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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my grandma's old computer with windows 98 (plus) has run out of memory, so i told her i'd just swap out the hard drive. sounded easy enough to me! apparently not so... i made a copy of the hard drive onto my computer, copied that to a new 80gb hdd, popped it in her computer and i can't get the darn thing to boot... i tried re-formatting it to fat32 like the original hard drive was in, but no luck there....

sorry if i didn't include enough information, not sure what to include here.... but thanks in advance for any help :p
 

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It may simply be that you have run into the old 24bit bus limitation of older pc's. This limitation makes it awkward at best to install larger hdd's as the motherboard itself is limited to a maximum of a 32gb hdd.

All hope is not lost though as there is a work around. It's know as Dynamic Drive Overlay (DDO for short) You merely need to find a formating tool which will allow you to format the drive using the DDO method. I myself used to use Maxblast 3 Floppy creator, which would format a 3.25" standard Floppy disk so it was bootable and had the tools necessary to perform the task in question.

Here's the bad news...Maxblast 3 floppy creator is impossible to find on the internet now as it is such an old tool.

Here's some good news though... About 2 years ago I needed to use that tool badly for a mates rather ancient machine and spent days searching everywhere on the internet for it. I did finally find a copy and I made sure to keep it in-case I should ever need it again.

I have uploaded Maxblast3 Floppy disk creator for you;
http://rapidshare.com/files/266811703/maxblast3.exe

To use it....
1. Virus scan it once downloaded (You should do that with any file, even if you trust it.)
2. Run it (You'll need a Pc with a 3.25" floppy drive)
3. Insert a blank floppy (or one without important files)
4. Format with Maxblast, It shall create the tools necessary on the floppy.
5. Inserted the newly formated floppy and your 80gb hdd into the machine in question (your grandmothers one)
6. That pc should boot and automatically launch the format tool.
7. Format the hdd with Maxblast3.

Hopefully that should set it correctly and make it ready for an OS.:up:
 

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Just making a copy of the HDD then moving that copy to another hard drive will not work. You would want to get a program such as Acronis TruImage and clone the hard drive to the new hard drive, or You could keep the old HDD inplace and add the new Hard drive as a slave and use it for increased storage space.
 

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dusyjay is correct, but you'll still need to prep the hdd as I described to be able to use a large hdd with such an old machine.
Maybe yes and maybe no. It depends on the system and its age, bios revision, etc.

IMO drive overlay is the absolutely worst way to go. If there is no bios revision to support larger hd, then a controller card would be a much better option.
The bios update would be my first choice, then a controller card and either of those are not possible, then and only then an overlay.
 

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Please enlighten me crjdriver. Why would deploying a overlay on such an old machine be un-advisable? I never really knew much about the benefits and flaws of DDO's. I merely know it would most likely work.

I imagine it would be very difficult to find the correct bios nowadays unless the mobo manufacture has an extensive file library (like some do)

Although a bootable addon card (pci to pata) would be the easiest way to go.

I think all we can do is provide the asker with the different options available to him then await their response.

Anyway, I would greatly appreciate further info about DDO if you would care to share.:up:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It may simply be that you have run into the old 24bit bus limitation of older pc's. This limitation makes it awkward at best to install larger hdd's as the motherboard itself is limited to a maximum of a 32gb hdd.

All hope is not lost though as there is a work around. It's know as Dynamic Drive Overlay (DDO for short) You merely need to find a formating tool which will allow you to format the drive using the DDO method. I myself used to use Maxblast 3 Floppy creator, which would format a 3.25" standard Floppy disk so it was bootable and had the tools necessary to perform the task in question.

Here's the bad news...Maxblast 3 floppy creator is impossible to find on the internet now as it is such an old tool.

Here's some good news though... About 2 years ago I needed to use that tool badly for a mates rather ancient machine and spent days searching everywhere on the internet for it. I did finally find a copy and I made sure to keep it in-case I should ever need it again.

I have uploaded Maxblast3 Floppy disk creator for you;
http://rapidshare.com/files/266811703/maxblast3.exe

To use it....
1. Virus scan it once downloaded (You should do that with any file, even if you trust it.)
2. Run it (You'll need a Pc with a 3.25" floppy drive)
3. Insert a blank floppy (or one without important files)
4. Format with Maxblast, It shall create the tools necessary on the floppy.
5. Inserted the newly formated floppy and your 80gb hdd into the machine in question (your grandmothers one)
6. That pc should boot and automatically launch the format tool.
7. Format the hdd with Maxblast3.

Hopefully that should set it correctly and make it ready for an OS.:up:
ok so i followed your steps and tried booting my grandma's pc with the HDD i want to format as the master and the floppy in the floppy drive, and the computer turned on but nothing appeared on the screen. Then i tried it again with the original HDD as the master and the new one as the slave, and on after it lists all the IDE devices it says "error loding DOS! press any key to retry"

Maybe yes and maybe no. It depends on the system and its age, bios revision, etc.

IMO drive overlay is the absolutely worst way to go. If there is no bios revision to support larger hd, then a controller card would be a much better option.
The bios update would be my first choice, then a controller card and either of those are not possible, then and only then an overlay.
for a bios revision, would that be as simple as finding the model/make of it, and finding the most up to date bios to install on the manufacturer's website?

What is the make/model of the computer? Might be able to find specs, so don't have to guess.
doesn't really say... but from what I can tell, it has a 350mhz intel pentium II processor, 192mb of ram, windows 98 plus, and two fujitsu hard drives. each are about 6 gigabytes in size. The motherboard also says AWARD AX6BC on it. i hope that can help...

i did a quick google search with that motherboard name. is this in the right direction for a "bios revision?"

http://www.motherboard.cz/mb/aopen/ax6bcp.htm
 

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Did you have the floppy disk drive set as your first boot device in the bios? Other than a corrupt floppy I can think of no other reason for the program failing to load.

That program will only change the master boot record of the hdd you choose to use it on. It cannot be linked to causing your pc to fail booting with it's original hdd unless you mistakenly used the tool with the original hdd.

Although, having the original hdd and the massive (bigger than 32gb) hdd on the same pata cable would cause the symptoms described as it fails to recognize both when the a drive thats too big shares the same cable as the original.

Make sure your floppy disk drive is set to the primary boot device (i.e. the computer will check that first before the hdd for software to load)

Changing boot order

Remove the original 6gb hdd and try it again and see if it works for you now.
 

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Please enlighten me crjdriver. Why would deploying a overlay on such an old machine be un-advisable? I never really knew much about the benefits and flaws of DDO's. I merely know it would most likely work.

I imagine it would be very difficult to find the correct bios nowadays unless the mobo manufacture has an extensive file library (like some do)

Although a bootable addon card (pci to pata) would be the easiest way to go.

I think all we can do is provide the asker with the different options available to him then await their response.

Anyway, I would greatly appreciate further info about DDO if you would care to share.:up:
Drive overlays very often cause problems reading other drives attached to the computer. If a DOL is installed on the boot disk, windows setup will very often NOT see any other hd connected to the system. While this may work, it is a last ditch method of installing a drive after ALL other methods are used. These would be a bios update [preferred method] a hard drive controller card, then and only then would a drive overlay be used.

In short, it is a micky mouse way of fixing the problem. An analogy would be taking your car into the shop for a coolant leak. They can fix the problem with a radiator replacement OR you could add stopleak. Which do you think is the better way to repair the car???
 

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Method doesn't matter as long as the issue has been resolved.

If there are any problems encountered with DDO it is possible to revert the MBR back with Maxblast, low and behold the DDO is then removed and the original issue reoccurs.

Unlike a 'stop leak' a DDO is unlikely to pop off whilst your driving down the motorway.
 

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You can have any opinion you want. I doubt you will find any experienced tech that will install a drive overlay rather than doing a simple bios update.

What happens to your drive overlay when someone later attempts to install a second drive for backups that does not have the overlay???
 

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Also, I would not recommend using MaxBlast3 on anything but a Maxtor drive. And I did not notice anywhere that the OP listed any of the Hard drives in his possession as a maxtor drive.
 

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The DDO function of maxblast 3 works with any HDD. Its says something along the lines of ' there was no maxtor hdd detected on this system although you can still format the hdd support will not be provided' or something to that affect.

Backup can also be done via an external HDD which would not effected by the 24bit bus limitation.

My apologies for my earlier post, it may have read like I was seeking an argument and may have read as if I was being ****y. I assure you it was not meant to read that way.

I accept that a bios upgrade would be preferable but may not be possible (Subject to availability.) That is the point in my posts, to provide one possible (all be it flawed) solution. NOT to provoke an argument. Once again my apologies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
alright so my problem has been solved. the computer i used for the floppy drive already had a 30 gig hard drive in it, which is already compatible with the motherboard's current bios. i didn't need the hard drive anyway so i used it with the cloning software dustjay reccomended to clone the HD. thanks for all the help though you guys are great :up:
 
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