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Old 03-03-2002, 08:41 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Beckwith Township, Ontario, Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.0, Slackware-64 14.1
Posts: 119

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Question Hard Drive Problems in 486


I recently purchased a Seagate ST39175LW drive, and am having difficulty getting it to work in the system...

The system, is a 486DX2/66, with an Adaptec AHA-1542B host adapter, and two older Fujitsu hard drives. The Seagate drive is connected to the system via a 68 to 50 pin adapter. Literature claims that it can work in either 16-bit or 8-bit modes, so this (in theory) shouldn't be a problem.

The Seagate drive will operate in either LVM or single-ended mode, while the Fujitsu drives operate in single-ended mode only. So my first thought was to force the Seagate unit to work in SE mode via jumpers. Didn't change a thing.

Various combinations of the Seagate with the other drives, or on its own, are unsuccessful.

In all cases partitioning the new drive appears to be successful, however attempts to format it always fail, usually with a kernel panic.

The new drive is approximately 9GB; the old drives are 1 and 2GB respectively. Somewhere in the back of my mind a little voice is nagging me about a hard drive size limitation WRT 486 systems, and a number around 2GB. I can't remember anything specific though.

Can anyone lend a hand, or simply jog a few memory cells?

Last edited by dguy; 03-03-2002 at 08:45 AM.
Old 03-03-2002, 09:52 AM   #2
Registered: Feb 2002
Posts: 71

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I believe you right there is a limit to the hd size. i would check with Seagate for updated driver that could fix it.
Old 03-04-2002, 10:24 AM   #3
Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Beckwith Township, Ontario, Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.0, Slackware-64 14.1
Posts: 119

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16

Thanks for the suggestion...

I didn't gain anything from Seagate's site, however I may have found the root of the problem in the Technical Specifications for the 1542B host adapter (

The 1542B can control drives with a maximum capacity of 8GB. The ST39175LW has a capacity of 9.1GB. Oops.


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