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Old 09-02-2004, 07:23 AM   #1
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Question Dell OptiPlex GX1, Lilo, and my hdd

OK, So I purchased an (obviously) used Dell Optiplex GX1 (desktop model) from work the other day. Mainly because I wanted to replace my router w/a pII class machine. I use a custom package based linux distro from a company I used to work at. I boots, loads a ramdisk, and then untar/bz2's all the packages into the ramdisk.

Anyway, none of that has a bit to do with my problem.

I only truly need about 50 meg of disk space for this machine. The one I'm using currently has a 100meg conner drive that works just fine for its needs. I had a space Western Digital 854 meg drive sitting around CHS,1654,16,63. When auto detected by the bios, it comes up as CHS, 827,32,63 and linux detects it the same way. No matter what I can copy the data I need onto the drive, it fdisks just fine, it lilo's just fine.. but when I reboot it just LI's on me. Which is usually a drive geometry problem. I've tried 3 different versions of the Dell BIOS . All with the same results, I've taken the same drive and put it in another pc, works just fine.

I've forced the bios to the true geometry, and let linux do its on thing, I've tried it whilst forcing fdisk to the true drive geometry as well. No matter what combination I try, I end up with LI at the boot prompt.

Can someone give me a suggestion of what in the world I can do to resolve this ?
I've tried everything I can think of.
Old 09-02-2004, 08:29 PM   #2
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if anyone needs any more info on this situation let me know.. it still has me stumped and has had me stumped for 3 or 4 days..


Old 11-12-2004, 12:52 AM   #3
Registered: Jul 2003
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Hi Tony

I use a number of Dell Optiplex GX1 PIII Slimline PCs
running Linux, etc

The machines were originally supplied with 4.3 GB HDDs.
However, I frequently swap HDDs in the course of
normal activities.

I have experienced the same problem that you are reporting.
I have found that a number of HDDs of various brands with
capacities of less than 1.2 GB will not work in these machines.

The symptoms are the same as you have been experiencing.
The HDD geometry is correctly detected, but the drives
cannot be successfully accessed.

Its a bit of a pain. I originally hoped to swap 100,200,etc MB
HDDs between one of my Optiplex machines and a number of
ancient DOS boxes that I use for dedicated applications.
I ended up using another box for this purpose instead
of the Optiplex machines.

At that point I gave up worring about it.

The smallest HDDs that I am successfully using in the DELL
Optiplex GX1's are 1.2 GB which work just fine.

Hope that helps.




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