What is the modern solution I could use in Commodore C386SX-LT? It requires selection of disk type in bios, otherwise it won't work. Max setting allows up to 63MB, so would a 64MB CF with IDE adapter work?

  • I can't speak for your exact computer, but if you're able to manually set CHS in your bios rather than picking a type number, there's a program called 'whatide' that can report the geometry of the hard drive / cf present. I'd expect this approach would work with a 64mb CF (or set the cylinders lower if 64mb doesn't work).
    – knol
    Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 2:18

2 Answers 2


Modern hard drives tend to list a CHS geometry of some large number of cylinders, 16 heads, 63 sectors. I'm reading the label on an 18GB IBM Travelstar for that; as CHS only goes up to about 8GB, the listed settings wouldn't cover the entire capacity of the drive.

I think it's better to have the correct number of heads and sectors. It may then be possible to have the operating system use a large number of cylinders than the BIOS supports, while still having compatible geometry otherwise.

  • Apart from the PC only being able to use about 0,35% of its capacity, how would you connect such a disk? That's the main part of the question, I guess: you can't hook up a SATA disk to this thing.
    – DarkDust
    Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 7:23
  • 2
    @DarkDust There are still PATA drives being sold in 2.5" form factor, including SSDs. I have one in an old ThinkPad right now.
    – Chromatix
    Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 9:45

CF should work. I guess this may help you:

  1. Connect the CF to your computer, no BIOS settings needed.
  2. Boot from floppy to the DOS
  3. Use utilities like WhatIDE or IDEInfo. They tell you how the system "see" the CF card (if so)

You can find more details here or here.

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