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Odd problem with my HD or BIOS or MB or something. AH!

Old 05-02-02, 12:20 AM
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Odd problem with my HD or BIOS or MB or something. AH!

I finally got around to updating my machine. I bought a 60GB Maxtor drive, and a Gigabyte MB (to go with my XP 1800+) model GA-7VTXH+. Anyway, when I first installed the HD, and began installing windows XP, it all installed, and when done, as I was looking at "my computer", I noticed that it showed a 33GB drive instead of a 60GB drive. To make a long story shorter, I found that when I insert the "MaxBlast" disk to boot from, and begin a format on the 60GB drive (but stop before it formats, which it actually can't now that it's NTFS), then restart the system, the BIOS shows up with the 60GB drive, so I reinstalled XP with the full 60GB partition. XP ran fine, I'm a 60GB happy camper. Next morning, I turn my machine on and all heck busts loose. Apparantly, the MB thought it was a 30GB drive again, so windows wasn't having access to some vital info. Anyway, everytime the machine is off for an extended period of time, this happens. If I restart immediately, it shows up as a 60GB drive. It's not the battery on the MB since my other options stay. I've never seen anything like this . Any ideas? (it's a dual BIOS MB with the latest version)
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Old 05-02-02, 01:31 AM
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try using a partition product to repartition it to two smaller drives and I bet it works. I have had some computers that the bios seems to read larger than 30 GB fine but the operating system has a problem with it. I still think it is a bios issue that is more subtle.

I bet this works.
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Old 05-02-02, 01:49 AM
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Originally posted by gcribbs
try using a partition product to repartition it to two smaller drives and I bet it works. I have had some computers that the bios seems to read larger than 30 GB fine but the operating system has a problem with it. I still think it is a bios issue that is more subtle.

I bet this works.
yeah, but doesn't this only apply to older MBs?
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Old 05-02-02, 02:33 AM
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Originally posted by .


yeah, but doesn't this only apply to older MBs?
That's what I thought. The new Gigabyte boards are good up to 134GB, and it has it at 60GB just fine when I first boot with the MaxBlast disk . I don't think the extra partition would solve the problem, though, as it will come up as a 30GB HD detected.
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Old 05-02-02, 08:15 AM
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When you booted with the MaxBlast disk, did you use it to format and partition the drive or did you use XP for that?

If you used MaxBlast you probably installed it's Drive Overlay software for machines with an older BIOS. You probably want to boot from your MaxBlast disk and uninstall it, then start over again using another Boot Disk (like a 98 boot disk.)

If you installed the MaxBlast software, it would change the BIOS settings for the drive to something smaller and the overlay software would tell the OS the true size of the drive (or something like that.) And if you went and changed those settings to something else, without uninstalling the overlay software, this would cause the system to no longer boot.

Hope this helps and doesn't confuse you more!
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Old 05-02-02, 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by Ben732
When you booted with the MaxBlast disk, did you use it to format and partition the drive or did you use XP for that?

If you used MaxBlast you probably installed it's Drive Overlay software for machines with an older BIOS. You probably want to boot from your MaxBlast disk and uninstall it, then start over again using another Boot Disk (like a 98 boot disk.)

If you installed the MaxBlast software, it would change the BIOS settings for the drive to something smaller and the overlay software would tell the OS the true size of the drive (or something like that.) And if you went and changed those settings to something else, without uninstalling the overlay software, this would cause the system to no longer boot.

Hope this helps and doesn't confuse you more!
I didn't use MaxBlast to format the drive, I let XP do it. The only thing I used MaxBlast for was to initially boot using that disk, let it run until it was ABOUT to format the drive, and exit MaxBlast. When I do that, the drive show up correctly.

Also, if I don't use MaxBlast, and change the drive settings manually in the BIOS, it will show up as 60GB in the BIOS, but when the computer restarts, it will revert back to 30GB .
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Old 05-02-02, 12:49 PM
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Does XP have the same formatting problem as Win2K does about formatting over 30GB as FAT32? Are you sure it is NTFS now?

Win2K won't format a FAT32 over 30GB correctly so you have to format using another OS (or boot disk), use Maxtor's utility to format (and remove their software from the disk after it's done), or go NTFS. Win2K can use it after it's formatted, it just can't do the formatting properly itself.
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Old 05-02-02, 02:05 PM
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are you saying the motherboard BIOS detects this drive as 30G?

or

Windows detects this drive as a 30G?

(I understand the first will cause the second, but do you understand what I am asking?)

If this is a problem that starts at the BIOS level, then you do not have too many options. Either the firmware on the drive is bad, your BIOS on your motherboard needs an update or is bad, or you possible have a bad IDE cable.

If thie BIOS sees a 60G, but windows sees a 30G then this is a different problem altogether.
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Old 05-02-02, 04:59 PM
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Originally posted by 4KRG
Cartman

are you saying the motherboard BIOS detects this drive as 30G?

or

Windows detects this drive as a 30G?

(I understand the first will cause the second, but do you understand what I am asking?)

If this is a problem that starts at the BIOS level, then you do not have too many options. Either the firmware on the drive is bad, your BIOS on your motherboard needs an update or is bad, or you possible have a bad IDE cable.

If thie BIOS sees a 60G, but windows sees a 30G then this is a different problem altogether.
I'll try to explain it better...

If I boot the machine normally, just hitting power, the BIOS will read it as a 30GB drive. If I first let the machine boot from the MaxBlast disk, start MaxBlast, but exit before the format (after it detects what drives I have in), then restart, the BIOS will show it properly as a 60GB drive, and windows will load properly. If I then restart the system (using the windows, shut down -> restart), the BIOS will still see it as a 60GB drive. If I fully shut down, then reboot, it will show up as a 30GB drive again.

I tested the cable on another machine, so I know that isn't the problem, and I d\l'd the newest BIOS and installed it on the MB with the same thing happening.

X: yes, I'm sure it's NTFS as the MaxBlast disk gives me the "we can't format this drive since it's NTFS" warning.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far.
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Old 05-02-02, 05:10 PM
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I agree about the bad cable possibility. Try using the one that came with it, or at least a different newer one capable of ATA/66 (80-wire, 40-pin connector) and put that drive into CS (cable select) and the only one on the cable for a test.
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Old 05-02-02, 06:43 PM
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Check the jumpers on the hard drive.

Some hard drives have jumpers you can set to limit it to about 32-33GB and you need to move them to access the rest of the drive.

I know my 80GB Seagate has these!
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Old 05-02-02, 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by jumbojp
Check the jumpers on the hard drive.

Some hard drives have jumpers you can set to limit it to about 32-33GB and you need to move them to access the rest of the drive.

I know my 80GB Seagate has these!
I can access the whole drive! The BIOS is just showing it as 30GB unless I first boot with the MaxBlast disk to get it at 60GB! AH! (and this drive doesn't have those jumpers )
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Old 05-02-02, 11:10 PM
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OK, so the basic problem is the BIOS seeing the drive.


i went back and read, you said you used the maxblast disk to do everything up to the format, then you cancelled the format.

In a nutshell, you used maxblast to partition the drive and this is what is most likely causing your problem.

The only way to fix this is to use maxtors utility to remove the maxblast partition and then simply re-install XP and let XP set the partition and format. Set hard drive back to factory defaults, boot from XP cd, set partition, format, install XP. Let XP take over fom square one.

When using XP the maxblast disk should be no where near your computer, trust me on this one, NEVER put it in, before ,after during, next week or yesterday. bad bad bad


if that does not work then read below

In the old days we did not have AUTO for HD detection. If you feel like being a bit technical, you can go into the BIOS and turn AUTO off for this drive, enter heads, cylinders, and sectors in the custom drive option and save the changes.

it could be te AUTO in your BIOS screwing up somehow, I have never been a big fan of gigabyte boards, they are average (or below average) for close to top $$$$
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Old 05-03-02, 02:08 AM
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Originally posted by 4KRG
OK, so the basic problem is the BIOS seeing the drive.


i went back and read, you said you used the maxblast disk to do everything up to the format, then you cancelled the format.

In a nutshell, you used maxblast to partition the drive and this is what is most likely causing your problem.
No, no, no. AH! When I first put my machine together, I just popped the XP disc in and XP formatted and partitioned the HD (since I had done it so many times, I just kept hitting enter to get to the install, not seeing that the drive was only reading at 30GB instead of 60GB). At no time have I used MaxBlast for ANYTHING other than simply loading it, and letting it read what my drive is (since it was already partitioned, when you hit "setup drive", it just checks for formatting). When I finally reinstalled XP, I put the MaxBlast disc in as usual, didn't let it do anything but boot, then when the machine restarted, I had the XP cd in and repartitioned\formatted\installed it as the full 60GB drive.

Originally posted by 4KRG
The only way to fix this is to use maxtors utility to remove the maxblast partition and then simply re-install XP and let XP set the partition and format. Set hard drive back to factory defaults, boot from XP cd, set partition, format, install XP. Let XP take over fom square one.

When using XP the maxblast disk should be no where near your computer, trust me on this one, NEVER put it in, before ,after during, next week or yesterday. bad bad bad
See above (already done).

Originally posted by 4KRG
In the old days we did not have AUTO for HD detection. If you feel like being a bit technical, you can go into the BIOS and turn AUTO off for this drive, enter heads, cylinders, and sectors in the custom drive option and save the changes.
Hey, I had my own computer business when I was 16 (doing about $20k in sales (sales, not profit) during my summer break), so I remember the "old days" . I tried setting the HD manually in the BIOS, and when I restart, it still replaces the values.

I think I'm just going to toss the maching in a swimming pool. That should fix it up nicely!

Originally posted by 4KRG
it could be te AUTO in your BIOS screwing up somehow, I have never been a big fan of gigabyte boards, they are average (or below average) for close to top $$$$
I asked around and was told that Gigabyte was a good brand, and cheaper than Asus and Abit .
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Old 05-03-02, 02:23 AM
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I might say that gigabyte is slightly better than abit.

However asus is far better and worth the extra money.

I know the bios should read the whole drive; however, why not try partitioning it into two drives. you can still use the space so it is not like it is a waste.

since you are ready to throw it into the river why not try it.
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Old 05-03-02, 02:30 AM
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Originally posted by gcribbs
I know the bios should read the whole drive; however, why not try partitioning it into two drives. you can still use the space so it is not like it is a waste.
But that does not solve the problem. Here why:

boot sequence (short version)
Hit power
MB detects a 30GB HD
I try to install XP
XP read it as a 30GB drive and only partitions that space
end

here's what I have to do to make your solution work:
Hit power with MaxBlast in the floppy drive
Let MaxBlast load, but not format\partition the drive
Restart system (without powering down)
Let XP run, partition it to two drives
As soon as I power down, the HD will be read (by the MB) as a 30GB drive, and I am still without half my drive (since the second partition will be ignored)
To get the full 60GB (and both partitions read) I would still have to "boot" with MaxBlast first, which is what I'm doing now. AH!
(I am trying different things like this, I just installed XP for the 4th time today experimenting with it)

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Old 05-03-02, 09:29 AM
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Do you have any friends that would let you borrow their computer for a few minutes?

Put your hard drive in their computer and see how it detects (30 or 60)

If it detects as a 60 then it is your motherboard, if it detects as a 30 then it is the dirve and/or cable.


*** I am a hardware snob, although gigabyte is better than abit, I would still splurge the extra $20 and buy an Asus The mobo is no place to be cutting corners.
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Old 05-03-02, 12:51 PM
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Originally posted by cartman


But that does not solve the problem. Here why:

boot sequence (short version)
Hit power
MB detects a 30GB HD
I try to install XP
XP read it as a 30GB drive and only partitions that space
end

here's what I have to do to make your solution work:
Hit power with MaxBlast in the floppy drive
Let MaxBlast load, but not format\partition the drive
Restart system (without powering down)
Let XP run, partition it to two drives
As soon as I power down, the HD will be read (by the MB) as a 30GB drive, and I am still without half my drive (since the second partition will be ignored)
To get the full 60GB (and both partitions read) I would still have to "boot" with MaxBlast first, which is what I'm doing now. AH!
(I am trying different things like this, I just installed XP for the 4th time today experimenting with it)

so you tried two partitions and it still ignored the second partition?

that it surprising. maybe it is some incompatibility with the drive and MB. have you tried just using the maxblast software and letting it set the partition and maybe letting it install the ezboot or whatever they call the bios fix. maybe as much as you do not want to use it this will solve your problems.

I did use it once on a computer and it seemed to have no negative effect on performance.
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Old 05-03-02, 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by gcribbs


so you tried two partitions and it still ignored the second partition?

gcribbs - if I understand the description correctly, this problem is occuring prior to partition recognition. This is basic BIOS detection of the HD that is failing.
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