Trying to install new hard drive - any ideas?

I’ll try to keep this brief and leave out the extraneous headaches.

I bought a Maxtor 80GB drive for my Win XP PIII. My intention was to make this my new primary boot drive and use my existing drive as a secondary.

I have an Award BIOS which doesn’t recognize anything bigger than 32GB so I am using a jumper to report that to the BIOS. After some fits and starts, I decided to use the DOS version of the Maxtor software (MaxBlast 3) to init the drive and copy my current drive. The problem with the DOS version is that the drive shows up as a RAW drive which cannot be converted (Maxtor says the drive is NTFS). When using the Windows version of the Maxtor software, Windows recognizes the drive as NTFS. But in both cases the drive is set as drive F: – my understanding was that my CD drives would have their drive letter adjusted but that doesn’t happen.

I will probably call Maxtor for help, but if anyone has any ideas (low cost or free) how to configure this I would be thankful. If I try to boot from the new drive I get an error message and can’t get into windows.

I’m willing to ditch my current drive, but I can’t figure that out either.

Any ideas are welcome. I’ll be online for a bit, but otherwise it may be the AM before I respond.

Have you checked to see if there’s an update for your BIOS that you can download? My motherboard came with software which allows me to periodically download updated BIOS’s for my board, so you might be able to go to the manufacturer’s website for your board and see if you can’t download a newer BIOS.

I checked into that. My PC is an ACER and they don’t support their desktops anymore. I did send a message to the company that provides BIOS upgrades for ACERs and recieved a reply asking me to call them. I’ll do that tomorrow, although I have no idea what they charge and I’m not willing to pay much for a BIOS upgrade.

BTW, you mentioned the motherboard mfgr but my uderstanding is that BIOS’s are PC specific. Is that correct or do they just have particular settings selected?

There’s three (well, now two) major BIOS manufacturers–Award, Phoenix, and AMI. Two of those merged not long ago (I believe Award and Phoenix). Mainboard manufacturers purchase BIOS chips from them, sometimes with custom features. See your mainboard manufacturer first, and if they offer nothing, check with the BIOS manufacturer.

The actual BIOS makers, AMI and Award, have zero interest in individuals contacting them about BIOS issue. They will tell you, if they bother replying at all, to contact your MB manufacturer/PC maker. They will absolutely in no help help otherwise.

Mr. BIOS is the most commonly seen reference for a commercial non-OEM BIOS supplier. Just a link, not an endorsement.

You can get a IDE BIOS upgrade card. You can even get one that will allow you to hook up the latest serial-ATA HDs, etc. That will be cheap, simpler, and more likely to work than a non-OEM BIOS.

The Maxtor HD setup utils should include the usual “fake it” disk translation software. But as you have apparently found out, avoiding that is a good idea.

I don’t see how setting the max. disk size jumper helps. You’re wasting a lot of disk space.

All in all, you will probably have to go back to square one on installing the HD all over.

Per ftg just get an IDE card with onboard BIOS. You can get them on Ebay for $ 25.00 or less. The Maxtor Ultra 133 IDE is a good one. T

Per ftg just get an IDE card with onboard BIOS. You can get them on Ebay for $ 25.00 or less. The Maxtor Ultra 133 IDE is a good one. Screwing around with trying to get older PIII BIOSes to properly support big new drives without a lot of flakiness is a lot less messy with a good IDE card.

Thanks. I just ordered the Maxtor IDE card. That will take care of the disk space limitation and hopefully the other install funkiness that I have encoutered.

BTW ftg, the disk space jumper works by reporting the disk size as something that the BIOS can understand. The install software then uses something called a disk overlay so that Windows can use the full size. But I’ll be happy to get rid of that extra layer of complication.

rsa, thanks for the clarification. Yes, you really, really want to get rid of the translation software.

And “no help help” is my previous post was supposed to be “no way help”.