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Thread: HDD capacity limitations for phoenix notebios 4.06

  1. #1

    Question HDD capacity limitations for phoenix notebios 4.06

    Could anyone advice what would be max HDD size for an old laptop (Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook C 6535) runing Win 98 SE. I only know that OS supports up to 120 gigs, which would be awesome compared to the current 6 GB drive. Yet I'm not sure about BIOS, which is "phoenix notebios 4.06". Couldn't really find solid information on it.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Dutchess County, New York, USA


    IIRC, there were programs that overwrote the memory copy of BIOS each boot up with an overlay that allowed larger HDD's to work back when Win98 was new. I no longer remember where I got my cop(y)ies - maybe came from the HDD maker? Some may have been locked to only work with that brand's HDD's. Maybe check hdd maker websites for details.

    OBTW, there is an unofficial service pack for Win98SE adding many MS updates that were not automatically including with the last released update. Some were the updated good bits included in not well liked Win ME that improved SE.
    Crazy old guy with a basement full of Pentium 1 laptops and parts

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Austin, Texas


    Knowing which version of Phoenix BIOS you have won't tell you much. Phoenix only supplies the BIOS, the implementation of it is up to the vendor that uses it. This means that there can be drastic differences between board manufacturers and even board models/revisions.

    Back in the 90s, pretty much every hard drive manufacturer had some type of drive overlay software which could be used on PCs with INT13h geometry limits to allow use of larger drives. The only way to know for sure is install a large hard drive and see what the machine thinks it is. If it can't see the entire drive's capacity, you know you'll need to install a drive overlay.

    Maxtor had MAXBLAST:

    Western Digital had EZ-Drive or Data Lifeguard Tools:

    Seagate had DiscWizard Starter Edition:

  4. #4


    SE, in its native form, supports 64GB. It's not actually an OS limitation but rather the old version of Fdisk.exe which does not properly recognize partitions larger than 64GB.

    You can check which version of Fdisk.exe you currently have. The newer version, which will allow you to install that 120GB drive, is 64,460 bytes in size and has a file date of 05/18/00 and a Time Stamp of 08:35AM.

    If you want the new Fdisk.exe it is available here.

    Your BIOS shouldn't be an issue as it can support these drives.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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