The Hardware Guide
Tips, tricks and tweaks for getting the most out of your hardware.
Adding a new hard drive
Configuring the System BIOS
Before partitioning and formatiing your hard drive, you need to configure your system BIOS. Your computer system provideds an initial setup utility (CMOS Setup) that allows you to tell the system what type of hardware you are using.
Each system BIOS is different. The information supplied here is not meant to be folowed step-by-step, but is provided as a guideline. refer to your system manual for details.

To configure your system BIOS:
1. Enter your CMOS setup program (sometimes called setup program) on the initial boot. Refer to your system manual for instructions.

IMPORTANT. If your system does not respond (locks up) on initial boot, see Operating Sytem and Bios Limitations.

2.. Select Auto Detection or Auto Config drive type.

ROM PCI/ISA BIOS (2A5LES2B)
CMOS SETUP UTILITY
AWARD SOFTWARE INC
STANDARD CMOS SETUP
BIOS FEATURES SETUP
CHIPSET FEATURES SETUP
POWER MANAGEMENT SETUP
PNP/PCI CONFIGURATION
LOAD SETUP DEFAULTS
LOAD BIOS DEFAULTS
INTEGRATED PERIPHERALS
SUPERVISOR PASSWORD
USER PASSWORD
IDE HDD AUTO DETECTION
SAVE & EXIT SETUP
EXIT WITHOUT SAVING
Esc : Quit
F10 : Save & Exit Setup
^  > < : Select Item
(Shift) F12 : Change Color

Auto - Configure HDD; Sector, Cylinder, Head...

The full capacity of your drive should display
Enable options such as LBA or Translation Mode.

ROM PCI/ISA BIOS (2A5LES2B)
CMOS SETUP UTILITY
AWARD SOFTWARE INC
  HARD DISKS  TYPE  SIZE  CYLS  HEAD  PRECOMP  LANDZ  SECTOR  MODE

 Primary Master:
 
Select Primary Master Option (N=Skip) : N
OPTIONS SIZE CYLS HEAD PRECOMP LANDZ SECTOR MODE

2 (Y) 4318 525 255 0 8373 63 LBA
1 4322 8374 16 65535 8373 63 NORMAL
3 4318 1046 128 65535 8373 63 LARGE
Note: Some OSes (SCO-UNIX Before v5.0) must use "Normal" for installation
ESC:Skip

3. If your system BIOS does not have an auto config drive type, select User Defined or CMOS Setup

ROM PCI/ISA BIOS (2A5LES2B)
CMOS SETUP UTILITY
AWARD SOFTWARE INC
STANDARD CMOS SETUP
BIOS FEATURES SETUP
CHIPSET FEATURES SETUP
POWER MANAGEMENT SETUP
PNP/PCI CONFIGURATION
LOAD SETUP DEFAULTS
LOAD BIOS DEFAULTS
INTEGRATED PERIPHERALS
SUPERVISOR PASSWORD
USER PASSWORD
IDE HDD AUTO DETECTION
SAVE & EXIT SETUP
EXIT WITHOUT SAVING
Esc : Quit
F10 : Save & Exit Setup
^  > < : Select Item
(Shift) F12 : Change Color

Time, Date, Hard Disk Type ...

The full capacity of your drive should display.
If not you will have to manually enetr the cylinders, sectors and heads.
Enable options such as LBA or Translation Mode.

ROM PCI/ISA BIOS (2A5LES2B)
CMOS SETUP UTILITY
AWARD SOFTWARE INC
Date (mm:dd:yy) : Sat, Feb 19 2000
Time (hh:mm:ss) : 11:53:20
HARD DISK TYPE SIZE CYLS HEAD PRECOMP LANDZ SECTOR MODE

Primary Master User 4318 525 255 0 8373 63 LBA
Primary Slave Auto 0 0 0 0 0 0 AUTO
Secondary Master Auto 0 0 0 0 0 0 AUTO
Secondary Slave Auto 0 0 0 0 0 0 AUTO
Drive A : 1.44M, 3.5 in.
Drive B : None
Floppy 3 Mode Support : Disabled
Video : EGA/VGA
Halt on : All Errors
Base Memory : 640K
Extended Memory : 97280K
Other Memory : 384K

Total Memory : 98304K
ESC : Quit ^  > < : Select Item PU/PD/+/- : Modify
F1 : Help (Shift) F2 : Change Color

 Don't forget to save and exit!
For more information you may contact these common sytem BIOS sources:

BIOS Source USA Phone Number Internet Address
Micro Firmware
(Phoenix BIOS Only)
405-321-8333 www.firmware.com
Phoenix 781-551-4000 www.phoenix.com
Unicore
(Award and AMI BIOS)
978-686-6468 www.unicore.com


Operating System and System BIOS Limitations
Computer operating systems and system BIOS's have separate limitations that are related to specific hard drive capacities. Three capacity points that can affect how your operating system and system BIOS support your hard drive are 8.4 GB, 2.1 GB, and 524 MB. A brief description of these limitations follow.

8.4 GB Barrier: There is an 8.4 GB hard drive limitation on some traditional system BIOS's. To access the full capacity of 8.4 GB and larger drives, your system BIOS must support extended BIOS functions, and your operating system must recognize the extended BIOS functions. Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 3 recognizes hard drives larger than 8.4 GB even in systems that do not support extended BIOS functions.

2.1 GB Barrier: Some computer systems built before early 1996 do not support hard drives with more that 4095 cylinders (hard drives larger than 2.1 GB), unless you update the system BIOS, install an EIDE controller card with onboard BIOS, or install third party software.

528 MB Barrier: Most computers systems built before August 1994 do not support hard drives larger than 528 MB, unless you update the system BIOS, install an EIDE controller card with onboard BIOS, or install third party software.

Glossary



BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) - A program or set of programs that control the basic functions of the computer. CMOS setup is stored in the BIOS.

Boot - To start or restart your computer; loading the operating system from floppy disk.

CMOS Setup (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) - A program supplied in most systems that allows you to configure external devices.

EIDE (Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics) - Improves the AT-IDE standard interface by overcoming device support and capacity limitations, improving data transfer rates, and allowing connection of CD-ROMs and other peripherals.

FAT (File Allocation Table) - A data table stored at the beginning of each partition on that disk that is used by the operating system to determine which sectors are allocated to each file and in what order. FAT16 (also referred to as FAT) is the most commonly used file system at this time because it offers maximum compatibility with existing operating systems and utilities. FAT16 file systems have a maximum partition size of 2.1 GB. FAT32 file systems overcome the FAT16 partition limit of 2.1 GB. The FAT32 partition limit is 2047 GB.

FDISK - A software utility used to partition a hard drive . This utility is included with DOS and Windows 95 operating systems.

Format - A process that prepares a hard drive to store data. Formatting erases all the information on a hard drive.

Jumper - An electronically conductive part that you place over two pins on the hard drive jumper block to connect them electronically. Used to designate a hard drive as master or slave. The jumper block is located next to the 40 pin connector on the hard drive.

LBA (Logical Block Addressing) - A method of translation used to gain access to the full capacity of large hard drives.

Operating System - Software that allows the user and programs installed on your system to communicate with computer hardware such as a hard drive.

Partition - A way to logically divide a disk so that an operating system treats each partition as a separate disk. Each partition has a unique drive letter.

Port - A connection or socket on the motherboard or controller card. A motherboard may have one or two ports (primary and secondary). If your motherboard has only one port, you may need to add a controller card to create a SECONDARY PORT.

System Files - The files needed to run an operating system. System files do not display in the directory structure.

Translating BIOS - A BIOS that allows access to drives larger than 528 MB.