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Bios Issues/Hard Drive Upgrade


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#1 M700-Owner

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 12:08 PM

Forum Participants,

I am trying to update my hard drive on an M700 PIII 850mhz laptop. I have one MK3017GAP, MK3018GAP, and a ST960822A. When I try these I get a message "Fixed Disk Parameter or Bios Error, System Halted". I currently have a MK6014 drive which works just fine. I have looked into the bios settings and found what I am trying to look for is shadowed. When I try seeting up one of the larger drives with Western Digital's Disk Manager it tells me that I need that my bios needs to be set to Auto Configue. This would make sense of why I would get the message "Fixed Disk Parameter". It seems the bios is set to populate the cylinders, heads, and sectors for the 6GB drive. I need to change this to auto or to the c/h/s to match one of the larger drives. Is there a way to do this? Can I do this with a hex editor? If so, how do I go about doing this in the hex editor? And no it has nothing to do with jumper settings on the drive. I even tried using a DDO to try and trick the bios which did not work. DDO does not support this BIOS. I have the most current Bios Upgrade. I have updated this a few months ago. Your assistance would be great. Look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
M700

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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:19 PM

Are you able to manual enter the C/H/S in the bios? According to Toshiba's website for the Mk3017GAP the Logical Cylinders are 16,383 the Logical Heads are 16 the Logical sectors are 63. You could also try partitioning the HDD into smaller partitions that the bios can recognize.
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#3 dpunisher

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:47 AM

You could also try partitioning the HDD into smaller partitions that the bios can recognize.


Since when does a BIOS recognize partitions?

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#4 Sneakycyber

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 07:31 AM

That's what I get for posting before my morning mt dew. That was for older versions of windows. Not the bios!
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#5 Platypus

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 07:32 AM

True, partitioning cannot bypass the inability of a BIOS to recognize the full capacity of a drive.

CHS values of 16383, 16, 63 is the size reported by most LBA drives for CHS backward compatability. In other words a BIOS limited to CHS translation mode sees the drive as an 8.4 GB drive.

M700, are these the values that appear when the larger drives are fitted, or do the values in the F10 setup retain the figures for the 6.4GB drive (13424, 15, 63)?

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#6 dpunisher

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 07:49 AM

I hate to suggest this but would the old school "BIOS overlays" work in a situation like this? I remember those from years ago when hard drives started getting too big for BIOSs to deal with. Not the most stable situation granted.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#7 Platypus

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:02 AM

M700 says he tried a DDO without success. The laptop may not have standard Int13h routines for the DDO to patch, although it may just be a matter of finding the right one.

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#8 dpunisher

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:05 AM

M700 says he tried a DDO without success. The laptop may not have standard Int13h routines for the DDO to patch, although it may just be a matter of finding the right one.


..and that will teach me to post without my coffee sir.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#9 Platypus

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:07 AM

Coffee=good :thumbsup:

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#10 Platypus

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:09 AM

There's something funny going on with M700's situation. The system came with up to 30GB drives ex-factory and should be able to use up to 120GB without needing to use a DDO.

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#11 M700-Owner

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:33 PM

Forum Users,

First off, I own an Compaq Armada M700 Laptop. Considerably old with 440bx/zx chipset. The fact of the matter is that the bios on these is shadowed except for essentials which is not much. Boot sequence, security menu for passwords, and general info is about all I have access to. That sucks. I do beleive the bios is configured for the 6gb drive as far as c/h/s goes which makes reason why I get the message Fixed disk parameter of Bios error. Someone did mention "old school" bios overlays. Where might I find these? Are they still available? How much money would it cost, I am sure it is not free. I thought somewhere along the way I read about modifying this via a hex editor. Maybe I am wrong. I do not see why int13 cannot be modified. I think a ddo is the best approach. I wish I had the money to upgrade to a newer laptop. A co-worker did mention trying to use gparted live to set up the drive. Not sure how that works. I do not think you can physically change the c/h/s of the drive itself? Any further input would be great.

Thanks,
M700

#12 Platypus

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:46 PM

You're correct, you can't alter the CHS characteristics of the drives in this situation, because a drive larger than 8.4GB in size is not being accessed as a CHS drive. The CHS figures only exist so that an older BIOS that cannot go beyond 8.4GB can still access the larger drive as 8.4GB. Without this ability, a DDO could not even be used.

It shouldn't be necessary to use a DDO, as the 6.4 GB drive was the smallest drive the model came with, they used 10G, 20G and 30G drives, and as the drives are designed to be removable, I don't see why you shouldn't just be able to swap between them...

Unfortunately the manuals provided by HP don't seem to have any specific information about detecting drive sizes or changing drives, other than just the instructions for how to remove and fit the drives.

I know you've been trying to sort this one out for a long time. At this point, the only possibility I can think of is to clear the CMOS memory, so it no longer contains the CHS parameters of the 8.4 GB drive, and hopefully the laptop will then re-detect whatever larger drive is installed. None of the manuals I could find refer to clearing the CMOS memory. They refer to removing the RTC backup battery, and normally the CMOS memory is part of the RTC (Real Time Clock) chip. So it may be necessary to disconnect the backup battery (button cell accessed from beneath) for a period of time in order to clear the CMOS. This would work for a desktop system, laptops can be more proprietary and may not always respond in the same fashion. But it is something to try if you haven't already done this.

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#13 DaChew

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 08:55 AM

Wasn't there a chipset limit at 32 gigs?

Don't forget to pull the main battery when pulling the motherboard one, I would reccomend replacing that one on such an old model

It's such a bear to get to it on most

Edited by DaChew, 20 February 2009 - 08:57 AM.

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