BIOS Flash Problem?

  Colin 13:09 19 Apr 2003

I am trying to install a 40GB Western Digital Hard Drive in a self built PC that previously had an 8GB Seagate Hard Drive. The BIOS on the motherboard, MicroStar MS6156, only recognises drives up to 8GB so I flashed the BIOS with an updated BIOS from the MicroStar website that recognises drives up to 137GB. The update went OK and the full size of the new hard drive is recognised. However, installing Windows 98 is taking forever. The time guide says 277 minutes and there is very little activity from the hard drive. I aborted the installation and refitted the old drive. The original drive now boots up very slowly, in fact it takes about 10 minutes to get to the part where it displays the desktop background without icons and then it hangs. I have left it for over 30 minutes with no change. I am also unable to get the PC to read floppies on boot up so I can’t use any diagnostic software. I have checked obvious things like cables etc but have come to a dead end. This is ruining my Easter break!

  Rayuk 16:00 19 Apr 2003

Which bios did you flash with,have just been there and cannot see a bios flash for this board.

  DieSse 16:23 19 Apr 2003

Yes there are BIOS flashes
click here

BUT there are three different MS6156 boards, depending on which chipset you have, BX, ZX or Via - only the BX and ZX versions have a flash for high capacity drives.

AND, both flashes said to give support for over 65Gb - the implication being that you wouldn't need it for a 40Gb drive.

  martjc 16:23 19 Apr 2003

Try visiting the Seagate web site. They have utilities there which m a y solve your problem. You may need to revert to the old flash file - hopefully you kept a copy - and use Seagate's DDO program. It works well!

  Rayuk 16:29 19 Apr 2003

Have just this minute found the files ,could only find va first time round.
I would check and verify what board you have ie chipsets,can you post the results.
Although if you cant access the floppy or os there could be problems ahead.

  Colin 17:45 19 Apr 2003

Thanks for the responses. I reflashed my old BIOS and now the 8GB hard drive loads fine, though it still cannot read floppy discs in Windows or at boot up. If I put a Windows 98 boot floppy in it at boot up it appears to search it and then says no boot record found and boots up normally. If I try to access the floppy in Windows, the floppy disc light goes on and after a minute or so I get a message saying, that the floppy disc is not formatted, would I like to do so? I know that the floppies are OK as they are read correctly in another PC. This is probably an unrelated problem. Going back to the new hard drive the BIOS and Windows only recognises 8GB of it. The board has a BX440 chipset and an AMIBIOS and as DieSse says, this board with the original BIOS should recognise drives up to 65GB. I will try to use Western Digitals disc diagnostic software, but not being able to use the floppy may be a problem. I will report back with what I find.

  DieSse 17:52 19 Apr 2003

After flashing a BIOS, you should always do a reset to the default configuration, or better clear the CMOS wth the jumper, then reset to the default configuration.

Or maybe you have disturbed the floppy cable when you were fitting the new drive - try taking it off then putting on again, to reseat the connectors.

  slimbo51 20:24 19 Apr 2003

Another poss is when u flashed with the wrong un its changed ur boot parameters, so the floppy is no longer seen as a boot device.

  Colin 11:58 20 Apr 2003

I've solved the floppy problem. It was defective. I put one in from another PC and that one worked fine. I will buy a new one tomorrow. Still working on the hard drive problem. The BIOS reports the full size of the hard drive but Windows only shows the drive as 8GB.

  Colin 13:44 20 Apr 2003

This should probably be under a new thread, but the above gives the history. When I boot with the hard drive a single drive, which it is, the autodtect section of the boot up display freezes. This is mentioned on the Western Digital website, and they say:
When to use Alternate Jumper Settings
The most common scenario when a drive should be configured with the Alternate Jumper Settings is when the system hangs up or freezes upon boot up after auto-detecting all IDE devices. The reason for this error is because the drive capacity is larger than what the system can support.

What happens after the drive is configured with the Alternate Jumper Settings
The full capacity of the drive is not recognized. In order for the system to boot properly, the BIOS will recoginze smaller drive capacity. Depending on your BIOS, your drive will recongize one of the following sizes: 2.1GB, 8.4GB, 32GB.

Configuring a single (alone on the IDE cable) drive with the Alternate Jumper Settings
If you are connecting your drive as the only IDE device on the cable, place the jumper shunts on pins 3 & 4 and 5 & 6. Connect the drive to the black connector at the end of the cable.

I have done this and the PC boots up OK, but I only have an 8GB hard drive. I have tried FDISK, but it only sees the drive as 8GB. I have also used their Data Lifeguard Tools, but although the diagnostics report a 40GB hard drive, I received a message saying that Data Lifeguard was unable to locate on operating system on an existing hard drive or floppy disk, even though Windows 98 is installed on the drive. It seems that the only solution is to buy a controller card, but I don't want to do that if it's not necessary.

  Colin 14:37 20 Apr 2003

I can now use the full capacity of the hard drive. I misunderstood what the Data Lifeguard program meant when it said that was unable to locate on operating system on an existing hard drive or floppy disk. It said below that I needed to insert the Windows 98 boot floppy. I did this and then it was able to get the PC to see all of the hard drive. I have installed Windows 98 and it is running fine now. Thanks for you advices and where would we be without the aid of the internet or the humble floppy!

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