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Hard disk recognized by everything but controller


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#1 mynameisnotrobert

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 12:08 AM

Any 486 experts around?

So recently I acquired an old 486 dx computer from a friend, had a 176 meg hard drive in it (failed) so I upgraded it to a 1.6gb, as it is the smallest working drive I have. I knew going in that it would only recognize ~500 meg without LBA support (1994).

However, what I get on screen is a little weird. The bios recognizes it, in the full capacity, but when it goes to try to boot off it I get a "HDD controller failed" error. I can boot off a boot disk, and I have in fact been able to install dos 6.22 on it, but every time I try to boot it the controller fails.

Also, WD EZ drive finds it without a problem. And can format it. But still no boot.

Any ideas?

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#2 Ezzah

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 01:02 AM

This is a weird scenario. So as an empty drive, you were able to install dos, via some bootable media? The "HDD controller failed" is generally a physical issue, regarding the connectors/cables connected to the HDD. Are you saying that the HDD is detected by another computer, or the current one in BIOS? And you are running WD EZ off another computer with this HDD connected, or?


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#3 mynameisnotrobert

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:12 AM

Thanks for the reply! I had the drive connected to the 486, it was recognized in bios, but when it went to look for boot media I got the hdd controller failure. I was running ez drive off a floppy on the same box.

If it's worth noting I was able to boot my newly installed dos 6.22 on a pentium 3 machine. However it took probably 10 minutes for it to get through the bios. And I had to tell it to boot from C twice.

The next thing I'm going to try is to write zeros to it using a Linux live cd.

#4 mynameisnotrobert

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:50 AM

Well writing zeros didn't change anything. Bios still sees it, controller still fails, can still write to it.

Thinking the failure is a time out? The pentium 3 waited much longer and was successful, but this one seems to time out.

#5 mynameisnotrobert

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 10:42 AM

Just plugged the drive into the box it originally came out of, a pentium 1 machine, and it worked perfectly, booted dos right away.

There are a lot of jumpers on the 486's ide controller board. Maybe those have to be changed to adapt to a larger disk?

#6 mynameisnotrobert

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 01:56 PM

Figured it out! I had the hdd jumper set to master, which must have made the controller look for a slave. Since there was none, it timed out and gave me the error. I removed the jumper altogether and tried it, and bingo! No jumper must be the single setting.

#7 Ezzah

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 11:42 PM

Ahh yes, I had a look around before, and was going to let you know that the jumper may have been set incorrectly in conjunction with the boot.

 

Glad you got things working again.


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