Hard Drives 101. Your answers please.

Hard Drives 101. Your answers please.

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Posted by G.Harris on October 30, 2001 at 23:59:06:

Here's the scenerio. We have bought a box of hard drives at an auction. They are labeled as; 'tested' (whatever that might mean).

They're year of mfg. ranges from 1996 to 1999 or so. We will presume ATA/33 IDE's from 850 megs. to around 3.5 gigs in 4 or 5 recognized brand names, plus a couple of JTS's just for fun.

We've rigged up a 'plain vanilla' test mainboard, a DFI Super Socket-7 with Award BIOS, (set to HD auto-detect),BIOS was flashed-up in mid 1999.

None of the hard drives have any {visable} OS installed on them... They spin up nicely and their model# & makes accurately identify in BIOS on the bootup screen. (note: It's reasonable to assume that if the drives are from PC's', they were likely formatted in FAT16 (16bit).

Predictably, some are reporting "no O.S. or hard drive found", or, "invalid drive perimeters, or, not valid". Some just return, "No drive C: found".

The possibilities are: The drives could have come from 'Unix' or NT networked computers - or, were origionally formatted with some irritating propriatary utility like Ontrack, or Western Digital, EZ-Drive, or Maxtor PowerMax,(MaxBlast)... You can experience some weird reactions attempting to reformat EZ or Max geometry drives with the DOS 'Format' utility.

I can't seem to find one answer though: If a 'startup (i.e. Boot) disk has to be used, and the 'startup' disk was created from a computer running a 32bit, FAT32, OS - and we attempt to boot from the A:\drive and access an older hard drive that is formatted w/ FAT16, (16bit),,, will you be able to see that hard drive?

If not, can you simply Fdisk and format it over in FAT32?

Last, if the problem is one of those dynamic overlay's like EZ-Drive. How can you remove it/them?

My aim here is to get some answers and at the same time stimulate some fresh ideas and input.


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