Announcement

Collapse

Forum Rules and Etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.


Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.


Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.



Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.


Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.


Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.


Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.


New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.


Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
See more
See less

What size hard drive should I put in my 486 laptop?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    What size hard drive should I put in my 486 laptop?

    I'm getting a laptop sans harddrive from a forum member here, and I've looked for low capacity IDE 2.5 inch drives, and I think I found a perfect 6 GB one. I've looked into using a CF adapter, but getting an actual hard drive is cheaper. I want to run DOS 5 or 6, can it support HDDs of 6 GB?

    #2
    Presumably the bios supports a 6GB HDD. To me that is also the perfect size for DOS. My partitions on a DOS machine look like this.
    WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.

    Comment


      #3
      Using DOS 6 to support 6 GB is a little messy (FAT16 file system limits you to a 2GB partition size) unless you partition it into several logical drives. You may have to use a DDO depending on your BIOS. No more than about 300MB would be historically more correct.
      Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

      Comment


        #4
        How exactly would I go partitioning a DOS drive? Just insert the drive, boot it up with a boot disk, and then fdisk to format it into 3 logical drives with 2GB each? What would I name these drives, as I want to use SD cards via a PCMCIA adapter?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Tupin View Post
          How exactly would I go partitioning a DOS drive? Just insert the drive, boot it up with a boot disk, and then fdisk to format it into 3 logical drives with 2GB each? What would I name these drives, as I want to use SD cards via a PCMCIA adapter?
          That's how I do it. However, why use 2GB partitions? Think about the cluster size and also about how easy it is to organize information with more partitions. Have a look at the setup I gave you above. Particularly:

          Volume size C 250.7MB (cluster size 4Kb)
          Volume size D-K 509.6MB (cluster size 8Kb)
          Volume size L 1019.5MB (cluster size 16Kb)
          WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.

          Comment


            #6
            Damn ! A DOS machine with 6 gigs. You must have a lot of DOS programs. I wasn't aware one could even have an HDD of that size on Dos (even vers. 6.22 or DR). What BIOS would you have to have ? I'm not being facetious and believe you but I was never aware that was possible on a 486. Even on a Pentium with a 8gig Samsung HD I had to split it into about 4 or 5 fat16 partitions using the Samsung app. And always worrying that the Samsung overlay would fail and the Samsung fd could not restore it. Would it require something like Partition Magic to achieve that ? How would I go about getting rid of the Samsung overlay in order to change it into a modern drive as well as saving the disk content ?

            Lawrence


            Originally posted by Ole Juul View Post
            Presumably the bios supports a 6GB HDD. To me that is also the perfect size for DOS. My partitions on a DOS machine look like this.
            Last edited by Micom 2000; June 7, 2010, 05:18 PM.
            Economics isn't a real science. It's an evil art designed for the rich.

            Comment


              #7
              Better look up what HD the machine supports (early or late 486?). 2-4GB is what I use for DOS (1 or 2 partitions) if the machine supports it, many do 500MB or so.
              What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
              Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
              Boxed apps and games for the above systems
              Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

              Comment


                #8
                If the native BIOS won't support it, it's entirely possible that the additoin of a DDO will do the trick. A lot depends on the vintage.
                Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Micom 2000 View Post
                  Damn ! A DOS machine with 6 gigs. You must have a lot of DOS programs.
                  I actually don't use a lot of applications and certainly no games. Mostly just a few very small utilities. To me utilities is where it's at - they do it all. That said, for historical and resource purposes, I maintain a large library of utilities which I have been gleaning from BBSs and now the net, over many years. I also keep lots of text files and literary works. Finding things on a computer is much easier than most other places. I love text and i love GREP.

                  I wasn't aware one could even have an HDD of that size on Dos (even vers. 6.22 or DR). What BIOS would you have to have ? I'm not being facetious and believe you but I was never aware that was possible on a 486.
                  DOS 6.22 certainly supports 6GB, so there is no problem there. As others have mentioned, a 486 may or may not support that. My machine (check the link) is a P1 because it was supposed to be a work horse and P1s are readily available, and there was not really any "vintage concerns" involved when I put it together.

                  Even on a Pentium with a 8gig Samsung HD I had to split it into about 4 or 5 fat16 partitions using the Samsung app. And always worrying that the Samsung overlay would fail and the Samsung fd could not restore it. Would it require something like Partition Magic to achieve that ? How would I go about getting rid of the Samsung overlay in order to change it into a modern drive as well as saving the disk content ?
                  Fdisk is quite happy to make partitions until you run out of letters. Like I mentioned earlier, it is also worth considering the cluster size. DOS files tend to be small so there could easily be a lot of waste. However with 6GB space is not a big concern. I like the elbow room and it's also nice to have huge ramdrives.

                  Anyway, I don't want to totally hijack the thread here. If there is a concern with being historically appropriate (ie. vintage) then I think Chuck's suggestion of something like 300MB is probably a better choice for a 486.
                  WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    A bit more info:

                    It's a Zenith Z-Star EX monochromatic laptop from 1994. BIOS is dated 1994.
                    It has 4MB of RAM, which can be expanded to 8 or 20. I have RAM chips of these sizes, but I'm not sure how to add it.
                    It's a 486DX2.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have one 486 laptop upgraded with a 2GB drive divided in half, one half SuSE Linux, the other half DOS 6.22/WFW. The other has 500MB divided three ways with OS/2, Dos 6.22/WFW, and Plan 9. This is the system's original drive--I ordered it with a 450MB, the largest available, it arrived with 500MB and a note telling me I got a free upgrade to a larger drive. I also have the first system's original drive, a 350MB drive, which has DOS and an old version of Solaris on it. It gets swapped into one of the systems about once a year.

                      In each case the setups are what they were when these were in daily use as current systems ('94-97 or thereabouts.) The 2GB drive had Win95 on it at one point, right after I got the larger drive, but I wiped the partition and took it back to DOS/WFW after a year or so. At the time I got the 2GB drive, this was a ridiculously huge drive for a personal machine of any sort. It was a production fallout unit intended for a small sized hot-swap RAID array. I repaired the drive by swapping logic boards with another fallout drive. We couldn't sell a fallout drive, so I got a monster huge drive for my laptop. At the time, a large disk or application server under Unix/LMX would have about 4-8GB of disk on it.
                      sigpic Mark, W8BIT http://saundby.com/

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Ole Juul View Post
                        Anyway, I don't want to totally hijack the thread here. If there is a concern with being historically appropriate (ie. vintage) then I think Chuck's suggestion of something like 300MB is probably a better choice for a 486.
                        I keep a bunch of small working drives around just for that reason.
                        What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
                        Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
                        Boxed apps and games for the above systems
                        Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X