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Vintage Computing Hardware Issue

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I'm not sure if this is the best place to put this issue - but wondering if anyone in here who is a retro computing enthusiast might be able to help...


I've picked up an old Socket 5 Intel Pentium 100mhz computer.  The motherboard, processor and ram all appears to work fine.  I can boot past the BIOS and the machine does recognise my IDE optical drive.  However it refuses to recognise my IDE HDD, and I have a multitude of them, from a 12gb ancient MAXTOR through to newer (2004) 200gb Samsung Drives.


These drives are all working and have been tested on other machines.


I can't understand why the machine will pick up the newish DVD rom and read a disc from it, but refuses to even see the IDE HDDs?


Does anyone have a work around for this?  The only things I can think about are - Buying a SCSI HDD and running it through the SCSI card, or a PCI (or ISA) IDE Card and running the drives via that.

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I have tried every combination of master/slave/cable select individually and on separate IDE channels.


The channels definately do work, as seen with the DVDROM being available and able to read a disc (I can start the installation of windows, but it obviously does not see my HDD).


I've even tried manually entering the cylinders / heads etc in the BIOS for some of the drives and nothing. 

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Back in the day, ( mid 90s) you wouldn't have had 12gb HDDs . I had a PC then and it was about 300mb which was average for the time. The 1gb barrier was broken a couple if years later. Ergo the HDDs your using are too new 

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1 hour ago, Ninja Doctor said:

does it have LBA48 settings in the bios?

The bios is very basic. It has LBA as one of the choosable (otherwise automatically detected) options. 


My presumption is this is first gen LBA EIDE (LBA16[or is it LBA32?]). 


The smallest drive I have is 12Gb but has a jumper for 2gb. I would have presumed that would have been detectable - it's hard to tell though. I can find no documentation on the hardware at all!

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Ok. More tinkering later, capping the 12Gb drive to 2gb, making it both master and cable selectable allowed for the drive to be seen, in the bios, but not read by the installation disk.


some time later, after booting into dos, I realise that the drive can be seen by FDISK so I delete and create a new partition, and hey presto, it all works. 


Talk about a total ball ache!


we take a lot for granted these days!!

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I'm awaiting a CF/IDE adapter.  It's taking forever, just hoked out old hardware to get started.


I'm in the process of installing a very old piece of software to read very old Magnito Optical discs.  I needed an old piece of hardw are to do this.


Might as well get some good games on it whilst I have it operational.


The major problem now is that it's sat in this behemoth of a case.

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Well, here's what I've learned in the last few weeks:


The Intel socket 5 motherboard I have is so utterly incompatible with almost everything that it's proven to be a total pain in the arse.


I have one, fairly old HDD, hobbled from 15gb to 2gb before it's IDE interface is recognised by the motherboard.


I picked up a CF Adapter and a 2gb CF card, which isnt recognised at all by the motherboard (but is recognised by another machine, but I found it crashing out at the formatting stage of installing windows 2000).


So, it seems that for the P100mhz on the Socket 5 at least, I will need to have an original, small IDE hdd.


I also got my hands on a celeron 333mhz motherboard and chip.  All the drives I have thankfully work with this computer, but it's ever-so-slightly too good for me, even though there's not much in it.  It has, however, proven to be the best machine for working with the SCSI interface and the old MO drive and discs.


You may remember from an old thread talking about VOODOO and BLOBBY CD's circulating in the 90s that I was interested in getting my hands on them and running them for nostalgia.  Through a few folks on the forum I found a bunch of old ISOs (15 or so, including my VOODOO disc) and have burned them all.  All work a treat.  Great fun!

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