum. Examples would include HP-UX, IRIX, Darwin, Tru64 and OS X.

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 09-21-2008, 03:41 PM   #1
10110111
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Location: St.-Petersburg, Russia
Distribution: (B)LFS, Ubuntu, SliTaz
Posts: 402

Rep: Reputation: 51
Minix & BIOS supporting only 47 types of HDDs


I have a disk with geometry 1231/4/18, but the only BIOS option closest to it is 615/4/17 (c/h/s), so i want to make minix support real disk geometry. Is there any way to force ide driver using of some geometry?
P.S. My machine is based on i286, so binary tools suitable for 386 will not do.
 
Old 09-21-2008, 08:42 PM   #2
scott_R
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Brighton, Michigan, USA
Distribution: Lots of distros in the past, now Linux Mint
Posts: 746

Rep: Reputation: 31
Welcome to legacy computing.

You've stumbled into the infamous 528MB barrier. As you've seen, older (pre-1994) system bios' such as your 286 can't see over 528MB. In the old days you had a number of options.

1) new bios w/LBA. Too expensive back then, and probably a little tough to find today.
2) disk manager to handle the problem in software. probably similarly difficult to find today, although it's possible your manufacturer still has it buried somewhere on their website (samsung still has theirs available for download, only works with their drives, though).

It's been way too long since I dealt with this problem (this was my small computer shop heyday! ), but it seems like we'd boot from the disk manager, install whatever it was into the boot sector, and it would play tricks on the bios to see the rest of the drive. Even then we were stuck because dos or earlier windows (pre-win95) versions still couldn't see the larger drive, so if a customer wanted the large drive we usually split it into 2 partitions. My memory's a little sketchy though. Not sure how minux might affect this, it might even include it's own translator, but I haven't messed with it, sorry.

If you can find a copy of your drive manufacturer's workaround (it's bound to be somewhere in this internet mess), that's the most likely option. Hopefully it has instructions, I'd hate to try and guess them 15 years later. Maybe somebody has a dusty, crusty copy if you post your drive. I think there were one or two commercial products that worked across multiple drives, but our drives always came with drivers, so I never used the third party products.

Otherwise, you could just set it up as a 528 partition and let the rest go, but that's not much fun, either. Hope this gives you some ideas, though.

Good luck!

Update: Found this site, might be of some help as well: http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/comp/hdd/spaceMB504-c.html

Last edited by scott_R; 09-21-2008 at 08:46 PM. Reason: added link
 
Old 09-22-2008, 12:41 PM   #3
10110111
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Location: St.-Petersburg, Russia
Distribution: (B)LFS, Ubuntu, SliTaz
Posts: 402

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 51
Thanks for your reply.
Since my previous post, as i searched for the solution, i tried to simply tell BIOS that there were no hard drives at all. Being started from floppy, Minix found my HDD and told me the geometry which is neither first, nor second given in my previous post . Though, i managed to find the model of my HDD and got some information on it: http://stason.org/TULARC/pc/hard-dri...HH-IDE-AT.html
As i saw, the geometry this time was right. BTW, the disk is less than 528M. Then, when i tried to use the translation provided by that site, minix started without any problem. So, the solution is to tell BIOS there are no hard drives, except for the startup drive... which should be configured not as the others might be... it might be good to try to make int13h hooker, which would reside in boot block and on startup, replace BIOS service by its own, though it has to be about 256-512 bytes long, so it may be hard to implement...
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LXer: Supporting The Latest and Greatest; Supporting the Oldest and Slowest LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 01-26-2008 11:44 PM
Accessing other HDDs/Booting from other HDDs Namatacka Ubuntu 2 05-07-2006 11:21 AM
c preprocessor commands & return types(?) kpachopoulos Programming 4 12-06-2005 09:18 AM
green types & black baclground text editor chunlee Linux - Software 10 06-18-2004 09:50 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:07 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration