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Western Digital HDD: Problem with EZ-Bios

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Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 22, 2004 2:09:47 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Hello there,

I hope this is the right NG for that; it's my first time here.

The following situation:
computer with 2 HDDs:
- C:\ 12 GB
- D:\ 60 GB Western Digital

The bios is quite old, it doesn't support drives of that size. For
these cases, WD supplies a program called EZ-Bios that can handle
them. It is installed in the boot sector so the drive can be seen for
any OS.

Here's my problem: recently I reinstalled the OS. During the process,
which includes several format runs on drive C:, I must have deleted
EZ-Bios and now the system doesn't recognize the disk anymore. If I
now installed EZ-Bios with the supplied floppy disk, the software will
create a new partition and format it and - if necesary - install
EZ-Bios if the system doesn't support the disk size. BUT I HAVE DATA
ON THE DRIVE.

So, how do I install EZ-Bios ONLY without all the stuff around?

I would be grateful for any helpful advices.
Greets
--
"All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
http://www.stud.tu-ilmenau.de/~frst-ii/
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 22, 2004 4:44:27 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

"Frank Steinmetzger" <Warp_7@gmx.de> wrote in message news:18z4o67xvze3h$.1jdqxcfb5ipy4$.dlg@40tude.net
> Hello there,
>
> I hope this is the right NG for that; it's my first time here.
>
> The following situation:
> computer with 2 HDDs:
> - C:\ 12 GB
> - D:\ 60 GB Western Digital
>
> The bios is quite old, it doesn't support drives of that size. For
> these cases, WD supplies a program called EZ-Bios that can handle
> them.

> It is installed in the boot sector

More or less. The MBR and track 0 of the physical boot drive.
Presumably that is the drive where your C: drive resides?

> so the drive can be seen for any OS.

More or less.

>
> Here's my problem: recently I reinstalled the OS.

> During the process, which includes several format runs on drive C:,

Huh?

> I must have deleted EZ-Bios

That is not possible with just formatting.

> and now the system

Presumably system is the computer's after POST boot process.

> doesn't recognize the disk anymore.

So more likely the bootsector that includes the partition tables has gone.

> If I now installed EZ-Bios with the supplied floppy disk, the software
> will create a new partition and format it

Likely the bootsector that includes the partition tables has gone and the drive looks prestine.

> and - if necesary - install EZ-Bios if the system doesn't support the disk size.

> BUT I HAVE DATA ON THE DRIVE.
>
> So, how do I install EZ-Bios ONLY without all the stuff around?

It's probably not that.
Run FindPart from www.partitionsupport.com and report back.

>
> I would be grateful for any helpful advices.
> Greets
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 22, 2004 10:56:58 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Wed, 22 Sep 2004 00:44:27 +0200, Folkert Rienstra:

>> Here's my problem: recently I reinstalled the OS.
>> During the process, which includes several format runs on drive C:,
> Huh?

Wanted to install Win2k first. But during the setup process I get a
bluescreen that says "boot_device_not_accessible". Tried several
versions (OEM version and Win2k SP3). But both had the same result. So
I went back to Win98 which was running on the computer ever since we
bought it in November 99.

>> I must have deleted EZ-Bios
> That is not possible with just formatting.
But it's gone none the less from the boot sequence.

>> doesn't recognize the disk anymore.
> So more likely the bootsector that includes the partition tables has gone.

>> If I now installed EZ-Bios with the supplied floppy disk, the software
>> will create a new partition and format it
> Likely the bootsector that includes the partition tables has gone and the drive looks prestine.
This moment I got this question: if I had a large disk and an old
bios, I thought the machine would "recognize" a disk of the size the
bios is able to handle. If so, why don't I see the disk at all?

>> and - if necesary - install EZ-Bios if the system doesn't support the disk size.
>> BUT I HAVE DATA ON THE DRIVE.
>> So, how do I install EZ-Bios ONLY without all the stuff around?
> It's probably not that.
> Run FindPart from www.partitionsupport.com and report back.

And this works even i can't access the disk in DOS? Well, I'll have a
try.
But my answer will take some time because I'm not at home (that's
where the computer is) during the week and at home I somehow can't
authenticate to my university's news server.

Regards
--
"All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
http://www.stud.tu-ilmenau.de/~frst-ii/
Related resources
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 23, 2004 4:54:32 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

I prefer that you leave the quoting intact as far as empty lines go
and do not snip questions without providing the requested info.

"Frank Steinmetzger" <Warp_7@gmx.de> wrote in message news:1twxrymljxkdd.140t825znrpzv.dlg@40tude.net
> Wed, 22 Sep 2004 00:44:27 +0200, Folkert Rienstra:
> > > Hello there,
> > >
> > > I hope this is the right NG for that; it's my first time here.
> > >
> > > The following situation:
> > > computer with 2 HDDs:
> > > - C:\ 12 GB
> > > - D:\ 60 GB Western Digital
> > >
> > > The bios is quite old, it doesn't support drives of that size. For these
> > > cases, WD supplies a program called EZ-Bios that can handle them.
> >
> > > It is installed in the boot sector
> >
> > More or less. The MBR and track 0 of the physical boot drive.
> > Presumably that is the drive where your C: drive resides?
> >
> > > so the drive can be seen for any OS.
> >
> > More or less.
> >
> > > Here's my problem: recently I reinstalled the OS.
> > > During the process, which includes several format runs on drive C:,
> >
> > Huh?
>
> Wanted to install Win2k first. But during the setup process I get a
> bluescreen that says "boot_device_not_accessible". Tried several
> versions (OEM version and Win2k SP3). But both had the same result.
> So I went back to Win98 which was running on the computer ever since
> we bought it in November 99.
>
> > > I must have deleted EZ-Bios
> >
> > That is not possible with just formatting.
>
> But it's gone none the less from the boot sequence.

What has and what boot sequence?

> > > and now the system
> >
> > Presumably system is the computer's after POST boot process.
> >
> > > doesn't recognize the disk anymore.
> >
> > So more likely the bootsector that includes the partition tables has gone.
>
> > > If I now installed EZ-Bios with the supplied floppy disk, the software
> > > will create a new partition and format it
> >
> > Likely the bootsector that includes the partition tables has gone and the
> > drive looks prestine.
>
> This moment I got this question: if I had a large disk and an old bios,
> I thought the machine would "recognize" a disk of the size the bios is
> able to handle.

Or not at all or just hang.
At a certain point in time the setup utilities decreased the drive's size so
that POST will let it pass and the overlay when booted will set the size back.

> If so, why don't I see the disk at all?

Don't see at all, where?
Is this new or was it like that before.
If new, the 'big' drive may have died or your BIOS settings changed.
If not, then it is OK for the situation where the overlay is on the boot
drive and it's overlay detects the drive and includes it in BIOS.

>
> > > and - if necesary - install EZ-Bios if the system doesn't support the disk size.
> > > BUT I HAVE DATA ON THE DRIVE.
> > > So, how do I install EZ-Bios ONLY without all the stuff around?
> >
> > It's probably not that.
> > Run FindPart from www.partitionsupport.com and report back.
>
> And this works even i can't access the disk in DOS?

It's your C: drive that we are talking about here.
Once it is restored, the EZ-BIOS can also be restored without the setup
utility wanting to partition your C: drive.

> Well, I'll have a try.
> But my answer will take some time because I'm not at home (that's
> where the computer is) during the week and at home I somehow can't
> authenticate to my university's news server.
>
> Regards
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 23, 2004 10:48:42 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Thu, 23 Sep 2004 00:54:32 +0200, Folkert Rienstra:

> I prefer that you leave the quoting intact as far as empty lines go
> and do not snip questions without providing the requested info.
Sry, I didn't want to quote too much (just the needed part) to not
make the posts too long. I indeed cut out too much from my last post.
Trying to do better now.


>> This moment I got this question: if I had a large disk and an old bios,
>> I thought the machine would "recognize" a disk of the size the bios is
>> able to handle.
>
> Or not at all or just hang.
> At a certain point in time the setup utilities decreased the drive's size so
> that POST will let it pass and the overlay when booted will set the size back.
>
>> If so, why don't I see the disk at all?
>
> Don't see at all, where?

In DOS and Windows. It is there alright; during booting I see two IDE
drives detected, which is the wanted result.

> Is this new or was it like that before.
Before what? I remember browsing the disk just prior to the last
installation (and formatting) I ran before I noticed the problem. This
was under DOS which I booted from a Win98 boot floppy disk.

> If new, the 'big' drive may have died or your BIOS settings changed.
The only thing I changed in my BIOS was the boot order. I left
everything else as it was.
What exactly do you mean by "died"? Well, it works, if you mean that.
When I load the WD Software it positively identifies the drive. But I
noticed that the drive just starts the moment I load this Software
(heard this typical sound pitching up). Hence it seems not to start
when I switch on the computer. Now I'm confused, lol.
I'm gonna check on this again as soon as I'm home again.

> If not, then it is OK for the situation where the overlay is on the boot
> drive and it's overlay detects the drive and includes it in BIOS.
Sorry, I'm not that deep into the matter. What exactly is this
overlay, what does it do?

>>> > and - if necesary - install EZ-Bios if the system doesn't support the disk size.
>>> > BUT I HAVE DATA ON THE DRIVE.
>>> > So, how do I install EZ-Bios ONLY without all the stuff around?
>>>
>>> It's probably not that.
>>> Run FindPart from www.partitionsupport.com and report back.
>>
>> And this works even i can't access the disk in DOS?
>
> It's your C: drive that we are talking about here.
> Once it is restored, the EZ-BIOS can also be restored without the setup
> utility wanting to partition your C: drive.

Drive C is the old, now formatted, 12 GB disk to contain the OS and -
of course - the boot code, which must have been altered. Drive D is
the big one which can't be accessed without this EZ-Bios. It is this
drive that would be partitioned and formatted during the normal
EZ-Install setup. And this is the problem, because D: contains data.

Did I understand you last paragraph correctly; that I could restore
C:'s boot sector to also recover EZ-Bios? Although I formatted that
drive? Just getting the partition table back won't give me the wanted
result, I suspect.

Regards
--
"All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
http://www.stud.tu-ilmenau.de/~frst-ii/
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 24, 2004 4:19:55 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

"Frank Steinmetzger" <Warp_7@gmx.de> wrote in message news:19cpkra0bz3vr$.yua1ukblmoeu.dlg@40tude.net
> Thu, 23 Sep 2004 00:54:32 +0200, Folkert Rienstra:
>
> > I prefer that you leave the quoting intact as far as empty lines go
> > and do not snip questions without providing the requested info.
>
> Sry, I didn't want to quote too much (just the needed part) to not
> make the posts too long. I indeed cut out too much from my last post.

> Trying to do better now.

Obviously not when you snipped the part that I added back for the
second time. Still snipping crucial questions. Still being unprecise.

You are not really going to work with me, are you.

>
>
> > > This moment I got this question: if I had a large disk and an old bios,
> > > I thought the machine would "recognize" a disk of the size the bios is
> > > able to handle.
> >
> > Or not at all or just hang.
> > At a certain point in time the setup utilities decreased the drive's size so
> > that POST will let it pass and the overlay when booted will set the size back.
> >
> > > If so, why don't I see the disk at all?
> >
> > Don't see at all, where?
>
> In DOS and Windows. It is there alright; during booting I
> see two IDE drives detected, which is the wanted result.

So you *do* see it.
Don't say you don't see it "at all" when that is obviously false.
No OS sees a logical drive when it isn't partitioned or otherwise
formatted. That has nothing to do with size or overlay.

>
> > Is this new or was it like that before.
>
> Before what? I remember browsing the disk just prior to the last
> installation (and formatting) I ran before I noticed the problem.

> This was under DOS which I booted from a Win98 boot floppy disk.

So the overlay wasn't active. Some overlays also change partition type
to a type that is not known to the OS unless the overlay is active.
The OS will then recognize it as not been partitioned. Only applications
that relate to the physical device will see it, like device manager, Fdisk,
and other partitioning software, sector editors, diagnostics etc.

>
> > If new, the 'big' drive may have died or your BIOS settings changed.
>
> The only thing I changed in my BIOS was the boot order.

To what?

> I left everything else as it was.

Well, if you changed the boot to the big drive than obviously
that isn't going to work when the overlay isn't on that drive.

> What exactly do you mean by "died"? Well, it works, if you mean that.
> When I load the WD Software it positively identifies the drive. But I
> noticed that the drive just starts the moment I load this Software
> (heard this typical sound pitching up). Hence it seems not to start

> when I switch on the computer. Now I'm confused, lol.

Nice little tidbit you left out the first time.
I can't see how this has worked before, the drive being in this state.
This would qualify as having died. If your bios (POST) doesn't spin it
up then I would expect it to also not see it, but then you say it does.

This is getting weirder and weirder.

> I'm gonna check on this again as soon as I'm home again.
>
> > If not, then it is OK for the situation where the overlay is on the boot
> > drive and it's overlay detects the drive and includes it in BIOS.
>
> Sorry, I'm not that deep into the matter. What exactly is this
> overlay, what does it do?

EZ-BIOS, it 'overlays' (replaces) the original bios (the storage part).

>
> > > > > and - if necesary - install EZ-Bios if the system doesn't support the disk size.
> > > > > BUT I HAVE DATA ON THE DRIVE.
> > > > > So, how do I install EZ-Bios ONLY without all the stuff around?
> > > >
> > > > It's probably not that.
> > > > Run FindPart from www.partitionsupport.com and report back.
> > >
> > > And this works even i can't access the disk in DOS?

With the current knowledge, yes you can, as long as the physical drive is
recognized by the BIOS. It works on the physical drive, not drive letter.

> >
> > It's your C: drive that we are talking about here.
> > Once it is restored, the EZ-BIOS can also be restored without the
> > setup utility wanting to partition your C: drive.
>
> Drive C is the old, now formatted, 12 GB disk to contain the OS and -

There we go again: 'to contain' or 'does contain'?

> of course - the boot code, which must have been altered.

That would be the MBR-boot code that boots the overlay that may have
been replaced with standard bootsector code. IINM, this happens with
Win2k or XP installations below a certain Patch level.
Check if the EZ-BIOS setup has a possibility to just restore it's MBR
bootcode. But then, you've probably explored that already.

> Drive D is the big one which can't be accessed without this EZ-Bios. It
> is this drive that would be partitioned and formatted during the normal
> EZ-Install setup. And this is the problem, because D: contains data.

I would expect the setup program to load its overlay and see the
drive to it's full capacity and recognize any partitioning on it.
When it doesn't recognize that then maybe the drive's MBR
may be corrupted. ,, or the setup program is just plain stupid.

>
> Did I understand you last paragraph correctly; that I could restore
> C:'s boot sector to also recover EZ-Bios?

No to the original case where it appeared that your C: drive Ptable was
corrupted. Yes maybe, if the setup program can repair the bootsector
program with it's version of it and the rest of track 0 is still in tact.

What you can try is install the EZ-BIOS without the drive attached
but the drive is probably the key for the setup program to run.
If you have another WD drive then that may help.

> Although I formatted that drive?

Listen, like I said before you can't remove EZ-BIOS with just formatting.
It takes repartitioning from scratch, Fdisk/mbr or a full wipe of track 0.

> Just getting the partition table back won't give me the wanted result,
> I suspect.

Depends on which one.
EZ-BIOS isn't in the partition table, (though both are in the MBR).
But EZ-BIOS needs to see a valid partition table on the big drive
in order to include it and show a partitioned drive to Dos and Windows.
If it doesn't, EZ-BIOS may run but your OSes won't see the logical
drive (drive letter).

If you can't resolve the EZ-BIOS business without partitioning and you
don't really need to see the drive in DOS you can consider to run the
drive without it and change the bigdrive's partiton IDs so that windows
will recognize it. You can change those with PTEdit from Powerquest.

>
> Regards
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 25, 2004 1:39:56 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Fri, 24 Sep 2004 00:19:55 +0200, Folkert Rienstra:

> "Frank Steinmetzger" <Warp_7@gmx.de> wrote in message news:19cpkra0bz3vr$.yua1ukblmoeu.dlg@40tude.net
>> Thu, 23 Sep 2004 00:54:32 +0200, Folkert Rienstra:
>>
>>> I prefer that you leave the quoting intact as far as empty lines go
>>> and do not snip questions without providing the requested info.
>>
>> Sry, I didn't want to quote too much (just the needed part) to not
>> make the posts too long. I indeed cut out too much from my last post.
>
>> Trying to do better now.
>
> Obviously not when you snipped the part that I added back for the
> second time. Still snipping crucial questions. Still being unprecise.
>
> You are not really going to work with me, are you.

Ok, no more cutting at all. Please believe me, I'm not playing with
you but sincerely asking for help about my problem.

>
>>
>>> > This moment I got this question: if I had a large disk and an old bios,
>>> > I thought the machine would "recognize" a disk of the size the bios is
>>> > able to handle.
>>>
>>> Or not at all or just hang.
>>> At a certain point in time the setup utilities decreased the drive's size so
>>> that POST will let it pass and the overlay when booted will set the size back.
>>>
>>> > If so, why don't I see the disk at all?
>>>
>>> Don't see at all, where?
>>
>> In DOS and Windows. It is there alright; during booting I
>> see two IDE drives detected, which is the wanted result.
>
> So you *do* see it.
> Don't say you don't see it "at all" when that is obviously false.
> No OS sees a logical drive when it isn't partitioned or otherwise
> formatted. That has nothing to do with size or overlay.

My fault. It often happens that I'm not precise enough, especially for
someone who sees more in detail about a topic than I do. In addition
I'm no native English speaker but try to compose a fluent style.

>
>>
>>> Is this new or was it like that before.
>>
>> Before what? I remember browsing the disk just prior to the last
>> installation (and formatting) I ran before I noticed the problem.
>
>> This was under DOS which I booted from a Win98 boot floppy disk.
>
> So the overlay wasn't active. Some overlays also change partition type
> to a type that is not known to the OS unless the overlay is active.
> The OS will then recognize it as not been partitioned. Only applications
> that relate to the physical device will see it, like device manager, Fdisk,
> and other partitioning software, sector editors, diagnostics etc.
>
>>
>>> If new, the 'big' drive may have died or your BIOS settings changed.
>>
>> The only thing I changed in my BIOS was the boot order.
>
> To what?
>
>> I left everything else as it was.
>
> Well, if you changed the boot to the big drive than obviously
> that isn't going to work when the overlay isn't on that drive.

I changed between A:, C: (for example when Win installation required
restart) and CD drive. I haven't set the big drive as boot drive. Now
of course I come to the conclusion that just ejecting the floppy disk
might have done it as well instead of changing the order.

>
>> What exactly do you mean by "died"? Well, it works, if you mean that.
>> When I load the WD Software it positively identifies the drive. But I
>> noticed that the drive just starts the moment I load this Software
>> (heard this typical sound pitching up). Hence it seems not to start
>
>> when I switch on the computer. Now I'm confused, lol.
>
> Nice little tidbit you left out the first time.
> I can't see how this has worked before, the drive being in this state.
> This would qualify as having died. If your bios (POST) doesn't spin it
> up then I would expect it to also not see it, but then you say it does.

Well, I thought disks start to spin as soon as they have power. But
that doesn't mean of course they get automatically recognized. And
since the rest of the computer is anything but silent I didn't notice
- and also didn't care before this because I never had problems.
>
> This is getting weirder and weirder.
>
>> I'm gonna check on this again as soon as I'm home again.
>>
>>> If not, then it is OK for the situation where the overlay is on the boot
>>> drive and it's overlay detects the drive and includes it in BIOS.
>>
>> Sorry, I'm not that deep into the matter. What exactly is this
>> overlay, what does it do?
>
> EZ-BIOS, it 'overlays' (replaces) the original bios (the storage part).
>
>>
>>> > > > and - if necesary - install EZ-Bios if the system doesn't support the disk size.
>>> > > > BUT I HAVE DATA ON THE DRIVE.
>>> > > > So, how do I install EZ-Bios ONLY without all the stuff around?
>>> > >
>>> > > It's probably not that.
>>> > > Run FindPart from www.partitionsupport.com and report back.
>>> >
>>> > And this works even i can't access the disk in DOS?
>
> With the current knowledge, yes you can, as long as the physical drive is
> recognized by the BIOS. It works on the physical drive, not drive letter.
>
>>>
>>> It's your C: drive that we are talking about here.
>>> Once it is restored, the EZ-BIOS can also be restored without the
>>> setup utility wanting to partition your C: drive.
>>
>> Drive C is the old, now formatted, 12 GB disk to contain the OS and -
>
> There we go again: 'to contain' or 'does contain'?

At the moment it 'does' again. Well, here's the whole story in short:
- at the very beginning the small disk contained two partitions (3GB C
and 9GB E), Win98 was originally installed on the primary one.
- first I deleted these two partitions, and created a single one on
the whole disk, now only C (12GB).
- then I installed Win98 on the big drive (containing one partition
named D). Because I need it for test and compatibility reasons.
- after that I formatted the newly created C: partition and started
installing Win2k on it. But because it wouldn't run, I decided to go
back to Win98. So I formatted C: once more and ran Setup. And just
before THIS format is the moment I remember to have browsed on D:

Now reconsidering that, could be the Win98 setup responsible? Because
this was the only thing I haven't done till that moment yet. But on
the other hand, nothing weird happened after I installed 98 on D:
(while C: was still just partitioned, not formatted yet).

>> of course - the boot code, which must have been altered.
>
> That would be the MBR-boot code that boots the overlay that may have
> been replaced with standard bootsector code. IINM, this happens with
> Win2k or XP installations below a certain Patch level.
> Check if the EZ-BIOS setup has a possibility to just restore it's MBR
> bootcode. But then, you've probably explored that already.
>
Correct, exactly this is the problem that got me here.
>
>> Drive D is the big one which can't be accessed without this EZ-Bios. It
>> is this drive that would be partitioned and formatted during the normal
>> EZ-Install setup. And this is the problem, because D: contains data.
>
> I would expect the setup program to load its overlay and see the
> drive to it's full capacity and recognize any partitioning on it.
> When it doesn't recognize that then maybe the drive's MBR
> may be corrupted. ,, or the setup program is just plain stupid.
>
Believe so. There's nothing that mentions such a routine which detects
present partitions. And I don't want to risk formatting without
knowing.
>
>>
>> Did I understand you last paragraph correctly; that I could restore
>> C:'s boot sector to also recover EZ-Bios?
>
> No to the original case where it appeared that your C: drive Ptable was
> corrupted. Yes maybe, if the setup program can repair the bootsector
> program with it's version of it and the rest of track 0 is still in tact.
>
> What you can try is install the EZ-BIOS without the drive attached
> but the drive is probably the key for the setup program to run.
> If you have another WD drive then that may help.

Unfortunately not.

>> Although I formatted that drive?
>
> Listen, like I said before you can't remove EZ-BIOS with just formatting.
> It takes repartitioning from scratch, Fdisk/mbr or a full wipe of track 0.

I did a simple "format c:" without any other parameters. And after I
put the two partitions on the small disk together in one, the drive in
question was still there - just to eliminate this possibility.

>
>> Just getting the partition table back won't give me the wanted result,
>> I suspect.
>
> Depends on which one.
> EZ-BIOS isn't in the partition table, (though both are in the MBR).
> But EZ-BIOS needs to see a valid partition table on the big drive
> in order to include it and show a partitioned drive to Dos and Windows.
> If it doesn't, EZ-BIOS may run but your OSes won't see the logical
> drive (drive letter).
>
> If you can't resolve the EZ-BIOS business without partitioning and you
> don't really need to see the drive in DOS you can consider to run the
> drive without it and change the bigdrive's partiton IDs so that windows
> will recognize it. You can change those with PTEdit from Powerquest.

Well, I'll have a try at some things I learned from you. First, I'll
see what findpart says. And I'll have a look again at EZ-Install,
because even if it ALWAYS formats, there wiil be a warning about that.

>
>>
>> Regards

Have a nice weekend. I won't be online until monday.

--
"All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
http://www.stud.tu-ilmenau.de/~frst-ii/
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 26, 2004 3:58:56 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Frank Steinmetzger <Warp_7@gmx.de> wrote:
> Fri, 24 Sep 2004 00:19:55 +0200, Folkert Rienstra:

Please check the threads in the following list:
http://groups.google.com/groups?q=ez-bios+author:zvi+au...
They contain useful information how to resolve your problem, especially the
thread with "Removing EZ-BIOS overlay" in its subject.

[snip]
> >>> > If so, why don't I see the disk at all?

May I suggest that you use more precise descriptions like "the BIOS doesn't
detect the drive on startup", or "Windows sees no x logical drive, but it can
see the physical drive listed in device manager, with the correct capacity",
etc. Part of your problem is fuzzy language and terminology and you are about
to lose your data if you don't start helping yourself!

> >>> Don't see at all, where?
> >>
> >> In DOS and Windows. It is there alright; during booting I
> >> see two IDE drives detected, which is the wanted result.
> >
> > So you *do* see it.
> > Don't say you don't see it "at all" when that is obviously false.
> > No OS sees a logical drive when it isn't partitioned or otherwise
> > formatted. That has nothing to do with size or overlay.

[...]
> >>> Is this new or was it like that before.
> >>
> >> Before what? I remember browsing the disk just prior to the last
> >> installation (and formatting) I ran before I noticed the problem.
> >
> >> This was under DOS which I booted from a Win98 boot floppy disk.

EZ-bios uses a partition type 85 (55h) which is not recognized by DOS. You need
to press a hot key (I think it's 'space') when prompted by the overlay loader in
order to boot of floppy with EZ-bios active.

> > So the overlay wasn't active. Some overlays also change partition type
> > to a type that is not known to the OS unless the overlay is active.
> > The OS will then recognize it as not been partitioned. Only applications
> > that relate to the physical device will see it, like device manager, Fdisk,
> > and other partitioning software, sector editors, diagnostics etc.

> >> The only thing I changed in my BIOS was the boot order.
> >
> > To what?
[...]
> I changed between A:, C: (for example when Win installation required
> restart) and CD drive. I haven't set the big drive as boot drive. Now
> of course I come to the conclusion that just ejecting the floppy disk
> might have done it as well instead of changing the order.
>
> >> What exactly do you mean by "died"? Well, it works, if you mean that.
> >> When I load the WD Software it positively identifies the drive. But I
> >> noticed that the drive just starts the moment I load this Software
> >> (heard this typical sound pitching up). Hence it seems not to start
> >
> >> when I switch on the computer. Now I'm confused, lol.
> >
> > Nice little tidbit you left out the first time.
> > I can't see how this has worked before, the drive being in this state.
> > This would qualify as having died. If your bios (POST) doesn't spin it
> > up then I would expect it to also not see it, but then you say it does.
>
> Well, I thought disks start to spin as soon as they have power. But
> that doesn't mean of course they get automatically recognized. And
> since the rest of the computer is anything but silent I didn't notice
> - and also didn't care before this because I never had problems.
> >
> > This is getting weirder and weirder.
> >
> >> I'm gonna check on this again as soon as I'm home again.
> >>
> >>> If not, then it is OK for the situation where the overlay is on the boot
> >>> drive and it's overlay detects the drive and includes it in BIOS.
> >>
> >> Sorry, I'm not that deep into the matter. What exactly is this
> >> overlay, what does it do?
> >
> > EZ-BIOS, it 'overlays' (replaces) the original bios (the storage part).
> >
> >>> > > > and - if necesary - install EZ-Bios if the system doesn't support the disk size.
> >>> > > > BUT I HAVE DATA ON THE DRIVE.
> >>> > > > So, how do I install EZ-Bios ONLY without all the stuff around?
> >>> > >
> >>> > > It's probably not that.
> >>> > > Run FindPart from www.partitionsupport.com and report back.
> >>> >
> >>> > And this works even i can't access the disk in DOS?
> >
> > With the current knowledge, yes you can, as long as the physical drive is
> > recognized by the BIOS. It works on the physical drive, not drive letter.
> >
> >>> It's your C: drive that we are talking about here.
> >>> Once it is restored, the EZ-BIOS can also be restored without the
> >>> setup utility wanting to partition your C: drive.
> >>
> >> Drive C is the old, now formatted, 12 GB disk to contain the OS and -
> >
> > There we go again: 'to contain' or 'does contain'?
>
> At the moment it 'does' again. Well, here's the whole story in short:
> - at the very beginning the small disk contained two partitions (3GB C
> and 9GB E), Win98 was originally installed on the primary one.
> - first I deleted these two partitions, and created a single one on
> the whole disk, now only C (12GB).

Seems that what was the original C: partition is still there as allocated space,
but with a partition type that isn't recognized by DOS and Windows.

> - then I installed Win98 on the big drive (containing one partition
> named D). Because I need it for test and compatibility reasons.
> - after that I formatted the newly created C: partition and started
> installing Win2k on it. But because it wouldn't run, I decided to go
> back to Win98. So I formatted C: once more and ran Setup. And just
> before THIS format is the moment I remember to have browsed on D:

There is an entire thread about a case like yours (W2K and EZ-bios) in the list
I gave above. Your problem was created by attempting to switch from a pre-NT OS
to an NT based one (W2K). Generally, it is not recommended to use a boot
overlay on a PC that runs under NT, W2K or XP. EZ-bios is trouble free only
with operating systems lower than Windows ME (inclusive). There is a
compatibility problem (now I pissed of Folkert) ;)  between boot overlays and NT
based OS.

> Now reconsidering that, could be the Win98 setup responsible? Because
> this was the only thing I haven't done till that moment yet. But on
> the other hand, nothing weird happened after I installed 98 on D:
> (while C: was still just partitioned, not formatted yet).
>
> >> of course - the boot code, which must have been altered.
> >
> > That would be the MBR-boot code that boots the overlay that may have
> > been replaced with standard bootsector code. IINM, this happens with
> > Win2k or XP installations below a certain Patch level.
> > Check if the EZ-BIOS setup has a possibility to just restore it's MBR
> > bootcode. But then, you've probably explored that already.
> >
> Correct, exactly this is the problem that got me here.
> >
> >> Drive D is the big one which can't be accessed without this EZ-Bios. It
> >> is this drive that would be partitioned and formatted during the normal
> >> EZ-Install setup. And this is the problem, because D: contains data.

All the solutions to your problem exclude the use of a boot overlay. There are
three possible ways to do it:

1. Update the BIOS to support large drives. I suppose you would have done that
if such update was available for your board.

2. Upgrade the motherboard.

3. Install an ATA controller card. This option is the cheapest of the last two.

With whichever solution of the above that you choose, the partitions of both
drives can be converted to standard type, without affecting the data on them.
The description how to convert EZ-bios drives to standard ones can be found in
the list above. Just add "conversion" to your search words.

If you need further assistance then post on the newsgroup.

Regards, Zvi
--
NetZ Computing Ltd. ISRAEL www.invircible.com www.ivi.co.il (Hebrew)
InVircible Virus Defense Solutions, ResQ and Data Recovery Utilities
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 27, 2004 5:01:16 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

"Frank Steinmetzger" <Warp_7@gmx.de> wrote in message news:fo7pcpsby6yb.ryqyj2w1k0bm.dlg@40tude.net
> Fri, 24 Sep 2004 00:19:55 +0200, Folkert Rienstra:
>
> > "Frank Steinmetzger" <Warp_7@gmx.de> wrote in message news:19cpkra0bz3vr$.yua1ukblmoeu.dlg@40tude.net
> > > Thu, 23 Sep 2004 00:54:32 +0200, Folkert Rienstra:
> > >
> > > > I prefer that you leave the quoting intact as far as empty lines go
> > > > and do not snip questions without providing the requested info.
> > >
> > > Sry, I didn't want to quote too much (just the needed part) to not
> > > make the posts too long. I indeed cut out too much from my last post.
> >
> > > Trying to do better now.
> >
> > Obviously not when you snipped the part that I added back for the
> > second time. Still snipping crucial questions. Still being unprecise.
> >
> > You are not really going to work with me, are you.
>
> Ok, no more cutting at all. Please believe me, I'm not playing with
> you but sincerely asking for help about my problem.
>

[snip]

> > > What exactly do you mean by "died"? Well, it works, if you mean that.
> > > When I load the WD Software it positively identifies the drive. But
> > > I noticed that the drive just starts the moment I load this Software
> > > (heard this typical sound pitching up). Hence it seems not to start
> >
> > > when I switch on the computer. Now I'm confused, lol.
> >
> > Nice little tidbit you left out the first time.
> > I can't see how this has worked before, the drive being in this state.
> > This would qualify as having died. If your bios (POST) doesn't spin it
> > up then I would expect it to also not see it, but then you say it does.
>
> Well, I thought disks start to spin as soon as they have power. But
> that doesn't mean of course they get automatically recognized. And
> since the rest of the computer is anything but silent I didn't notice
> - and also didn't care before this because I never had problems.

The question now is: is it a problem? This will need further looking into.

> >
> > This is getting weirder and weirder.
> >

[snip]

> > > > > > Run FindPart from www.partitionsupport.com and report back.
> > > > >
> > > > > And this works even i can't access the disk in DOS?
> >
> > With the current knowledge, yes you can, as long as the physical drive is
> > recognized by the BIOS. It works on the physical drive, not drive letter.
> >
> > > >
> > > > It's your C: drive that we are talking about here.
> > > > Once it is restored, the EZ-BIOS can also be restored without the
> > > > setup utility wanting to partition your C: drive.
> > >
> > > Drive C is the old, now formatted, 12 GB disk to contain the OS and -
> >
> > There we go again: 'to contain' or 'does contain'?
>
> At the moment it 'does' again. Well, here's the whole story in short:
> - at the very beginning the small disk contained two partitions (3GB C
> and 9GB E), Win98 was originally installed on the primary one.
> - first I deleted these two partitions, and created a single one on
> the whole disk, now only C (12GB).
> - then I installed Win98 on the big drive (containing one partition
> named D). Because I need it for test and compatibility reasons.

I believe, since you didn't run this from C: that D: was now expected to be
bootdrive. It is also possible that Windows installed the DOS part on C:

> - after that I formatted the newly created C: partition and started
> installing Win2k on it.

In the latter case that may have overwritten the DOS part of Windows9x.

> But because it wouldn't run,

I think we covered that already, below. Please read again.

> I decided to go back to Win98. So I formatted C: once more and ran Setup.
> And just before THIS format is the moment I remember to have browsed
> on D:

As long as the computer isn't restarted the overlay is in effect.

>
> Now reconsidering that, could be the Win98 setup responsible?

It probably did but Win2k did that before that.

> Because this was the only thing I haven't done till that moment yet.

You did on D: which possibly affected C: also. With Win98, Dos is on
the boot drive. The question then is: what did it consider 'the boot drive'.
(I have no experience with seperate drives, only seperate partitions,
where DOS is on my C: drive and Windows on the D: drive).

> But on the other hand, nothing weird happened after I installed 98 on D:

> (while C: was still just partitioned, not formatted yet).

That may be what you think but not be reality.

>
> > > of course - the boot code, which must have been altered.
> >
> > That would be the MBR-boot code that boots the overlay that may have
> > been replaced with standard bootsector code. IINM, this happens with
> > Win2k or XP installations below a certain Patch level.
> > Check if the EZ-BIOS setup has a possibility to just restore it's MBR
> > bootcode. But then, you've probably explored that already.
> >
> Correct, exactly this is the problem that got me here.
> >
> > > Drive D is the big one which can't be accessed without this EZ-Bios. It
> > > is this drive that would be partitioned and formatted during the normal
> > > EZ-Install setup. And this is the problem, because D: contains data.
> >
> > I would expect the setup program to load its overlay and see the
> > drive to it's full capacity and recognize any partitioning on it.
> > When it doesn't recognize that then maybe the drive's MBR
> > may be corrupted. ,, or the setup program is just plain stupid.

> Believe so.
> There's nothing that mentions such a routine which detects present partitions.

Well, if it leaves the C: drive alone then obviously it does.

> >
> > >
> > > Did I understand you last paragraph correctly; that I could restore
> > > C:'s boot sector to also recover EZ-Bios?
> >
> > No to the original case where it appeared as if your C: drive Ptable was
> > corrupted. Yes maybe, if the setup program can repair the bootsector
> > program with it's version of it and the rest of track 0 is still in tact.
> >
> > What you can try is install the EZ-BIOS without the drive attached
> > but the drive is probably the key for the setup program to run.
> > If you have another WD drive then that may help.
>
> Unfortunately not.

Or use the EZ-bios from who made your C: drive.

>
> > > Although I formatted that drive?
> >
> > Listen, like I said before you can't remove EZ-BIOS with just formatting.
> > It takes repartitioning from scratch, Fdisk/mbr or a full wipe of track 0.
>
> I did a simple "format c:" without any other parameters.

> And after I put the two partitions on the small disk together in one,

Huh? That reaks of the use of 3rd party software.

> the drive in question was still there

That needs further explanation.

> - just to eliminate this possibility.
>
> >
> > > Just getting the partition table back won't give me the wanted result,
> > > I suspect.
> >
> > Depends on which one.
> > EZ-BIOS isn't in the partition table, (though both are in the MBR).
> > But EZ-BIOS needs to see a valid partition table on the big drive
> > in order to include it and show a partitioned drive to Dos and Windows.
> > If it doesn't, EZ-BIOS may run but your OSes won't see the logical
> > drive (drive letter).
> >
> > If you can't resolve the EZ-BIOS business without partitioning and you
> > don't really need to see the drive in DOS you can consider to run the
> > drive without it and change the bigdrive's partiton IDs so that windows
> > will recognize it. You can change those with PTEdit from Powerquest.
>
> Well, I'll have a try at some things I learned from you. First, I'll
> see what findpart says. And I'll have a look again at EZ-Install,
> because even if it ALWAYS formats, there will be a warning about that.
>
> >
> > >
> > > Regards
>
> Have a nice weekend. I won't be online until monday.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 28, 2004 4:35:27 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Well, this time, it is legitimate to snip because the "problem" is now
solved. Firstly, Findpart found a partition on the drive saying
EZ-Bios controlled or something.
This, and also our conversation, brought me to having a deep look into
the EZ-Install software again. There - deep within the advanced
options - I eventually found an item called EZ-Bios setup which let me
just install the necessary boot code.

Funny thing: now there is no message during startup anymore saying
something about "EZ-Loader". But I can access the drive again just as
I could before that all began.

So thanks for your help and patience.
Bye
--
"All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
http://www.stud.tu-ilmenau.de/~frst-ii/
!