Questions tagged [hard-disk]

For questions regarding hard disk drive usage. The hardware, connection, format and drivers.

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17
votes
2answers
2k views

How does Windows 9x determine which disk drivers correspond to which BIOS disks/DOS drive letters?

Windows 9x can employ two kinds of disk drivers: native protected-mode drivers and compatibility-mode DOS drivers, and the former are used in preference to the latter whenever possible. When Windows ...
4
votes
1answer
774 views

How I can install Windows 98SE in Hyper-V, but can't run it after

Create the Gen 1 machine with less than 512MiB Ram (above requires you to put MaxFileCache=524288 and MaxPhysPage=40000 in the system.ini later). Add either a virtual or physical IDE drive (physical ...
11
votes
2answers
707 views

Was there ever a Linux kernel driver for accessing disks via BIOS?

If there is some piece of PC compatible hardware where there are no (publicly) existing drivers for Linux, the only option is to access the disk with BIOS calls. I'm aware that this imposes ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Can DOS 6.22 recognize more than 504MB when the BIOS only supports CHS?

My CMOS setup correctly recognizes the geometry of the drive, (but does not support LBA). And FDISK in DOS 6.22 only recognizes 504MB. FDISK even shows the size of the primary partition as roughly ...
0
votes
2answers
262 views

CF partitions not showing up in Workbench

4GB Compact Flash KS 3.1 40.68 WB3.1 Latest WinUAE I just created a Compact Flash (compatible Transcend) partitions under Workbench on latest WinUAE using this guide. Despite following the steps my CF ...
27
votes
17answers
6k views

How much did the first hard drives for PCs cost?

I would like to know how much early PC hard drives cost but have only been aable to find adjacent or unsourced data. According to the Centre for Computing History: The "IBM 5161 Expansion ...
10
votes
2answers
430 views

How did 512 Bytes come to be the most common sector size?

It was long assumed by FS drivers that all diskette and harddisk units operate in blocks of size 512 Bytes. How did this happen to be the case, historically? Why not the "neater" 1 KiB, say?
2
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1answer
226 views

Bill-of-material cost of early hard drives

Based on this topic (and continuing this topic), my question once again surfaced: And what was the layout of the prime cost of early 8 and 5.25 inch hard drives? From Seagate and competing ...
4
votes
1answer
245 views

How did the DEC RP06 respond to unscheduled power off?

The DEC RP06 disk drive was a remarkable piece of hardware. It seems to have been the last generation of drives that used rigid magnetic disks in removable packs, before their replacement by '...
5
votes
1answer
220 views

How to identify the filesystem for an old SCSI drive?

Back in the day, SCSI was the way to go. I remember my high school having a single 5Mb Sider hdd connected to an Apple //e - which seemed awesome after endlessly swapping floppies. Not long after, I ...
12
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4answers
4k views

How can a ST-412 MFM hard drive be integrated with a modern PC?

I have a Seagate ST-225 20MB hard drive. It used a ST-412 MFM (Modified Frequency Modulation) controller which unfortunately went to the great bit bucket some time ago. Is it possible to get this ...
5
votes
2answers
582 views

Is there any virtual hard disk driver over serial port?

NOTE: I'm not looking for a way to transfer files from Linux to DOS over Serial cable Is there any MS-DOS driver to enable a new hard-disk drive (let's say D:), using a disk image on another computer ...
3
votes
2answers
415 views

The “hidden” flag on partitions and Microsoft

On this website (and others, of course) you could be informed that there is a special partition flag (“hidden”) to avoid detection by Microsoft operating systems. First: Is this a convention by/with ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

Modern HDD replacement for an old laptop

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 ...
7
votes
4answers
527 views

What's the pitfalls when trying to connect a new SCSI hard drive to an old SCSI bus?

Problem I have a couple of old computers. Some of them have a SCSI-1 or SCSI-2 interface over an internal 50 pin IDC connector or an external DB25. Now I want to connect something to them, in ...
4
votes
3answers
550 views

Bad floppy drive in T1910CS 486 laptop

I've recently picked up a Toshiba T1910CS 486 laptop. It's in OK shape, with a 500MB hard drive and DOS installed. I also ordered a USB floppy disk drive and some floppy disks so that I could install ...
4
votes
2answers
196 views

Detecting the number of disk drives installed

When the BIOS gives control to the MBR (or the bootloader, for non-partitioned media), it passes the drive number from which the bootloader was loaded in the DL register. This number is most of the ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Default (as opposed to physical) read/write heads - what are they?

The Seagate U Series hard disk Product manual states that the drive has 16 "Default read/write heads" while it has 4/3/2/1 "Physical read/write heads" (depending on actual model). ...
3
votes
1answer
253 views

Does anyone have information about the nj32disk.sys driver?

I'm currently trying to use the nj32disk.sys driver to use my USB stick as a virtual hard drive. The problem is that the driver acts like a floppy disk. My question is: Is there a documentation about ...
53
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3answers
11k views

On DOS computers, what would the PARK command do?

In 1994 or so, we had an old computer at my primary school. I remember finding out that it had a park command. From reading its documentation, it said that this command should be executed prior to ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Imaging a HDD from DOS over Serial

I have recently fixed an old IBM Clone, which has an MFM hard drive. The PC booted up fine, but then I saw, that a few years back, I have deleted a few important files (probably by mistake). The ...
11
votes
8answers
6k views

Why were optical drives not used as secondary storage instead of magnetic drives?

What prevented optical drives from being used as the dominant secondary storage like the magnetic disk drives, in PCs? Was it entirely technical limitation or other issues like late development and ...
33
votes
6answers
7k views

Why do hard drives not use larger platter sizes anymore?

In reading a related question about floppy drive capacity, I thought to ask a question I've had for a long time. When I started programming, all PC hard drives used the 5¼" platter size. There were ...
9
votes
1answer
421 views

How Amiga A590 autoboot ROM and bootable floppy disk works?

Commodore A590 was a peripheral hard drive and memory expansion unit for Amiga 500/500+ computers. It provides SCSI and XT-harddrive controller and 2MB Fast Ram. Here is the Big Book of Amiga Hardware ...
4
votes
2answers
313 views

Can a bootable Win9x HDD be made interchangeable between PCs?

Normally, Windows 9x must be installed on each PC individually so that it can be loaded/configured with the appropriate set of drivers. I'm wondering if there is any way to make a boot HDD that can be ...
5
votes
3answers
334 views

Steps to recover data from Conner CP341

Trying to recover data from Conner CP341 HDD i took from an old Compaq Portable III. The data is important enough to go through the effort of recovering it, and i would like to do this myself (rather ...
2
votes
0answers
1k views

How many Amiga 590 units were sold?

The A590 was an external hard disk for the Amiga 500, in 'sidecar' form factor, that could also hold an extra megabyte of RAM. How many 590s were sold, throughout its life?
4
votes
1answer
213 views

pfs3 error when copying files

Config: WinUAE 4.2.1, CPU 68020, 24bit, FPU 68882, 8MB FastRam Z2, A1200, CF 4GB Transcend, BetterWB 43, Dopus 4, When I try to copy folders from PC to CF Partition (2.4GB, pfs3) it goes alright, ...
38
votes
5answers
9k views

Apocryphal (?) tale of hard drive platter propelled through a wall?

In the mid-1990s while a student at a US university during a computer science lecture, my professor (not a TA or grad student) told us a story of "witnessing" a large, then old-fashioned metal hard ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Hard coded hard drive BIOS geometries

Most old BIOSes on PCs and compatibles provided means to enter hard drive geometries (cylinder/head/sector as well as more esoteric things like write precomp) when configuring the machine. Some (AMI ...
9
votes
6answers
7k views

Cannot boot from a Compact Flash card

I am trying to fix up an old work computer I have from the early to mid 90's. Everything works fine, but the hard drive makes a horrible clicking noise when it loads anything, so I decided to ...
8
votes
2answers
662 views

Create an Amiga hard disk image

I'm looking for Linux dd command equivalent for Amiga to make image of hard disk. TSGUI not work if disk have broken RDB. Do you know program which can make hard disk image on Amiga?
13
votes
1answer
936 views

Old Conner IDE hard drives that are mistakenly detected as being 2TB, how do I connect to and image them?

I have connected two old Conner Peripheral IDE HDDs to a modern computer using Deltaco USB to SATA/IDE adaptors. The drives in question are: Conner CP30121 (120 MB) Conner CFA2161A (210 MB) Both ...
8
votes
1answer
396 views

How do I connect an IDE hard drive to an Amiga 4000 tower?

I would like to know how to connect a hard drive to the Amiga 4000 tower. I have an IDE cable from the top right m/b to the IDE CD-drive. I also have what looks like a SCSI cable from the CPU board. ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Getting data from Seagate ST-238R drive

Hello: I have an old Seagate ST-238R drive. I'm the original owner and it stopped working in the early-90s when I foolishly deleted system files to make room for a football game. (I was 12 at the time)...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I access an old pre-IDE disk?

I have a wonderful Zenith SupersPORT 286 laptop (ZWE-0200-40) whose power circuitry seems faulty and it no longer powers up. I have useful material on the disk which I'd like to extract. The disk (a ...
9
votes
1answer
958 views

How can I edit CMOS hard drive geometry settings on a 1991 PC?

First, I am NOT asking how to use the BIOS Setup utility. I'm asking how to OVERRIDE the built-in settings my BIOS Setup supports for the HD geometry. I have a 1991 NCR PC with a 386SX, on-board IDE, ...
4
votes
1answer
848 views

Accessing Old Seagate HDD Model ST4350N

I have an Old HDD Seagate Model ST4350N. I want to access the data on the Hard disk. The Hard disk have 50 pin connector I am hoping for guidance on how to even begin the process. What kind of ...
35
votes
8answers
9k views

Why were floppy disks invented after hard disks?

For those of us who grew up with personal computers in the 1970's or 1980's, the experience was a very gradual migration from floppy disks to hard disks as the primary persistent storage. So, based on ...
23
votes
8answers
4k views

What were the early PC applications requiring a hard disk?

I had to wait about 5 years before hard drives (HDs) became affordable enough to begin moving off of floppies. During this time, I remember my desire for an HD being based on convenience. All the ...
2
votes
4answers
641 views

Hard disks in 1977

Suppose you wanted to take one of the 1977 trinity (Apple II, Commodore PET, TRS-80) and attach it to a hard disk at that time - in 1977. Of course this wouldn't be easy. Not only was there no ...
4
votes
0answers
264 views

How to use IIgs enhanced graphics modes in AppleSoft BASIC with System 6?

There are many packages that let you use the enhanced graphics modes of the IIgs in AppleSoft BASIC. However most packages like Iconix do not like System 6 so they have to run off disks and not the ...
1
vote
2answers
261 views

Conventional Hard Drive life-span [closed]

I have a bunch of hard drives. From 500 megabytes to a few gigabytes from years around 2000-2006. I was wondering if those are still readable or are dead. Should I hurry up finding an adapter and try ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you find information about your hard drive in MS-DOS?

Context: I'm running an original MS-DOS. I suspect the hard disk is failing, but don't want to shut it off for fear of not being able to get it started again if I can't swap the hard drive into ...
9
votes
2answers
497 views

What operating systems allowed arbitrarily-sized disk blocks?

According to my limited experience with IBM clone mainframes, and as far as I can remember, at least in one OS the permanent storage disk space was allocated to users (and the scratch space — to ...
4
votes
2answers
651 views

Clonezilla SCSI HDD cloning problem

I'm trying to clone or take images of old SCSI hard disks. I use Clonezilla and at the last phase, it's written "no input". This is for 68 pin SCSI HDD. In another case, I can't see the hard disk at ...
3
votes
3answers
349 views

How do I Secure Erase a PATA hard drive without a compatible desktop motherboard? [closed]

I have a few hard drives, laptop and desktop IDE, which I would like to Secure Erase. I'm aware that other methods exist for removing the data, but this is the safest and most efficient, and it's the ...
7
votes
2answers
332 views

What was the block spacing in early hard disks?

Early floppy disks had significant spacing between blocks, e.g. a PC 5.25" disk had a theoretical capacity of about 500K but was formatted as 360K, nine blocks per track, with a substantial fraction ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

ST-506 price: wholesale or retail?

The ST-506 was an early personal computer hard disk, introduced in 1980 with a capacity of 5 megabytes and a price of $1500. While several sources confirm the price, I haven't been able to find ...
4
votes
3answers
780 views

What to do about “Invalid media type”

I have an old PC with a HDD that was using Double Space. Since I do not need the extra space, and want to minimise the system use of RAM, I attempted to re-format the drive normally. After typing ...