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WDC 80GB Compatability

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a b G Storage
May 17, 2002 3:37:39 PM

I'm planning on buying a WDC 80GB UDMA100 (WD800JB) as a second hard drive and I'm not sure if it is compatible with my current system. I currently have a UK Gateway P3-600 system with Win98SE. The HDD it came with is a WDC 27GB (WD273BA) connected to a Promise Ultra66 controller card (PDC20262). The motherboard is an Intel WS440BX with Intel 4W4SB0X0.15A.0017.P12 Bios.

A number of questions I'd be grateful for some help with:
* Can I connect the WD800JB to my Promise Card as well as my existing disk?
* Will my setup be able to recognise a disk of that size?
* Am I correct in saying that I won't get the best performance out of the new drive because I'm running it on an old card?
* If I buy a new card will I still get sub-optimum performance on the new disk if I also run the old disk off the new card?
* Does it really make that much difference?
* Can I have two controller cards with one disk attached to each?

Many thanks for any advice ;-)

Andy

More about : wdc 80gb compatability

May 17, 2002 10:21:29 PM

I recommend that you dump the Ultra66 card and go for a Promise Ultra 100 TX2. It is a newer card that is backward compatible to Ultra 66 drives. If you use your current card, you will run BOTH hard drives in Ultra DMA 4, but with the new card, it will run the older Drive in ultra DMA 4 and the new JB drive in Ultra DMA 5...getting the best out of both drives. The Ultra 66 should recognize the total 80 GB of the new drive...but I guarantee that an Ultra 100 WILL. I would not run two controllers...just the one...remember that the promise card has two independent IDE channels on the card.

Hope this helps...

BTW...I am running a WD1200JB on my primary channel of my Promise Ultra 100 TX2 and an IBM 75 GXP drive on IDE 2. Both work great!

Bob
May 18, 2002 2:52:16 AM

The card you have is fine. Dont waste money on a new one. Put th new WD drive on its own channel and it will never go faster then the limit of that card anyway. I would not suggest 2 IDE cards, but I have seen it done and typically not cause problems if installed correctly.

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August 28, 2009 2:11:07 AM

Hi, I couldn't help but notice that you wanted to run a WD WDC800JB 80GB hard-drive off of a Promise Ultra66 controller. Today, August 27, 2009, I just decided to enhance and old Windows 98SE machine I had lying idle, and I want to do the same thing you want to do exactly.

It's main drive is a Western Digital 400BB 40GB drive that only has like 8.4GB formatted and/or usable meaning my four partitions C: ... through F: are each about 2GB. So anyway, I added the WDC800JB (in fact I tested two different brand new WDC800JB's) and the bios on the Promise Ultra66 will see the first drive fine (well, 8.4GB is easy I guess), but it only sees a little over 10GB of the second drive. This doesn't suprise me though since the Promise Ultra66 is a really old card (1998) whereas the WD WDC800JB is a new drive (2009). My Promise has BIOS vers. 1.14, it does not have the latest version. And frankly, my drivers show up as ! in system in control panel - not installed. So clearly, I've got to really do something. Either I have to go with another controller or keep trying to get the 1998 controller to work. Or don't use such a new hard-drive and simply put another smaller one in or use only part of the newer drive. But the newer drive may NOT work, there are no guarantees. But I don't want to use a RAID controller such as Promise TX2000 even though they work in others of my machines because I'm afraid of JBOD. So I would like to use perhaps a Silicon Image 0680 or perhaps a VIA VT6410 (can this be used as a non-raid?). I have the TX2000 and the VIA already in my house but should I use either of them? Or should I go for the Silicon Image? Or some other? I'd love to hear what people think. By the way, I might try the idea of putting the WD800JB on it's own cable as someone above suggested. ANd by the way, I have two CD-ROMS controlled by the bios of my motherboard - no problem there. PI55T2P4 Pentium 166MHz. bios v4.51PG. So that's what I'm running. I would love to see more of each of the drives - I'm really frustrated that I can't use their full capacities even with the controllers in there. So maybe I need to change the controller? Thanks for any help - it's a tough problem. The machine runs fine on the original drive by the way - no problems running Windows 98SE at all. I made it easy by putting 98 on the c-drive so if I ever want to back it up to a new one, it's easier (no hassles with primary partitions).
a c 361 G Storage
August 28, 2009 5:22:40 PM

A UDMA100 disk should work with an Ultra66 controller fine - it just will be limited to the 66 speed.

Disks up to over 100 GB can be handled by a controller operating in 28-bit LBA mode. However, if the controller is set to use fixed C,H,S values, or is set to "Large" mode, it will not see anything this big. See if you can specify that the controller card uses "LBA" mode.

HOWEVER, be careful about doing this on the IDE port that already has a drive on it. I am not sure whether it will have trouble communicating with the existing drive in a new mode. If it does not read it entirely correctly, be sure to return the controller to its original mode - and for that, you need to note what mode that is before making any changes. If that is your situation, I expect that you can set the modes of each IDE channel (Primary and Secondary) independently. So, you could leave the Primary channel set as it is with its existing disk connected. Then you could set the Secondary channel (now unused) to the LBA mode and connect the new drive as its Master.

Now, you still have to deal with any limit imposed by Windows 98SE's formatting ability. It uses FAT32 File System which limits the number of Allocation Units it can track. To deal with larger drives it just sets a larger number of actual physical disk Sectors to use per Allocation Unit. In Windows versions up to Win98 or so, Microsoft set a limit on this value such that you could format a FAT32 system up to a maximum size of 32 GB. To use larger hard drives you had to use FDISK to create additional Extended Partitions which are treated as separated drives with their own letter names. So, when you use FDISK on the 80 GB drive (and make sure to use the FDISK version that comes with Win98SE) to create the first Primary Partition on the new drive, it may allow you to create a 80 GB Partition, or it may limit you to 32 GB. If it limits you, get that drive set up and formatted, then go back and use FDISK again to create more Partitions from the unused space.
August 31, 2009 8:05:32 PM

Sorry, I got away from this for a couple days.

So far, each drive is automatically put in Mode 4 UltraDMA by the Promise BIOS, and each drive is a UDMA 100 (so it would be Mode 5, so you are right, the controller simply chose Mode 4 (66 MBits/sec) which is ok).

I have not yet tried a number of things that I should at least try:
1) Specifying an exact LBA mode as you say (new drive on Secondary channel (master or leave jumper off (if single drive)). (See #3)
2) Perhaps the cable is bad - 1 bit fried might make 80GB, 80GB/10 = 8GB, a little far-fetched but hey, I need to look at it simple at first. Doubt it but??
3) Putting each drive on a separate channel of the controller. Currently, they are on the same (the Primary channel).
4) By the way, I haven't tried tossing the drive into another computer yet - just for sun.
5) If none of that works, should I upgrade the bios to v1.60, did they do something special and magical in that. But by the way, I don't think the BIOS cares whether or not I have partitioned or formatted the drive, I think it can still see what size it is in there somewhere on the drive - permanently - likewise FDISK/FORMAT utilities that I use to partition and then format.

First I must simply change the cable and eliminate that as a problem.

But by the way, I am NOT using FAT32 to format the drive. Currently, the drive is not formatted and partitioned. At one time, it (at least one of the two had partitions from F all the way to Z, each 2GB FAT16. The reason I use FAT16 is so other OS's can see the drive and read and write to it. FAT32 is like a local dialect in Tibet, noone else can understand it. I avoid it even if it's great for storing massive videos. I will perhaps have to add a 3rd drive and maybe splurge a little and use FAT32 (and then use a special software tool if I want other machines to see it. I realize I'm a bit conservative. But FAT32 is not really a good file system - it fragments like crazy and has other problems.

I ordered some newer controllers as a backup - but I'm really of the same mind as you - there's a way to get this problem solved with the old controller some how, some way.

Well, you did your part, I need to dive in there and do mine - I'll let you all know, thanks for your help.


Paperdoc said:
A UDMA100 disk should work with an Ultra66 controller fine - it just will be limited to the 66 speed.

Disks up to over 100 GB can be handled by a controller operating in 28-bit LBA mode. However, if the controller is set to use fixed C,H,S values, or is set to "Large" mode, it will not see anything this big. See if you can specify that the controller card uses "LBA" mode.

HOWEVER, be careful about doing this on the IDE port that already has a drive on it. I am not sure whether it will have trouble communicating with the existing drive in a new mode. If it does not read it entirely correctly, be sure to return the controller to its original mode - and for that, you need to note what mode that is before making any changes. If that is your situation, I expect that you can set the modes of each IDE channel (Primary and Secondary) independently. So, you could leave the Primary channel set as it is with its existing disk connected. Then you could set the Secondary channel (now unused) to the LBA mode and connect the new drive as its Master.

Now, you still have to deal with any limit imposed by Windows 98SE's formatting ability. It uses FAT32 File System which limits the number of Allocation Units it can track. To deal with larger drives it just sets a larger number of actual physical disk Sectors to use per Allocation Unit. In Windows versions up to Win98 or so, Microsoft set a limit on this value such that you could format a FAT32 system up to a maximum size of 32 GB. To use larger hard drives you had to use FDISK to create additional Extended Partitions which are treated as separated drives with their own letter names. So, when you use FDISK on the 80 GB drive (and make sure to use the FDISK version that comes with Win98SE) to create the first Primary Partition on the new drive, it may allow you to create a 80 GB Partition, or it may limit you to 32 GB. If it limits you, get that drive set up and formatted, then go back and use FDISK again to create more Partitions from the unused space.

September 11, 2009 4:12:12 PM

I noticed a review where someone used a Promise Ultra66 with a 120GB hard-drive so I decided to download the updated BIOS files and the updated drivers and then reflash my bios:

BIOS zip for Version 2.0 BIOS: Ultra66B200b18.zip - ul200b18.bin, readme.rtf, ptiflash.exe

and

Windows 98SE drivers zip: Ultra66-100_160_B36.zip - For windows 95-98, it's - ADVPACK.DLL, PTISTP.DLL, PU66VSD.VXD, SMARTVSD.VXD, ULTRA.CAT, ULTRA.INF, ULTRA.MPD.

Procedure I used:
1) Update the SCSI contoller drivers in Windows 98.
2) Made a system boot disk in Add/Remove Programs.
3) Put bios zip files on another floppy.
4) Booted to system disk.
5) Inserted BIOS files disk and then ran:
- ptiflash.exe, hit option 1, entered ul200b18.old, then entered option 2 and typed ul200b18.bin, so that now I have the new bios. This all went fine.

But when I rebooted, the new bios only recognized the 2nd drive, and no longer recognizes the first drive. HAH-HAH! :lol:  So now I've reverted to the original BIOS again and I'm back to where I started. So the next move will be to simply try a new hard-drive for Disk 1, one that's compatible with the other.

So my WD400BB was not picked up by the new version 2.0 BIOS but the WD800J whatever I said, IS seen now as an 80GB drive. So I will just use a newer drive with this BIOS - I will have to image or else reinstall the OS (easiest way). Oh well, so much for drive compatiblity. :lol: 
September 13, 2009 1:03:40 PM

Well, it's another installment of the WD400/800 Soap Opera called Days of Our Drives - it's like Days of Our Lives but not like Day of The Eagle, more like Day of the Prairie Dog.

Well, anyway, I ditched the WD400BB since the Promise Ultra66 can't even so much as see it with the new BIOS vers. 2.0 and the new drivers (v1.60). I then went through a complete FDISK partition and format.

One problem, the original fdisk bundled with Windows 98/SE had an error that reported a drive as X - 64GB, some
arithmetic flaw. So I had to download the update from Microsoft: 263044usa8.exe - this
self-extractor I took to another machine, it dropped the file into the Command sub-folder
of windows 98, and I simply copied the new year 2000 fdisk to a floppy and took it to my
other machine, and dropped it in. After that, it came up in fdisk as an 79GB or
whatever drive. Actually, it's like 76GB, some bytes are used in various processes. So
I then partitioned into like 20 or so FAT16 volumes, from C to W, leaving some room for 2 CD drives on X and Y and an occasional mapped drive or ram drive on Z. God forbid if I wanted any more drives - I'll have to delete W.

So then I formatted c: /s and formatted the rest. I didn't just let Windows 98 do this although I'm sure it would have handled the formatting - I forget.

Then since I have Windows 98SE upgrade CD, I had to put something on my drive that qualifies for the upgrade. I chose Windows 3.1. After several of the first few disks of the 6-disk set were unreadable, I managed to get some better floppies and copy from my backup of my previous install of Windows 3.1. But when I got to the 3rd disk (the one where you can quit and still have the Windows 98SE give you the thumbs up for the upgrade install to work), I got the following message:

"Windows has disabled direct disk access to protect your long file names. To overwrite this protection see the LOCK /? command for more information.
The system has been halted. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart your computer." The reason for this is that I probably had something on the computer already (just some little thing) that windows saw as a
long filename issue.

Well, sometimes this could be due to virus boot protection in the BIOS, but in my case, it was not, it was what I said above, long filename perhaps. So I simply issued the LOCK C: command after the
boot, and it didn't happen anymore. But after the LOCK c: command, direct disk access is now enabled and long filenames will not be preserved (but we don't care during an OS install, even if it
was NT4.0 we wouldn't care at this point, so we're ok to go directly to the disk). So the direct disk access APIs could run without troubles now, and the Windows 3.1 install went well - I actually copied the 6 disks to the hard-drive c:\W31\Disk1, Disk2, etc.. It was fun watching the extreme speed of install even on a Pentium 166.

So then I installed Windows 98SE and it went well. Most of the drivers were plugnplay and I never even had to go to another floppy/cd/network drive to get all my devices to work - albeit the ole 30 minutes install. And my computer now shuts down quickly, it doesn't hang. That's what I like about a windows shutdown.

So I now have my WD400BB just sitting there, and my new WD800 is running the show.

I am STILL using the Promise Ultra66 controller (DMA 4) even though the drives can run at 100 MB (DMA 5). So will I pop in a Promise Ultra 133? And will I add a 2nd drive that's formatted as FAT32? The answer to the first question is maybe and to the second - definitely - it's time to
enjoy some videos.

So stay tuned - Days of Our Drives will continue, and don't forget, I haven't yet installed Cheetah DVD back on, and one other thing, the Promise Ultra66 takes a while (like 30 seconds or so) on bootup to pick up the drive but I can understand this - I have a DMA 5 capable drive on a DMA 4 capable controller. And they probably don't want to chance saving info since the bios could then get tricked into having the wrong setting - and poof!

Enjoy!

a c 361 G Storage
September 14, 2009 4:02:32 PM

Bravo! You realize that you have mastered and used a whole bunch of technology many posters here simply don't understand!
September 14, 2009 9:32:09 PM

Or maybe they understood 8 years ago and no longer care about! Or maybe their whole approach is different so they don't have my picayune problems. My last few posts are really just a war story of how not to do something, not a battle strategy camp of how to win the war quicky, but hey, I gotta start somewhere. Maybe next time I'll test drive a disk imager. But at least my method works and it's dirt cheap.

:lol:  :wahoo:  :o 
!