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Author Topic: f[reeze]disk
Christopher Parker
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Icon 5 posted April 07, 2003 07:15      Profile for Christopher Parker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey.

I'm trying to wipe a 100 GB hard drive clean and start over again. I did have Windows 98 on it, but Red Hat 8 nuked it when it "initialized" the drive. (Unbeknownst to me at the time, "initialization" is the same thing as "formatting".)

Because I have an older BIOS, I had EZ-BIOS controlling the drive.

Now I have a Windows 2000 CD I want to install onto the Primary Master EIDE Western Digital 100 GB drive. I started up W2K installation by booting into the CD-ROM drive... W2K installation formatted the Primary Master, installed the files successfully. I do a reboot, and I still get a message saying "Not found any [active partition] in HDD". So, I figure "Okay, I must have to set it as active in fdisk". So, I pop in some old Windows Startup disk laying around (My old Win98 startup disk), start up without CD-ROM support, and run fdisk. fdisk comes up with the Primary Master selected. Great. I get a WARNING! message on the bottom saying there's no active partition. Great. I hit 2, then hit Enter to set an active partition. fdisk freezes.

Grr.

I pop in the Data Lifeguard Utilities disk that came with my Western Digital hard drive. I click "Install Drive" to re-install EZ-BIOS on the Primary Master. I get an error and the program exits.

Grr.

What to do? Should I take the hard drive back to where I got it and say it's defective and get a refund or do an even trade? Is there something I can do to fix my problem? Windows 2000 Professional installs on the drive (NTFS) without a problem. It finishes the copying of the files as if there were nothing wrong with the drive. I just can't touch the Master Boot Record, it seems. I think Red Hat damaged it completely because it was being controlled by EZ-BIOS.

Any ideas?

I read about fdisk /mbr, which causes fdisk to re-write the master boot record, but I'm thinking it would just freeze fdisk again.

--------------------
Christopher Parker
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FSF Associate Member #795

Posts: 25 | From: Malden, MA | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
perfectstormy

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Icon 1 posted April 07, 2003 08:39      Profile for perfectstormy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Christopher Parker:
I pop in the Data Lifeguard Utilities disk that came with my Western Digital hard drive. I click "Install Drive" to re-install EZ-BIOS on the Primary Master. I get an error and the program exits.

That error message would be helpful. EZ-BIOS does have some issues

Sounds like you overwrote track 0 where EZ-BIOS lives, probably when RedHat installed LILO, not when you partitioned and formatted the disk. (Maybe loadlin is the way to go for your configuration--skip LILO or use a boot floppy next time.) Anything you do without EZ-BIOS loaded is going to tell you your drive is fscked--probably why fdisk froze on the drive.

Use Data Lifeguard to check the drive for hardware errors before you return it. My guess is that the HW is fine, but the drive needs a low-level format and a reinstall of EZ-BIOS before you can continue further. Next time use Data Lifeguard to back up track 0 before you install a new OS.

Hope your backups are recent.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted April 07, 2003 12:40      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Christopher,

Do the fdisk /mbr

This had cured my systems when I ran into those issues.

Though you may have to go with a smaller drive for Linux I don't know of any utilities that will mask the drive like E-Z bios does.

CommanderShroom

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
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Posts: 2463 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Christopher Parker
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Icon 14 posted April 07, 2003 13:34      Profile for Christopher Parker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Use Data Lifeguard to check the drive for hardware errors before you return it. My guess is that the HW is fine, but the drive needs a low-level format and a reinstall of EZ-BIOS before you can continue further. Next time use Data Lifeguard to back up track 0 before you install a new OS.
Awesome.

How do I perform a low-level format? Does this procedure involve re-writing to track 0?

Damn. I still have to restore the data on my other hard drive. Computer goof-ups sure can be expen$ive. tafkact, I haven't forgotten about you. I've just been extremely preoccupied.

(For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, please reference Unformatting a Hard Drive.)

--------------------
Christopher Parker
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FSF Associate Member #795

Posts: 25 | From: Malden, MA | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted April 07, 2003 14:32      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Christopher,

If you want to do a low level format to this disk, here are the steps. Since you don't have anything you want to keep on the disk I am not going to warn you about losing data.

1. Get a bootable disk ready that has debug.exe, fdisk.exe, and format.com

2. Make sure the drive you want to do this to is on IDE 0 and is Master.

3. Boot computer with afforementioned boot disk and type debug at A:\>

You should see a dash prompt. -

- f 200 L200 0
- a 100

the prompt will then change to xxxx:0100

xxxx:0100 mov ax,301
xxxx:0103 mov bx,200
xxxx:0106 mov cx,1
xxxx:0109 mov dx,0080
xxxx:010C int 13
xxxx:010E int 3
xxxx:010F <--important press the enter key a second time here.

The prompt should return to the dash. -

- d 100 LF

You should see the following display

xxxx:0100 B8 01 03 BB 00 02 B9 01-00 BA 80 00 CD 13 CC

Make sure that hex values match above line before proceeding. If values do not match, type Q and start over.

- g=100 {ignore register display}
- q {quits back to DOS}


Good luck

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Lex
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Icon 1 posted April 07, 2003 18:00      Profile for Lex   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hmm. I usually just zero the drive. Boot up a linux disk.

dd < /dev/zero > /dev/hda

After a few seconds, the front end of the drive should be clear, so press Ctrl-C to interrupt it. Try fdisk again.

--------------------
Your conviction that there is a monster under the bed would be a mere eccentricity if you weren't so heavily armed and it was your own bed.

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Christopher Parker
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Icon 1 posted April 08, 2003 07:49      Profile for Christopher Parker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I did what CrawGator suggested. No success. It SEEMED liked it worked at first.

Went through the assembly code/mnemonics, all actual output matched expected output. Re-started, did fdisk, deleted the partition, created another partition, set it as active. Rebooted, instead of "Not found any [active partition] in HDD" I got a message saying "Missing operating system". Great. I thought it was fixed. I started up Win2K. Installation was complete. Rebooted. I get a message saying "Not found any [active partition] in HDD". Damn. Okay. I gave up and went to bed.

I'll try to zero the drive using the method you mentioned. I've been using GNU/Linux since the accident happened with a boot disk.

--------------------
Christopher Parker
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FSF Associate Member #795

Posts: 25 | From: Malden, MA | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Christopher Parker
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Icon 3 posted April 08, 2003 07:55      Profile for Christopher Parker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think I'm just going to have to break down and buy a new motherboard and processor. I think a majority of my problem may lay in my BIOS not supporting the full 100 GB, and only seeing up to 30-something.

I'm going to replace the hard drive, too. I'm fed up.

Intel, P4 sounds good... <starts to save the $500 />

Could anybody recommend a good casemod? I have two 100 GB hard drives, a CD-RW drive, DVD-ROM drive, ZIP drive... yeah.. 5 (five) EIDE devices. I only have 4 (four) set up, though. Don't know how to set up a fifth. Unless someone wants to buy the CD-RW and DVD-ROM drives... and I'll go out and buy a combination drive.

Ebay. Yeah. I think I'll do that.

$$$

--------------------
Christopher Parker
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Posts: 25 | From: Malden, MA | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted April 08, 2003 11:02      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Chris,

I don't want to dis your processor choice, but have you looked at AMD athlon XP processors. You get a cheaper price and on par performance. If I were looking to upgrade right now, I would be looking at a good nForce2 chipset mobo / Athlon XP combo.

nForce2 mobo's have a rock solid chipset.

You should not need to replace that 100GB hard drive, as you are probably right that it is the old mobo's BIOS that is the problem. If you have a friend nearby that doesn't mind checking equipment, hook that drive in his computer and test it. I have fixed quite a few drives that would not boot with those instructions.

--------------------
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greycat

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Icon 1 posted April 08, 2003 13:06      Profile for greycat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Linux's support the for nforce2 chipset may not be "rock solid" yet, though. For my latest computer purchase, I went with a VIA KT400 chipset instead (and standard cards for video, audio, network). If you're building a Windows-only box, the nforce2 is very attractive though, I must confess.

And yes, Athlon XP series. I don't care for Intel's most recent CPUs, especially the P4. You won't get the full performance of the P4 unless your applications are specifically compiled for it, and gcc can't do that (yet).

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted April 08, 2003 14:46      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes greycat, you are probably right.

However it looks like nVidia is making decent progress in that direction.

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Christopher Parker
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Icon 5 posted April 09, 2003 08:17      Profile for Christopher Parker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Can Windows XP make full use of an Athlon XP processor, though? Can the speeds of the Athlon XP processor get up to the similar speeds of the Intel P4?

=====

edit:

Hah. Nevermind. I found it on the site:

-----

AMD Athlon™ XP Processor
Model 3000+

Featuring 640KB of total on die cache for increased software performance

The Ultimate Digital Media Experience in an x86 Platform

Tailored for Microsoft® Windows® XP

Featuring QuantiSpeed™ Architecture for Rapid Execution of Applications

The Power of a Reliable Partner

-----

It says it's TAILORED to Windows XP. I wonder if this means I will experience performance flukes when running any other operating system.

=====

second edit:

AMD Athlon™ XP Processor // Price
3000+ // $588
2800+ // $375
2700+ // $267
2600+ // $241
2400+ // $141
2200+ // $107
2100+ // $92
2000+ // $81
1800+ // $67
1700+ // $54

-----

Blimey. I'm going to go with the 1700+. There's no way I'm paying 600 bucks for a processor.

Nowhere on the site does it say what the speed (in MHz) of the 1700+ (or any other) is. I'm wary.

--------------------
Christopher Parker
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CommanderShroom
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Icon 12 posted April 09, 2003 08:38      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well of course *with wicked grin*

NOTHING runs like a Windows product. The reliability the lack of strange errors. And I LOVE the way it "never" crashes. [Wink]


Seriously though I am running an AMD XP 1900 with Red Hat 8.0 with no problems whatsoever. I am someone that firmly believes that the XP moniker is a marketing gimmick more than anything else.


And I "think" the XP 1700 runs at a clock speed of about 1.4 GHZ

CommanderShroom

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

Posts: 2463 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Christopher Parker
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Icon 10 posted April 09, 2003 09:32      Profile for Christopher Parker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cool. Thanks. 1.4 GHz is PLENTY of speed for my needs. I'm currently on a Pentium MMX 233 MHz. That's quite an upgrade for me. I'd be plenty happy with that sort of performance.

What about a mobo? Should I just search around for one that features an nForce2 chipset? I DO want to run games with ease, but I also want to run my various compilers with ease. (Both gcc and MSVC++. I'm also doing stuff with Java, which shouldn't really make much of a difference.)

Thank you gentlemen.

=====

I think I found one.

-----

Asus

Model: A7N8X
Revision: 1.04
Form Factor: ATX
Chipset: NVIDIA nForce2 SPP AGP DDR
Bios: Award 1002 01/09/2003

Recommended Speeds:
AMD Athlon™ XP 3000+ (333 MHz FSB)
AMD Athlon™ XP 2800+ (333 MHz FSB)
AMD Athlon™ XP 2700+ (333 MHz FSB)
AMD Athlon™ XP 2600+ (333 MHz FSB)
AMD Athlon™ XP 2600+ (266 MHz FSB)
AMD Athlon™ XP 2500+ (333 MHz FSB)
AMD Athlon™ XP 2400+ (266 MHz FSB)
AMD Athlon™ XP 2200+ (266 MHz FSB)
AMD Athlon™ XP 2100+ (266 MHz FSB) Model 8
AMD Athlon™ XP 2100+ (266 MHz FSB) Model 6
AMD Athlon™ XP 2000+ (266 MHz FSB) Model 8
AMD Athlon™ XP 2000+ (266 MHz FSB) Model 6
AMD Athlon™ XP 1900+ (266 MHz FSB) Model 8
AMD Athlon™ XP 1900+ (266 MHz FSB) Model 6
AMD Athlon™ XP 1800+ (266 MHz FSB) Model 8
AMD Athlon™ XP 1800+ (266 MHz FSB) Model 6
AMD Athlon™ XP 1700+ (266 MHz FSB) Model 8
AMD Athlon™ XP 1700+ (266 MHz FSB) Model 6
AMD Athlon™ XP 1600+ (266 MHz FSB)
AMD Athlon™ XP 1500+ (266 MHz FSB)
AMD Duron™ 1300
AMD Duron™ 1200
AMD Duron™ 1100
AMD Duron™ 1000

-----

It looks like this one allows for the most flexibility in processor upgrades. I plan on getting the 1700 now, but what if I eventually want to try something like the 3000? Plus, this one featues the NVIDIA nForce2 SPP AGP DDR chipset.

Would I still be able to use my current memory sticks with this? I have two 32MB SIMMs. I'm not up-to-date with how the latest designs in memory work.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted April 09, 2003 09:59      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Christopher,

I have heard the nForce chipset has some issues with anything other than Windows. So do your homework before you purchase.


CommanderShroom

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

Posts: 2463 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted April 09, 2003 10:04      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Looks like the Asus A7N8X is a sweet board.

As far as the memory, I think you will need to get new RAM. Looking at the specs for that board on Asus's site gave the following info

Dual-Channel DDR400 Support

The 128-bit TwinBank DDR Memory architecture doubles the DDR 400 (PC3200) bandwidth. System bottlenecks are eliminated with balanced architecture and peak bandwidth up to 6.4GB/s.


The DDR400 RAM is ultra-fast. If you are going to Run Windows XP on the thing, get 256 at a minimum. I have an Athlon 2000XP at home, and I run with 512mb of RAM. Windows XP loves it.

--------------------
Laughter is like changing a baby's diapers. It doesn't solve anything but it sure improves the situation. Leo F. Buscaglia

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Christopher Parker
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Icon 1 posted April 10, 2003 11:15      Profile for Christopher Parker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I did my homework:

Linux nForce Driver
http://www.nvidia.com/view.asp?IO=linux_nforce_1.0-0248

Version: 1.0-0248
Release Date: November 26, 2002

Release Highlights for 1.0-0248:

Added PCI ID support for nForce2 MCP2-T and MCP2-A to the i810_audio driver.

Cleanup of spec file and Makefiles

SRPMs and tar files now use local system's i810_audio.c file, and complain if not there (this makes them more distribution independent)

Changed code to compile properly with gcc3.X and gcc2.X

Added support for Mandrake9.0 and Redhat8.0

nForce2 support for network driver

This page contains drivers and documentation for the nForce chipset. The chipset includes hardware support for IDE disk control, ethernet networking, audio support, win modem support, and a USB controller. These packages have support for ethernet networking and basic ACI audio. USB and IDE hardware will work with standard Linux drivers. There is no win modem support.

--------------------
Christopher Parker
[email protected]
FSF Associate Member #795

Posts: 25 | From: Malden, MA | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged


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