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lutiana
November 19th, 2009, 09:13 PM
Anyone know of a BIOS update for this card that would allow it to support 8gb drives?

Right now it works great, but apparently it won't do anything bigger than 2gb.

aitotat
November 20th, 2009, 04:57 AM
I have three VLB Multi I/O cards and none of them has BIOS. The 486 VLB Motherboard that i use supports 8GB drives so disable the BIOS on the controller and try if your motherboard BIOS supports 8GB drives.

Eventually i will add 32-bit transfers to XTIDE Universal BIOS. Beta2 supports 16-bit transfers. It might work with VLB controllers using 16-bit transfers. I haven't tested. You could try it. Transfer rates will be slow since even block mode transfers are not yet supported.

lutiana
November 20th, 2009, 07:16 AM
The BIOS on the machine does not support anything bigger than 2gb. I was really hoping that this card would support the 8gb drive I am trying to get in there, but it looks like I will have to go back to using an overlay software.

southbird
November 20th, 2009, 07:20 AM
Yeah, in general, except specialized overriding controllers, any IDE controller on 286+ is reliant on the motherboard to supply the drive control parameters to the best of its ability.

But you're sure you're talking about the BIOS limit of 2GB, not FAT16's limit of 2GB to a single partition?

lutiana
November 20th, 2009, 07:31 AM
This controller has its own BIOS that is supposed to override the motherboard bios, apparently the limit is the same for both.

I am definitely talking about the disk size not the partition size. Fdisk reads the total disk space as around 2gb (I forget what the exact size is).

hargle
November 20th, 2009, 08:59 AM
yeah, if your card has a socketed ROM on it, the chances are very good that you could just reprogram it with aitotat's BIOS or even a slightly modified version of XTIDE that will break the size barrier. It's sub-optimal as you won't get great performance (especially using xtide bios) but perfectly usable, and the BIOS can always be upgraded to improve performance as more code is written to handle DMA and 32bit IO.

Then I'd think you'd just set your onboard BIOS to none and let the card take care of the rest.

lutiana
November 20th, 2009, 09:12 AM
It does have a socketed ROM chip, but I don't think I will use either BIOS because I don't want the performance drop. I'll just disable its BIOS and use an overlay software.

diodenmann
November 20th, 2009, 10:18 AM
Personally I don't like overlay software.
Would it be an option to reverse engineer one of those Enhanced BIOS Expansion Cards (http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/bios/overCards-c.html) ?
I don't know if there is enough demand to make it worthwhile...

lutiana
November 20th, 2009, 10:37 AM
Personally I don't like overlay software.
Neither do I, that is why I thought this card would be great.



Would it be an option to reverse engineer one of those Enhanced BIOS Expansion Cards (http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/bios/overCards-c.html) ?
I don't know if there is enough demand to make it worthwhile...

Probably not since its much easier to get a replacement IDE Controller card w/ its own BIOS.

Now would it be possible to reverse engineer the BIOS on the promise card and tweak it to accept drives larger than 8gb? How difficult would this be?

diodenmann
November 20th, 2009, 10:50 AM
Now would it be possible to reverse engineer the BIOS on the promise card and tweak it to accept drives larger than 8gb? How difficult would this be?

I don't have knowledge to estimate the difficulty, but my suggestion was not only related to your special controller problem. It could be an ubiquitous solution than can also be used in ISA-only systems.
It's also hard to find controllers with onboard bios nowadays.

hargle
November 20th, 2009, 01:51 PM
Just wait for aitotat's BIOS then. No reverse engineering required, we're already moving forward for this very need. Essentially that BIOS will be a replacement for virtually all IDE controllers that have socketed chips, barring any really weird/custom hardware requirements that the card may use.

I don't want to talk it up too much, but it should give you all the features of XTIDE (boot menu, huge HDD support) with the performance close to what you get with the stock BIOS. Again, barring any custom hardware tweaks that the IDE controller's stock BIOS might be implementing.

should be done in about a week right? :p (ok, i probably should not have said that)