Old generic MOBO wont recognize new drive, is there a trick?

Hello all,

Im trying to fix a computer for a good friend of mine. It is a slot type PIII with a generic motherboard which doesn't have a serial number anywhere. The old 4 gig hard drive crashed hard and is totally corrupted. The new drive is an 80 gig Western Digital.

Here's the question. I obviously can't update the BIOS in order to get the MOBO to recognize the new drive's full capacity, and currently it freezes during autodetect. Is there a way to manually "trick" (only way I can describe it) the BIOS into detecting a smaller drive so that I can install Windows which should detect the full capacity of the drive. I have seen instructions on how to do this on the web, but have not gotten it to work.

I have both the hard drive and the CDROM on the same SECONDARY IDE cable with the CDROM on the slave connector and the hard disk on the master. The cdrom is detected at post, but it hangs on the hard drive.

Does anyone know how to get the BIOS to detect the hard drive without updating it?

Thanks in advance,
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  1. Firstly, I'd recommend putting the HDD as the master on the primary channel. Secondly, you shouldn't have any problem getting the board to see the full 80 GB capacity of the drive (I've jsut been doign a repair on my parents PII slot machine and put an 80 GB Maxtor in there). What I did have problems with though was it properly detecting how to read the drive. The auto option would cause it to freeze up. I had to manually go into the bios, and under the type for the drive, I had to select NORMAL.

    Just a thought for something for you to look at.
  2. I'll try this... I think it will be better to put the hard drive on the primary IDE controller anyway. Thanks for the reply!
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